17th June 2024
Day 10, Escouloubre to Tarascon-sur-Ariège

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Garmin route for today - - Strava route for today

Miles today: 53.41
Total millage so far: 557.28
Today's top speed: 36.00mph
Punctures: 00

Blog for the day:

Got high today, 2001meters high. I had wanted to do the Plateau de Beille also, as the TdF is finishing a stage up there this year, but just didn't have the time or legs to do it.

So, there were 3 French lads doing a long cycle trip similar to mine through the Pyrenees, covering more miles per day. They were nice and spoke good English. They left before me and didn't see them again. I was wondering if covering a shorter distance is better if it is hilly or on bad roads, than maybe going faster but further. Hmmm

Day was good, long descent before the climb started. Got very hot pretty quick, a bit too hot if anything. Climb was amazing, maybe better than the alps? Pretty, varied, and defo the better side to climb as the descent was pretty steep and fast. Lots of animals on the road, from horses to cows to sheep, plus lots of buzzy flies 🤮. The climb took me above the clouds, sometimes I wasn't sure if I was going to make it or how much further it was going to be, but got there in the end.

No food at the top, a few cyclists and those on motorbikes. Another English guy whose son was doing a similar ride to mine but in reverse, to the coast. He was nice and we chatted a bit. The descent was the best, fast, but lumpy road surface in places. No wind, so didn't have to fight the bike. A few near misses with large busses coming up on the corners. The bottom town, Ax les Thermes was a shit hole, so I didn't get any munch today.

The next climb was pretty hard, so it was there I decided not to do the Plateau de Beille. The last 10 or so miles into the finish town was hard work, lots of strong wind coming up the valley. Saw a large bird I need to ID later. Overall, a great climb, good to achieve it. Music helped. Not much in the way of village life about, no shops or anything. More mountains tomorrow.

Couldn't get a drink in the end town, unless you are a French bum, so, won't be eating there tonight

Notes. Great fast descent off the top, after the bumpy part for maybe a mile, the road surface gets better. Hardly any wind either, so felt safe. Lots of busses coming up, and had a near miss with 2 of them grrrr. Top speed says only 35mph, certainly felt a lot faster. I think this was my favourite climb of the trip, first one too maybe thats why lol.

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