France Bike Tour August 22 - 29, 2020.


Your Next Adventure?


Dates of trip: 22-29 August 2020 (Saturday through Saturday)

Arrival City: Biarritz, France || Departure City: Carcassonne, France

It is not a stretch to say that the Haute Pyrenees is one of the World’s greatest bike ride. We will ride Tour de France ‘regulars’ such as the Tourmalet, Aubisque, Aspin and the Peyresourde.

We start with a couple of minute ride to the beach for a photo of all of us on our bikes on the Atlantic coast, and we use our next 5 days to ride coast to coast, as we end the trip with a group photo on the Mediterranean.

You’ll enjoy some of Europe's premier cycling roads, stay in charming hotels carefully selected for their rider-friendliness and convenience to the best cycling routes, benefit from superb rider support & daily baggage/equipment transfers.

In essence, we help take the hassle out of riding across the Pyrenees, leaving you to concentrate on the scenery, the camaraderie, the local cuisine and the small matter of propelling yourself up and down the mountains.

Since most riders will take a full week's vacation for this type of trip, this trip relaxes the pace a little from tradition Raid Pyrenees treks and takes you on a pure 'riders route.' We ride on a '5-day + 4-hours schedule', but the 'stages' remain challenging and all the most iconic climbs are on our course as you'd expect.

Questions can be sent to jeff@thresholdacademy.com



Day 1: Arrival Day (Saturday afternoon): Meet at hotel in Biarritz for pre-ride briefing, bike assembly and fitting and dinner. If you leave the states on Friday night, you should be able to book flights that take you to Biarritz by Saturday early afternoon.

Day 2: Start/finish: Biarritz – Montory. Distance: 145km Elevation gain: 2745 m. I picturesque first day, taking in a selection of Cat 2, 3 and 4 climbs, notably St. Ignace, Otxondo, Ispeguy and Osquich. Ride can be found at https://www.strava.com/routes/7422850

Day 3: Start/finish: Montory – Luz Saint Sauveur. Distance: 120 km Elevation gain: 3757m. Into the truly high mountains with the challenging ascents of Col de Marie Blanque and Col d’ Aubisque on today’s menu. Epic by all measures. Ride can be found at https://www.strava.com/routes/7423104

Day 4: Start/finish: Luz Saint Sauveur - Bagneres de Luchon. Distance: 94 km Elevation gain: 3656m. The “big one,” with Tourmalet, Aspin and Peyresourde following in rapid succession. A whopping 5 flat kilometers for the entire day. A memory maker. Ride can be found at https://www.strava.com/routes/7423164

Day 5: Start/finish: Bagneres de Luchon – Foix. Distance: 139 km. Elevation gain: 2656m. A nicely balanced day with some easy leg-spinning flat sections to afford you some recovery from the recent climbs. Ride can be found at https://www.strava.com/routes/7423264

Day 6: Start/finish: Fiox – Prades. Distance: 143 km. Elevation gain: 3117m. Quiet roads and two of the longest descents of the week. Beware the sting of the tail with a 19 km climb up the Col de Jau. Once you crest the Jau, it is downhill nearly all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. Ride details can be found at https://www.strava.com/routes/7423331

Day 7: Start/finish: Prades – Argeles sur Mer. Distance: 68 km. Elevation gain 498 m. Last half day, with a (typical) tail wind assisted cruise to the sea. Well earned respite after the previous 5 days of climbing. Dinner as a group in old Carcassonne. Ride details can be found at https://www.strava.com/routes/7423032


For details of the individual rides, please click on the Strava links below.


Sunday Pyrenees C2C: https://www.strava.com/routes/7422850


Monday Classic Pyrenees C2C: https://www.strava.com/routes/7423104
Tuesday Pyrenees C2C: https://www.strava.com/routes/7423164
Wednesday Classic C2C Pyrenees: https://www.strava.com/routes/7423264
Thursday Classic C2C Pyrenees: https://www.strava.com/routes/7423331
Friday Pyrenees C2C: https://www.strava.com/routes/7423032


What does the trip cost?


Price of this trip is $1,995 for each cyclist. This is a cyclist only course, based on shared room.

Trip prices are based on accommodation and American guides for duration of the trip. All trips will have an orientation (in person if geography suffices) for all guests approximately 4 weeks before departure.

Deposit Requirement: A deposit is required immediately with each booking request. A booking cannot be guaranteed without a deposit.

Deposits can be paid by check or credit card. All credit cards are processed through PayPal.

Trip Costs: This trip must be paid in full prior to 2 months start of trip. If trip fees are not paid within this time-frame, trip deposits will be forfeited.

Refund Policy: There is a 10% non-refundable fee per person on all received cancellation requests, regardless of the period when the cancellation is submitted. This trip is only 50% refundable if the request is made prior to 2 months. If cancellation request is made after, no refund will be issued. This is due to the strict booking policies for desired hotels.

We apologize for any inconvenience of this policy. You can however, transfer your reservation to another willing participant in the event you need to cancel. Just notify us if this is the case.

Tour Cancellations: Threshold Academy reserves the right to cancel any trip for any reason and will notify each guest as soon as possible. All deposits and monies paid will be refunded 100% in such an event. Trip Insurance is required for all bikers.

These policies are strictly enforced due to logistical partners in country and reservations made with local hotels and providers.


What's Included


  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 5 evening meals (Sun-Thu)
  • Daily baggage transfers
  • All-day on-the-road rider support (two support vehicles)
  • Support staff who have ridden with / accompanied over 100 Pyrenean C2C trips
  • Full trip mapping in paper & electronic format
  • Easy access to a comprehensive range of tools, spare parts and energy/hydration products

What's Not Included


  • Flights to Spain
  • Laundry
  • Trip Insurance
  • Specialized nutrition
  • Ebike rental

Meet Jeff Gaura


Jeff tells stories and teaches. He is an out-of-the-box thinker and visionary with communications skills that transcend multiple languages. He is confident and smart, but he is also committed to living in community.


Do you provide advice on what flights I should book to get to/from a tour?


While I specifically don’t operate as a flight-booking agent, Megan does, and she can provide some general advice as to the timings of flights that will co-ordinate well with the arrival & departure logistics at either end of your trip. Email me if you have a specific inquiry or if you’d like to check that your proposed flight itinerary ‘works’ before you book it.


When is a single supplement payable?


A Single Supplement is a fee added to the trip price which secures a private room with no room-mate for guests who prefer to room alone. If you would like your own room, please make sure you communicate your request clearly on your booking form. The price of the Single Supplement will vary from trip to trip, but typically equates to around 25% of the advertised trip price. If you are a solo traveler and do not opt for Single Supplement then you will be paired with a room-mate of the same gender.


What standard of accommodation do we stay in?


For this trip to the Pyrenees, we primarily stay in 3-star hotels selected for their rider-friendliness and proximity to the best riding routes. In some of the more remote mountain village locations, if a 3-star hotel is not available then we will have chosen the best of the 2-star options available. If you would like more details of any of our hotels/lodgings then please just drop us a line to ask.


Do I need to take out travel insurance?


Yes. You are not eligible to ride on any of our trips unless you are covered by an adequate travel insurance policy. As a minimum, that policy should provide extensive health/accident/hospitalization cover AND substantial provision to cover your personal liability in the event that you are deemed to be at fault in any accident. We will ask to see a copy of your policy document (electronic copies will suffice) before you commence riding. Most policies of this type will have some cover to protect you in the event that you need to cancel your holiday e.g. in the event of sickness, so we recommend that you take out the cover as soon as you book the trip, not just as a ‘last minute’ action immediately prior to travel.


What training should I do for the trip?


Again, it is somewhat difficult to give a generic ‘fits-all-riders’ answer. This is an average level/demanding tour and does require fitness and endurance to cycle 100+ km every day as well as climb mountain passes. For an ‘average’ rider signing up to a 7-day Summer tour with 600km+ of riding and 10,000m+ of elevation gain ahead of them, we’d suggest that you aim to be riding 3-4 times per week (indoor training ‘counts’ on this scorecard) in the 3 months leading up to the trip. The cumulative duration of those rides should build up to at least 10 hours per week in the last 4-6 weeks of preparation. And you should be building in some intervals or ‘efforts’ of 15-30 minutes duration to 2-3 of your weekly rides. Give attention to your descending skills as well as to your ‘base fitness’ and climbing ability. It is very valuable on any of our trips to be able to descend safely and confidently. If you’d like any more personalized advice on training & preparation, then send me an email and I would be happy to discuss your own circumstances in more detail


What gearing do you recommend I ride on the big climbs?


Inevitably, the answer to this one is going to be entirely down to your strengths as a rider. Stronger/lighter riders may well be content to ride a standard 53/39-tooth or ‘semi-compact’ 52/36-tooth chainset – usually couple with a rear cassette ranging from 11-25 or 11-28. Those of you who find the climbs that bit tougher or prefer to ‘spin’ a gear will find a compact 50/34-tooth chainset more suitable and may opt to match that with an 11-32 cassette to give yourselves a true ‘bale out’ option that will keep you pedalling on even the steepest sections. If you’re still not sure what will be most suitable for your specific trip and riding style, send me an email and I will be happy to advise.


How do you manage groups to cater for a wide variation in rider experience & riding speed?


A key ‘success factor’ in enabling this to happen is that we need all riders in the group to take an efficient approach to all of our rest breaks, meal/café stops and col-summit regroupings. Your ‘job’ during a break period (as well as relaxing, eating, drinking, taking your photos & celebrating your successes) is to make sure you are properly prepared to move on when we ask you to. Along with some start-of-day ‘head starts’ for the steadier riders in the group, we will also encourage those riders to set off a few minutes before the faster participants after each refreshment stop or col-summit regrouping. The composition of the ‘lead group’ may vary from day to day (if fatigue starts to play a part) or even on individual sections of the ride depending on terrain (some steadier climbers may be excellent descenders or very strong on flatter / rolling roads). The real key to the success of this approach is collaboration within the group – the faster riders showing some patience in allowing a head start to accumulate and the steadier folks being sufficiently well organized to get ahead when we ask them to.



Our Gift to You


As a participant of our trip, you'll receive one of these fabulous Threshold Academy biking jerseys at cost (currently, less than $100).


Maps of our rides

For details of the individual rides, please click on the Strava links below.


Sunday Pyrenees C2C: https://www.strava.com/routes/7422850


Monday Classic Pyrenees C2C: https://www.strava.com/routes/7423104
Tuesday Pyrenees C2C: https://www.strava.com/routes/7423164
Wednesday Classic C2C Pyrenees: https://www.strava.com/routes/7423264
Thursday Classic C2C Pyrenees: https://www.strava.com/routes/7423331
Friday Pyrenees C2C: https://www.strava.com/routes/7423032