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  1. #1
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    Bin Offagain

    Ladens lesser known cousin......

    Picture heavy !
    So, this years trip was to the Spanish side of the Pyrenees to ride the n260 and did not disappoint. Far more scenic IMO than the French side and poles apart from the overcrowded expensive Alps.
    We had 7 nights there plus a night each way on the ferry from the UK to Santander.

    Day 1.
    6 of us set off from various parts of the UK, (well Yorkshire, but nowhere else counts anyway) and met at Plymouth for the Sunday sailing. Loads of classic rally cars on trailers going to a historic rally in Portugal. http://rallyelegendcantabria.es/en/last-news/






    Day 2.
    No issues with the sailing and we disembarked on time and headed East through a bit of rain for the first 3 nights at a small village called Fiscal. Booking sorted us with a large villa for 10 but it was only the night before the trip that I twigged that it had 6 beds...and a 7th guy was making his way from his home in Southern Spain. Bugger. I took a sleeping mat and bag as I’d cocked up. As it turned out, there were 3 bed settees in the superb property so all was well.
    By not moving on every day we could get in some day rides without 20 or 30kg of extra weight.

    Too hot...too cold...wet/dry….





    Quiet village, quieter road..no issues with parking here!





    British Leyland, c1973. 1 vaguely working while 4 supervise…




    Day 3.
    I’d planned a few rides to give options dependent on weather. The first day ride was supposed to do some Tour de France Cols but many were till snowed up so we rode over the main Col from Spain into France, passing Formigal (Spanish Ski resort) on a beautiful sunny day. Life was good. Bank holiday in France so one of the lads attempts at finding a bike shop open that could sort his dodgy chain were suppered. A great day and about 350 miles of countryside, cols and scenery.














    These overtheshoulderboulderholders were found in an Italian layby last year, they get ziptied to something on every trip..



    Good water levels due to snowmelt.













    Day 4.
    More of the same followed by a home-made meal and an amble down to a small local bar. ( I should say THE local bar)













    Last edited by Floyd; 16-05-2018 at 12:40 PM.
    If a man speaks his mind in a forest and no woman hears him...is he still wrong ?

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    Day 5.
    Pack up, clean the villa a little and move on, 200+ miles along the 260 to Bellver de Cerdanya. Staggering road cut through mountains, gorges, over the tops. Barely a pothole in sight and grip like a race track. Simply amazing. Good old EU money eh!
    Arrive at the 2nd place, another villa, and again we are not disappointed. Sufficient beds (I even got one this time) another evening of home made man food...curry or chilli...one or the other and beer, plenty of cheap, good beer.














    Day 6. This was supposed to be a shorter day but the way the roads are draped over mountainsides means that a linear 50 mile ride is actually over 100 and takes a fair while. I’d found a small private collection of bikes that the owner had opened a museum with so we headed there. It was superb. Properly intimate little spot and for a while, although officially closed, we were admitted for the princely sum of 9 euros and had it to ourselves. The ride back was as good as ever and we got back to the digs with childish grins plastered across our faces. Another good day. Good riding, all back safely etc etc.
    http://www.museumoto.com/en/museus/8...orcycle-museum







    [









    Ice Speedway Bike



















    Some great old photos



    Last edited by Dave B; 16-05-2018 at 02:09 PM.
    If a man speaks his mind in a forest and no woman hears him...is he still wrong ?

  3. #3
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    Karl was just off camera in this pic…




















    Day 7.
    Retrace the whole n260 to wards Jaca and then turn right up a dead end Pyrenean valley to the Hotel Lo Foroton at Hecho (Or Val d‘Echo) as it seems to have been called historically and locals still call it that)
    The ride was staggering, riding the same road the opposite way really does bring a totally different experience with new views etc.















    Hotel was fine, one horse town at 3000 feet but very scenic and a nice vibe to it….it even had a small petrol station that charged just the same as every other we’d seen...1e25 to 1e29...(As were most petrol stations….get these pics)







    A beer or two in the hotel bar and then a nice set meal while everyone bar us seemed to be watching the bloody eurovision song contest...aarrgghh. The bar is obviously the hub of village life and old and young alike were in for the evening. Great convivial atmosphere with 4 old boys playing cards for 2 hours without ever buying a drink.





    Day 8.
    Our last proper days riding and I’d looked at more Cols but it had snowed overnight so we headed south a little and found the bumpiest road in Spain. No worries, just ride slower and take in the scenery.















    Last edited by Dave B; 16-05-2018 at 10:47 AM.
    If a man speaks his mind in a forest and no woman hears him...is he still wrong ?

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    Morning coffee here….https://www.booking.com/hotel/es/spa...77;type=total&





    We found a village bar/cafe where they obviously don’t get tourists as we were quite a curiosity but got fed and watered for 52e for the 6 of us (Mike, Spanish resident had headed home for work) Another gem of a find. The road continued to be bumpy and 10 linear miles took 30 miles to achieve. Great stuff. We bimbled back to the Hotel but I was intrigued to find out what the last 11 miles of the valley were like so we headed beyond Hecho and 7 more tarmac miles plus 4 off road to the end of the road spotting Chamois https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrenean_chamois
    And 3 Vultures ‘sat’ by a river but who soon took off and soared away. These things are huge.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griffon_vulture

    We failed to see any of the bears resident here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_brown_bear

    It started to snow. We headed back down to the village, showered and went to the bar for food and beer. A great last day but a 2pm appointment in Santander to ensure we caught the ferry meant we had to set off at 9am latest so we all packed what we could, cleaned visors, lights, checked bikes over etc…..and went to the bar.









    Day 9.
    Uneventful 250 mile ride to the Port to find the boat in, queues in place but a 1.5 hr delay. One of the guys kept mentioning going to the cafe but fearing the moment he did, the boarding would start..guess what? Yup, he went and got 6 coffees, a plate of cake and bottles of water and the second he returned, engines started and we got shepherded to the next waiting area for more hanging about….in the sun. Ah well.





    Packed on like sardines on the lowest hottest deck with an inch between bike and lots of moaning off lots of moaners but the Brittany Ferries guys do this day in day out, THEY strap the bikes down, THEY know what they’re doing and sure enough, 21 hours later the 150 or so bikers returned to undamaged upright bikes.

    Day 10...sailing home but we’d missed our slot by all accounts as the last 4 hours were at snails pace and we got into port an hour and a quarter late.
    Uneventful ride home in a tad over 4 hours with an unexpected detour off the M1 due to a closure and somehow, karma kicked in and I found a great twisty deserted A road between Chesterfield and Sheffield. Happy days.

    Bike performed faultlessly. A bit of chain lube, (tightened it once) An easy 200 miles to the tank whilst the bigger GSs can do 300 plus...they always need to rest their arses after 150-200 anyway so tank range isn’t an issue.
    Minor issues/niggles….
    Don’t go on a 2500 mile trip with only 1000 miles of rubber left (not me)
    Don’t go with a worn chain (not me)
    Don’t go without even basic tools (not me)
    Never pass gas…..it p####d me off a bit that we’d all stop for fuel but half wouldn’t fill up...only to tell you 60 miles down the road that they now need fuel ! Argh

    Spanish Pyrenees = biking nirvana. Few if any potholes (yet) Quiet, stunning views, friendly locals...ssshhhh. Don’t spoil it by telling everyone. Visit it soon...before it changes.
    Last edited by Dave B; 16-05-2018 at 11:13 AM.
    If a man speaks his mind in a forest and no woman hears him...is he still wrong ?

  5. #5
    Another fabulous report Dave, many thanks for sharing it.

    A few years back, I did many of the Pyrenneean Cols on the pushbike - Tourmalet, Hautacam (which I descended with no chain on the bike after it snapped a few km from the top, that was fun.. ), etc... Would love to attack the Pyrennees from the approach you took!

    Chapeau Sir!

  6. #6
    Brilliant report as usual Dave. It's always really hard to portray how amazing scenery is in a photo. You do a good job of it in your reports Chap.

    Keep um coming
    I'm arresting you for murdering my car you dyke digging tosspot

  7. #7
    Regular Floyd's Avatar
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    Fabulous. Wel jel. I want to do this NOW! Probably if and when I retire though.

    Fixed a couple of pics for you.
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    Thanks .
    The guy who now lives in Spain has got his first speeding ticket, 100 euro. He is expecting another. He was the slowest of us all but insisted on being at the back ALL the time so was forever playing catchup despite knowing we used the drop off system where if we turn off a main road, the last rider waits at the roadside to allow us to keep momentum up.
    I also like the system many small towns and villages use where there is a speed sensor on the approach and if you break the limit, a traffic light changes to red forcing you to stop momentarily before it changes back to flashing amber...thereby making it quicker to to go slower...if you get my drift.

    Wonder if any of the rest of us will get tickets...
    If a man speaks his mind in a forest and no woman hears him...is he still wrong ?

  9. #9
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    Nice. I miss the touring trips sooo much.
    One day i'll be back on bikes.
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  10. #10
    There's just as much fun to be had, well almost, in the planning of this stuff too. The countdown to going, the nights round each others houses with the women drinking themselves purple while they pretend to be planning who's taking what food and equipment with them.
    I'm arresting you for murdering my car you dyke digging tosspot

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Kinghorn View Post
    There's just as much fun to be had, well almost, in the planning of this stuff too. The countdown to going, the nights round each others houses with the women drinking themselves purple while they pretend to be planning who's taking what food and equipment with them.

  12. #12
    Great report & pics!

  13. #13
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    Some stunning scenery there! Looks like a fantastic place for a road trip.

    Does the tyre wear flat at the bottom after long road tours? Serious question btw.

    Apart from the santander ferry, that doesn't appeal at all

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nige View Post
    Some stunning scenery there! Looks like a fantastic place for a road trip.

    Does the tyre wear flat at the bottom after long road tours? Serious question btw.

    Apart from the santander ferry, that doesn't appeal at all
    It depends on the sort of roads you ride and how 'upright' the bike is whilst riding. We did about 550 miles of main roads and motorway to get there (the same to come back) but the twisty roads there meant that the tyres are pretty well rounded and worn very evenly...albeit they are 'cupped' as though it has been round Cadwell Park for 100 laps and my tyres are dual purpose...i.e not that grippy so really pleased with how they've worn.
    If a man speaks his mind in a forest and no woman hears him...is he still wrong ?

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    Regular simonsaunders's Avatar
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    Lovely, Dave. Jealous.

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    Dave. Really enjoyed reading this & the scenery looks epic
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave B View Post
    Karl was just off camera in this pic…
    It's like playing where's wally, trying to find the agesist jokes in these posts
    Here lies the body of Mary Lee, died at the age of a hundred and three. For fifteen years she kept her virginity, not a bad record for this vicinity.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    It's like playing where's wally, trying to find the agesist jokes in these posts
    . Keeps you young'ish' doing so mind
    Last edited by Simon; 17-05-2018 at 12:49 PM.
    SteveM owes me £5
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    It's like playing where's wally, trying to find the agesist jokes in these posts


    That's 'Where's Waldo' for the American veiwers...
    Ah Karl, you know we love you.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    It's like playing where's wally, trying to find the agesist jokes in these posts
    They're always in there my friend.
    If a man speaks his mind in a forest and no woman hears him...is he still wrong ?

  21. #21
    Great report! brings back some memories as I did 2 x bike trips like this & stayed in Jaca both times :-)
    Did you do the lake road between Yesa & Jaca ?? (great road but possiby bypassed now) N240 rings a bell.

    The vultures are something else,didn't get close like you did but saw lots,got closer to a golden eagle actually (nearly fell off) This is is a really special place/area though as you know,want too go back after seeing your pics!!!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy6r1 View Post
    Great report! brings back some memories as I did 2 x bike trips like this & stayed in Jaca both times :-)
    Did you do the lake road between Yesa & Jaca ?? (great road but possiby bypassed now) N240 rings a bell.

    The vultures are something else,didn't get close like you did but saw lots,got closer to a golden eagle actually (nearly fell off) This is is a really special place/area though as you know,want too go back after seeing your pics!!!
    Rode that in the journey home, it is close to being totally bypassed but we stuck with it for the sake of 'saving 10 minutes' ...would rather ride a real road.
    We saw about 4 different birds of prey including the golden eagle and short toed eagle. Whilst not a 'spotter' like Gary, I can happily pull up, switch off the engine and gaze at them for quite some time. Stunning
    If a man speaks his mind in a forest and no woman hears him...is he still wrong ?

  23. #23
    Oh wow,its one of the best roads I,ve ever ridden on,glad you took it too!
    Amazing you saw a golden aswell!!! you would never get that even in the extremes of Scotland, It just shows how fantastic that area is :-)
    Also found out the speeding = red light on a small part of said road (lol) good idea actually.
    All the best

  24. #24
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    Although we bimbled around the Pyrenees in a Saab, not on bikes and were on the French side there were a lot of roads like you have shared which the Swedish Vectra was ace to punt about. Anyone who hasn't been to the area, needs to get on down.
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