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PYT1502 curve riding the Pyrenees

Thursday, September 24, 2015 | Mirko Heilhecker | Europe

Fresh products delivered by a van to a small town
Gorges de Galamus from the far
Amazing canoñs and motorcycles...it can't get any better
...only riding it up and down
Or just enjoy it watching
Cafe at a parking
Estuardo and...
PYT1502 / 23.09.2015 / day 6
Wine yards and cañons of France
2 nights in the legendary castle of Carcassonne come to an end and another day trip waits for us. As France is one of the biggest wine producer world wide we have the chance to find out where it come from. Between Parajas and Lagrasse you an see it all. We are flying along wine yards which are almost ready for harvest time. Magnificent and massive properties of the wine producers show that 2nd best on wine is making it. 1st place goes definitely to sharing a wine with good friends. The closer we come to the Pyrenees the landscape started to change. We are back in mountain areas. Beautiful ruins on almost every peak, old towns with stone bridges and here and there lonesome rests of what ever kind on building make clear that the last thousands of years had it's winners and losers...
Highlight of the day is the great cañon of Gorges de Galamus. Not that we haven't past some, but this one is outstanding. High rocky walls on one side and a endless depth on the other. Just enough space to build a street through. From the close parking lot the group uses the time to ride it again and again. After one hour we leave this amazing place and head direction south. Passing tiny roads over the mountains, rivers and single lane short cuts we finally make it to our final destination: Mollo. Right alter the border to Spain. And again fuel talks fills the evening until we call it a day.

PTY1502 / 22.09.2015 / Day 5


by Andreas Hermann




The second restday of the tour offered a great spin again.

We started off the hotel on a short ride on the highway and off into the hills north-east of Carcassonne. 

Since almost everybody was on the tour again the tourduide decided it would be easier to lead a smaller group and used all his skills to sucessfully shake off the last few riders. ) So Neil, Ed, Bill and Luciano were on their own.


Unfortunately they were eager to follow the group and so they made it to Minerve on their own where the rest of the group were sitting in a cafe celebrating their escape.


Minerve is an old town,located on a rock with a deep river canyon sorrounding it on three sides. The medieval town is known for a massacre that took place in the 12th century and is a beatiful place to walk through the nice litte streets.


We left Minerve and got into the nice roades of the backcountry. Some wind came up and a few raindrops in combination with leaves on the road made the curves more challenging than they would have normally been.


But without a fall we made it back into the lowlands again and returned back to Carcassonne at around 4 so that we still had time to take a walk in that fantastic castle.


La Cite de Carcassonne
At nighttime
The Walls are amazing
Wide ankle of the Bulwarks.
Estuardo and Gilad made it
Eduardo and Mirko in Andorra...switch back time
Come on big guy...lets do a photo here and now
Fun all the way the the group
That's what we are here for...Andorra at its best
And more curves to come
Speechless after the hairpin pass in France
Yes...we made it!! Gilad, Estuardo and the TourGuide Mirko
Castle ruins right along the street
Picturesque architecture
Let's get back to the bikes
Estuardo is amazed about the trip
La Cité in Carassonne
The bastion at night
PYT1502 / 21.09.2015 / day 4


Wake up call for another great day on this tour. Today the plan is to head north towards the small country of Andorra. Mainly a big shopping mall with endless ski resorts, it's surprisingly picturesque in the small side valleys we are going to ride this morning. 
Leaving the Can Biox hotel is not that easy...too nice is the place, food and surrounding landscape. Eagles breeding in the cliffs right behind the hotel wishes us a good ride and after the group photo we start the bikes for our day trip. Passing ruins of medieval castles and the spectacular city of La Ser d'Urgell we enter the Principat of Andorra. As shopping should be the main issue for bikers to go there we keep it short and climb up the winding roads between La Massana and Canillo. Breathless view points right above the twisty road are as good for photo stops as well as for riding them.
A good switch back riding worm up is the Pas de la Casa to the exit of Andorra leading to France. Perfect tarmac and some hairpins up and down the pass with almost no traffic are a great combination for every bikes! From the pass we roll down the main road to our lunch place in the city of Ax-les-Thermes. Founded by the Romans because of it's hot water spring today's tourist come for hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. Located in a river valley you can imagine what comes next: curve riding at it's best thought tiny roads only known by the locales and Edelweiss Tour Guides.
The single lane road between Ax-les-Thermes and Rouze can't get any better....but it will! After passing the Port de Pailheres we are heading for Axat. The river Aude grind down his way through it's today's surface the left over is narrow cañon with almost no space for a street. To gain space the french dug a road in the rocks!! By words used from a former client: "That does not s...."
Overwhelmed by these riding we do a coffee stop at the plaza of Quillan next to a 1000 years old bridge.
The only good thing on the straight road to our final destination is it existence so we take the first exit to ride on the small wine yard road to get closer to the city of Carcassonne. Without any words the close by castle called "La Cite" is one of the biggest defending remains of the medieval strongholds you can find. Enormous walls and guard towers everywhere. The end of the days highlight is passing the main gate, ride between the outer and inner walls to enter the bastion through a small doorway. 
After dinner some of the group decided to walk at night out of cities to view the tremendous bulwark under star light. From the outside you can imagine capturing the city was an hopeless idea of any kind of army. 

PYT1502 / 20.09.2015 a day 3

 By Andreas Hermann


Endless curve riding on the rest day



Today we stayed in our wonderful nice hotel and so there were different options.


The riders could have stayed at the wonderful pool while their mind could have rested. The weather was warm and sunny, the pool nice, blue and cool...


You could have expected a crowded pool. But it stayed pretty empty... 


Not a single motorbike stayed in the garage.

Instead the majority decided to join Andy on a nice 200km spin in the area. Obvisouly nobody was tired of some more curves...

So we gathered at the bikes and took off to see some more of these crazy roads in the area.


We went up to the Col de Faidella and down on the other side. The tourguide had to crank it up pretty badly since they were all right on his tail up these curves.

If you have never been to the dolimites think of cooked spagetti on your plate and you have an idea of how the roads look like on a map.


Soon we all got into a rythm of left and right turns.... "Like dancing" as Estuardo pointed out. This is motorbiking at its best.


After a short coffee break in Tremp we continued through the Val de la Noguera. A fantastic road with nice sweepers in a fantastic a scenic canyon. It was nice to relax the mind a little and enjoy the scenery.


But first we had to fill up the bikes, since the little Ducati is a thirsty beast.


After enjoying the scenery in the valley it was time for some more road-spagetti.

Fantastic curves with almost no straights for more than 50km. The mountain pass offered a fantastic view into the valley. So we stopped quickly to enjoy it. While riding you are too busy to get the bike ready for the next turn.


A short stopover in a pretty old town (first build by the romans some 200 BC, that is pretty old, even for europeans) offered some lunch before we left La Seu d Urgell to see some old motorbikes (not built by the romans, but still pretty neat) in a fantastic collection that is somewhere in the middle of nowhere.


NOW it was time for the pool (at least for some of us, the majority had a beer in their hand not minutes after they turned off the engines....). Nice and cool beer after a great day of riding... what else do you want?


Well, some had different plans: they rode by themselves (got lost and met the locals), others, like our sporty couple from Texas even went running and explored the beautiful sorroundings of the hotel. 



I guess it was again a perfect day on a fantastic tour.






5 tours make a unique t-shirt
Dinner at the Cam Biox hotel
A good rider deserves a kiss
Tranquil evening at the dinner table
Wonderful times
Perspective of how life on a tour should be
Eduardo entertainment after the ride
All there enjoying the evening
What a view...
...just a walk away...

PYT1502 / 19.09.2015 / day 2

Riding from Castelldefels to Peramola

After packing the bikes we are almost done to start the machines and roll out of the parking for the first day riding in Spain.

An daily briefing is a must so we can explain the rides where we go, what to see and how to reach the day's final destination.

It's a perfect moment for everyone how loves to ride in groups: 15 bikes, engine running, blue sky, no clouds and endless curvy road ahead of us. After a short ride in the highway we do not need an eye blink to reach the mountains and the cost of Barcelona. Winding roads with perfect tarmac lead the way to one of the highlights of the day: the holy mountain of Montserrat. It's mainly a monastir on the side of this spectacular mountain. Next to us main attraction, the black Madonna, your have an overview of the area the leaves your speechless - so it does!

After crossing the Montserrat we head for the city of Manresa. Everyone enjoys the riding along the Gardener river. Next stop can not be beaten: a heart and restored castle on top of a mountain. Best think is that we can ride our bike right into it and park next to the main entrance. The tower bar is our lunch place and the offer the classic "bocadillo" which is French bread with dry ham (jamon iberico) and cheese for local production. The group is amazed by the fact that Orson Wells to the movie "Midnight" at this place.

After lunch we directly go to the tiny mountain roads everybody is here for: almost single lane, curvy sweepers only topped by one or the other light switch backs to cross the passes! And all without incoming traffic that would count. 
That one of a first riding day! And I mean what I say: after riding mentioned road from Berga over the pass "Coll de Jou" to your final destination at the Hotel "Can Boix" you need more then super glow to get the smiles our of the rides faces!!

A good beer and some fuel talks later we definitely on the same opinion: it can't get any batter then this...but it will!

Route to the Pyrenees
Details of 1 day trip
Start your engines
Luciano ready to rumble
Roll out
Great day is coming
Can't get any better then this...going for the Pyrenees
The sweeper at work - Neil one of the best
After ride fuel talks
One of the beater things after riding: some cold "Moritz" beers from Barcelona
Entertainment is a must - Luciano at it's best
...with his audience Gilad

PYT1502 / 19.09.2015 / day 1

Welcome briefing and handover of bikes

First of all we as your tour guides, Andreas, Paul and me (Mirko) are like to welcome you on the great to trough your wonderful tour to the Pyrenees. We are here for you to make your tour a fantastic experience  with endless curve riding, famous areas, scenic as well as historic places and good food.

At 5:00pm we get together for our welcome briefing: Estuardo, Guillherme, Aigers, Shauna, Jason, Bernad, Rhonda, Robert, Mary, Christian, Neil, Luciano, Gilad, Eduardo, Gary and Donna - all are here and we spend the fist minutes to introduce our self to the group. As by the names you can imagine that we are from all over the world: U.S., Canada, Spain, Germany, Brazil, Israel, Australia and Latvia. Great to have so many nations together.

After the briefing it's time to handover the toys for the boys! This is always an exiting moment for the group. What bike you ride on tour? Your know the bike? Have you seen this or that? - and of cause it's a good moment to start the engines and fill the air with some burned fuel smelling! Big time cinema!

At 8:30pm we take our dinner in the restaurant of the hotel. We are located in a hill above the town of Castelldefels and at night time we have a overview of the area and the ocean. After some beers we find our beds to dream of the tour start tomorrow.

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Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 15:51

Great ride and great guides. Both Shauna and enjoyed riding with all of you. I still can't beleive it is over but that just means I need to do another trip soon! I think I am going for and espresso now.
Friday, September 25, 2015 at 07:25

Great 8 days, fun group and wonderful guides. Stunning scenery from soaring peaks to deep canyons, running streams, lush woods and always fabulous roads to ride. Mirko and Andy, every day you said it would get better and you did not disappoint. Thank you all for helping me with my "little" problem. I would be proud to ride another kilometer with any of you.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at 04:10

Riding my motorcycle through the castle walls if Carcassonne makes me feel like a knight of old galloping his iron horse to battle the tarmac dragon. Fantastic experience!


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