'Ride lots'. - EDDY MERCKX, 'The Cannibal'
Our passion is cycling and we consider ourselves to be very fortunate to be living in an extremely cycle friendly and beautiful area.
We are both qualified and certified Initiateurs, licenced with the FFVélo (Fédération Française de Cyclotourisme), hold PSC1 (Premier Secours Civiques de Niveau 1), which allow us to guide.
If you are a road cyclist, the Gers is one of the least populated departments in France, so roads here are very quiet with little traffic and we are able to show you some stunning local circuits. If you fancy tackling one of the mythical Cols, these are just over an hours drive and we are always happy to keep you company.
'The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash'. - JULIANA FURTADO
If you are a mountain biker, the local tracks and trails that start from our door will leave you wanting more! There is an MTB base located at Simorre (4 km), with which we work in conjunction. Here you will find eight colour coded circuits which are permanently indicated: GREEN (very easy), BLUE (easy), RED (difficult), BLACK (very difficult). We can guide you in the right direction or accompany you and, if you fancy riding in the Pyrénées we can act as your guide. We simply love to ride, so take any opportunity to get out on two wheels. We cater for all ages and any level of experience. We are able to provide secure bike storage and bike washing facilities and our fully equipped bicycle workshop carries most spares and the necessary tools to sort you out.
Recent local additions that will help improve your riding skills and fitness are a pump track at Samatan, just a 15 minute drive from here and another at Auch, (37 km).
If you don't have a bike we can sort that out too!
'It never gets easier, you just go faster'. - GREG LEMOND, 'L'Americain'
We have been members of the local cycling club at Simorre (4 km), 'Le Guidon Simorrain', since it was founded in 2004. The club is a good mix of road cyclists and mountain bike riders of all ages and levels, which include a few women.
Weekly Wednesday MTB outings are open to all adults. This is an opportunity to cycle with a group of locals and ride technical sections opened by the club on private land; a unique opportunity, as these are not part of the MTB circuits.
During the Summer holidays, a Tuesday morning outing is available for children from the age of 8 years and adults who would like to start riding MTB. This involves games centred around balance and correct manipulation of gears and brakes, evolving to riding some easy circuits. All levels are catered for and helmets are obligatory.
Weekly Sunday cycle events, (randonnées), are held across the Gers and other departments. These are open to all; any age, ability and experience, both to licenced and non-licenced cyclists. All are organised with food and drink stops, usually ending with apéritifs, prize giving and a grilled sandwich or optional lunch.
'Any day I’m out on a bike is a good one.'
- MARTYN ASHTON
'Le Guidon Simorrain' hosts two randonnées every year. The first is held the third Sunday of April and the second is held the first Saturday of September.
A list of 2018 cycle events is available to download.
'I think there is an exciting future for girls in our sport at the moment: let’s keep that momentum building . . .' - TRACY MOSELEY
If you don't have a bike we can sort that out too!
NB: Due to Covid randonnées are restricted.
'YELLOW wakes me up in the morning. YELLOW gets me on the bike every day. YELLOW has taught me the true meaning of sacrifice. YELLOW makes me suffer. YELLOW is the reason I'm here'. - LANCE ARMSTRONG, 'Mellow Johnny'
The Tour de France passed through our village of Villefranche d'Astarac on Friday July 16th 2004. Every year the Tour de France passes near to us or you can watch a thrilling mountain stage!
The mythical mountain passes on the Tour de France route are linked to each other by a road called the ‘four passes stretch’, claimed to be the place where the Tour is lost or won. Col d’Aspin: altitude 4,960 feet (1,489 metres); Col de l’Aubisque: altitude 5,696 feet (1,754 metres); Col du Tourmalet: altitude 7,050 feet (2,115 metres); Col de Peyresourde: altitude 5,230 feet (1,569 metres); all are within easy reach.
'Motivation is the key to success in whatever you're doing in life. It comes a lot easier when you're doing something you love and have passion for. My goal is to have a good time and a hot run. And I'm not afraid of disappointment, it only makes me work harder'. - MISSY GIOVE, 'The Missile'
The UCI Downhill World Cup started in 1993.
2017 was the third consecutive year that Lourdes had the honour of hosting the start of the UCI MTB World Cup season. Held over three days, this is an impressive event for spectators; a must to see if you are in the area and entrance is free!
We will let you know when the UCI DH returns to Lourdes.
'If you do something right the first time then it's not hard enough'. - DANNY MACASKILL
No, we can't sort a bike out for you for this one, but you can go and ride the Pic du Jer anytime after the professionals have finished with it!