Take a few moments to join Mike as he rides the little known Route des Lacs, wherein lies the true beauty of the Néouvielle massif, home to 70 lakes, cascading waterfalls and an abundance of flora and fauna.
From Saint-Lary-Soulan the vallée d’Aure is gentle for the first 9.5km, allowing you time to warm your legs. It’s at Fabian where the climb really starts, as the road narrows and the gradient fluctuates through a dense forest of mountain pine. Relax, deep breath, the lack of road markings can make it hard to track your progress. Focus on the three sets of switchbacks to gauge your effort and where you are on the climb. Starting with the Lacet des Écureuils (squirrels hairpin) with 6.3km to go, followed in quick succession by the Lacet des Myrtilles and the ancient bends of the Lacet des Edelweiss. It’s here where your heart really starts to pound as the scenery starts to sing in a way that’s less familiar than you may have come to expect from the Pyrénées.
Follow Mike on more spectacular rides at http://thecolcollective.com/