Posts in Category: Stuff

New Hosts for PMT

Dear all

It is with mixed emotions we announce that we have sold Pyrenees Motorcycle Tours (house and business etc) to Abby and Kevin Birch who will take over from us on 1 March 2016.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has stayed with and made our time hosting the B&B and tours such a memorable and happy experience. It has been a pleasure meeting so many interesting and diverse bikers, many of whom we can truly call friends.

Before we are too old we thought we should have another adventure, this time on the other side of the world, New Zealand!

Keen bikers Abby and Kevin have had many years experience touring Europe and especially the Pyrenees, having stayed with us many times over the six years we have been operating in Vielle-Adour. We feel sure that PMT is in safe hands and will continue to provide good value accommodation and service in this part of South West France. For those of you who have made a booking and paid deposits, all of these payments have been forwarded onto Abby and Kevin and all bookings will be honoured.

If you would like to keep in touch our email address is belindaandphil@hotmail.co.uk.

Now we would like to introduce Abby and Kevin Birch!

Your new hosts for PMT Abby, Kevin and Ed

Your new hosts for PMT Abby, Kevin and Ed

Firstly we would like to say a huge thank you to Phil and Belinda for their vision and hospitality over the years at Pyrenees Motorcycle Tours, we have big shoes to fill! We have always loved staying with them and we hope to be able to continue to offer the same relaxed atmosphere they have lovingly created.

We are very excited about taking over PMT as we are both mad keen bikers, even biking to Venice on our honeymoon. Although we have travelled extensively around Europe we love it here in the Pyrenees and found ourselves returning over and over.

After we had our son Edward we wanted continue to keep our petrol heads entertained so we started looking for a B&B to call home where we could welcome bikers. When we heard about Phil and Belinda’s new adventure there wasn’t a comparison and we jumped at the chance.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming those who have already booked for this year and we hope to meet many more of you in the future.

Abby, Kevin and Ed

Rebuilding the VFR (again)

On my way to Toulouse at 7am last November, I unexpectedly found myself sliding down the road, luckily the bike went first followed closely by me, no other vehicles were involved.  Once I was back on my feet a quick phone call to ‘mission control’, who was still tucked up in bed, resulted in car and trailer arriving toute suite.

Honda VFR

Unexpected parking in the ditch

Honda VFR off roading

Not built for off roading …..

Unable to push the bike out of the ditch, so Belinda towed it out while I kept it upright.

Naked Honda VFR

Naked Honda VFR, time for some ebay action!

Back in the workshop nothing that couldn’t be repaired with a tin of filler, a few cans of paint, mud guard and side panel.

New and repaired plastics

Taking advantage of some good weather to dry the paint.

Warming by the woodburner

Warming by the woodburner, for that baked finish :)

Honda VFR Pyrenees Motorcycle Tours

Colour matched panels!

Honda VFR Hourquette d'Ancizan 1564m

Looking all shiny and new, not bad for 100k miles.

 

Vielle-Adour – home to Pyrenees Motorcycle Tours

Pyrenees Motorcycle Tours is based in the village of Vielle-Adour, South West France, in the region of Midi-Pyrenees, department Hautes-Pyrenees, district of Tarbes, the village Marie is Jean-Christian Danos.  At an altitude of 407m (min) to 558m (max), we live here with 501 other habitants.  The Canal d’Alaric flows all year round through the village, fed by the main Adour river, the source of which is Pic du Midi (Col de Tourmalet) and flows into the Atlantic Ocean through Bayonne.

Seperate entrances for boys and girls at the school Cows going to the fields

Tour de France 2015

The 2015 Tour de France route was announced at the ‘Palais des Congrès’ in Paris yesterday, being the 102th tour.  Good news for us, the tour will be in the regions for three days, busy times ahead 🙂

Stage 10 Tarbes / La Pierre-Saint-Martin 167km

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 Stage 11 Pau /Cauterets – Vallée se Saint-Savin 188km

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Stage 12 Lannemezan / Palteau de Beille 195km

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Bagneres de Bigorre

We often get asked ‘what is the weather like’? or ‘when is the best time to visit the Pyrenees’?

October, again, has been a beautiful month with temperature in the high 20’s, Monday it was 30 degrees, what more can we say.

Here are selection of photos taken in Bagneres this afternoon.

Beautiful cake shop

Beautiful cake shop

Too good to eat cakes

Too good to eat cakes

Shoes made in Italy

Shoes made in Italy

Through the arch

Through the arch

Private residence

Private residence

Renovated house

Renovated house

Art called 'Venus'

Art called ‘Venus’

Shutters

Shutters

Painted toe nails

Painted toe nails

A drink in the sunshine

A drink in the sunshine

Ice cream anyone?

Ice cream anyone?

Roundabout in the Park

Roundabout in the Park

Its a mans game, petanque in the park

Its a mans game, petanque in the park

By the Adour steam that runs through Bagneres

By the Adour steam that runs through Bagneres

Equestria Tarbes

Equestria is a horse event held in Tarbes each year, this was the 20th anniversary, with the admission charge being only 3€ it was a good way to spend a sunny afternoon.

Attention seeking

Attention seeking

Stunt riders, one with 4 legs the other on two wheels

Stunt riders, one with 4 legs the other on two wheels

Rider gets the girl

Rider gets the girl

On two legs

On two legs

Three young ladies doing stunts

Three young ladies doing stunts

On your bike

On your bike

Getting fitted for new boots

Getting fitted for new boots

 

Cycling with Le Tour in the Pyrenees

The past few days have been dominated with cycling events in the Pyrenees.  It all started Sunday with the l’Étape du Tour where 13,000 cyclists had registered to ride the 18th stage of Le Tour de France.  Jan and Jack who were staying with us had been training to take part, they arrived in Pau at 7am for the early start.  Weather conditions on the approach to Col du Tourmalet steadily worsened with rain and cold winds, the temperature dropped down to about 5 degrees, only 8500 crossed the finish line of l’Étape at Hautacam.

Jan and Jacks bikes ready for their journey to Pau for the start of l'Étape du Tour

Jan and Jacks bikes ready for their journey to Pau for the start of l’Étape du Tour

Jack and Jan eager to start

Jack and Jan eager to start

13,000 assembled in La Place de Verdun, Pau for the start of l'Étape du Tour

13,000 assembled in La Place de Verdun, Pau for the start of l’Étape du Tour

Waiting for the riders on Cote de Loucrup

Waiting for the riders on Cote de Loucrup

Rider celebrating reaching the top of the 3.2km climb

Rider celebrating reaching the top of the 3.2km climb

Tuesday: Pyrenees Motorcycle Tours did a tour of the route with Andy, Nancy and Will, riding the 145km, from Pau to Hautacam.

Waiting for Le Tour de France

Waiting for Le Tour de France

Camped out beside the road on Col du Tourmalet

Camped out beside the road on Col du Tourmalet

A cold night ahead for those camped out early for Le Tour de France

A cold night ahead for those camped out early for Le Tour de France

Andy and Nancy being overtaken by a cyclist on the descent of Tourmalet

Andy and Nancy being overtaken by a cyclist on the descent of Tourmalet

Spectators on Tourmalet sleeping

Spectators on Tourmalet sleeping

Wednesday: We watched Le Tour from St. Beat and then moved onto Bagnéres-de-Luchon.

The caravan preceeding the riders of Le Tour de France at St. Beat

The caravan preceeding the riders of Le Tour de France at St. Beat

Le Tour de France riders on the streets of St Beat

Le Tour de France riders on the streets of St Beat

Thursday: Just a short ride from Vielle-Adour to Cote de Loucrup to watch Stage 18 of Le Tour, this was a category 3 climb over 3.2km.

Crowds waiting for Le Tour de France on Cote de Loucrup

Crowds waiting for Le Tour de France on Cote de Loucrup

Sky team waiting for his riders to take liquid

Sky team waiting for his riders to take liquid

One of the many helicopters

One of the many helicopters

Here they come

Here they come

The peleton arrive

The peleton arrive

Nice legs :)

Nice legs :)

Its all over .....

Its all over …..

PMT goes walking!

We met Stuart two years ago at a wedding in Turkey and he thought he would like to do some walking in the Pyrenees and so came to stay with us last week with three friends.

Five go Hiking - Phil, Peter, Stuart, Shaun and Martin

Five go Hiking – Phil, Peter, Stuart, Shaun and Martin

First day was a local walk being as they hadn’t had any sleep the previous night due to an early flight.

Stuart with the Lesponne Valley in the background

Stuart with the Lesponne Valley in the background

Second day was a walk to the summit of Pic du Montaigu 2339m, we were lucky with the weather as there was a thunderstorm in the area and the cloud followed us up the mountain but didn’t affect us too much.

Martin, Phil, Shaun and Peter on the summit of Pic du Montaigu

Martin, Phil, Shaun and Peter on the summit of Pic du Montaigu

Walking down from the summit of Pic du Montaigu

Walking down from the summit of Pic du Montaigu

Day three we tried to walk up to Pic du Midi but heavy deposits of snow blocked our way and we were not equipped with snow shoes so had to turn back early,

On our way up to Pic du Midi walking through the snow

On our way up to Pic du Midi walking through the snow

Martin fearlessly proceeds with caution

Martin fearlessly proceeds with caution

Tunnel partially block with snow and looks like the roof has a problem

Tunnel partially block with snow and looks like the roof has a problem

A good time was had by all and I for one was surprised at how unfit I am (Mr PMT).

Its Sunny, its Sunday, its Soulor

Phils son Ed is with us for the week from Australia and he has missed riding roads with bends and free from kangaroos.

Special machine is needed to work at steep angles

Special machine is needed to work at steep angles

Repairing the road up to Soulor

Repairing the road up to Soulor

Col du Soulor

Col du Soulor

Ed making the bends look easy

Ed making the bends look easy

Ed is soon into the swing of things.

Ed is soon into the swing of things.

Descent from Soulor into Argeles.

Descent from Soulor into Argeles.

Anyone know what make this car is?

Anyone know what make this car is?

View of the interior.

View of the interior.

G'day mate :)

G’day mate :)

Mrs PMT unchained from the kitchen sink for the afternoon :)

Mrs PMT unchained from the kitchen sink for the afternoon :)

"I'm telling you Ed, that tyre was alright until you got on the bike"!

“I’m telling you Ed, that tyre was alright until you got on the bike”!

Priority to the Right

A brief run down on the priority to the right law in France.  Basically in designated areas traffic entering your route from the right can have priority over you.  It goes without saying, ignore this rule and come up against Jean-Claude entering your assumed “right of way” in his 2CV or 4X4, YOU will come off worse and be breaking the law of the road to boot.

First sign to be aware of is this one, the yellow diamond with a white border and a black line passing through it diagonally and means you are no longer on a priority road and is normally next to the village or town sign which incidentally also doubles up as the 50kph speed limit.

End of priority

End of priority

Next is this one and probably one of the most important signs you will come across in France.  This sign indicates PRIORITY TO THE RIGHT at the next junction, even though it is a cross which we think of as cross roads it can equally be a ‘T’ junction.

This sign indicated the next junction is a PRIORITY TO THE RIGHT

This sign indicated the next junction is a PRIORITY TO THE RIGHT

So you approach the junction, often blind, slow down, prepare to stop and check for oncoming traffic, that’s it!  Job done!

This is a Priority to the Right Junction.

This is a Priority to the Right Junction.

The car pulling out from the right has priority over you!

The car pulling out from the right has priority over you!

Lastly, normally on exiting the village you will see this sign, a yellow diamond with a white border, this means end of priority to the right, your road has priority….. also note the village sign with a diagonal black line through it, you are leaving the village’s 50kph zone.

This sign means end of Priority to the Right!

This sign means end of Priority to the Right!

Next point and just as important is this rule exists in towns and cities.  Each junction is to be judged on its own merits.  Look for a give way or stop signs on the junction, easier to spot these signs than the paint on the road as that is often worn away and more difficult to see.  Other things to look out for are amber flashing lights suspended over or the approach to junctions, they normally indicate danger, priority to the right or something else.

One more treat in store is a ‘priority to the right’ roundabout.  Not so many of these about for one obvious reason, they don’t work.  Think about it, if it was busy, traffic already on the roundabout must give way to vehicles entering the roundabout on their right hand side, so ultimately the roundabout will block itself up.

Black car on the roundabout stops to allow car entering on his right hand side as he has the priority over traffic already on the roundabout.

Black car on the roundabout stops to allow car entering on his right hand side, the silver car has priority over the black car already on the roundabout.

P1080089

Another car follows so the black car still has to wait.