My husband and I are both now retired and love cycling as a means to keep active and to meet others socially. We are members of Clitheroe Bike Club and try to cycle at least twice a week. We also love to tour both in this country and in Europe. Tours in this country include several tours of the Lake District, tours in the Yorkshire Dale's and The Way of the Rose's. Our trips in Europe have included cycling from Rotterdam or Zeebrugge to Nimes, Carcassonne, Prague, Venice, Vienna, Berlin and Milan. Our last tour was from St Malo to Nice in 2019. A journey of 1036 miles. We usually average fifty miles a day and have a rest day every four or five days.
The virtual trip to Lourdes will average 20 miles a day as we want to make the trip last the duration of Lent and we will have to deal with the English weather. On many of our European tours we have had next to no rain and glorious sunshine for the majority of the time. If, at any point, the weather is very poor for a prolonged period of time we will cycle 'virtual' miles on the turbo in the garage and add our accumulated miles as these will be harder miles than the real thing.
We hope our journey inspires you to get out on a bike and/or travel to some of the places mentioned.

Europe » France April 4th 2021

Nous sommes arrivés à destination. 1216 miles in total. Quite a grey morning with the odd burst of sunshine, but it was dry and not too windy. Our route was Hurst Green, Gallows Lane, Dinkley, Billington, Whalley, Mitton and home to a reception party from the neighbours and the house all trimmed up. Wonderful. The first six miles, of our virtual journey, are a series of challenging hairpin bends as we cross a series of ridges and drop into valleys so characteristic of the area. After that there are several long climbs with the names of local Tour de France cyclists seen on the roads. Finally its along a flat valley bottom and into Lourdes. Lourdes is known for the Sanctuaires Notre-Dame de Lourdes, a major Catholic pilgrimage site The contemporary importance of Lourdes dates from ... read more

Europe » France April 3rd 2021

The penultimate day! A cool start but lovely when the sun arrived. Today's loop was Chatburn, Sawley, Grindleton, West Bradford, Waddington, the TT triangle, Whalley and home via Four Lane Ends. Our virtual journey would be leaving Larroque and continuing gently uphill along the ridge with spectacular scenery on both sides. We pass through the Gorges de la Salve where local children learn to rock climb. The gorges of the Save are a defile carved out by the Save through a limestone fold in the Pyrenean foothills . The gorges and their karstic relief are of geological, archaeological, ecological, faunistic and tourist interest. The area has been inhabited by humans continuously from the Paleolithic to the present day. Then along a long flat road in the valley with mountains on either side and down hill into ... read more

Europe » France April 2nd 2021

A very cold wind when we set off this morning but the sun came out and it got warmer, but still breezy in places. Today's loop was Chatburn, Bolton by Bowland, Carters Lane, Gisburn, Rimington and Downham where we had some cake from the Marie Curie Cake Stall. Then it was home via Worston and Four Lane Ends. Our virtual journey would be leaving St Frajou along a very narrow ridge, gentley migrating uphill all day. We are cycling on very tiny roads through pretty countryside. We pass by vine-yards, orchards and fields of crops and the occasional forest. In reality we did this journey the opposite way round so it was a very easy day of gentle downhill all day. Our destination for the evening is the village of Larroque which sits at the side ... read more

Europe » France April 1st 2021

Windy again today and much cooler than yesterday. Today it was up to Cowark via Waddington, past Marl Hill Farm, Newton, Dunsoo Bridge and home via Whitewell, Middle Lee's and Cowark. So a little hillier than some of our loops but fantastic views. Our virtual journey would be leaving Berat still on the D23 and heading west. Another day of quiet roads through pretty farmland, villages and undulating hills. In the distance we can see the mighty Pyrenees. On both trips through this area we stayed a few miles outside the tiny hamlet of Saint Frajou. The first time the B&B was called 'Chantelle's Buttery'. The attic of the farmhouse had been converted into luxurious accommodation. The evening meal was superb and then we finished the bottle of wine sat outside in the evening sun. Chantelle ... read more

Europe » France March 31st 2021

Another lovely sunny day. Today we went to Hellifield via Chatburn and Bolton by Bowland and back via Wigglesworth and Chatburn. Another slightly longer ride due to the good weather. Our virtual journey would be leaving Toulouse on the D23 which starts right in the centre of the City and runs out into the countryside avoiding the suburbs and keeps to the river side. Then its along small roads through farmland and villages heading slightly south west. It's a day of rolling hills, staying on the D23 all day, and spotting sunflowers, orchards and crops growing. Our destination is Berat a small town with agriculture as its main source of employment. Photos show fields of sunflowers and an orchard.... read more

Europe » France March 30th 2021

Wow, what a superb day. Lots of sunshine and no blinking wind. We went to Chipping via Cowark, Parsonage Lane, LTD for an early lunch, Ribchester, Billington and home via, Whalley, Barrow and Four Lane Ends. A little longer than some of our rides but such a nice day and had to justify the cafe stop. Our virtual journey would be leaving Villefranche and staying on the Canal du Midi slowly descending all day. The canal begins to head north and right into the centre of Toulouse where it ends. The Garonne Canal then carries boats all the way to the Atlantic Ocean at Bordeaux. Toulouse is the capital of the French department of Haute-Garonne and of the region of Occitanie. The city is on the banks of the River Garonne. It is the fourth-largest city ... read more

Europe » France March 29th 2021

Still breezier than I would like but dry and the forecast is looking better for the rest of the week. Our route was through Chatburn, Sawley, Carters Lane, Gisburn, Rimington, Worston and home. Our virtual journey would be heading west out of Castelnaudary on the Canal du Midi. Early in our journey we pass through the Seuil de Naurouze, or summit point of the canal, near to the Col de Naurouze, at an altitude of 190m. We then slowly start descending all day, lock by lock. To each side of the canal is agricultural land with cereals growing , livestock grazing and the odd field full of sunflowers. Villefranche de Lauragais is a small farmimng town on the canal. The church of Notre-Dame de l'Assomption, dating from 1271, is built in brick-built Gothic style and features ... read more

Europe » France March 28th 2021

Amazingly we stayed dry this afternoon but the wind was horrendous. Our route was Four Lane Ends, Barrow, Wiswell, Whalley, Mitton, Bashall Eaves, Waddington, Bashall Barn, and home by the Pigeries. Our virtual journey would be leaving Carcassonne on the Canal du Midi. The Canal du Midi is a summit-level canal, and from Carcassonne it is slowly climbing up until the Seuil de Naurouze or summit level, which is beyond Castelnaudary, our destination tonight. We are on the canal all day in the shade of the plane trees. There are many barges on the canal and numerous canal boats hired by tourists. The landscape has becomes more pastoral with corn and sunflowers replacing vineyards. We have impressive views of the Black Mountains( Montagne Noire). In reality on our journey in 2008 Castelnaudary was a lunch stop ... read more

Europe » France March 27th 2021

Very Spring like this morning when the sun was shining and you were sheltered from the wind and then Arctic like when into the very strong wind! Our route was to Whalley via Mitton, Billington, Wiswell, Pendleton, Barriw, Whalley and home via Mitton. Our virtual journey would be leaving Narbonne and starting our journey westwards. The start of our day is flat through vine yards with Chateau sat on hilltops. As lunch time approached we said we would stop at the next bench we found in some shade. It was another hour and a half before we found any shade, in the tiny village of Montlaur dominated by the most enormous school building. As the day goes on the route becomes quite hilly with some steep climbs and long descents. Our destination is Carcassonne which from ... read more

Europe » France March 26th 2021

We left our ride today until this afternoon for the chance of better weather. We got glorious sunshine but also got some very strong cold winds. We did stay dry, so that's a bonus. From home it was Chatburn, West Bradford, Waddington, Bashall Barn, some looping round the TT triangle and Great Mitt... read more

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