Author Topic: Massif Central Raid  (Read 895 times)

Pete Mas

  • Don't Worry 'bout a thing...
Massif Central Raid
« on: July 17, 2017, 04:42:01 pm »
After my 1000 mile audax in Italy last month, soon comes a real holiday!

http://marmot-tours.co.uk/tours/raid-du-massif-central/

Quiet roads and varied scenery and a small group of 12. 1000km and 18,000m of climb.
''It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive."

R.L.Stevenson

Ben T

  • Viable.
Re: Massif Central Raid
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2017, 08:38:11 pm »
Enjoy, it's good. One of their harder ones imho.
I'm definitely right over this.

Pete Mas

  • Don't Worry 'bout a thing...
Re: Massif Central Raid
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2017, 05:10:56 pm »
After the 999 mile ride in Italy I'm probably 'over-trained', but will take the climbs nice and steady, hopefully, stopping to take a few pics if necessary!
''It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive."

R.L.Stevenson

Ben T

  • Viable.
Re: Massif Central Raid
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2017, 10:06:07 am »
After the 999 mile ride in Italy I'm probably 'over-trained', but will take the climbs nice and steady, hopefully, stopping to take a few pics if necessary!

Just remember it's virtually never "all downhill from here" like on the alps/Pyrenees. Despite the fact the guides may allude that it is.
I'm definitely right over this.

Pete Mas

  • Don't Worry 'bout a thing...
Re: Massif Central Raid
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2017, 10:20:38 pm »
After the 999 mile ride in Italy I'm probably 'over-trained', but will take the climbs nice and steady, hopefully, stopping to take a few pics if necessary!

Just remember it's virtually never "all downhill from here" like on the alps/Pyrenees. Despite the fact the guides may allude that it is.


Yes lots of undulations...And even a detour one day due to roadworks, which added a lot of extra (and steep) climb. Dinner was late that night!
''It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive."

R.L.Stevenson

Pete Mas

  • Don't Worry 'bout a thing...
Re: Massif Central Raid
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2017, 10:25:34 pm »
Another well organised Marmot holiday, with a nice group of cyclists. The first part of the week had some cool and unpredictable weather, but the last half was lovely, with great views.

Photos an dvideos here. (No descriptions and a few out of order at the end):-

https://www.flickr.com/photos/125694528@N06/albums/72157684598534500
''It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive."

R.L.Stevenson

Pete Mas

  • Don't Worry 'bout a thing...
Re: Massif Central Raid
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2017, 12:47:22 am »
Now added (to the Flickr album) some descriptions and a few more pics at the end!
''It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive."

R.L.Stevenson

Re: Massif Central Raid
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2017, 10:35:51 am »
That looks lovely, I'm considering the Auvergne for next year, what was the weather/temperature like?

Pete Mas

  • Don't Worry 'bout a thing...
Re: Massif Central Raid
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2017, 04:15:48 pm »
First few days was cloudy/misty/cool, as you can probably tell from the pics.
I didn't take any pics on Pas de Peyrol for that reason - it was very foggy and chilly at the top. Likewise on Col de Croix St Robert, it was very windy and rainy on the way down. I was shaking with the cold and needed two large coffees plus early lunch in the next town to continue, despite wearing light rain jacket and gilet under that (plus jersey and base layer). Someone mentioned 11oC at the top, I think? The second part of the week was just perfect for cycling, with temperatures in the 20s - sometimes too warm on the climbs in the afternoon, but fine on the last day when I wore my new 999 Miglia kit, which is lightweight for summer, and no gilet was required on all but the longest descents. It was too windy at times-especially when a headwind! But the last day's weather was just perfect summer weather, with lizards running across the roads, and butterflies flitting around. Generally the route had very little traffic.
''It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive."

R.L.Stevenson

Re: Massif Central Raid
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2017, 05:03:37 pm »
And this was in July? interesting, I would have thought typically it would have been too hot for comfortable cycling. your description of the ride up  Col de Croix St Robert reminds me of riding up to  La Seu d'Urgell, just by Andorra. I don't think I have ever been as wet and cold, lost feeling in all extremities, that was April, though. Do you have any gpx of the routes you rode that I could look at please?

Re: Massif Central Raid
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2017, 09:45:27 pm »
You cannot give a hard and fast rule for temperatures in the Massif Centrale (or any other massif in France). I have known the Pas de Peyrol in a heatwave and the Lioran tunnels at freezing point both in mid may (not the same year). There are regular reports of freezing cyclists in the Alps and snowstorms in july yet every time I do a Brevet Montagnard it's a heatwave with molten tar on the roads and and I have wild-camped at 2600m in the Alps with people who didn't bother about the tent it was so warm. You can't tell. The Cevennes frequently have fresh snow in may.

I think this raid must be the same one as the randonnée permanente that is tempting me but I will do it independant (if I can get organised) and take my time.

Pete Mas

  • Don't Worry 'bout a thing...
Re: Massif Central Raid
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2017, 11:11:08 pm »
The Raid was based on a permanent route of the Mazamet Cycleclub  http://www.cyclos-pays-mazametain.fr/nos-randonnees-permanentes/raid-cyclo-du-massif-central-roanne-mazamet-.html

but Marmot 'beefed' it up to include more famous climbs from Le Tour, and to reach a total of 1000km. Its their route and a commercial one so I won't share any gpx's.

As for the weather they had a heatwave over a month ago in the area, with temperatures sometimes in the 30s...Just goes to show how unpredictable the weather is these days. Even more so in and  around mountain areas, of course.
''It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive."

R.L.Stevenson