I’ve been an avid motorbike rider since I was old enough to ride legally (a few times before that too, but I digress). Sadly I’ve been riding less and less in the last few years. I’ve also never really enjoyed road-riding in the UK that much – well, mostly southern England to be honest.
Nowadays I tend to either spend quality time on track or traveling abroad when possible.
Riding back and forth within Italy and the UK, crossing the Alps in Switzerland, is a relatively common occurrence.
This Easter, with a friend, we decided to board the ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao, cross the Pyrenees (weather permitting) and point back to London.
I wasn’t really sure about taking the ferry, but the overnight crossing to Bilbao revealed to be pretty pleasant and felt magically fast (for a 23 hours ferry ride).
I guess it helps being extremely tired after a few hectic weeks at work and slipping into a sweet coma as soon as you lay on your cabin’s bed.
We traveled at a relatively leisurely pace over 6 days. Most of the route was kindly provided by a good friend, we retraced his steps and added a few easy off-road bits borrowed from the Spanish section of the Trans Euro Trail.
The screenshots of the route/elevation from Garmin Basecamp and Instagram short videos below are from the section near Les, in the Aran Valley, Catalonia:
We had to reroute a few times due to mountain passes being closed for snow (April is pretty early in the season still), but we have been pretty much quite lucky with just a couple of rainy days on the way back north.
Also, and most importantly, the route has been corner after corner after corner all the way from Bilbao to Aubenas, where we rejoined straight roads and then the motorway heading north towards Dijon and then London.
A preview of the continental part of the route can be seen below, and a .gpx file is available for download here. Enjoy.