Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

07 May 2016

She Didn't Need A Miracle. Neither Did I.

I've been to Lourdes.

No, I wasn't looking for a miracle cure--not even for the conflicts that raged within me.  In fact, I never planned to go there:  I just happened to pass through.

Back in 2000, I took a ride from France into Spain and back, through the Pyrenees.  Yes, I pedaled up Tourmalet, Hautaucam, Aspin, Portillon and Peyresourde, all of which have been part of the Tour de France at one time or another.  But I also pedaled through some cities and towns full of history and culture, including Toulouse (where I started) and Foix.  And, of course, Lourdes.

Now, I didn't think that a visit to the shrine would do anything that a good masseuse couldn't.  Still, I figured it would be interesting to stop there.  Even with all of the hawkers selling the tackiest souvenirs imaginable, it's lovely and charming--and offers some rather stunning vistas of the mountains and river valleys, not to mention great cycling.

The latter is known to many, including Rachel Atherton.  However, the ride she did is, let's say, just a little different from what I did:



  1. Holy solid waste material!

  2. Awesome!...and terrifying. One good blast from someones vuvuzela and you lose your concentration. Although in truth she probably doesn't remember hearing anything on the way down.

  3. Coline--That's not male ungulate excrement!

    Phillip--You're right about keeping ones concentration--and that she probably didn't hear anything on the way down. I know: On the steepest and twistiest descents I ever made, I was all eyes and no ears!