Frequently Asked Questions

General:
Will I be comfortable visiting Velo Pyrenees by myself?
How fit do I have to be?
Do you provide maps for guests to use?
Can you give me GPS routes?
Do I need to do any research on the area before my arrival?
What happens if I get lost, have a mechanical problem or injury whilst out. Can you collect me?
Can my non-riding spouse / travel companion come and stay at Velo Pyrenees?
How do I get medical cover for travelling abroad from the NHS?
Do you accommodate children?
Are people allowed to smoke in the house?
Do you allow dogs?
Do I need to bring indoor shoes?
Are there professional massage services available?

Booking:
How do I book?
What if I cancel after paying my deposit?
How and when do I pay the balance?

Accommodation:
Are linen and towels provided?
Are there clothes washing facilities?
For any meals - what if I have special dietary requirements?
Is there a good selection of restaurants locally?
At what time are rooms available and when can I arrive?
When do I have to vacate my room?

Travel:
Can I reach you by car?
Can I reach you by public transport?
Is it easy to take my bike on an aeroplane?

Cycling:
Do you have bikes I can hire?
Do you stock bike spares?
What types of cycling is available in the area?
What Cols and climbs are there nearby?
Do I need a triple chain ring?
What clothing should I bring?
Can I take part in a cyclosportive event during my stay?

Running:
What type of running kit will I need?
What type of trainers should I bring?
What can I do when I'm not running?
Can I incorporate a race into my stay?


General Will I be comfortable visiting Velo Pyrenees by myself? Absolutely. One of the best aspects of staying with us is that you get to meet and mix with like-minded people, sharing an interest in sport and the great outdoors. We cannot resist getting out on the roads and trails for too long so there is always the possibility of joining us.
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How fit do I have to be? It depends on where you would like to ride. For some of the cols a base level of fitness is an advantage. However, there are miles of easier and undulating routes which are very rewarding. To get the most out of mountain biking, basic off-road experience is required.
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Do you provide maps for guests to use? Yes. We have produced A4 laminated maps at an apporpriate scale with the route marked that guests can borrow for the day. We have also produced a folder of sample route guides for road cycling, mountain biking, running and walking in our area. These route guides include descriptive text, images and route statistics/ characteristics. However, these are only a sample of what is available and we prefer to discuss options with our guests to ensure they get the most of their stay with us. For any chosen route, we will go through the route, pointing out what to see, water stops and, possibly more importantly, cafes and restaurants en-route.
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Can you give me GPS routes? Yes. If you have the necessary tools to upload routes to a bike GPS, we can supply the standard GPX files for any route. We can supply the files over our wireless network or on a USB memory stick.
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Do I need to do any research on the area before my arrival? No. While it is advisable to find out as much as you can to get the most out of your holiday, we aim to provide you with all the information you will need including maps of our area at the correct scale depending on what you would like to do. On your arrival we will give you a tour of the area via our wall mounted 3D map and discuss options and practicalities to ensure you get the most out of your stay with us. We also have sample route guides, leaflets and brochures available in communal areas.
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What happens if I get lost, have a mechanical problem or injury whilst out. Can you collect me? We offer to provide guests with maps at appropriate scales for their use. We also provide guests with our telephone number so that if there is an emergency, we would be able to collect you via our mini-bus. We reserve the right to ask for a contribution towards fuel costs.
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Can my non-riding spouse / travel companion come and stay at VéloPyrénées? Absolutely. There are plenty of hiking trails close to our base, allowing your companion to see some spectacular scenery. There is plenty of opportunity to sightsee as well. To make the most of your visit, a car is highly recommended and can be hired from the airport. For more information on what the area has to offer, please visit our other activities page (opens in a new window).
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How do I get medical cover for travelling abroad from the NHS? UK residents should ensure that they apply for an European Health Insurance Card (this has replaced Form E111). You can apply on line for the free card from the NHS website. The application takes just 5 minutes and you will be sent your card in 7 days.
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Do you accommodate children? Children over the age of 11 are welcome at VeloPyrenees. We do not have the facilities to cater for young children and babies.
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Are people allow to smoke in the house? For the enjoyment and health of all guests, VeloPyrenees is a completely non-smoking house.
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Do you allow dogs? For the comfort of our guests, we do not accept pets at VeloPyrenees.
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Do I need to bring indoor shoes? We kindly ask that all exterior footwear, including cycling shoes, is removed before entering the living areas. As all of our rooms have wooden floors, it is recommended that guests bring a pair of soft soled slippers or flip flops to wear inside the house.
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Are there professional massage services available? Yes, there is a very good, French qualified professional masseur who has over 25 years practical experience in massage and physiotherapy. A thirty minute massage will cost €25 whilst an hour’s massage will cost €40.
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Booking How do I book? You can confirm availability by telephoning us on +33 (0) 5 62 39 68 44 or e-mail info@velopyrenees.com. You can then complete a booking form and return it to us by e-mail or post with a deposit of 25%. For further information, including the booking form, please visit our prices and booking page.
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What if I cancel after paying my deposit? (Refund policy) You should notify us in writing that you wish to cancel your holiday. In the event of cancelling the deposit is non-refundable. We will send you a cheque for any other balance you may have paid. We recommend that you take out relevant travel insurance that would cover such events.
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How and when do I pay the balance? Payment for the balance of the accommodation is due for settlement on the evening prior to your departure. We accept either: a Sterling cheque, Sterling internet bank transfer, Euro cheque drawn on a French bank or Euro cash. Unfortunately, we do not have the facilities to accept credit cards.

Payment for any meals taken with us and / or transport costs is payable in Euro cash or Euro cheque drawn on a French bank.

We will prepare an invoice on the final day of your stay.
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Accommodation Are linen and towels provided? Yes, we change linen and towels on a weekly basis. However, you should bring your own towel for use outside our home, i.e. around lakes, thermal spa's and swimming pools.
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Are there clothes washing facilities? Yes, there is a washing machine available (a nominal fee is charged) for use by guests. We will provide you with washing powder and there are clothes drying areas outdoors and under cover available.
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For any meals - what if I have special dietary requirements? Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements so that we can cater for you. If you do not tell us until you arrive, then we may not be able to accommodate your dietary needs.
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Is there a good selection of restaurants locally? There are two restaurants within walking distance, both French with good menus, and very reasonable prices - very cheap compared to the UK! The medieval town of St-Bertrand-de-Commings (5km away) and Loures Barousse have several good restaurants and a wider selection. There is an interesting restaurant (Lugdunum) which uses recipes based on the book of Apicius from ancient Rome and has a very good reputation. We can offer transport to local restaurants on occasion.
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At what time are rooms available and when can I arrive? We welcome guests from 4pm onwards. The latest check-in is 10pm.
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When do I have to vacate my room? Please vacate your room by 11am on the day of departure unless a prior arrangement has been made with us.
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Travel Can I reach you by car? Yes. Our location along with further information can be found by visiting our location page. Car parking spaces are available at our home. Directions can be sent to you on booking.
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Can I reach you by public transport? Yes. There is a good train service from Toulouse and Pau to Montréjeau. Please visit SNCF for train timetables which can be viewed in French, German or English.

The journey from Toulouse-Blagnac airport is very easy. There is an airport shuttle bus every 20 minutes that will take you to Toulouse railway station. There is a ticket office where English is spoken. The trains from Toulouse to Montréjeau are very reliable. A one way ticket will cost approximately 21€. We can arrange to pick you up from Montréjeau station. If you are doing this journey with a bike box, you will never have to carry it very far. For further information, please visit our location and travel information page.
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Is it easy to take my bike on an aeroplane? Yes. Your bike will need to be protected in either: a bike bag / box which can be bought or hired from your local bike shop; or cardboard bike boxes (that new bikes are supplied in from manufacture) which can be obtained from your local bike shop for free if you ask nicely. For futher information, please read our helpful tips on how to pack your bike. You will need to check with the airline to determine the weight allowance. For some airlines, such as Easyjet and RyanAir you will be required to pay an additional amount of money per flight to cover sports goods. If you need help to assemble the bike on arrival, we will be happy to help.
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Cycling Do you have bikes I can hire? Yes, we have a couple of road bikes and a mountain bike that we hire out to guests staying with us - visit our bike hire page for further details. There are also several places in Luchon that hire bikes out on a daily In the first instance, please contact us and we can advise you further.
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Do you have a bike workshop? Yes, we have a bike workshop with all the most common tools needed for building your bike on arrival plus tools needed for maintenance and basic repair (such as wheel tuning jigs). We stock spares such as inner tubes, chains, cables and brake blocks. Lee can help with any mechanical problems you may have, alternatively there are mechanics in the bike shops at Luchon.
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Do you stock bike spares? We stock common spares such as inner tubes, chains, cables and brake blocks for road bikes and mountain bikes. Lee would be more than happy to help you with replacing any of these items if you have any unexpected bike problems. We do not stock energy drink/ bars, but you can find these items in the bike shops at Luchon, St-Gaudens or in the local supermarkets.
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What types of cycling is available in the area? For mountain biking, there is a huge variety of routes from XC to Free-ride to suit most people. There are many XC single track signposted routes which are graded for difficulty level. There is 'gravity assisted' cycling from the ski stations - during the summer especially when you can take your bike on the cable car to the summit to follow downhill routes. Or, you can work for your altitude and choose a mixture of everything including alpine trails, single tracks and great views.

For road cycling you can take easier days over rolling terrain to the North of us or challenge many of the famous cols. It is possible to incorporate several famous TDF cols in a days ride from our door or spend the whole day just spinning easy though the small villages in the foot hills.

For further information on the types of riding available, please visit our mountain biking or road cycling section.
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What cols and climbs are there nearby? Here is a brief list of some of the popular cols from our base in Crechets; Ares, Larrieu, Portillion, Portet de Aspet, Mente, Aspin, Peyresourde, Super Bagnere, Port de Bales, Mortis, Azet, Nistos Cap Nestes, Beyrede, Tourmalet. You can find more information about these cols and more on our Pyrenees cols page.
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Do I need a triple chain ring for road cycling? This will depend on your own ability. As some of the climbs can be long and challenging, we would recommend either a triple chain ring, compact chain set or a large ratio rear cassette 25 +, just to give you something in reserve if things start to get tough.
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What clothing should I bring? You will need to bring your normal cycling clothing, ensuring that you have a good layering system as backup.

Generally, the weather is much milder than the UK but you can experience extremes for short periods of time - especially at altitude. Even in the height of summer the col du Tourmalet can be closed due to adverse weather due to its high altitude. You may experience one extreme to the other as you climb a col and then make the fast descent. Leg warmers, gloves, arm warmers and a compact / light weight water proof top is good for most of the year. For our month by month weather guide, please visit our weather and climate page.
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Can I take part in a cyclosportive event during my stay? There are several popular cyclosportive events in the area such as the La Barousse Bales and Luchonaise. These events are typically cheap to enter, attract a large numbers of cyclists of all abilities, offer 3 distance options, are well supported and organised - usually with food included at the finish line.

To enter an event you must fill out an online application form and post it to the organisers with either a) a suitable race license or b) a recent medical certificate stating you are fit to compete in such an event (available from your doctor). You can find some of the popular events on our website on the races and events page, or contact us for further information.


Running What type of running kit will I need? For most of the time and at lower altitudes (under 1000m) we recommend shorts and vest. Even during winter, warm mid-day temperature's (usually between 11:00-15:00hrs) means shorts and vest can even be worn comfortably. However, outside of the summer period, we recommend that you bring technical long sleeved tops (Helly's, etc), base layers and gloves just in case. If you are sensitive to the cold or plan to run at altitude near winter then you should consider leggings, headwear and a good breathable outer layer. For our month by month weather guide, please visit our weather and climate page.
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What type of trainers should I bring? For off-road running you should bring trail specific shoes or a trainer that has good grip. Most of the trails dry out quickly from any rain and do not suffer from lots of mud, however, Autumn leaves and debris can make some of the forest trails slippery. There is the possibility of taking some technical, steep and rocky trails which would benefit from a shoe with a good tread and that offers adequate stability.
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What can I do when I'm not running? There are plenty of hiking trails close to our base, allowing you to see some spectacular scenery at a slower pace. For relaxing you can go swimming, visit thermal spa's or enjoy a massage. There is plenty of opportunity to sightsee as well. To make the most of your visit, a car is highly recommended and can be hired from the airport. For more information on what the area has to offer, please visit our other activities page.
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Can I incorporate a race into my stay? Yes, there are many races throughout the year of varying distances, terrain and difficulty. Events range from the shorter 5km events to mountain marathons at altitude. Entry fees are typically low at a couple of Euros with age group and spot prizes. Entry into local events can usually be made on the day although the larger races may require a pre application. If you are interested in this option, please e-mail julie@velopyrenees.com with distances and dates in mind and we would be more than happy to give you some suggestions.
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