Its a N141 on the Spainish side and that D618a on the French side. Its a typical tight forest mountain road with pleasant scenary with lots of cyclists and some very tight hairpins. Good fun, if a bit mixed.
A route not to be missed!!!! Pleasant view, great corners and great road surface...
The Beast is back! Just off for a packet of ciggies, dear had me on the montrejeau - luchon road (now sadly being improved for car use) towards this start of this local classic - Luchon - Bossost (the vielha bit is pretty kack. It was shut in April but has now been improved (for bikes). Was running in tires on the firms Fazer 600 so had to take that. Not the right bike for the road as a propensity to wear more on the left side clearly showed - but fun for a that. The new section has replaced and widened the old surface - ruts replaced by gentle undulations and the worst of the old stuff gone. As the road is not a main entry into spain i doubt whether it will be improved much for cars in the near future - which is good news for all of us. Dared to check the speedo on the exit of one particularly tight/steep bend - 15KPH and I was sweating to get round it at that speed. the rest can be done at 30-40 KPH which is a relief as all the relevent centrifugal forces stay intact. Got on the d8 from st gaudens to le fousseret this pm and will post that next, amd sorted out uneven tire wear on the fazer. Job done!
Please check before taking this route that it is open - was going to go thru 19/4/07 and it is shut - will try and keep tabs on it but please check meantime.
My review marking concerns the Bagneres de Luchon to bossot (N141). I agree with the other 2 reviewers in that the N230 is not a particularly interesting road - lots of fast sweepers - also lots of spanish road cops armed with sub-machine guns. They are very often found between Bossost and Vielha - you have been warned! Nice views of the 'lake' etc - but do watch the speeds - 160 KM/h is easy after the twisties, on the N230. Now lets talk about the Bagneres/Bossost bit. This is truly outstanding from the moment you cross the dirty painted line in spain to when you come out adrenaline overloaded at Bossost. I never fail to laugh out loud! BTW: Don't wear earplugs or your head will expode with the pressure increasing and decreasing. Turn right at the big car park in Bossost - cross the bridge and have Tapas in the little black tapas bar hidden away to your far right. Cheap, filling and excellent. Bike of choice for this one - our F650GS.
An excellent road in both directions, it can be joined up with excellent roads at both ends to make a fabulous loop. the D618 Col de Peyresourd from Bagneres to Arrau extends the ride West while the N230 south from Vielha is a fantastic fast sweeper, grins all round.
This route runs from Vielha on the N230 in the Spanish
Pyrenees to Bagneres De Luchon on the French side and
takes in the Col Du Portillon.
Three of the attached photos are of the N230 between Vielha and Bossst.
It's a nice road in interesting surroundings but has it's fair share of traffic so chill out and go with the flow.
At Bossòst we took a left onto the N141 aka the Col Du Portillon. It's a nice route which had some fresh tarmac when we visited with plenty of variety. It is frequented by cyclists, some of whom must have taken up riding when God was a boy. I swear one lady was well into her nineties!
The road climbs nicely towards France and this is evident by the greenery that surrounds you. There are a few nice hairpins on the way up to the summit which is about 1300 metres, and there's a few nice ones on the way down too. There are also some nice sweepers thrown in for good measure. When you get to the top you cross the border into France which consists of two graffiti strewn pillars and a line painted across the road, which now becomes the D618a. Stop for the obligatory photo shoot at the waterfall on the French side and then drop into the town of Bagneres De Luchon - see my last 2 pics.
We stayed at the Panoramic Hotel which was very comfortable for the price, and biker friendly to boot. Plenty of restaurants to choose from in the town, but it's now you realise that the French side of the mountains is much pricier than the Spanish side. Over 2 euros for a thimble of lager compared to a euro for a whole pint in Spain. And buy your ciggies in Spain too! That's about it then, not a bad route overall but nothing you'd be desperate to return to. As usual, not the best pics but I hope you enjoy them anyway.