Day 11 Grenade to Mazamet (105kms) (320m ascent)
There are no bike path options today. And I failed in my attempt to limit our riding days to below 100kms. Sorry. We avoid the big city of Toulouse by staying north east along the valley of Le Girou river. There are no big hills, but a steady rise all morning until the only significant hill just before lunch in Puylaurens (70kms). Which means that we re-start after lunch with a downhill and continue with another 30 flattish kms to Mazamet our penultimate night and our last night under canvas (or similar lightweight tent material).
Camping tonight is in Camping La Lauze Mazamet
Day 12 Mazamet to Murviel les Beziers (87km / 870m ascent or 74km/680m ascent)
Last day, starting uphill from Mazamet following the Voie Verte Passa Pais bike path.
There are infact 3 options but I have discounted option 1 (although 2km shorter than option 2, it has more ascent, so by definition will be hillier).
- 50kms bike path to Mons then downhill / undulating to Murviel les Beziers via Cuasses et Veynan. This option is the second longest but has the most ascent.
- 50kms bike path to Mons then downhill / undulating to Murviel les Beziers via Cessenon sur Orb. This option is slightly longer but has less ascent than the first.
- 32kms bike path to Saint Pons de Thomieres then down-up-down to Murviel les Beziers via Saint Chinian and Cessenon sur Orb. Shortest of the 3 options, with the least amount of total ascent.
Before I started planning the route, Mark asked me to incorporate the Voie Verte Passa Pais bike path into the last day. The first two options utilise 50kms of the path compared to only 32km in option 3. I will leave it up to you guys to decide which option we should take.
Option 2. Stopping in Saint Pons de Thomieres for coffee, probably Mons for lunch and then 35kms of undulating downhill for about 3 hours to arrive at Mark’s late afternoon in time for a beer or two.
Option 3. Stopping in Saint Pons de Thomieres for coffee, before tackling the major hill (It isn’t too daunting. It is only 300m of ascent in 8kms, average less than 4%) and then stopping in Saint Chinian for lunch, pushing on for less than two hours to arrive at Mark’s mid/late afternoon in time for a beer or two.