The Luz valley is full of excellent cycling routes, both for road bikes and mountain bikes. After celebrating the centenary of the Tour passing over the Col du Tourmalet in 2010 in 2011 the tour had a finish at Luz Ardiden on the 14th July. 2012 saw a passage through the valley and over the Col du Tourmalet on the 18th July and in 2013 we are being missed out – as is the Pyrenees pretty generally. Which makes for less crowds in July than usual, so take advantage of a bit of calmer traffic!
Outside of the Tour de France madness Luz is a fabulous base for tackling some of the great Pyrenean passes. The Col du Tourmalet of course, but also Luz Ardiden, Hautacam, Soulor and Aubisque. The roads here are made for cyclists and you will have difficulty finding more spectacular scenery to cycle through. The roads up past the Gavarnie ski station to the Col des Tentes, and up into the Cirque de Troumouse provide even more challenging climbs, even if they are never on the Tour circuit because they are within the Pyrenees National Park.
Our local bike shops have excellent equipment and you can organise rental of road bikes and mountain bikes through them. Both have on-line shops, Ardiden Velos and Gran Tourmalet Bike Tours. We have a secure cellar to store your bikes.
Note that the Col du Tourmalet often does not officially open until early June. Contact us for information before you attempt to drive or ride over it in May and early June.
The following slideshow recounts a two week trip by an Australian friend testing out mountain biking paths in the valley and enjoying both the Jazz Festival and the Tour de France madness. Her trip resulted in an article in Mountain Biking Australia magazine.