The Col Collective

Explorer

Tour Overview

For those that wish to set their own pace and agenda, our Explorer week and long weekends allow you to target the cols that matter most to you with expert route planning and advice from The Col Collective. Fancy a big day followed by coffee and culture? Col conquering before lunch and a chilled out afternoon by the pool? Or perhaps you’re training for an event and want to fine tune your preparation and fitness? That’s the beauty of our Explorer options, you’re in control of the agenda and we’re here to help you get the most out of the mountains and your time.

WHO’S IT FOR?

This experience is for anyone that really wants to be in control of their week and are less worried about having full back up and on the road support. Maybe you’re a group of friends happy to do your own thing in the day, but are seeking extra advice to make sure you’re heading in the right direction to make the most of the ride. From casual col collectors to those wanting to hit specific numbers on each climb in preparation for an event or season peak, The Col Collective Explorer provides the perfect cycling base, luxury accommodation, quality recovery time and all the partner products and benefits that are found in our other tours.


Dates & Prices

We’ll be hosting one Explorer Mini (4 nights) and one Explorer (7 nights) experiences in 2018, all of which are limited to a maximum group size of 10 riders so you can enjoy the highest quality, comfort, riding and relaxation.

DATES:

31st May - 4th June 2018 (4 nights) Explorer Mini

31st May - 7th June 2018 (7 nights) Explorer

PRICE:

€1,200 per person - Explorer Mini

€1,900 per person - Explorer

Both the Explorer 7 night and Explorer Mini 4 night include our exclusive Col Collective mountain essentials kit bag worth up to €850! See ‘what’s included’ page for details.

€500 - 7 night single supplement, please get in touch to check availability.

€300 - 4 night single supplement, please get in touch to check availability.

5% discount for group bookings of 3 or more.


What’s Included

  • 7 nights or 4 nights (depending on experience booked) boutique style accommodation at The Col Collective HQ based on a twin share basis. We are a small but beautifully formed guest house therefore single supplement rooms are limited. Please enquire and we will do our best to accommodate. See more about the house in “accommodation”.
  • Personal airport collection and transfers from Toulouse. Arrangements can be made Lourdes airport or Lourdes train station. For those flying to Paris a TGV rail service is available to Lourdes.
  • Hearty “cyclist” breakfast to get the day started (our local bakery is the stuff of legend).
  • 6 home cooked and healthy evening meals using fresh local produce - including beer, house wine and soft drinks. 4 meals for Explorer mini.
  • TORQ nutrition energy and recovery products with guidance on fuelling on and off the bike.
  • TORQ recovery shake plus post ride snacks and hydration.
  • Daily use of NormaTec recovery “moon” boots.
  • Daily kit wash.
  • Bike wash facilities, tools, workshop and secure storage.
  • Words of wisdom, help, advice and education throughout the week from Mike and The Col Collective team.
  • The latest Mavic and Cannondale product to test (limited supply).
  • Lezyne GPS test units.

The Col Collective premium mountain essentials kit bag worth over €850!
We are very proud to be able to offer a truly exceptional package from our partners to help you in every area of your cycling. This kit includes:

  • The Col Collective LTD Edition cycling kit (jersey and shorts) manufactured by Mavic (€260)
  • Lezyne roadside essentials* (€75)
  • Scicon custom kit bag* (€120)
  • Exposure Lights Trace and TraceR custom Col Collective light kit* (€135)
  • Muc-Off Ultra Endurance, Recovery, Chamois Cream and Hydrodynamic lube (€100)
  • TORQ nutrition pack to allow you to fuel properly and scientifically throughout the week (€100 for 7 night tours / €60 for 4 night tours)
  • 6 months free access on all new subscriptions to The Sufferfest training app to help you get ready for the mountains (€60)

* The Col Collective Limited Edition

PLUS! Access to preferential Col Collective partner pricing**

  • 25% off Mavic wheel systems and rider equipment up to €2,000 (€500 saving).
  • 25% off selected Scicon products. Available in advance if needing to buy a bike box or bag to travel.
  • 20% off Muc-Off.
  • 15% off InfoCrank and access to their MyPower training suite (€240 saving). Available in advance if wishing to fit the InfoCrank prior to cycling tour.

** Limitations may apply and can be confirmed prior to booking.

For 2018 we’re currently working on the full contents of our mountain essentials kit bag. Some items may change subject to availability but the value with be equivalent, or more, than quoted.


What’s not included

  • Your flights and travel arrangements
  • Bike hire. Please contact us to arrange if required
  • Travel and personal insurance
  • One evening meal with drinks when we eat out (the chef needs a night off). Does not apply for Explorer Mini
  • Additional sustenance outside of what’s listed above

Itinerary

THE WEEK IN BRIEF > X Cols / X km / X m elevation - It’s up to you!

Day 1 - Midday airport collection and transfer, bike build and prep for riding.
Day 2 - Mountains.
Day 3 - Mountains and mountains.
Day 4 - Mountain, mountains and mountains.
Day 5 - Mountains, mountains, mountains and mountains. Airport return for Explorer Mini.
Day 6 - Mountains, mountains, mountains, mountains and mountains.
Day 7 - Mountains, mountains, mountains, mountains, mountains and mountains.
Day 8 - Breakfast (dreaming of more mountains), bike pack and airport transfer for 12pm noon arrival.

Learn more about some of the climbs you’ll conquer throughout the week here.


As this is an open schedule we’ll help create a ride plan based on your needs, picking the best routes and climbs that fit the bill each day.


About the house

Located in the heart of the Hautes Pyrénées with views towards the 2,877m Pic du Midi de Bigorre, The Col Collective HQ is a perfect base for cyclists looking to tackle the most prestigious Hors Catégorie climbs, gentle rolling roads or even flatter farmlands that give this area so much charm and character.

We have 5 beautifully appointed en-suite guest bedrooms which can hold a total of 12 people. All of our rooms are named after local peaks or cols and each bring their own unique feel of the Hautes Pyrénées to life.

4 rooms are located in the Grange and 1 room is located in the Maison de Maître. All are warmly appointed and allow for peaceful relaxation and recovery after a great day of cycling. Each room is private and spacious and offers flexible accommodation with the choice of either two single beds or one super king size bed. Complimentary services available in each room include:

  • Stretch mats and foam roller
  • NormaTec recovery system
  • Tea and coffee making facilities
  • Hairdryer…..gotta look good off the bike
  • Safe for valuables
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Towels
  • Soap and shampoo
  • WIFI
  • TV

Après velo we welcome you to enjoy our heated pool, also known as ’the recovery zone’, cultivate your tan lines in our generously sized courtyard or take a spin into town for a coffee and culture.


Chez Cotty was an inspiration made by the lovely people in it. The best moment of my life sits 2000m above the clouds at the peak of the Tourmalet. Thanks for making memories of a lifetime both on and off the saddle. ”
Cormac - UK
I just wanted to thank you both very much for a memorable stay at your lovely place in the Pyrenees. Despite being unable to ride (and I was very sad about that) I still very much enjoyed meeting you guys, imbibing the cycling chat and taking in the beautiful surroundings. Your dedication to cycling raised my spirits, which my pesky illness had been gradually eroding. I was so impressed by the serious work ethic applied to all your endeavours which was inspiring, you made us feel very welcome.”
Georgina - UK
Guys, wanted to say a sincere thank you for a great trip. You made us feel more than welcome, it felt like we were staying with friends. The fact that you’re both genuinely great company helped that along! Absolutely love the concept of what you are trying to do, I think you’ve got a nice niche absolutely nailed. ”
Ian - UK
We had such a lovely time staying with you. I’ve had a few passions in my time (photography and skydiving [short-lived!] being two) and compared to either of those cyclists are just the best (and least geeky)! And you guys are top of the tree!! We must present a proper mid-life-crisis amateur look, but there was absolutely no condescension or impatience from Mike or anyone else. Thank you both again SO much for a truly memorable and absolutely brilliant time. Please give us early notice of next season! We will be recommending you to all our friends, but only after we have booked ourselves…”
James - UK
I can't even put into words. I can't wait to get back here. I'll be on my bike training away for the next time. People ask me what is was like, honestly words can't do it justice. I can't wait to do it again. Gratitude doesn't scratch the surface. Namaste”
Jonathan - Canada
Thanks again to you both for a great few days - you've got a winning formula and am sure you'll have some busy weeks coming up”
James - UK
Thank you for hosting our best holiday ever! We had so much fun spending time with you and sharing fond memories of the cols and at the dinner table. We truly appreciate how you welcomed us into your home, your generosity, thoughtfulness and care are amazing.”
Matt and Ivy - SAN FRANCISCO
Just wanted to say thanks to you all for hosting us. We had a great time. and the more I sit at my desk, the better the memories!!! You might have a few enquiries come through for next year from some of my friends and colleagues!”
Matthew - UK
I cannot thank you enough for your amazing hospitality, your kindness and caring is phenomenal, Maccy has fallen in love with everything. We will be back very soon, massive appreciation of everything”
Tim - UK
I wanted to thank you and Mike for hosting us I had such a good time, and was pinching myself that I had the opportunity to visit you. You both are such generous and gracious hosts, and the property is beautiful. The evenings around the dinner table were my favorite moments from the trip because we were all together, which is something of a novelty for me. I'm still laughing at some of the stories you told as it seems you've had some interesting experiences! Thank you so very much”
Tina - SAN FRANCISCO
I just wanted to say thanks again to you, Mike and Jérôme for an absolutely amazing week that I will never forget! It was my first proper cycling holiday and it was far beyond my expectations! Not only the scenery was out of this world but the support on the rides and back at the house definitely played a huge part in making it all possible, even more so as it was my first time in the mountains. I don't think I've ever met anyone more dedicated and more passionate about what they do than you and Mike and so that also was very inspirational. Also I wanted to say thank you again to Mike for that last big ride where he took me on some of his favourite roads and really pushed me to the limit. Thanks to that I've discovered more about what I can do and that you can always push further.”
Anthony - UK
I wanted to thank you again for an amazing week. I returned home recharged, inspired, and ready to take on all my normal responsibilities in life. Your passion and hard work made the trip more than a cycling experience, and something I've reflected on numerous times over the past week. Watching you work together to make a week tour the best it can possibility be for 5 random strangers simply blew me away. ”
Lance - USA
Hi, please let me know when you have firmed up the dates for 2018. I plan to return for another week with you. I am still reliving my trip and cannot tell enough people what a fantastic trip it was. Perhaps I will have a small contingent of Calgarians joining me. ”
Alex - Canada
Some of the pics you took are magazine quality, and I'd like to put them in my slide show. Maybe I can get a few of my friends to join us next year? I definitely want to! I think about that week every day! P.S. Please say "hello" to Jerome (I really enjoyed riding with him and his sense of humor too).”
Herb - USA
I had a blast and still can't stop thinking about how much fun the trip was. You guys really made us feel welcome and felt like we were with friends not tour operators!!”
Jason - Australia
Miss you all after a wonderful week, I feel sad but happy to have met you all! Thank you so much for an unforgettable week with you, Deb and Jerome. Hope to be back soon if possible.”
Luis - Galicia
Hope you are having some quality catch up time after the craziness of last week. You really are the best hosts that any cycling enthusiast could wish for!!”
Martine - Ireland
We really enjoyed the whole experience. Thank you for spending so much time with and for taking such great care of us. We look forward to joining another tour in the future!”
Christine - USA
Deb & Mike!! Thank you so much for a magical week. I am already missing all the great moments we all had together during this last week! Enjoyed every moment on and off the bike. Congratulations on building such a great structure and life. Wishing you all the happiness and success moving forward.”
Fabio - Brasil
Your hospitality and expertise was second to none. I've been away a few times on cycling holidays, and none of the trips come close to the standard you guys provided. You really did think of everything, and made us all feel so very welcome. It just felt like such an easy, relaxed, and happy week, and helped me personally in lots of ways. Thanks for encouraging me to keep going!! I'd love to come back again next summer if there's a similar week (don't think I'd manage the advanced weeks yet!!) Keep me informed. I'll be there in a heartbeat!!”
Suzanne - Ireland
Thank you for a genuinely wonderful experience. ”
Sam - USA
I had a fantastic time with you all, what a week my friend, unforgettable, not for a second. I appreciate every detail and all you did for me. I am honoured and proud to have ridden and shared these great moments. Thanks for taking care of me and for all your kindness! ”
Andreas - Switzerland

Booking Terms

Please complete the below booking request form so that we can start working with you to confirm your Col Collective cycling tour. We’ll give you a call or send you an email with more details, also prior to booking we can answer any questions that you may have. Once you’re happy and have confirmed the booking we ask for 30% of the full price of the tour at this time, with the remaining balance paid in full 12 weeks before the tour. Changes and cancellations are detailed in our terms and conditions.

Thank you for your interest. We look forward to welcoming you to our mountains!

Ride safe,

Mike Cotty


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