Our Into the Wild gravel tour is for those that have been bitten by the gravel bug and want to go much deeper off the beaten track, mixing roads with high altitude tracks and trails to get a very different perspective on the wild and rugged landscapes of the Pyrénées.
Supported by The Col Collective, discover paths that you’d never imagine even existed, from summit to summit and beyond. These are the rides that I’ve found when I head out with no agenda other than to explore, often returning in complete amazement at what the day brings when you go a little deeper into the unknown.
This tour will be a hugely unique and personal experience combining road, gravel tracks and forest trails in the day with comfort, relaxation and a lifetime of laughs and memories by night.
WHO’S IT FOR?
This week is for the most adventurous of riders and those un-phased by taking to the dirt over the road. To get the most from this tour a high level technical riding ability, for example a cyclocross or mountain bike background, is needed as is the right equipment - such as a specific gravel or CX bike and cycling shoes that relish the thought of shouldering the bike for the odd hike. It’s taken some serious fun and adventure and we’re very excited to take you above and beyond some the most famous peaks in the Pyrénées including Hautacam, Col du Soulor, Col d’Aspin, Col du Tourmalet and more. We won’t be posting full details of the routes, these are the rides that are closest to our heart so we want to keep them that way. Such is the nature of this tour it’s important that you have the right equipment, ability and fitness so please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details, to register your interest and reserve your spot.
Dates & Prices
With a maximum group size of just 8 riders this will be a very personal and hugely unique experience. To reserve your spot or register your interest please contact email@example.com.
Fri 11th - Thur 17th September 2020 (6 nights)
€2,595 per person - based on twin share, includes our exclusive Col Collective mountain essentials kit bag, see ‘what’s included’ for details.
€495 - single supplement. As we have limited rooms in our guest house please contact us in advance to confirm availability.
10% discount for non-riding partners.
5% loyalty discount for returning guests or group bookings of 3 or more.
Your stay with us includes
A relaxing environment where we take care of you from start to finish:
6 nights 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”.
Tasty and nutritious food, locally sourced and lovingly prepared to satisfy your palate and hunger:
Hearty “cyclist” breakfast to get the day started (our local bakery is the stuff of legend).
Home cooked healthy evening meals, heartfully prepared using fresh local produce - including beer, house wine and soft drinks.
One evening meal out at our award winning local Pyrenean restaurant.
Mid-ride mountain coffee stops at our favourite spots.
On the bike fully supported experience:
Fully guided rides with Mike and The Col Collective team including professional coaching.
Support vehicle on every ride.
TORQ nutrition energy products with guidance on fuelling on and off the bike.
Numerous and diverse on the road snacks, tailored to your preference.
Daily photos capturing the core spirit of your time and achievements with The Col Collective.
A thorough recovery to keep you going longer and stronger:
TORQ recovery shake after every ride, plus post ride snacks and hydration.
Unlimited daily use of NormaTec recovery “moon” boots.
Fresh water swimming pool to cool off and relax your muscles.
Post ride recovery yoga and relaxation (optional).
Four purring furry friendly cats for extra massage (optional).
Keeping it simple for you:
Daily kit wash.
Bike valeting service.
Workshop, in house mechanic, bike tools and secure storage.
Words of wisdom, help, advice and education throughout the week from Mike and The Col Collective team.
The Col Collective mountain essentials premium kit bag!
We are currently working on our 2020 Col Collective kit bag which will include the highest quality mountain essentials gear from our premium partners including limited edition Col Collective jersey, nutrition, lighting, tools and more. In 2019 the value of this kit bag was over €850!
What makes The Col Collective Cycling Tours experience unique?
More than just a cycling tour, an authentic experience
Hosting you in our 16th century Pyrenean farm house creates a truly unique and homely environment for you to take a week of relaxation, self-care and incredible mountain challenges. We’re here to share all of our experience with you.
Group sizes are kept to a maximum of just 8 riders. This creates a truly personal experience with a 2:1 guest to staff ratio, ensuring that we can offer the absolute highest level of support and service in every area of your week.
While the bike riding is an obvious highlight, it’s the before and after that really makes The Col Collective experience unique. From breakfast in our dining room to evening chats in the open air as the sun sets over the mountains, and the scent of our stone baked pizza oven fills the air, we are here as a large family.
More than just a riding event, the experience of riding like a pro without the stress
From his childhood, Mike Cotty has lived for the mountains, slowly evolving his passion to become an expert and to be able to share and support you in your own journey to the summit both on and off the bike.
Based on his experiences at professional team camps, his connections in the cycling world and with the support of the brands that he’s worked with for many years, we are proud to be able to take care of you like a pro just without the stress of racing. Quite the opposite in fact, we encourage riders to take their time, to savour the moment and let the essence of the mountains run deep inside your soul.
Our team will offer you professional advice and guidance on bike skills, techniques, training, nutrition and mental preparation, all tools used by the pros and an increasing part of every day life.
More than just a moment, a lifetime experience to remember forever
The Col Collective’s values are deep and simple. We care about health, wellbeing, mindfulness and nature. We believe that by sharing these with you, we support our guests to become better versions of themselves.
Sharing our mountain passion and creating the most personal and well supported experience is our number one goal.
Join us to simply share the gift of nature and the great outdoors with each other. We will create this uttermost personal experience for and with you.
This is what we believe in. This is who we are. This is what we wish to bring to you.
What’s new in 2020?
All inclusive meals. Package price includes all main meals at the house and when we eat out, meaning you have more for souvenirs!
Optional post ride recovery yoga with The Col Collective’s very own qualified yoga teacher.
The Col Collective Coaching > Personal training plans to support you in the lead up to your week in the mountains.
The opportunity to take your experience to another level with a helicopter mountain sky ride of a lifetime! (an additional fee applies)
What’s not included
Your flights and travel arrangements
Bike hire. Please contact us to arrange if required
Travel and personal insurance
Additional sustenance outside of what’s listed above
THE WEEK IN BRIEF > It’s taken some serious fun and weeks of exploring to be able to find each of the rides that we have planned for you this week, and we’re very excited to take you above and beyond some the most famous peaks in the Pyrénées. Typically rides range from between 60 to 100 kilometres with 2,000 to 2,500m elevation. We’ll be tailoring each day to get the absolute most from your experience.
We won’t be posting full details of the routes, these are the rides that are closest to our heart so we want to keep them that way. Such is the nature of this tour it’s important that you have the right equipment, ability and fitness so please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details, to register your interest and reserve your spot.
Day 1 - Collection from Toulouse airport at midday, bike build and light spin to loosen the legs and get ready for the week. Over dinner Mike will chat you through the schedule for the coming days and no doubt a few tall tales will be told along the way.
Day 2 - 6 - Into the Wild, above and beyond all-road adventure! We’ll show you a new angle and elevation from famous climbs like Hautacam, Col du Soulor, Col d’Aspin, Col du Tourmalet along with the raw beauty of the Gavarnie valley and up to the dizzy heights of the 2,877m Pic di Midi de Bigorre observatory! Since a picture paints a thousand words check out some of the landscapes you’ll explore in our photo gallery.
Day 7 - Final big breakfast, high fives, bike packing and transfer back to Toulouse airport for 12pm drop off.
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
Soap and shampoo
Après vélo we welcome you to enjoy our 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.
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
Please complete the below booking request form so that we can start working with you to confirm your Col Collective cycling adventure. 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!
PLEASE NOTE THAT WE OCCASIONALLY ENCOUNTER AN ISSUE WITH OUR BOOKING FORM. IF YOU DON’T HEAR FROM US WITHIN 48 HOURS PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TO email@example.com