This page was last updated Thu 05 January 2017.

Contents: Tours (5)   

Reports by Steven Hill and Rebecca Heald

All descriptions are in English, unless otherwise noted.

Tours

Cycling the ''B'' side of Alpe d'Huez: Col de Sarenne
by Steven Hill and Rebecca Heald, tour started July 2006, submitted 14 November 2006

Photos and video of the more scenic and quiet backside ride up to Alpe d'Huez, Col de Sarenne, in the French Alps.

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Cycling Alpe d'Huez - The Marmotte and Etape du Tour - July 2006
by Steven Hill and Rebecca Heald, tour started July 2006, submitted 9 October 2006

A historical look at Alpe d'Huez plus written and photo reports from the Marmotte and Etape du Tour events. Both events finished at the top of Alpe d'Huez this past July.

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Etape du Tour riders on Alpe d'Huez
Cycling the quiet one-lane back roads of the Ariege Pyrenees
by Steven Hill and Rebecca Heald, tour started September 2005, submitted 8 March 2006

``For prehistoric man who sheltered in the many caves, for the catholic heretics who defied the Church, and for resistance fighters, war-time refugees and downed WWII pilots who eluded the Nazis to escape over the mountains into Spain,'' the Ariège Pyrénées have a long history of serving as a refuge. Today, this unspoiled region attracts those eager to escape from the stresses of modern life, and cyclists wearied of persecution by vehicular traffic.

Although we found the High Pyrenees a spectacular and historic place to cycle, we enjoyed the Ariege Pyrenees as much or even more. We never thought, in advance, that the two areas would compare, but after tallying all the check marks from our exhaustive field testing and crunching the numbers through our proprietary, mathematical bike tour formulas... we can declare a virtual dead heat. Now I'm left with the difficult task of explaining to the humble reader (that's you) how such a conclusion can be drawn. If you sat in for the two-part High Pyrenees show aired earlier this month, then you'll note immediately that the Ariege isn't quite as spectacular, and perhaps doesn't rank as high in the "friggin', jaw-dropping, gorgeous" category. But here's where it does top the charts: The region has countless, quiet, picturesque, one-lane, rolling and often challenging country roads extending in all directions, and sprinkled with charming villages. The main roads follow the valleys and are sometimes almost flat, but it's easy to find routes that branch off and over steep cols. The roads are in terrific shape; I don't recall a single pothole.

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Cycling the High Pyrenees
by Steven Hill and Rebecca Heald, tour started September 2005, submitted 8 January 2006

Unrelenting switchbacks, beautiful rugged peaks and the history of the Tour de France. 27 photos and movies (movie) by Steven Hill and Rebecca Heald.

The formidable reputation of the French Pyr´n´es is what intrigued me most. That the best cyclists appear to suffer like mere-mortals each year during the most crucial stages of the Tour de France is a sadistic lure of this great mountain range. Of course, I also wanted to check out, first hand, the beautiful, rugged scenery. My quiver of cycling climbs would be incomplete without the legendary Tourmalet, Ausbisque and so many others.

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Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, CA: Cycling amongst immense mountains, deep canyons, and huge trees
by Steven Hill and Rebecca Heald, tour started August 2005, submitted 25 October 2005

Cycling Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

60 photos and movies by Steven Hill and Rebecca Heald.

This past weekend, Rebecca and I participated in a really nice, informal, two-day bicycle tour through the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in the Sierra-Nevada, California. These parks protect some of the most stunning habitats you'll find anywhere. The huge elevational range (1,500' to 14,491') in this region features immense mountains including Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states; huge trees including the General Sherman Sequoia Tree, the largest (by volume) living thing on earth and deep canyons including Kings Canyon which is deeper than the more famous Grand Canyon in Arizona.

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Sequoia and Kings Caynon National Parks, Sierra-Nevada, California