The Black Mountain Challenge Ride

This is a one-way ride with a train back to St Antonin.  It’s a very big day out and you’ll be getting back late, but it gives a real sense of travelling across France and you’ll see lots of different landscapes.

The day starts with a ride across the Gaillac vineyards in a landscape that’s classically French.  Crossing the Tarn river the vineyards fizzle out and you’ll be rolling through beautiful villages on deserted roads.  Before long the Black mountains come into view looking like a wall across the horizon. They’re little visited because, in this part of France, the Pyrenees steal the limelight, but they make for a fantastic destination and you can expect to have the mountain roads to yourself. 

The route passes the highest point of the range, the Pic Nore at 1211m which is all a bit Mt Ventoux with views to match. Then there’s the spectacular descent down from the summit and through the Orbiel gorge leading to the dry, flat valley near Carcassonne. Then we’ll ride through more vineyards to the village station at Bram for the train back.