Department Du Gard – Route D169 to D153, Mountain Loop, Lauret, France

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First, let me apologies for the low quality of photos, I had planned a pretty big climbing day and decided at the last minute to leave my heavy camera and lens at home. It was a blast from the past, shooting with the iPhone. Today’s ride started up the amazing warm up climb, good thing as the November temperatures have set in here in Southern France and todays low temperature was about 40 degrees.

I had been planning today’s ride for several days, it’s one of the bigger rides I have done in France and required a solid 4 hours of turning the peddles pretty hard. I headed almost due north through this town of Pompignan, headed for the mountains off to the left. These mountains are known in France as the Massif Central. Learn more about this region here. Essentially, its a lesser known mountainous region which is pretty remote by French standards.

But first, a couple shots of the rail trail viaduct which I did a few days before, this time shot from below.

Almost immediately after passing under the viaduct in Saint-Hippolyte-du-Fort, things started to climb and the road started getting good, real good.! This is the D169.


Climb, climb, climb. This was one of the biggest climbs I have done in a while… The D169 gave way to the D153 which had intersected a few kilometers before this little village. (Ville de Bourras)

Zero cars, amazing views, narrow smooth roads and a big climb!!!

There is my summit, over this saddle, I still have a ways to go.

This is close to the top.

Right at the top, this is Saint-Roman-de-Codieres.

What followed next was a tail wagging decent, finally after about 20 minutes, I stopped and shot a photo. It was a chilly decent, the temperature was right around 50 degrees but the adrenaline was pumping and kept me warm.

At the bottom of the decent, in the town of Sumene, I expected to be on a busy road down into Ganges. But no!!! Rail to trail!!!!

This trail hung above the river, valley, and busy road, much like Highway 55 and the railway from Horseshoe Bend to Cascade.

Looking back at one of the viaducts along the way, you can see the road below. It was like a different world up here!

Finally, approaching the end of the rail trail with Ganges on the right.

Closing my loop back to Lauret, familiar roads along the River Herault.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from today’s ride, what I got was one of the top rides of my life, one I will remember forever!

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