There's Never A Typical Week At VP

Lee Parish, 14th August 2017

On a visit to Velo Pyrenees, you never know who you may meet. The dinner table has become an important place for us where everyone comes together at the end of the day to relax and eat as a family, sharing the day's adventures, making plans for the next day, laughing, learning and forging new friendships. Many times, guests keep in touch and meet up again on the other side of the world to share a ride!

People at the dinner table

From front left to back we have Michelle, an Aussie living in Paris, working as a research scientist. Nathan Futo, a UK based musician, composer and teacher. Andrés Hoyos-Gomez , a Columbian now working in Paris with his own collaborative coffee roasting venture called The Beans On Fire.

From front right to back: Dave Cassidy, working in the UK energy sector, also likes jumping into ditches on his bike (just kidding, he only does it in the Pyrenees). James Hey, a consultant chemical engineer. Finally but not least, Viktorija Gecyte who is a Lithuanian jazz singer in Paris, with an international reputation.

Swimming in the lake above Port de Bales

After 25km of cycling uphill to the summit of Port de Bales, turn right to traverse the mountainside for 5km and you'll reach the singletrack that brings you to Lac Borderes where Viktorija enjoyed a refreshing high altitude swim.

Landscape above Port de Bales

From the fresh air above Port de Bales, enjoying the views from the Port de Pierrefite, Viktorija and Andrés descend back home to Velo Pyrenees for a fresh salad of local ingredients from the garden and sheeps cheese from Samuran, 4km away.

Food at Velo Pyrenees

Meanwhile, Nathan, Dave and James had a stellar day riding Port de Bales (1,755m), adding on Superbagneres (1,800m) and (!) Hospice de France (1,380m) totaling a very respectable 127km ride with 3,260m of climbing. Nathan Enjoyed a Chimay atop Superbagneres - could that be his secret?

Landscape from Superbagneres

While Nathan rides all day, we managed to find a neighbour with a guitar to borrow. "Broken" she said whilst frantically attacking it with a broom to brush the cobwebs, "Not been used in 3 years, but have it as decoration!" With things still living inside, James tunes it in minutes while Nathan rehydrates himself. Greater than a pro, Nathan never complained or judged the guitar.

Wrapped in a blanket as the night temperatures drop, not forgetting the swim in ice cold waters from a high altitude swim only a few hours earlier, Viktorija sings for us. Her voice is amazing and very beautiful, even when tired from an epic day, a 3 course meal and wine.

James was finally persuaded in the shadow of Viktorija to play something. I think his talent took us all by surprise. He too has a great voice. He added that he has not practiced for some time but we all really enjoyed his style.

Thank you all for visiting us, for the music, the opening of your hearts and finally to Andrés for his generosity, bringing with him fresh coffee beans roasted by his own hands!

The coffee beans

If you love coffee and cycling, visit The Beans On Fire website to learn more.

Portrait of Andres Hoyos-Gomez

Andrés Hoyos-Gomez - a Columbian cyclist in the Pyrenees who roasts coffee beans in Paris.

For more videos from Velo Pyrenees, cycling or music from Nathan and Viktorija go to the VP channel on Vimeo here.