Our Gravel Adventures are rewarding and restorative experiences. If you’re eager to explore beyond the tarmac, eat great food and drink beer with a group of mates or like-minded people, they’re perfect for you.
You’re in control; stay on site at Zero Neuf and shred our local gravel self-supported, our local ride leaders can introduce you to areas only those with inside knowledge know or you can venture further afield on one of our Bikepacking Adventures.
You can ride a seemingly endless amount of adventurous terrain; from flat trails alongside rivers and on disused railway lines, rolling double track through vineyards and open farmland or incredible single track in ancient woodland where deer and boar roam. You can also ride into the wilderness high up in the Pyrénées.
Our partnership with Komoot means it’s easy for you take a gpx file and ride self-guided or use Zero Neuf as a base before embarking on a self-supported bikepacking adventure.
When you’re off the bike you can kick back at Zero Neuf. Eat and drink in Café Zero Neuf, snooze in a hammock, take a dip in our saltwater pool or wild swim in the river at the bottom of our garden.
LOCATION: ZERO NEUF DURATION: 4 NIGHTS AVG DAILY DISTANCE: 55KM AVG ELEVATION: 1000M DIFFICULTY: 3/5
We’ll collect you from Toulouse / Carcassonne airport and once you’re settled at Zero Neuf and your bike has been set-up, we’ll head out for our first ride. It’ll be a short spin to stretch the legs and give you a small taste of what this place is all about. It’ll then be time for apéro and dinner.
BOIS DE RABOTE
We head due south, straight onto double track, the River L’Hers running alongside us and the Pyrénées in full blown glory at the head of the valley. The farmland we’re traversing changes with the seasons, bright yellow colza flowers in May, sunflowers in July whilst deer and boar roam in November. Next up, it’s the Col de la Croix, a 550m ascent of dressed tarmac and dusty double track before the final push through the scrub forest on rocky single track. The descent offers single track, incredible views of the surrounding foothills and high mountains plus some insane double track; steep and twisty, rutted and stony, fast and enthralling. We climb up to the 450m Mont St Jacques next and a 3km ridge of fast single track follows before the drop back down to the valley floor and the shred for home.
The GR or Grand Randonnée is an immense European wide network of long distance walking trails; the good news is they also provide amazing gravel and bike-packing routes! One such route, the GR78 or ‘Sentier de Piemont’ an old pilgrims’ way from Carcassonne to Lourdes, runs right next to Zero Neuf. It takes us south east through woodland and meadow with BIG views and loads of flying single track and primitive roads cut out by local huntsmen. Onto Mirepoix and a beer in this wonderful medieval bastide town before we pick up one of the old railway lines that once brought people to the region’s long gone textile factories and steelworks. They are now fast, hard packed gravel trails that pass through tunnels and alongside ancient station houses. This loop has everything: technical single track, fast double track, a necropolis, lakes, rivers, ancient medieval towns and châteaux and mid-ride river dipping.
THE MINI GRAND TRAVERSE
No gravel adventure to this wonderful region would be complete without a foray into the high mountains. We go about things a little differently and to get there, we’ll ride from Zero Neuf to Pamiers and pick up a train to Ax-Les-Thermes. This thermal spa town (complete with pools of hot sulphurous water) sits at 720m and from here we’ll climb up to 1600m (the day’s high point) on a mixture of tarmac, single and double track, logging routes and mountain pasture. The refuge at the top of the Col de Chioula is our first target and lunch stop – the views are off the scale. The next section of the route takes us on a glorious stretch of xxxx seemingly carved out of the mountain side before we descend on hard packed gravel; it’s fast and the stoke level is HIGH. The Plateau de Sault is up next – wild flowers fill the meadows in Summer and vultures soar on thermals. What comes next is arguably the most breath-taking stretch of the route: the Gorge de la Frau is a 3km long, 400m high canyon – we ride along the bottom of it. It is bonkers. From here we’re back onto the vast network of old railway lines and some top single track fun before a post ride river swim at Zero Neuf.
TERRAIN: HIGH MOUNTAINS
Routes are subject to change – they can be extended in length or shortened due to weather conditions / the ability of the group. With two ride leaders (per group of 8) we also have the option to split groups depending on ability.
Our local ride leaders can introduce you to parts of the region only those with inside knowledge know and they’ll ensure you get the very best from your time on the bike.
Looking for something different
Let us create a tailor made itinerary for you and your family or friends, your team or your colleagues and clients. Using our insider knowledge of the region’s best spots.
ZeroNeuf Road Adventures are four-night trips loaded with fabulous cycling and great food; they’re perfect for busy people in need of escape.