April 22, 2009 - 5.0
This has got to rate as one of the most scenic spectacular rides in France. You leave the old ruined chateau of Usson on the D118 between Axat and Formigueres and turn toward Ax les Thermes on the D16 you pass through 2 villages (Rouze and Mijanes) before the real climb starts outside mijanes on the D25 is a sign informing you if the col is open or not so take heed. You progress upward past a ski slope and hit a set of twisties that are extreme to say the least if there is cloud on the col go slowly but at the top the views are unsurpassed the col is at 2001metres (over 6,000 feet) one continues toward ax les thermes on the D25 down past another ski slope to Ascou and then Ax itself where there is a good bar and restaurant underneath the casino in the town center where you can also park your bike. This is not a route for thrashers but connoisseurs of incredible scenery and mountains. The roads are not difficult and well surfaced but one easily can loose track of whether one is going up or down until you need the brakes so some parts of the route need respect.