N°6 The river Sorgues banks
Most parts of this circuit follow the contour lines along the river, yet a few passages on limestone slabs require a little more technique and remind us that we ride on a Mountain Biking circuit, not a Hybrid bicycle one. When arriving to Lapeyre the path is fringed with springs, some of which are petrifying and make it often wet or muddy.
2 points of interest
Pont vieux in Lapeyre
This Pont Vieux dates back to the 13th century. According to the archives of the Vabres bishopric, the Lapeyre, Saint-Affrique and Vabres Ponts Vieux would have been commissioned concurrently to the same contractor. The Lapeyre Pont Vieux displays a very elegant line with its single semicircular arch which enables an outstandingly effective drainage of the river flow even in case of the river flooding. The bridge deck provides well preserved medieval features: pebble paving and a row of bollards used to protect parapets from the bumping of carts.
- History and heritage
Village of Lapeyre
This village was controlled by the Templars Commandery during the 12th century and has kept much of its medieval architecture with its old houses clustered around the Tower. There is also the tombstone of Médora Leig, a daughter of the English poet Lord Byron which you can visit in the graveyard.
This circuit is meant to be a family trail.
First circle the “Tour de ville” which is the local name for the 3 boulevards (Verdun – Aristide Briand – Carnot). Just before the Centenaire bridge which is also called “Pont des Frères”, take the turning to your right which leads towards Vendeloves (1st signpost).
- When you reach the first crossroads “Croix Sainte-Anne”, take the turning to your left and cycle through the housing estate, you will then reach the left river bank. Carry on along the bank of the river to Vendeloves.
- Cycle through Colombiers farm (go slowly) following the trail down to Guilhaumet farm, and then on to a shady path which leads you to the Pont Vieux of Lapeyre.
- Cross the bridge and cycle through the village passing in front of the church, then take the road to Gissac.
- Just after the Pont Neuf, take the track on the right hand side of the river which leads you to a cave on the river bank When you reach the Pont Vieux you return back to Saint-Affrique by the way you came.
- Departure : Saint-Affrique
- Arrival : Saint-Affrique
- Towns crossed : Saint-Affrique and Versols-et-Lapeyre
Box tree moths are active from May to October. During the caterpillar phase, they feed on the leaves of box trees. They crawl down trees and move on long silken threads, although these threads are annoying when hiking they do not pose any health risk
Saint-Affrique Tourist Office
Boulevard Aristide Briand, 12400 Saint-Affrique
The Tourism Office is open all year round, the opening hours are:
·July and august:
From Monday to Saturday: 9h – 13h & 15h – 19h
Sunday: 9h – 13h
·From September to June:
From Tuesday to Saturday: 9h – 13h & 14h – 17h
Closed: Sundays, Mondays and bank holidays
From November to April, the office is also closed on Saturday afternoon.
Access and parking
Saint-Affrique is situated 31 km South West from Millau via the D992 and D999 roads. When driving from Clermont-Ferrand or Montpellier via the A75, take exit n°46, then follow the road D999 up to Saint-Affrique. From Toulouse/Albi follow the road D999 up to Saint-Affrique.
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