I did this road last summer (2010) from South to North. It starts off OK, but when you start to lose altitude just past Puyvalador it becomes nightmarish. It's very steep, the road very narrow, the surface bumpy with patches of tar melting all over the place. To add to the fun you'll find lumps of rock lying in the road too. Once in the valley it doesn't improve much, though at least there's no weight on your wrists. The Gorges St Georges is stunningly beautiful, but it's not my favourite road. Can you guess?
Very good and interesting road.
Your feelings for this road will very much depend on the mood youre in when you ride it, and what kind of bike you ride. Its a long bumpy 39 mile riot if youre going for it, non stop action from start to finish but you have to concentrate every second. Youll be knackered after a rip down this one. I did it on a little CBF600 (demo bike from a dealer) and made life very difficult for all the sports bikes trying to follow me (about 12 of them). Highly recommended if you really want to test yourself without needing to do silly speeds. If you just want a potter the views should be spectacular (didnt have time to look but some at the back did). I dare you to give it a go.
From Axat the road passes through some spectacular gorges then follows the bottom of the valley with tight right hand bends and fairly open left hand bends, the surface is fairly bumpy so if ridden quickly makes it quite challenging. Keep an eye open for a petrol station on the left after about 20kms it is also a restaurant and trout farm, you can either fish your own trout or catch one in a net, either way 8 minutes later it is on your plate cooked! the corn fed chicken and chips is also excellent. About 10 k later you start to go seriously uphill and the roads eventually open out and you end up near the ski slopes. Make sure you stop opposite mont louis airfield the view of the canigou and the pyrenees is breathtaking. See video for more of an idea.
Col de Quillane
Col de Quilan
Gorges of St Georges