French road restrictions for cyclists

redfox

New Member
Location
Bourne End, UK
Pretty much, but be careful the occasional D (departmental) road will be for motorised traffic only (blue circular sign with a picture of a car in white). I rode on one of these by accident once and the other road users were very keen to let me know I shouldn't.

Strangely I have yet to encounter an N (national) road that did not permit cycling although they are not much fun at all. Like a busy A road with loads of arctics on cos locals wont pay to use the motorway ("those are just for tourists!")

It is worth finding trying to find a route that uses mainly C and small D roads. They are nearly always beautifully smooth, completely peaceful and go through all the charming villages.

Your main problem will be that, when you get back to England you will become truly angry about the state of our roads by comparison!
 

will

Senior Member
redfox's advice is right on target.

N (national) roads are virtually always to be seriously avoided. C roads are almost always quiet and D roads it depends.

you will become truly angry about the state of our roads by comparison!
In switzerland people joke about how bad the roads are in france (in comparison)
 

redfox

New Member
Location
Bourne End, UK
will said:
In switzerland people joke about how bad the roads are in france (in comparison)
True, but I don't find the motorists so considerate in Switzerland. France is still the best country for cycling on the road in my experience.
 

vernon

Harder than Ronnie Pickering
Location
Meanwood, Leeds
Bigtallfatbloke said:
...is it the same as over here? I mean can i ride on any road except a motorway legally?:tongue:
Yes with the addition of the roads described by another poster. You also need to beware of well intentioned locals who attempt to tell you that the red roads on your map are also prohibited to cyclists like the one I encountered in Lyon.

In fact if you can, avoid riding through Lyon, it's a great city but has a very complex urban inner ring road. It's about the only place where a GPS would have been useful on my ride to the Med.
 

xilios

Veteran
Location
Maastricht, NL
redfox said:
Pretty much, but be careful the occasional D (departmental) road will be for motorised traffic only (blue circular sign with a picture of a car in white). I rode on one of these by accident once and the other road users were very keen to let me know I shouldn't.
quote]

Same here, my wife and I got escorted by two motorcycle police man off a dual carriegeway.
We had gotten a bit lost and needed to cross the Viaduc du Lignon Longueur for a couple kms to get back on track. We did make it across but paid for it with a nasty climb in the midday sun afterwards.
 
OP
Bigtallfatbloke

Bigtallfatbloke

New Member
A good idea before for planning is get michelin *local* maps for the regions you are interested in like this one:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pas-de-Calai...9546754&sr=8-3


These will also have very basic cycle routes marked on them as well, which I'd be quite biased towards following when possible
these look useful. I couldnt find anywhere to see an example of the actual map though to get an idea of how detailed they actually are. They are certainly a lot cheaper than many other options.
 

TheDoctor

Resistance is futile!
Moderator
Location
Stevenage
Bigtallfatbloke said:
these look useful. I couldnt find anywhere to see an example of the actual map though to get an idea of how detailed they actually are. They are certainly a lot cheaper than many other options.
Your local WHSmiths or Waterstones will probably have them.
Other bookshops are available.:biggrin:
 

mcd

Well-Known Member
Cathryn said:
I cycled on the motorway in France once...but by accident. Got escorted off by a man in a van with Dad, me and the tandem in his van!!!
Me too - in Geneva I followed green signposts onto what looked like a dual carriageway. But after the swiss-french border, same road, but the signs were now blue! :biggrin: :wacko:

Scrambled down a bank to a normal road before the motorway joined the main road between Lyon & Milan.
 

snorri

Legendary Member
User said:
You should try Belgium or Holland... they're even better than France.
I met several Brits in France who raved about the place, which I really could not understand until they eventually admitted they had never cycled anywhere else, other than England.:wacko:
 

Abitrary

New Member
Bigtallfatbloke said:
these look useful. I couldnt find anywhere to see an example of the actual map though to get an idea of how detailed they actually are. They are certainly a lot cheaper than many other options.
Like this (I typed 'michelin local maps' into google images). Can't see any specific cycle routes (thin red lines) here, but bear in mind you don't get them everywhere. However, I'd imagine any map / region where you do see lots of them will be a nice place to cycle.

http://www.lamare-brittany.com/location.htm

Also, most biggish towns will have local cycle routes at the tourist information office.
 
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