Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Jimmy Doug, 4 Jul 2011.
English is a very loose term when applied to some of the commentators
Interesting to note from @glenn forger 's photo that the French for "bikefitting" is, er, "bikefitting". Doubtful whether the Academie Francaise would approve!
I have only been into French bike shops for things that are obviously broken - wheel sans rim the guy immediately grasped the situation (a bit lucky actually - I had lost the rear rim on a Saturday morning before lunch - quite exciting on a heavy bike going down a little hill with the wheel locking up - stripped the tyre off and rode it on the rim the 15km to the nearest little town where I thought maybe there might be a bike shop - met the bike shop owner going for his lunch and asked him where the nearest velo shop was - he closed for the weekend at lunch but told me to wait outside the shop at 2 heures and he would come back - only had one wheel that was suitable - and no cassettes - we struggled to get the cassette off but all was well - tyre back on and I was on my way rejoicing )
Possibly a daft question. My previous touring has always been of the credit card variety. I have toured France for up to 12 days at a time.
Next summer I plan to tour with a tent. It seems to me sleeping in a tent could be quite hot as one hits the Dordogne and further south.
Am I right and do people have solutions?
I couldn't sleep in a tent where I am right now. It's been that way for most of the last eight weeks too, with at least another four to come. Maybe if you camped by a river though or those posh campsites with swimming pools. The Ardeche is good for both.
I've cycle toured in Greece, Spain and Italy (and the south of France also) and never really had problems with tents and heat. I just make sure I get to the camp site fairly early in order to have a choice of where to put the tent and pitch in the best shade possible. Tents do get hot very quickly, but they cool down very quickly too. It isn't exactly an air-conditioned hotel room, but just so long as you have a light sleeping bag (or even just a sleeping bag inner) it's not too bad.
If you want to chill the wine/beer you've just bought at the supermarket, just ask nicely at the fish counter and they'll happily give you a carrier bag of crushed ice for nothing.
Excellent tip! I didn't know this.
I'd be too scared to ask anything of the battleaxe that runs my local Intermarche fish counter.
One thing to watch out for is the new law where every second vehicle has to be driven by someone who's also on the phone. Every third they're on the phone & smoking a fag.
If you are now in St Remy (you lucky, lucky Goggs), you could take your custom elsewhere. There is an alternative to Intermarché, non?
Actually I do. I tend to go to, the SuperU Graveson.
A first for me in France - I was given the finger - now I wouldn't have minded if I had been doing something stupid, but I merely held my hand out to a driver overtaking directly towards me, when I had no bike space to escape to. I suppose he thought that 50cm at a closing speed of 60mph was more than enough.
To be fair, French drivers down in the south east aren't generally actively aggressive towards cyclists, but you do need to keep your wits about you on a few main roads, as many drivers don't expect to have to slow down and wait to pass you. I'd never risk 'taking the lane'.
Incidentally, changing the subject, re nights and tents/camping, for the whole of August in my part of France, the temperature difference between night and day was about 20C this year, and I've known it to be 25C - the air holds little warmth, as it's not humid, generally, and once the sun sets the temperatures fall off noticeably from about 10pm.
I've more or less given up on Intermarché too, and similarly prefer U Express.
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