My tips for cycling in France

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Jimmy Doug, 4 Jul 2011.

  1. J1888

    J1888 Über Member

    Really useful thread folks, thank you.

    Looking to cycle from London to Bordeaux in the summer- thinking cycle to Portsmouth, ferry to St Malo or Caen, then down the western side of France to Bordeaux. Don't often do long rides, so will start training now and trying to knock out a few 100km rides per month. Planning to allow 7 days to get there, with no camping involved, just staying at gites etc. Would it be wisest to book in advance for accommodation?

    Also, I'm happy to take a backpack, but will likely need panniers etc, but gonna be hard to fit on my Boardman Team Carbon.

    Would I be better taking my Cannondale Hybrid and attaching panniers, as opposed to buying a touring bike?
     
  2. psmiffy

    psmiffy -

    Location:
    Midlands
    yes
     
  3. J1888

    J1888 Über Member

    Darn, no excuse for a new bike!! Would much rather take the road bike tbh, but guess it just ain't practical.
     
  4. Toemul

    Toemul Regular

    Used a Candice super c saddle bag with support was perfect. Don't forget arse cream also 1l water bottles and sturdier water bottle cages 2 of each were about £15 from Ribble and a couple of tubes of hydration tabs for taste and salts.
     
  5. Poacher

    Poacher Gravitationally challenged member

    Location:
    Nottingham
    Most gite owners would prefer at least a few days occupancy, rather than a single night. Chambres d'hôte are more geared up for overnight stays, but not so great if you want a very early start, unless you're willing to forgo the breakfast you've paid for. There are several chains of quite cheap but OK hotels offering room only terms. As for booking in advance, it depends what part of the summer you're thinking of travelling - in June you'd probably get in somewhere without booking, but in August you may find yourself having to sleep rough!
     
  6. briantrumpet

    briantrumpet Guru

    Location:
    Devon & Die
    I had no problems at the beginning of August going from St Malo to Die: first hotel I tried each night had a room, and costs varied from 25 to 50 euros. I did choose larger towns to stop at though, in case the first choice was full.
     
  7. Toemul

    Toemul Regular

    Went last July but booked from booking.com around this time last year just chose the cheapest accommodation en route or near to route one of which was a pre erected tent and another a hostel in Toulouse neither of which gave a great sleep which after long days in saddle isn't great which leads me onto next thing, don't under estimate distances which to be fair I was warned of on here add 20 or 30% to Google map distances made the last hour of each day a real challenge. Best thing I've ever done will dit again.
     
  8. briantrumpet

    briantrumpet Guru

    Location:
    Devon & Die
    Yes, agree re the last hour. Most of my days were over 100 miles, which wouldn't be too taxing for me, but with lower-than-expected average speeds, and high daytime temperatures, one or two days were long and hard.
     
  9. Toemul

    Toemul Regular

    Holy chit 100 miles that is awsum. With exception of day 4 which I cut short due to knackardness I averaged 75 miles per day, would have preferred 60 miles that Google maps said it wold be ^_^which would have given me a hour or so more a day to look at places I was cycling through.:bicycle:
     
  10. J1888

    J1888 Über Member

    Jeez louise - 75 miles will be a struggle for me, starting to get my miles up - did 20 miles yesterday albeit on the Lee Valley road track. Might take a few cycles down to Brighton or maybe even Portsmouth go get the miles in.
     
  11. Toemul

    Toemul Regular

    Was a little too far for me really. my original plan was Caen to Barcelona over 8 days then after advice on here decided to shorten the distance with a train journey form Limoges to Toulouse then continue on from there but as I said was knackered on day four so got a train from Montmorillon to the Limoges train, on Google maps this whole journey is 450 miles in real world it was 550 miles.
     
  12. briantrumpet

    briantrumpet Guru

    Location:
    Devon & Die
    It was mostly an awesome route. Two days from Exeter to Portsmouth, then five days from St Malo to Die: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/1441823
     
    Last edited: 5 Feb 2017
    Donger likes this.
  13. Toemul

    Toemul Regular

    Yep top route and as I said the mileage is awsum.
     
  14. Toemul

    Toemul Regular

    Didn't do much in the way of training just my 12miles daily commute and a couple of 40 milers to get used to the new handle bar set up on the hybrid.
     
  15. Winnershsaint

    Winnershsaint Veteran

    Does anyone know if it is possible to put a bike on a cable car? I have been doing a bit of route planning for our trip to France at the end of June and thought it would be something a bit different to ride up to Les Deux Alpes and then take the cable car to Venosc and ride alonng the D530 back to Bourg d'Oisans.
     
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