route finding in france,any tips ?

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by prjw, 12 Jun 2008.

  1. prjw

    prjw New Member

    I am Going from north to south france next week camping along the way, First timer Old timer. Stuck a bit on how to get from Redon in Brittany to the Atlantic coast south of Nantes/St Nazaire. I,ve looked at various publications and websites but not really sure which way to go. Not really looking for anything too tough at this point but want to avoid the big towns. Any advice welcome thanks.
  2. yello

    yello Legendary Member

    Buy a map and make it up as you go along?

    Seriously, the best of times can be had by following your nose and not being led by the tourist guides. For me, cycle touring is best when you don't have too strict an agenda... but I do appreciate a bit of 'A to B' is needed too sometimes.
  3. OP

    prjw New Member

    will do,thanks
  4. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    I agree. I used a 1:200,000 map and followed as many white roads as possible and generally that worked perfectly!!! Try to make sure you pass a boulangerie as early as possible in the mornings for pain au chocolat!! Have an amazing time...France is wonderful
  5. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Meanwood, Leeds
    I used pages from a motoring atlas combines with a CTC route to plot my own version of a Channel to Med ride.

    Do take advantage of boulangeries in the morning and patisseries in the afternoon. Many campsites have arrangements with the local boulangerie and croissants and pain au chocolat are often delivered to the camp sites.

  6. yello

    yello Legendary Member

    Mmmm indeed! No better way to start the day than with a pain au chocolat! Keep in mind though that the bread delivery might not be until after 10ish... you could have been on your bike for a couple of hours by that time! Nothing to stop you visiting a boulangerie on-route though, for an early eleven-ziz (sp??)!

    Some cafes will have a stock of fresh croissants etc but don't rely on it. I could never work out why, when the cake and pastries are so good in France and the coffee is descent too, that cafes dont sell coffee AND cake. Must be some by-law or some such (of which there are a plethora) preventing it! I once bought a cake at a patisserie to have with my coffee and the cafe owner told me in no uncertain terms that I was NOT to eat it at his cafe! I was going to ask first but he saw the bag on the table and put me straight before I could even speak!

    Prjw, I cycled up the Atlantic coast a few years back. Very flat, effortless cycling. There was a decent cycle track for mile after mile.... a real delight at the time, I hope it's still like that. I headed inland from Les Sables-d'Olonne so can't make any personal suggestions for your route. Enjoy!
  7. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    So did I, and I tore out the relevant pages and took them instead of heavy maps. It might have been your idea, Vernon, but it worked really well.
  8. ju5t1n

    ju5t1n Well-Known Member

  9. OP

    prjw New Member

    Well, dear me! I ask about a route and I get a menu! I'm not sure that I can follow my nose as well as this. however, I am grateful for the advice and salivating at the prospect.
  10. Stick on a Giant

    Stick on a Giant New Member

    Having just got back from my first tour, one suggestion I would make is to write down your route for the day, showing roads and towns to be followed. If you can put this in a map-holder, it saves ages over looking at a map and trying to remember where you're planning on going, especially if you're following the smaller roads. Even when the maps visible, you can't always see all of the route, or remember it all.
  11. Dougster

    Dougster New Member

    I'm thinking of doing this because I need my specs on to read a map so this would involve stopping, taking off my cycling glasses and putting on my reading glasses. I'll write out the route in large print so that I can read it. I'll look at the map over my breakfast cuppa before I set off.
  12. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Meanwood, Leeds
    Glad you found it useful. I can not claim the idea as my own. It's an oft used method by LEJOG anf JOGLE riders. By extension I found it useful for France too. The savings over using IGN maps leaves ample funds for pains au chocolat and croissants with the occasional indulgence at the premises of an artisan pattisier.
  13. Fietslogies

    Fietslogies Well-Known Member

    French map with green ways and cycle routes

    The website of the 'Association Française de développement des Véloroutes et Voies Vertes' shows on their website a clickable map with parts of what has to become one day a complete cycle network.

    Especially Bretagne, Normandie, the Atlantic coast and the region neighbouring Germany have a lot of green ways and cycle routes to offer.
  14. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    Strange! I bought a couple (or four) croissants in a boulangerie in Nimes, and after asking the proprietor in the bar next door, was able to eat them without a problem, after having ordered a large black coffee and even larger brandy.
  15. yello

    yello Legendary Member

    Luck of the draw I guess Dayvo. Or maybe they didn't want to upset you since one large brandy might lead to another.... and another!
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