Tours to La Rochelle

Daddy

New Member
Hi,

Can anyone suggest the best and safest route that takes in several stops over a 5 day period. Myself and my wife are on two touring bikes and taking it slowly. The shortest safest possible route is preferred.

Is this about right or are we going out of our way anywhere ?

Day 1 Tours to Rigny Usse approx 42kms
Day 2 Rigny Usse to Moulin2roues approx 42 kms
Day 3 Moulin2roues to Thouars approx 29kms
Day 4 Thouars to Parthenay approx 43 kms
Day 5 Parthenay to Niort 46 kms
Day 6 Train Niort to La Rochelle 65 kms as we need to get flights back on Day 7.

Thanks for any advice offered.
 

Edwardoka

Prolix Maximus
Hi,

Your route looks good and is the same as the one that I would follow, although my itinerary would be different.
Based upon your waypoints I assume that you are already aware of the mostly off-road cycle route called La Vélo Francette that goes from Ouistreham to La Rochelle via Saumur.

Without knowing your fitness or experience level, it's difficult to say how much of a challenge you will find it, but my experience of riding the northern half of La Vélo Francette is that it mainly follows rivers and is therefore mostly flat and well-sheltered, although the route does meander somewhat as a result, and there are climbs when you inevitably have to leave one river to join another, or to go see a point of interest. (Hello, Saumur Castle :B) - still worth it, though)

If you're reasonably fit and capable of riding all day then your distances aren't a big stretch, if you add a few km to each day you could certainly ride the whole way in 6 days without needing the train or a significantly longer one like your day 6.

However, that comes down to accommodation - would you be camping or reliant on hostels/hotels?
 
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slowmotion

Quite dreadful
Location
lost somewhere
We spent a few days on Ile de Re some years ago. It's really close to La Rochelle and has numerous bike paths. It's got a fantastic lighthouse. It may have changed since we went but it could be worth considering if you like islands. There's a bridge connecting it to the mainland. It's very popular at weekends and in school holidays.
 
OP
D

Daddy

New Member
Thanks for replies.

Edwardoka: Would I not at some point on the route I suggested be joining up with La Velo Francette and do you know at what point that would be or are we missing it completely by our suggested route ? Also, day 2 would you suggest going from Rigny Usse to Berrie would be a shorter route than to Mouilin2roues ?
We do some cycling at home not a huge amount. We are almost 60 so taking it easy enough with the bikes. We have cycled parts of the Velodysee. We would not be going through Saumer as this would add to the distance we have to travel. Reasonable accommodation in airb&b where we can is what we intend. We have earmarked reasonable accommodation in Rigny Usse and Moulin2roues. There isnt much between Niort and La Rochelle.

Is the route i suggested relatively safe as i understand that we could be on a lot of shared tracks for both bikes and cars. We are going mid-June.

Slowmotion: have been to Ile De Re - beautiful.
 

Edwardoka

Prolix Maximus
Would I not at some point on the route I suggested be joining up with La Velo Francette and do you know at what point that would be or are we missing it completely by our suggested route ? Also, day 2 would you suggest going from Rigny Usse to Berrie would be a shorter route than to Mouilin2roues ?
Going via Berrie would be a straighter route for making a bee-line to Thouars, but the distance savings are modest - from Rigny-Usse via Berrie to Thouars is 60km by my calculations , versus 66km if going via Moulin2roues.

If you took the Berrie route, you would first meet the route of the Velo Francette at Thouars. If you stay at Moulin2roues, the route of the VF passes right by the door.

We do some cycling at home not a huge amount. We are almost 60 so taking it easy enough with the bikes. We have cycled parts of the Velodysee.

Is the route i suggested relatively safe as i understand that we could be on a lot of shared tracks for both bikes and cars. We are going mid-June.
If you've ridden parts of La Vélodyssée you should be fine!

I don't know the area you'll be riding that well, but all of the back roads I encountered around there were quiet and well-surfaced when I passed through in late May a few years ago and I found the drivers to be both courteous and patient.

A couple of things to be wary of: be careful if using Google Maps cycling directions while out on the bike - I lost count of the number of times it led me up a dead end road or off road onto a path that was not traversible by bike, and La Vélo Francette doesn't seem to be on it.

The other thing to be wary of, if riding quiet rural roads, and which I presume you're already aware of given your experience of travelling in France: priorité à droite!
 
OP
D

Daddy

New Member
Thanks again and for the cycling tips 're Google maps and priorite a droite. So we have no option but to cycle approx 80 kms from Tours on shared roads to get to the Velo Francette at Moulin2roues so glad to hear the roads are quiet enough.
 

Brains

Legendary Member
Location
Greenwich
We did a cycle tour down the Louire a few years back, castle to castle down the river, camping en-route.
We used this place as base camp
http://www.lemoulinfort.com/
which is 500m from the Chateau of Chenonceau
Good location, excellent campsite, English owners.

I'd suggest you use this free app to plan your route
https://cycle.travel/map
(You can save routes which means you can fine tune over time and then share onto mobile phones or paper maps)

I switched the 'campsite option' to 'on', looks like you would be spoilt for choice!
Notice the altitude profile at the bottom


upload_2019-4-26_13-56-50.png
 
OP
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Daddy

New Member
Thanks Brains.

Campsites are an option I didn't think about and yes seems to be big amount at least as far as Niort.

From my opening thread and intended route can I ask is the cycle interesting enough. We are not into visiting chateau's just seeing them from outside is enough for us. We are used to cycling near the coast so am wondering will we get bored cycling all through inland territory.
 

Brains

Legendary Member
Location
Greenwich
There are a number of books about cycling down the Loire.
I'd recommend you get one before you start planning.

The section between Orleans/Blois/Tours/Angers is the most popular.
With multiple side routes to places like Chinon, Azay, etc. most of which follow the rivers

Once you get out of the Loire Valley I think you will find the map is marked "here be dragons"
I believe the land is gentle rolling hills and rural, but I not ridden across it.
 
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