Velodyssee Roscoff to Nantes - by Brompton??

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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Velodyssee Roscoff to Nantes - by Brompton??

Postby MaccPaddler » 10 Feb 2019, 4:54pm

Planning a trip to France in June. We will be hopping about the country by a combination of modes of transport so our 700c tourers are not feasible, but using our Bromptons would make all transport problems vanish in a trice.

We are thinking about gentle touring - maximum ~70km per day.

Please can anyone provide info about the quality of the surfaces of EV1 from Roscoff to Nantes?

Are the green ways and canal path OK for Bromptons?

My French guidebook mentions that some surfaces are tarmac, but that others are stony. How stony - rideable by Brompton stony, or rideable by gravel bike/tourer/MTB stony? My wife is not a hardy cyclist and turns pale and walks on rocky tracks like those along the Great Glen way.

Thanks for any insights.

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Re: Velodyssee Roscoff to Nantes - by Brompton??

Postby dodger » 10 Feb 2019, 9:03pm

The only rough section I encountered was from Redon to Nantes. Not so good on a large wheel bike, even less so on a Brompton. But, the surfaces are regularly upgraded, so maybe now it's fine.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Velodyssee Roscoff to Nantes - by Brompton??

Postby Tangled Metal » 10 Feb 2019, 10:03pm

We didn't do much of it in the end. It was a bit too far each day for our son. We had a followme-tandem but he got a new bike with qr axle so couldn't use it. Only realised it in Plymouth getting ready for the ferry.

The first bit out of roscoff is a bit of gravel / rocky path that soon becomes road. Very undulating and a bit tough if you're doing a lot of miles I reckon. We ended up taking trains with the bikes (one was a recumbent). IMHO taking full sized bikes on trains (ter ones) is a doddle. Cheap fares too.

A few other sections we did were on tracks, a bit gravelly. 26" wheels no problem. My son on 20" no problem. My recumbent on 20"/26" no problem.

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Re: Velodyssee Roscoff to Nantes - by Brompton??

Postby HobbesOnTour » 11 Feb 2019, 9:07am

I joined the EV1 in Morlaix and went south a few years ago.
I can't recall the specifics of the sections, apart from after Nantes the surfaces were more consistently better. The section to Nantes was more inconsistent

I'm sure you've seen this:

In terms of surface and quality. I recall specifically cycling along a canal where the path was little more than about 10-12 inches wide with grass growing nice and high on both sides. I thought it was fun. A wet day and the mud would have been more challenging.
I travelled in April and the weather was erratic. There were sections that I recall from my initial research that were "sensitive" to the weather. But June probably won't be too much of an issue.

I met regularly with a guy on a recumbent who was travelling the same way and he would occasionally complain about "difficult" cycling conditions. Mind you, he complained about everything! :D

If you're not obsessed with big distances I'd be pretty sure it's not just doable, but enjoyable. The worst case if your wife is uncomfortable is to turn around and grab some public transport to the next section.

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Re: Velodyssee Roscoff to Nantes - by Brompton??

Postby MrsHJ » 11 Feb 2019, 10:24am

I don’t know Roscof to carhaix Plouger (I was with the kids and we ran out of time so taxied that section) but after that the canal is fine to Redon. The roads from roscof to Nantes are ok but I haven’t tried the canal for that section.

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Re: Velodyssee Roscoff to Nantes - by Brompton??

Postby MaccPaddler » 12 Feb 2019, 2:38pm

Thanks for the comments. Nobody has dissuaded us from trying the route on Bromptons.

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Re: Velodyssee Roscoff to Nantes - by Brompton??

Postby bretonbikes » 18 Feb 2019, 12:20pm

MaccPaddler wrote:Thanks for the comments. Nobody has dissuaded us from trying the route on Bromptons.

Obviously know the route and area well. The canal sections are pretty good in most places being sort of beaten earth/cinder - it's better than tarmac as with the usual trees along the canal the routes break up tarmac pretty quickly. If it's wet you'll get covered so make sure you've mudguards but is dry (and it probably will be) the surface is pretty fast. You'll come across certain sections (around Glomel for example) where work has been done and the surface has rather more hardcore than cinder and can be quite dodgy, but it's a beautiful section to walk anyway;-)

Also be aware that some sections e.g. Carhaix to Gouarec - can have very little in the way of watering holes (if the bar at Glomel/Creherer is closed there's none) without leaving the canal and so be prepared to carry water and food. We got caught out 30 years ago and things haven't improved much. From Gouarec on things get a little more easy with stops every 20 km or so.

The section from Morlaix to Carhaix can be a little more problematic as it can be both muddy and a bit steep - Kate (SWMBO) walked some sections on her 700c tourer so a Brompton will have to take care. If it gets a bit much the main road running nearly parallel is a lovely quiet ride and much faster (D769) - worth the short detour to Huelgoat and the restaurant 'Le Relais de Diane' right on the cyclepath at Plounevezel is NOT TO BE MISSED!!!

BUT - it's gorgeous, varied and you will have an absolute ball - feel free to call in at our campsite at Gouarec for a beer.

Please U2U if you want any help

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Re: Velodyssee Roscoff to Nantes - by Brompton??

Postby truckturner » 18 Feb 2019, 6:52pm

MaccPaddler wrote:Thanks for the comments. Nobody has dissuaded us from trying the route on Bromptons.

I have ridden extensively in France and regularly on a Brompton. I am planning a tour of France using the Brompton with the same 20kgs of luggage and full camping kit that I carry on my tourer. I have found the roads/cycle routes in France far better surfaced than English ones and you can always find a D or C road running parallel to the EV or canal track if the going gets that rough and you can catch a bus to avoid if you want. . The reason I use my Brompton is so that I can fly easily with it or put it on Eurostar without hassle. I like to be flexible on tour. Usually after 3 days of riding I don't really notice that much difference compared with my tourer. However I am not looking to break any records and I am never in a hurry averaging less than 35 miles a day and about 12-15kph when touring. 70k would be feasible. Don't let anyone put you off touring on a Brompton plenty of people did this to me. However, it all changed when I bought this book. Look at some of the terrain he has crossed on a heavily loaded Brompton which he used for 9 years.
Also try this link ... asics.html

There are other links also some on the Brompton site itself.

For credit card touring I get everything in a front bag and for this I prefer Radical Designs C bag. For full touring I use a Carradice waterproof front bag ugly but cheap., A Barley saddlebag reversed on the handlebars a Camper Longflap on the seat and the tent strapped to the rack. A couple of Alpkit food type bags on the handlebars. A popular way is to strap a rucksack to the rear rack but I was never happy with this and if I had £800 I would use a Radical Designs Trailer. I got rid of the standard pedals and use MKS. Standard pedals can be an issue more the fixed pedal, and if you can afford it buy MKS Easy. However they are not big enough for me and I use Lambada's. Removing pedals is only an issue on a plane usually. Take 2 spare tyres and 4 tubes (for 2) and Brake Blocks. A Brompton is the only bike I ever tour on and take spokes also. Get the bike checked or serviced before you go normally the front wheel bearings are like grinding pepper. However they are tough little bikes as witnessed by the abuse dished out by commuters. and as I keep reminding people they are a proper bike and not a toy. Go for it and make sure you visit Breton Bikes at Gourec Geoff is a mine of information and he would be interested in your trip Cheers Peter

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Re: Velodyssee Roscoff to Nantes - by Brompton??

Postby Thehairs1970 » 19 Feb 2019, 2:25pm

Totally agree with bretonbikes re the section from Morlaix to Carhaix. We did it last summer and it was slow due to some rain. You also can't see much as it is so wooded. We swapped after day 1 onto roads. The minor roads were empty but we even spent some time on a major road where we were treated with the utmost courtesy. A lorry following us uphill sat and waited until he could give us the full lanes width before he overtook. If I did it again, I'd use the roads from the off.