Going to France in a few weeks...

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
old_skooler
Posts: 15
Joined: 18 Jun 2019, 10:39pm

Going to France in a few weeks...

Postby old_skooler » 20 Jul 2019, 1:25pm

Hi.

I am off to France in a few weeks for my first foreign tour and I've only plotted a part of the route. The tour will be open ended i.e. two week to a month. At first I had planned a route to Paris from Calais in order to stay in Paris in an Airbnb for a few nights and then carry on in order to join La Loire à Vélo and come back on myself via the coast. But now I am thinking of trying to ride to south coast and then get a train back to Paris, spend a few night there and then ride back to Calais either via the L'Avenue Verte or another way.

Can anyone recommend some nice routes?

Jdsk
Posts: 34
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Going to France in a few weeks...

Postby Jdsk » 20 Jul 2019, 3:31pm

We went from the Channel to the Mediterranean following France en Velo: http://franceenvelo.cc.

Excellent route, with a campsite, B & B and hotel selected for each stage.

Highly Recommended.

Jonathan

HobbesOnTour
Posts: 368
Joined: 20 Feb 2017, 5:12pm

Re: Going to France in a few weeks...

Postby HobbesOnTour » 22 Jul 2019, 10:27am

old_skooler wrote:Hi.

I am off to France in a few weeks for my first foreign tour and I've only plotted a part of the route. The tour will be open ended i.e. two week to a month. At first I had planned a route to Paris from Calais in order to stay in Paris in an Airbnb for a few nights and then carry on in order to join La Loire à Vélo and come back on myself via the coast. But now I am thinking of trying to ride to south coast and then get a train back to Paris, spend a few night there and then ride back to Calais either via the L'Avenue Verte or another way.

Can anyone recommend some nice routes?


Timely: https://mikekempster2.wordpress.com/201 ... d-by-bike/

Check out the trains. It can be difficult, expensive and long. Don't assume you can just hop on with a bike.
France is wonderful but watch out for shops etc. closing early afternoon and Sundays.

old_skooler
Posts: 15
Joined: 18 Jun 2019, 10:39pm

Re: Going to France in a few weeks...

Postby old_skooler » 27 Jul 2019, 3:03pm

Hi.

Thanks for your input. I've now changed my mind about camping and decided to take my racer and a 10L saddle bag instead. It will probably be 2 weeks max now due to the increase in accommodation costs. I hope to get to Paris and back again mainly staying at hostels and some airbnb's. So I need a route from Calais to Paris that has hostels if possible. I started to plan a route along the coast to Dieppe but hostels seem to be thin on the ground around here. Now I am thinking of trying to head to Lens and from there to another major city like Amiens as hostels/cheap hotels seem to be much more abundant.

How reliable is Google maps for time planning. I've put in a route from Calais to Lens and it says it takes 5.26 for 106km. That doesn't seem right to me.

tatanab
Posts: 3776
Joined: 8 Feb 2007, 12:37pm

Re: Going to France in a few weeks...

Postby tatanab » 27 Jul 2019, 3:17pm

old_skooler wrote:How reliable is Google maps for time planning. I've put in a route from Calais to Lens and it says it takes 5.26 for 106km. That doesn't seem right to me.
That's 20kph/12mph. Sounds fine to me on fairly flat roads, especially when travelling light. However, Google cannot allow for the other 3 hours spent in cafes, bars and restaurants.

rualexander
Posts: 2359
Joined: 2 Jul 2007, 9:47pm
Contact:

Re: Going to France in a few weeks...

Postby rualexander » 27 Jul 2019, 3:27pm

If you are limiting your time due to the costs of hostels and airbnb's, it might be worth looking at Warmshowers for free accommodation along your route.
https://www.warmshowers.org/
They have an app as well as the website but unfortunately the app doesn't work at the moment.

old_skooler
Posts: 15
Joined: 18 Jun 2019, 10:39pm

Re: Going to France in a few weeks...

Postby old_skooler » 27 Jul 2019, 5:36pm

rualexander wrote:If you are limiting your time due to the costs of hostels and airbnb's, it might be worth looking at Warmshowers for free accommodation along your route.
https://www.warmshowers.org/
They have an app as well as the website but unfortunately the app doesn't work at the moment.


Hi.

I thought you had to offer your own place at some point in the future to use that website?

rualexander
Posts: 2359
Joined: 2 Jul 2007, 9:47pm
Contact:

Re: Going to France in a few weeks...

Postby rualexander » 27 Jul 2019, 6:25pm

old_skooler wrote:
Hi.

I thought you had to offer your own place at some point in the future to use that website?


No you don't have to.

roberts8
Posts: 260
Joined: 20 May 2011, 9:14pm
Location: Surrey

Re: Going to France in a few weeks...

Postby roberts8 » 27 Jul 2019, 7:58pm

I cycled Clecy to ouistreham on the voie vert which was good but I have found in France that villages often have no shops to stock up on food and water so always start your day well stocked. A long time ago I just I would get something later and it was not much fun running out of water on a hot day. I did quickly learn my lesson so have a great time.

HobbesOnTour
Posts: 368
Joined: 20 Feb 2017, 5:12pm

Re: Going to France in a few weeks...

Postby HobbesOnTour » 28 Jul 2019, 7:41am

old_skooler wrote:Hi.

Thanks for your input. I've now changed my mind about camping and decided to take my racer and a 10L saddle bag instead. It will probably be 2 weeks max now due to the increase in accommodation costs. I hope to get to Paris and back again mainly staying at hostels and some airbnb's. So I need a route from Calais to Paris that has hostels if possible. I started to plan a route along the coast to Dieppe but hostels seem to be thin on the ground around here. Now I am thinking of trying to head to Lens and from there to another major city like Amiens as hostels/cheap hotels seem to be much more abundant.

How reliable is Google maps for time planning. I've put in a route from Calais to Lens and it says it takes 5.26 for 106km. That doesn't seem right to me.


Personally, I'd be reluctant to plan a cycle route solely based on accommodation options - I'd rather be cycling where I want to cycle rather than cycle where I had to cycle, if you see my meaning.

I know you've taken camping off the table, but the municipal campsites of France are, in the main, very good and well distributed.

A train might take you to a more hostel friendly destination?
I do know there is a French hostelling organisation, but you'd need to look that up. I stayed in a couple of their hostels a few years ago and was very impressed with their flexibility and response to a cyclist.

As for Google? OK for outline planning, but not the best for specific cycling routes. I much prefer https://cycle.travel/map It allows you to input your average speed.

For those advocating Warmshowers, yes it can be used without being a host yourself, but I'd be surprised if many hosts don't filter out those that only take and do not give. I've certainly declined people over the years because there was nothing to suggest they were genuine cycle tourists. One couple didn't even have bikes! :D

pq
Posts: 969
Joined: 12 Nov 2007, 11:41pm
Location: St Antonin Noble Val, France
Contact:

Re: Going to France in a few weeks...

Postby pq » 30 Jul 2019, 3:53pm

I've toured in France a lot and now live there.

I'm not a fan of going for impressive place-to-place tours because they take too little account of the quality of riding. I'm generalising here, but for me the south of France is a much better than the north. In the south pretty much everywhere is nice except most of the coast and the vicinity of big towns and cities. In the north, there are some very nice places but you have to make more effort to seek them out.

So, in your shoes I'd take a train south, start riding, and then at the end, take a train north. Where exactly you should go depends a lot on how you are with hills.
One link to your website is enough. G