La Vélodyssée as a single female

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Tangled Metal
Posts: 6360
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: La Vélodyssée as a single female

Postby Tangled Metal » 26 Jan 2020, 12:02am

Knew breton bikes guy would be able to help.

Our trip went well summer before last. Nothing planned before we set off but it was ok. One night we couldn't get a plot in a campsite. First day in and we were surprised at the up and down hilly start. So we pushed our bikes uphill into the nearest town and slept in a small hotel. We did have an offer from a nice lady in one of the campsites we tried to pitch in a corner of their plot if we had nowhere to go. It's kind of how things went, people were only to pleased to help.

The rest of our trip was nothing like we expected. Our son wasn't as up for the longer distances between campsites on the official route. So we took the train and went to b different areas of brittany instead. Didn't really do much of the official route. Thanks to breton bikes guy and his good advice before we had actually decided on the route we ended up with a really nice holiday. You don't need an official route to follow to have a good cycling holiday.

PhilD28
Posts: 112
Joined: 26 Sep 2016, 8:31am

Re: La Vélodyssée as a single female

Postby PhilD28 » 26 Jan 2020, 8:29am

Most definitely avoid cycling through Nantes. Much better to take the free ferry from Coueron to Le Pellerin, it runs about every 1/2 hour.

bretonbikes
Posts: 658
Joined: 3 Dec 2008, 12:35pm
Contact:

Re: La Vélodyssée as a single female

Postby bretonbikes » 26 Jan 2020, 9:00am

mediumbird wrote:
djb wrote:So medium, I guess you are not keen on doing it on your own?
Good luck finding some companies that do supported trips, and have fun doing some other supported trip if you are unable to find any for this specific route.


"Feel the fear and do it anyway" It's weird. I've happily organised and done unsupported trips with friends in the UK, Europe and Ireland, but somehow am more apprehensive about going alone in a foreign country where I only know a smattering of French learned at school. From what everyone says though, it looks like it's a good route to do as a first solo trip. Never done cycle camping, always BnB or hostels, as I like the luxury of a real bed....

I think February will be my planning month :D


Like I said feel free to message me as I can give you some lovely hotels/B&B en-route that we've used for years from the Roscoff start to Josselin (after that you're on you own;-)
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...

djb
Posts: 42
Joined: 24 Mar 2013, 9:27pm

Re: La Vélodyssée as a single female

Postby djb » 26 Jan 2020, 3:16pm

mediumbird wrote:
djb wrote:So medium, I guess you are not keen on doing it on your own?
Good luck finding some companies that do supported trips, and have fun doing some other supported trip if you are unable to find any for this specific route.


"Feel the fear and do it anyway" It's weird. I've happily organised and done unsupported trips with friends in the UK, Europe and Ireland, but somehow am more apprehensive about going alone in a foreign country where I only know a smattering of French learned at school. From what everyone says though, it looks like it's a good route to do as a first solo trip. Never done cycle camping, always BnB or hostels, as I like the luxury of a real bed....

I think February will be my planning month :D


hey, fair enough, I understand about the language thing, and if you aren't a camper by nature, it does add in a bit more planning in terms of distances between indoor accomodations and then the language thing comes into play with that (ie talking on phone with a b+b etc). And then there is the whole thing of being on your own, its a different experience.
Hopefully in the future you can do it with your cycling buddy. We only have one life, so good to get out and do things while we are still physically able and above ground.

re riding into Nantes. We entered it from the Atlantic side (had started our trip actually about 60km down the coast a bit) and rode into downtown. That part was fine from memory, we spent a day there doing tourist stuff (the mechanical elephant and connected exhibition was pretty cool to see) and then toodled out of town following the eurovelo 6 signs again. I ride daily in Montreal and have ridden into some Latin American cities in central america so european cites like Nantes are perfectly fine to ride in--albeit following the bike route signs can be a little meandery at times.

re apprehensions--funny but I just noticed you are from Stirling, my mother lived there a while but now lives near my sister up near Inverness--and I've thought for ages to fly to London, visit my sisters adult kids there, then bike up to Inverness area----but my apprehensions are about having bad luck and having weeks of rain.....not to mention being on the other side of the road and dealing with wrong route decisions and having terrible traffic....but mostly the rain. I have no problems with mountains, heat, heck I ride in Canadian winter , but long term rain...yuck.

so yes, we can have apprehensions, but certainly in our 50s means we should just get out and there and do stuff, no matter how we do it. The clock she's a tickin'....

PhilD28
Posts: 112
Joined: 26 Sep 2016, 8:31am

Re: La Vélodyssée as a single female

Postby PhilD28 » 29 Jan 2020, 6:34pm

Re riding through Nantes. I’ve ridden through it and camped in the centre 3 times over the years, the last time 3 years ago. Yes you can follow ev6 signs, but unless you really want to see Nantes, it’s not a great experience winding your way through the city, even following the ev6 signs, which are easily lost.
It’s a city With city problems, I camped next to a lovely dutch couple last time, both in their 70’s on a long trip. They had a pannier with food in it stolen from their camp pitch...crime and theft can be a problem in cities.

If you are only looking to get across the Loire rather than doing a city visit, I would strongly suggest the ferry crossing about 20 miles west that I mentioned in a previous post. Either side is a calm and easy ride.

Btw, don’t be tempted to ride across the bridge at st Nazaire, in fact it may even be illegal now, it’s very dangerous. There is a bus that goes across that carries bikes, but it has to be booked. I rode across it about 20 years ago on my way down to Spain, even then it was dangerous, but not prohibited. It’s way steeper than it looks too. Best avoided.

The advice from Bretton bikes about not sticking to the Eurovelo route is good. Go 20 miles inland and it’s far less commercial, often very quiet and easy to find very scenic quiet routes. I’ve ridden to and from Spain via the west coast many times, only once using the EV route, during which I got bored very quickly. The whole country has a fabulous network of quiet minor roads, using them coupled with the odd section of eurovelo routes can be a good way to go.

I do highly recommend the canal de Garonne as a route south from Bordeaux, lovely riding and a serene atmosphere, it’s easy to head out to the coast from it’s southern end and make a route towards Bayonne.

Let me know if you want more info, or I’m sure Breton bikes will be very helpful. Enjoy the journey.

HobbesOnTour
Posts: 389
Joined: 20 Feb 2017, 5:12pm

Re: La Vélodyssée as a single female

Postby HobbesOnTour » 30 Jan 2020, 4:11am

I did the Velodysee solo, as part of a longer tour and loved it. I'm male, so that's different and I also camped.

You can get around linguistic issues with technology. The likes of Booking.com (& others), AirBnB and Warmshowers are all available online and usually multi-lingual, or at least you can use Google Translate. You can see exactly what you're getting and what you have to pay.

A Kindle is a great way to pass evenings. A selection of books about the areas I'm passing through always enhances my trips. As well as books, it's a great way of having tour notes, basic maps and important info close to hand.

Podcasts are good too to pass the time.

Solo bike touring can be very social - if you want it to be. Often couples or groups are left alone, but strangers will happily strike up a conversation with a solo Traveller.
It's also very likely you'll meet many other cyclists especially if you stay on, or close to, the official route. There are many options to seek a companion online such as CrazyGuyOnABike or numerous Facebook groups - some specifically for solo travellers. Have a search if that's your thing.

I found France to be absolutely charming on a bike. I stuttered & stammered my way down through the country and most people responded positively. The important thing, I think, was to try.

Everything seems to shut down in the smaller places for a couple of hours in the afternoon so watch out for that. And there's a monstrously big sand dune along the coast. I strongly recommend staying close by, climbing it and then running down it! :D It'll make you feel like a kid again!

Enjoy!