Map suggestions...

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Ambermile
Posts: 335
Joined: 26 Jun 2008, 3:35pm
Location: South Norfolk
Contact:

Map suggestions...

Postby Ambermile » 1 Dec 2008, 11:15am

I need suggestions for decent planning maps for the route from Calais (or Dunkirk) to Montpelier (or the other way around :D ) since I want to cycle this route early-ish next year. I hope to be getting the Bike Express one way - £129, not bad - then doing the return 1000 or so Km over a fortnight.

Arthur
I make stuff, that's all.

tatanab
Posts: 4185
Joined: 8 Feb 2007, 12:37pm

Postby tatanab » 1 Dec 2008, 12:39pm

Buy a Michelin 1:200000 road atlas, some would say to tear the pages out and take them with you. Many find this scale good for touring, and I've done so in the past, but these days I prefer 1:100000 for riding by. (IGN in a blue cover).

I have a 12 year old Michelin road atlas on the table right now while I think about where I might go. My other recommendation is - don't plan too much. Don't plot a route and try to stick to it. Leave the flexibility to make up parts as you go along.

User avatar
robgul
Posts: 2963
Joined: 8 Jan 2007, 8:40pm
Contact:

Postby robgul » 1 Dec 2008, 12:57pm

I rode this route - Calais - Montpellier - in September this year, with jonboy who also frequents this board.

Great ride - we did it to take in Champagne, Burgundy etc ... and got the Bike Bus back from Montpellier.

See my website www.beewee.org.uk for some stuff under Boys' Outings - or e-mail and we can discuss the detailed route. (We have a complete IGN map extract marked with the whole route we took - and can make some recommendations for stops if you are planning to use hotels/motels)

Rob

PS - A journal is being written, in the same style as the Rob & Joe's JOGLE which gets quite frequent mentions here ... I'm the Rob part!

DougieB
Posts: 626
Joined: 23 Nov 2008, 6:59pm
Location: Barcelona

Postby DougieB » 1 Dec 2008, 3:52pm

Michelin 792 'haute résistance' : all of France 1 cm : 10 km. This was my end of day 'tomorrows plan' map, giving a good perspective of just where the blazes I was.

I also used an IGN map 1 cm : 2.5 km (the purple one, €5.20) of the region I was cycling in. This was a great day map, as it has lots of tourist info (such as sites, smallest roads, etc). I reckon you'd need up to 5 of these for your route!

The Bike Express is excellent, I used it this year down to Orléans. That was about my personal limit for sitting on a bus. I did both ways, and the route back was more subdued and less interesting than the bus journey there. Everyone was sleeping!

Ambermile
Posts: 335
Joined: 26 Jun 2008, 3:35pm
Location: South Norfolk
Contact:

Postby Ambermile » 1 Dec 2008, 11:01pm

Nice site Rob - I have 10 days to do the 1000km though so no detours for me I am afraid. On reflection (and advice) I will probably do the Calais - Montpelier direction since then if I am a bit early I get a bit of R+R on the Med before setting off home.

Last time I did *anything* like this distance was hiking from Malta to Norfolk about 20 years ago, in January! I'm hoping the weather in May is going to be a little friendlier, I remember waking up in a tent in the YHA field in Phalsbourg with the tent covered in snow then frozen solid! We were allowed into the Castle kitchens at that point and negotiated a caravan rental for the next night! Black Forest was awesome though :D

Arthur
I make stuff, that's all.

MartinBrice
Posts: 454
Joined: 13 Nov 2007, 9:57am

Postby MartinBrice » 2 Dec 2008, 10:21am

I flew to Montpellier and back in October with Easyjet - it was dead easy and great. The cabin staff came and told me my bike had been loaded on the plane, and there wasn't a scratch on it either way. Leave Gatwick 11.35am, arrive Montpellier 2pm French time. Coming back I left at 3pm and was home about 90 minutes later. It was £121 in all, including the bike and a bag in the hold, so it'll be cheaper than the bus and quicker as well. You might want to take a look at the French yellow "local" Michelin maps - they cost about £3 and have all the roads on. You can always chuck 'em away when you're off their area and buy a newer one for the new area. I have some for northern France, and have put Blue Peter-style sticky-back plastic to protect them, but at £3 or so it's not really worth the effort.....

bretonbikes
Posts: 659
Joined: 3 Dec 2008, 12:35pm
Contact:

Postby bretonbikes » 4 Dec 2008, 9:06am

tatanab wrote:Buy a Michelin 1:200000 road atlas, some would say to tear the pages out and take them with you. Many find this scale good for touring, and I've done so in the past, but these days I prefer 1:100000 for riding by. (IGN in a blue cover).

I have a 12 year old Michelin road atlas on the table right now while I think about where I might go. My other recommendation is - don't plan too much. Don't plot a route and try to stick to it. Leave the flexibility to make up parts as you go along.


Ding! Though personally I find the 100000 maps just get eaten up too fast...

Flexibility is everything

User avatar
MLJ
Posts: 536
Joined: 15 Jan 2007, 11:48am
Location: Rugby

Postby MLJ » 4 Dec 2008, 10:15am

I prefer the IGN Red series, Top 250 at 1:250000 scale. These show far more detail and minor roads than the equivalent Michellin maps, for touring. The scale is quarter inch to the mile. For greater detail get the Blue series IGN at scale 1:100000.

bretonbikes
Posts: 659
Joined: 3 Dec 2008, 12:35pm
Contact:

Postby bretonbikes » 4 Dec 2008, 11:36am

MLJ wrote:I prefer the IGN Red series, Top 250 at 1:250000 scale. These show far more detail and minor roads than the equivalent Michellin maps, for touring. The scale is quarter inch to the mile. For greater detail get the Blue series IGN at scale 1:100000.


I've got the Michelin 1:150000 map (the 1:200,000 are essentially the same) and the IGN red of our area in front of me now and the former shows more roads, and personally (probably because I'm used to them) gives me a better feel of road size etc. Both miss out smaller lanes which can be confusing but maps are very personal and after a while you get to sense which roads are too small to be marked on a particular map, so that someone used to a particular map type get lost with a change, that's why we defend our personal preferences:-)

The larger scale Michelin maps (above 1:200,000) aren't really suitable for touring.

Ambermile
Posts: 335
Joined: 26 Jun 2008, 3:35pm
Location: South Norfolk
Contact:

Postby Ambermile » 4 Dec 2008, 1:00pm

Just bought this one at 1cm:2Km, seemed about right?

Arthur 8)
I make stuff, that's all.

bretonbikes
Posts: 659
Joined: 3 Dec 2008, 12:35pm
Contact:

Postby bretonbikes » 4 Dec 2008, 1:28pm

Ambermile wrote:Just bought this one at 1cm:2Km, seemed about right?

Arthur 8)


Perfect, even go perforated edges for tearing:-)

User avatar
georgew
Posts: 1526
Joined: 27 Jan 2007, 4:23pm

Postby georgew » 4 Dec 2008, 7:48pm

tatanab wrote:Buy a Michelin 1:200000 road atlas, some would say to tear the pages out and take them with you. Many find this scale good for touring, and I've done so in the past, but these days I prefer 1:100000 for riding by. (IGN in a blue cover).

I have a 12 year old Michelin road atlas on the table right now while I think about where I might go. My other recommendation is - don't plan too much. Don't plot a route and try to stick to it. Leave the flexibility to make up parts as you go along.


+1
This is the way to do it in my opinion. Not too much planning apart from a general direction and use the yellow, or better, the white roads, to meander your way there.

Ambermile
Posts: 335
Joined: 26 Jun 2008, 3:35pm
Location: South Norfolk
Contact:

Postby Ambermile » 13 Dec 2008, 1:09pm

Right then, to supplement this one, mentioned above, I also now have a 1:800,000 Geocenter country map of France, so I can see the overall route, and a Michelin 1:1,000,000 "723" for rough navigating on the bike.

Now it's time to get down to the route planning... I think I'm going for the "Straight line and wander around it a bit" method as mentioned elsewhere this week since there's no where I want to go in particular. Not even decided which way I am going - but am leaning towards the ride down and get the bus/plane back since if I then get my head down and break the 100Km/day target I can spend a couple fo days on the south coast :D

I also need to brush up on le High School Francais all those years ago :roll:


Arthur
I make stuff, that's all.