Loire a Velo: biking bigger cities?

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dianatashjian51
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Loire a Velo: biking bigger cities?

Postby dianatashjian51 » 12 Jun 2015, 5:08pm

Hello! I'm a fairly new cyclist and still not very comfortable biking with lots of motor traffic. We'll be biking on and near the Loire a Velo and would like to spend time in the bigger cities (Angers, Saumur, Tours, Amboise, Blois, etc.) but was wondering if there's an alternative to biking when we get near the big cities. Does it make sense to hop on a bus near the outskirts and ride into the city that way? With our bikes? Do we leave our bikes on the outskirts, go visit the city, and then come back for our bikes? Or am I being too nervous? Any ideas or suggestions would be very welcome. Thanks!

Barrenfluffit
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Re: Loire a Velo: biking bigger cities?

Postby Barrenfluffit » 12 Jun 2015, 7:01pm

From what I remember the Loire bike routes often offer / low / no traffic routes through the cities. Either by towpaths, bike paths or low traffic roads. Basically use the local bike provision to get into city centres. OTOH if you want a rest then looking for a campsite with a good bus / rail connection can work but its hard to beat a bikes flexibility.

Most of your question is basically an "unknown unknown" and these are often best resolved on the ground.

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meic
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Re: Loire a Velo: biking bigger cities?

Postby meic » 12 Jun 2015, 7:49pm

I went through a few cities, including Blois, on a route plotted by

http://cycle.travel/

and it provided plenty of traffic free routes, which made going through cities quite pleasant. Though I didnt always follow them as I find the French roads pretty tolerable.
Yma o Hyd

groberts
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Re: Loire a Velo: biking bigger cities?

Postby groberts » 12 Jun 2015, 8:51pm

Depends on how new to cycling you are but if you're keen and confident enough to cycle the Loire the cities (mostly just large towns by British standards) are fine. The larger ones have cycle routes into and around them, the others are quite all right. Watch out for tram lines in Angers. Overall the Loire is an easy and beautiful ride, which we did last September and really enjoyed - the biggest danger are all the other cyclists! Here's my write up on our trip + pm me if you need any other information.

https://roundthebendpart1.wordpress.com ... mber-2014/

psmiffy
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Re: Loire a Velo: biking bigger cities?

Postby psmiffy » 12 Jun 2015, 9:08pm

Angers, Saumur, Tours, Amboise, Blois, etc. are no big deal on a bike - I wouldnt worry about taking alternative transport

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robgul
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Re: Loire a Velo: biking bigger cities?

Postby robgul » 12 Jun 2015, 10:20pm

psmiffy wrote:Angers, Saumur, Tours, Amboise, Blois, etc. are no big deal on a bike - I wouldnt worry about taking alternative transport


Absolutely - no problems at all experienced when we rode pretty much all that in 2013 ... and then rode via Orleans into the centre of Paris - even that was pretty tame compared to London.

Rob

biscaystorm
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Re: Loire a Velo: biking bigger cities?

Postby biscaystorm » 12 Jun 2015, 10:41pm

Cycled in and out of most of them on your list. Absolutely no problems.

French cities in general are very easy to cycle in. British cities...scary in comparison.

ddraver
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Re: Loire a Velo: biking bigger cities?

Postby ddraver » 13 Jun 2015, 11:10pm

Angers is a real gem!

IMO the experience of cycling on French roads is sublime compared to UK roads. However what I have found really difficult is getting out on the right road (probably easier on a signposted path though). My tactic now is just to get the hell out in vaguely the right direction. Once I'm free of the 4 lane highways, one way roads and No cycling signs i work out where I am and get back on track on the little country roads - which is a great way of seeing bits you wouldnt have.

If you don't want to go into a city, ride around the edge and avoid the hardship.

Good Luck, ma and pa raver did it last year and had a great time

vernon
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Re: Loire a Velo: biking bigger cities?

Postby vernon » 14 Jun 2015, 5:32pm

dianatashjian51 wrote:Hello! I'm a fairly new cyclist and still not very comfortable biking with lots of motor traffic. We'll be biking on and near the Loire a Velo and would like to spend time in the bigger cities (Angers, Saumur, Tours, Amboise, Blois, etc.) but was wondering if there's an alternative to biking when we get near the big cities. Does it make sense to hop on a bus near the outskirts and ride into the city that way? With our bikes? Do we leave our bikes on the outskirts, go visit the city, and then come back for our bikes? Or am I being too nervous? Any ideas or suggestions would be very welcome. Thanks!


You have absolutely nothing to worry about. All of the cities are easy cycling and like someone else said, they are mostly the size of large towns. The Loire a Velo is a very nice route and you'll enjoy your city cycling experiences. Most of the cities have very local campsites. The French motorists are very accommodating and there's no need to be anxious.