Caen to Biarritz or Biarritz to Caen

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
andy_scot_uk
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Caen to Biarritz or Biarritz to Caen

Postby andy_scot_uk » 9 Mar 2017, 2:26pm

Contemplating doing the west coast of France (EV1 then V43) first three weeks in June but undecided on weather to do North to south or south to north. Whats the opinion on prevailing winds?

RobinS
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Re: Caen to Biarritz or Biarritz to Caen

Postby RobinS » 9 Mar 2017, 5:40pm

I would do north to south (we did Roscoff southwards early last year), mainly because I think it is easier and nicer to start in a cool climate, and for it to gradually get hotter rather than the other way around.

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robgul
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Re: Caen to Biarritz or Biarritz to Caen

Postby robgul » 9 Mar 2017, 6:08pm

RobinS wrote:I would do north to south (we did Roscoff southwards early last year), mainly because I think it is easier and nicer to start in a cool climate, and for it to gradually get hotter rather than the other way around.


I'd agree with that - and when you're beside the sea it'll be nearer to you on your right.

Rob

andy_scot_uk
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Re: Caen to Biarritz or Biarritz to Caen

Postby andy_scot_uk » 10 Mar 2017, 3:07pm

Thanks. I never considered the view of the sea thing.

I read that the wind was southerly and it's easier for me to get a flight out and ferry back (bike box).

tatanab
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Re: Caen to Biarritz or Biarritz to Caen

Postby tatanab » 10 Mar 2017, 3:53pm

About 10 years ago I came up from Spain along that way. Early June, and with head winds all the way so you cannot rely on a southerly. If keeping near the sea is important, then ok head south. I doubt I got within 5 miles of the sea at any point -except of course the ferry port.

Having said that, heading south is probably a good recommendation (I had no choice in the matter) because it means you acclimatise to warmer weather along the way instead of stepping off a plane/ferry into 34C having left England at about 18C.

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trilathon
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Re: Caen to Biarritz or Biarritz to Caen

Postby trilathon » 17 Mar 2017, 2:54pm

I recall riding up through Spain and France along the Atlantic coast one May....it was warmer in France than in Spain, and the wind was rather variable, it's essentially flat between Nantes and Biaritz except for the odd bridge, but with lots of shelter provided by the woods especially south of Royan, so I'd not unduly be concerned with the wind, plus if you are on the coast you are tacking some of the time so it's never a demoralising battle of wills.
Searching for, and camping in, places of antiquity and wild beauty. Former ironman, 3PCX, Rough Stuff Fellowship, fell runner, regional time trial champion and 20 odd years of cyclo camping around Europe.

robing
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Re: Caen to Biarritz or Biarritz to Caen

Postby robing » 19 Mar 2017, 8:08pm

I cycled from Biarritz to Dieppe last September and had fantastic weather - really hot! I don't remember winds being much of a problem. I don't think being near the sea is an issue as most of the time you aren't right next to the sea anyway. Most of the section from Biarritz to the Gironde is in pine forests so you are quite sheltered from the wind. Do which ever way works for you. I wanted to go south to north as I wanted to get the longer journey out of the way at the beginning (I used Bike Express) and then it was just a simple(!) matter of cycling home. I also really enjoyed the ferry from Dieppe to Newhaven, the best cross channel ferry I've been on.

PJ520
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Re: Caen to Biarritz or Biarritz to Caen

Postby PJ520 » 28 Mar 2017, 2:32am

andy_scot_uk wrote:Thanks. I never considered the view of the sea thing.
This can be non-trivial. A friend who has ridden the Pacific Coast both from S to N and N to S tells me you miss out on a lot being on the side of the road away from the sea. This is a route that has hundreds of miles along cliffs.
Mind you I've no idea how much of your route is inland or what the winds are likely to be. I once tried riding from Bergen to the Hook and the wind was utter misery.
You only live once, which is enough if you do it right. - Mae West

andy_scot_uk
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Re: Caen to Biarritz or Biarritz to Caen

Postby andy_scot_uk » 1 Apr 2017, 3:02pm

I've decided to go north to south and get the train back from Biarritz. I had considered a flight to Bilbao.

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andy_scot_uk
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Re: Caen to Biarritz or Biarritz to Caen

Postby andy_scot_uk » 3 Sep 2017, 6:11am

Hey

I finished my ride and went north to south. A lot of riding is done through forest so there wasn't a view of the sea to miss. :) I did agree that heading south was better as the heat built up.

I had quite a few adventures, kept a daily log and ended up doing the ride for charity. My blog is here if you are interested in the route and adventure. https://thecannytraveller.wordpress.com/

Cheers

Andy