Le Vélo Francette

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
RodT
Posts: 71
Joined: 7 Oct 2016, 8:59am

Le Vélo Francette

Postby RodT » 19 Jul 2019, 11:58am

Has anyone else discovered Le Vélo Francette? At the end of June, I was following the France En Vélo route. Not good timing- there were amber weather warnings out because of the heatwave. So I diverted to some friend’s farm near Fontenay-le-Comte. In the town’s tourist office I was alerted to Le Vélo Francette, which opened last year. It runs from Caen to La Rochelle, mostly following rivers, so it’s dead flat. The surface is generally smooth, with a layer of fine, dusty grit, which I guess could turn draggy after rain. It’s meticulously signed. I used it as far as Domfront, where I found the Mont St. Michel route, because I needed to get to St. Malo.
New cycle routes seem to be opening all over France. I’d seriously recommend Le Vélo Francette.

mikeonabike
Posts: 171
Joined: 20 Jun 2016, 8:22am

Re: Le Vélo Francette

Postby mikeonabike » 19 Jul 2019, 12:34pm

I'd never heard of it until your post. But last month I was driving near Clecy in Suisse Normande and crossed a well-signed nice-looking cycle route - now I know what it was.

https://cycling.lavelofrancette.com/cycle-route

hamster
Posts: 3222
Joined: 2 Feb 2007, 12:42pm

Re: Le Vélo Francette

Postby hamster » 19 Jul 2019, 12:42pm

Interesting route- would make a nice combination with a trip to the Loire.
Hmmm... :D

simonhill
Posts: 2588
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: Le Vélo Francette

Postby simonhill » 19 Jul 2019, 3:33pm

I posted about it in May
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=130030&hilit=francette

Followed the line in June but only rode some of the actual Velo as I am not a lover of some of the convoluted paths they follow to avoid roads that I am perfectly happy to cycle.

Some long stretches of river and rail paths were good.

Well signposted of you want your hand held all way.

Richard Fairhurst
Posts: 1424
Joined: 2 Mar 2008, 4:57pm
Location: Charlbury, Oxfordshire

Re: Le Vélo Francette

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 19 Jul 2019, 4:05pm

hamster wrote:Interesting route- would make a nice combination with a trip to the Loire.
Hmmm... :D


That's my plan next week if I can bear the heat!
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides

RodT
Posts: 71
Joined: 7 Oct 2016, 8:59am

Re: Le Vélo Francette

Postby RodT » 19 Jul 2019, 6:34pm

It’s not about having your hand held. With clear signage, you don’t have to worry about route-finding and can just watch the landscape whizz by as you ride yourself into that blissed-out zen-like state which is one of the joys of cycling.

roberts8
Posts: 265
Joined: 20 May 2011, 9:14pm
Location: Surrey

Re: Le Vélo Francette

Postby roberts8 » 19 Jul 2019, 6:54pm

I also cycled it from the port, through Caen to Clecy in that heatwave. In Caen you have to go round the marina but it is easy to find on a map. The tip is to stock up on water and nibbles in Caen as the route misses the towns and villages have few shops but a pleasant route. I would use it in places but I do enjoy cycling through towns and villages in France for the coffee stops and changing scenery, but it is well worth using.

hamster
Posts: 3222
Joined: 2 Feb 2007, 12:42pm

Re: Le Vélo Francette

Postby hamster » 20 Jul 2019, 5:42pm

Agreed that it's generally ture that villages in France rarely have any shops or even a water tap and stocking up at the start of the day can be essential.

willp01908
Posts: 35
Joined: 29 Jul 2019, 3:52pm

Re: Le Vélo Francette

Postby willp01908 » 22 Sep 2019, 10:04am

Just come back from 3 weeks in France (our first time) where we did this in it`s entirety as part of a longer tour. We hadn`t really planned where to go prior to arriving other than a vague "maybe follow the coast around to Brittany" idea. I prefer to be flexible... Came across the route in a tourist information office and thought it looked great. It was.
Dry (very) so no problems on the compacted sections and well signposted. No issues with finding campsites, though as some have said, water and food a stretch at times.
Got a quite hot during the latter part and we took to setting off at first light to avoid the worst of it.
Some quite hilly bits that were a bit of a chore in the heat - I suspect going "off piste" on the routing front might have avoided these.
We continued on to Bordeaux before heading back via Paris (train) and are thinking we might go this way again as part of a trip to Spain next year.