Med to Atlantic

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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SeanieG
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Med to Atlantic

Postby SeanieG » 15 Sep 2018, 3:45pm

Good afternoon folks,
Thinking about next summer...Narbonne to Bordeaux.
Most of the Med/Atlantic route descriptions I've found on the web are for Atlantic to Mediterranean.
Any obvious reason why Med to Atlantic would be a problem?
Thanks,
Sean.
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simonhill
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Re: Med to Atlantic

Postby simonhill » 15 Sep 2018, 4:45pm

Prevailing wind? I wold guess it is Westerly.

Still do-able, just harder work. Who knows, you may be lucky and get Easterlies

tatanab
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Re: Med to Atlantic

Postby tatanab » 15 Sep 2018, 5:10pm

I did that as part of a tour 3 years ago. I have no idea what route descriptions there are because I make up my own mind, pretty much as I go along. Difficulty - perhaps it would be a difficult start because you could sensibly be heading through the Causse Noire, or a bit further south through the Causse de Quercy, both of which could be a rude introduction to hills. Then you have the Tarn and Lot valleys to cross, so more lumpy bits. I went from Narbonne down to Carcassone and then through the Causse de Quercy and across the gorges to a little west of Bergerac as part of my trip. That summer was hot with 40 degrees near Bergerac and mid to high 30s pretty common in early July; that too could be a problem.
Last edited by tatanab on 15 Sep 2018, 5:12pm, edited 1 time in total.

KTHSullivan
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Re: Med to Atlantic

Postby KTHSullivan » 15 Sep 2018, 5:11pm

Dependent on local conditions you might have the edge of the "mistral" in your face for the whole for the first half of the trip; and just past the oceanic/semi oceanic convergent you would probably get the westerlies (Ponente) in your face. But on the up side your legs would definitely be "in" by the time you got to Bordeaux.

If you are very lucky you may have a boost from the Ostro (sirocco) all the way, particulary good if you have a parachute; read panniers, on your iron donkey.
Just remember, when you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed. :lol:

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SeanieG
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Re: Med to Atlantic

Postby SeanieG » 16 Sep 2018, 9:13am

Thanks - all very useful stuff. I'm not too worried about hills or heat, but I was wondering about the winds. So, a naive question - how likely is it that one would experience a week of full-on headwinds?
Thanks again.
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Mick F
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Re: Med to Atlantic

Postby Mick F » 16 Sep 2018, 9:26am

Is there a recognised route for Med/Atlantic?
MEDLANT or LANTMED
Mick F. Cornwall

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mjr
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Re: Med to Atlantic

Postby mjr » 16 Sep 2018, 10:00am

SeanieG wrote:Good afternoon folks,
Thinking about next summer...Narbonne to Bordeaux.
Most of the Med/Atlantic route descriptions I've found on the web are for Atlantic to Mediterranean.
Any obvious reason why Med to Atlantic would be a problem?

If you follow the Canal du Midi and V80 route (and the V80 near Bordeaux is very easy cycling so I would) then the high point is about 80 miles from the med (on a 270ish mile route), so it's on average about twice as steep that way round. For some reason, cycle.travel isn't telling me the % in France. I doubt it's that steep, so maybe you start with two climbing days and then it averages downhill!
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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simonhill
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Re: Med to Atlantic

Postby simonhill » 16 Sep 2018, 11:24am

To answer how likely headwind question.

If you look at the accuweather site you can get detailed historical data. Any town any day of year, any year. They also do averages.

You need to dig a bit to find the historical stuff.

Averages, prevailing and dominant wind is all very well, but there is also luck. I rode 12 days into a NE wind across France in late June /July. It was the start of the heatwave and associated pressure system. Certainly not typical or average.

MrsHJ
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Re: Med to Atlantic

Postby MrsHJ » 16 Sep 2018, 4:11pm

Mick F wrote:Is there a recognised route for Med/Atlantic?
MEDLANT or LANTMED


The traditional route is the Pyrenean fixed audax as I expect you know ( can’t remember the name of it). Canal cycling by ie the midi is very popular in southern France (I’m close to narbonne today and the EV8 passes by but that’s trans Mediterranean.

https://www.freewheelingfrance.com/wher ... louse.html

Something like this for the combined canal trip (I’d mix it until a bit as some sections are supposed to be a bit rough and my shoulders and backside are still recovering from riding the Rhône canal between Montpellier and Sète yesterday.

PS think about timing- I have been frazzled this week.up to 36c.

Richard Fairhurst
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Re: Med to Atlantic

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 16 Sep 2018, 9:19pm

mjr wrote:For some reason, cycle.travel isn't telling me the % in France.

When the route's over a certain distance, then the elevation profile gets downsampled (for performance) and so it's not reliable for working out % climb. If you have a shorter route over the same stretch it'll work it out.
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides

althebike
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Re: Med to Atlantic

Postby althebike » 3 Oct 2018, 11:51am

There have been a lot topics raised on Channel-atlantic--Med and so on, maybe it is worthy of its own section on the forum to save viewers trawling through historic posts.
I am working on a route from montpellier, over Ventoux, Lyon, west of Paris to Calais. Much of it is on cycle routes and this raises my question.
Looking at a route in detail it seems very "bitty" I can see me dismounting at every junction,switching from road to path and back again. while on the road in England, I could just ride.
Have you any advise for making time/distance allowances and general planning for riding the cycle routes in France?
I have only checked street view in the far south , perhaps there are longer stretches of uninterrupted riding as you head north

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mjr
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Re: Med to Atlantic

Postby mjr » 3 Oct 2018, 12:29pm

althebike wrote:Looking at a route in detail it seems very "bitty" I can see me dismounting at every junction,switching from road to path and back again. while on the road in England, I could just ride.

In my experience (Nouvelle Atlantique and Hauts de France), French routes rarely require dismounts to move between road and path. It's mostly happened to me when I miss a little white/green sign (optional route but usually better than the road one) in an urban area, but even then, motorists don't seem to mind.
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ConRAD
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Re: Med to Atlantic

Postby ConRAD » 3 Oct 2018, 5:02pm

SeanieG wrote:... I was wondering about the winds ...

… done it on April, never bothered as far as I remember by any type of wind !!, here some pictures, Entre-2-Mers

Image
Image

althebike
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Re: Med to Atlantic

Postby althebike » 3 Oct 2018, 9:22pm

I did not want to highjack the OP but thank you for replying
I tried a route on cycle streets, and no matter how I tried to work it, the routes offered all contained sections where cycling was not permitted. I tried cycle travel and the route contained lots of links between paths and roads, these were hard to spot from street view, so by bitty, I mean navigation stops searching for obscure pathways linking to a main one, all of these things can really slow you down.There were lots of junctions to retail parks Instead of just riding and enjoying the ride, it looked as if I would be working hard just to find my way around until I got on to longer stretches of road/path. All things being equal, I should be able to ride between 70-80 miles a day and keep going for as long as it takes, but with slow pathway stretches it may only be 40-50 miles in a day, it is critical to know so b&b can be booked.
Most of the blogs I have read from people cycling up the Atlantic coast have hit rain and mud over some of the journey. I know it can rain anywhere at any time , I understand that the east side has less rain and subject to the mistral winds, less windy..but hillier.

MrsHJ
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Re: Med to Atlantic

Postby MrsHJ » 3 Oct 2018, 11:08pm

althebike wrote:I did not want to highjack the OP but thank you for replying
I tried a route on cycle streets, and no matter how I tried to work it, the routes offered all contained sections where cycling was not permitted. I tried cycle travel and the route contained lots of links between paths and roads, these were hard to spot from street view, so by bitty, I mean navigation stops searching for obscure pathways linking to a main one, all of these things can really slow you down.There were lots of junctions to retail parks Instead of just riding and enjoying the ride, it looked as if I would be working hard just to find my way around until I got on to longer stretches of road/path. All things being equal, I should be able to ride between 70-80 miles a day and keep going for as long as it takes, but with slow pathway stretches it may only be 40-50 miles in a day, it is critical to know so b&b can be booked.
Most of the blogs I have read from people cycling up the Atlantic coast have hit rain and mud over some of the journey. I know it can rain anywhere at any time , I understand that the east side has less rain and subject to the mistral winds, less windy..but hillier.


Can you post a link to your cycle.travel route? I'm intrigued by your problems as I've found it very good in France. I've cycled most of the areas you are proposing on cross France routes and on regional routes.