Cycling in France 2012

Lucia
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Cycling in France 2012

Postby Lucia » Wed 11 Jan 2012, 11:33 am

My partner and I intend to cycle through regions of France over the summer months. After France we intend cycling through southern England. All up, the length of time will be about ten weeks. Our dilemma is whether we take our own bikes or buy/hire bikes when we arrive. Our first point of arrival will be Paris. I have scoured bicycle websites in England and France but they seem to be intent on selling group tours. Our intention is to be independent of a group arrangement. We will carry camping equipment. Any clues?

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cyclotaur
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Re: Cycling in France 2012

Postby cyclotaur » Wed 11 Jan 2012, 12:46 pm

If you're travelling independently for 10 weeks I'd take your own bikes.
Never done it myself ... plenty here have though, so some more advice should be forthcoming.

Sounds like a good trip coming up. :D
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Re: Cycling in France 2012

Postby UJ1 » Wed 11 Jan 2012, 12:47 pm

Hi Lucia many, many people travel the world successfully with their own bikes. There are blogs, forum topics galore on how to pack, what to pack it in etc etc. I have done it without any hassles using a soft bag for my MTB into Paris. These days one limiting factor seems to be the excessive baggage charges as touring bikes with all their paraphernalia can get weighty, therefore pricey. So read the fine print carefully for the airline and airline partners you will fly with. My advice is to take your bikes but pack them carefully and think long and hard about what to take and how you can be creative using your carry on luggage. It will be summer but when in England it could be like Melbourne is today! So have some good wet weather gear. What you ride is ime critical for enjoyment on tour as your bike will be set up the way you like it. Personally I avoid group tours as I prefer to make my own way, at my own pace stopping when and where I want. It's a lot cheaper too.
Have a great trip.

PS in case you are not aware of this site, check crazyguyonabike, it has a vast wealth of info on touring and places to tour.

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barefoot
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Re: Cycling in France 2012

Postby barefoot » Wed 11 Jan 2012, 2:55 pm

I certainly wouldn't be trying to hire a bike, but if you're due a new touring bike then you might find it worth your while to buy it in Europe rather than paying Australian prices plus excess baggage to get it there (or European mail-order prices plus delivery to Australia plus import duty... then excess baggage to get it back to Europe!).

Of course, that doesn't leave you any opportunity for fitting, adjustment and familiarisation before you go, so the viability of this strategy might depend on how much tweaking you usually require or intend to do on your travel bike.

tim

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Re: Cycling in France 2012

Postby Jane Admore » Mon 16 Jan 2012, 7:54 am

We toured (independently) for a few months mainly in France in 2010. We took own bikes but landed in UK. Boxes give best protection - with heaps of packing around. We find something llike Qatntas 23kg is fine with 7kg carry on - looking pretty weird in touring shoes & carrying helmets. You won't want to carry much more than that on bikes (as well as some food) anyway. We linked together some '"Cycling in France' (Lonely Planet) routes which save a bit of hassle on making sure there's a camping ground or whatever where you are heading. Camping is great. Cycling is great, heaps of secondary roads , tow paths & Voies vertes - great consideration from vehicles. (Not so great in UK).
Most local trains now accommodate bikes pretty well. We only used them to get in & out of Paris.
Warmshowers (google it) is a website of cyclists hosting cyclists. We used a bit - stayed with lovely woman in Paris, but main benefit is local knowledge. We also had a brillinat 'warmshowers' stay in Rome.
We crossed from UK to St Malo & there is a bike way (old railway & then towpath) all the way to Rennes then made a route to Angers & the Loire. Lovely but Chateaux get a bit samey. Bourgogne was great & the Jura but hightlight was Corsica (ferry from Nice to Calvi). We were, & needed to be, quite fit by then to enjoy these wild 'mountains in the sea'.
Next time we are going more southwest. Having some french language is a big bonus - get some classes in if you need to.
Have fun.
Kiwis

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Weeeeeee
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Re: Cycling in France 2012

Postby Weeeeeee » Mon 16 Jan 2012, 9:39 am

Fly Emirates or Etihad (30kg luggage allowance!!!!)
Take your own bikes...or buy one there. You'll find that 10 weeks rental = brand new bike anyway...much nicer to have your tried and trusted steed that you're familiar with over having to tweak and fiddle with a new bike especially when you're trying to put away the kilometres.

If you're anywhere near Beziers...you've got to go see Minerve!!! Awesome ancient town...perched on a rock in the middle of a valley...haven't seen anything like it before. Has a nice restaurant in the town too. Tourist cars aren't allowed in...but bikes are :)
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Re: Cycling in France 2012

Postby rjk » Tue 17 Jan 2012, 2:10 pm

have a look at this web site...i have been reading it for a while....lots of information about touring thru Europe and england


http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/
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hamishm
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Re: Cycling in France 2012

Postby hamishm » Tue 17 Jan 2012, 9:14 pm


warning: above site may induce wanderlust.

Vietnam Airlines does 30kg too. I went to France with them last August (they do Melbourne - Ho Chi Minh - Paris). Connection sucked a bit though.

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Re: Cycling in France 2012

Postby rjk » Thu 19 Jan 2012, 6:26 pm

hamishm wrote:

warning: above site may induce wanderlust.

Vietnam Airlines does 30kg too. I went to France with them last August (they do Melbourne - Ho Chi Minh - Paris). Connection sucked a bit though.


it has..all i need to do is win tatts now :)
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Lucia
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Re: Cycling in France 2012

Postby Lucia » Tue 24 Jan 2012, 12:43 pm

Thanks guys for all the splendid info about cycling in France. We are now convicned to take our own bikes. Have taken note of webites to help in the planning. Will keep you informed as we plan. Cheers Lucia.

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Riddley
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Re: Cycling in France 2012

Postby Riddley » Tue 24 Jan 2012, 2:39 pm

If it is your first time packing bikes in boxes, give yourselves plenty of preparation time!

Also, depending on your bike, some boxes can be just too small. I found this to my horror on the night before an early flight! Just by luck someone had left a bigger one in my shed, and I used that. Whew!

QANTAS apparently sells boxes at the airport which are a bit larger again.
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Lucia
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Re: Cycling in France 2012

Postby Lucia » Tue 31 Jan 2012, 9:32 am

It's Lucia again! Now that we have worked out our route, my next query is regarding an accommodating budget hotel in central Paris where we would base ourselves for three days before embarking on our cycle travels. At the end of our four week's cycle sojourn in France we want to fly down to Morocco for three weeks but don't want to take our bikes. So we would need to store our bikes somewhere safe in Paris, hopefully in the same hotel which we use as a base. Any ideas?

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Re: Cycling in France 2012

Postby Mike.Ayling » Tue 31 Jan 2012, 5:55 pm

Lucia wrote:It's Lucia again! Now that we have worked out our route, my next query is regarding an accommodating budget hotel in central Paris where we would base ourselves for three days before embarking on our cycle travels. At the end of our four week's cycle sojourn in France we want to fly down to Morocco for three weeks but don't want to take our bikes. So we would need to store our bikes somewhere safe in Paris, hopefully in the same hotel which we use as a base. Any ideas?


Lucia

As others have already suggested why don't you post your queries on Crazyguyonabike.

This is exclusively a touring site there will be somebody there who has done what you are suggesting.

Mike
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Riddley
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Re: Cycling in France 2012

Postby Riddley » Tue 31 Jan 2012, 10:39 pm

Touring cyclists hosting exchange:

http://www.warmshowers.org/

Of course there is an expectation that you would reciprocate when you are back at home.
sum tyms bytin, sum tyms bit

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Niggle
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Re: Cycling in France 2012

Postby Niggle » Wed 01 Feb 2012, 1:54 pm



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