This page was last updated Mon 28 January 2019.
This page lists all reports that for France including those that involve other countries too.
Click here for a list of reports that involve only France.
All descriptions are in English, unless otherwise noted.
|Along the Rhine from Lake Constance to the Atlantic
tour started June 2005, submitted 26 February 2006
Diese Strecke von ungefähr 1400 Kilometern bietet reichliche Abwechslung. Der Rheinradweg bleibt keineswegs am Fluss. Wir fuhren mal am Bodenseeufer, mal am Rhein, mal am Rhein-Rhone-Kanal, durch französische Weindörfer, auf den Rheinterassen, wir waren in Strassburg, Düsseldorf, Rotterdam, um nur einige der Städte zu nennen, wir besuchten die Kaiserdome von Speyer, Mainz und Worms, und zum Schluss tauchten wir kurz in das holländische Fahrradambiente ein. Nur am Bodensee waren einigermassen viele Radler unterwegs, sonst sahen wir kaum Touristen auf diesen sehr gut ausgebauten und ausgeschilderten Radwegen.
|Camping and biking on the way and in Brittany
tour started May 2005, submitted 26 February 2006
Wir wissen von vorigen Reisen, dass Frankreichs dichtes Netz an Campingplätzen sich für Sternfahrten vom Zeltplatz optimal anbietet. Dazu kommt die einmalige Infrastruktur an kleinen, wenig befahrenen Landstraßen in Frankreich, die Fahrradwege überflüssig macht. Unsere Tour ist kürzer ausgefallen als geplant, aber sie bietet doch einen kleinen Einblick in die Möglichkeiten des Radreisens in Frankreich.
|16,500 miles and thirteen months cycling from the United Kingdom to Beijing
tour started May 2000, submitted 22 February 2006
Europe, Asia: UK, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, China
This website accompanies the book ``Why Don't You Fly?'' (ISBN 1-905203-25-X published by Pen Press).
How does it feel to trade comfort and security for life as a nomad and to pare one's life down to the bare necessities? What is it like to push at the frontiers of one's physical and mental endurance?
``Why Don't You Fly?'' is the account of an epic adventure in search of an elusive sense of identity in which triumph, disappointment, discomfort, exhaustion and exhilaration all trade positions against a backdrop of prodigious physical endeavour. During a gruelling 16,500-mile examination of physical and mental stamina the author ate and drank in roadside cafés in the company of inquisitive lorry drivers and shared dormitories in remote Chinese villages with fascinated farm hands and gleeful mosquitoes. Sceptical western existentialism met religious fatalism in the restaurants and teahouses of the Middle East and India in the course of a physical and spiritual journey that constantly raised questions about the attitudes and values that prevail in the West.
The Website includes a chapter-by-chapter synopsis of the book, a sample chapter and 93 photographs.
|Bicycle Travelling in 24 Countries
tour started June 2005, submitted 4 February 2006
Europe, Australia, America: Australia, UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Argentina, Chile, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Germany
This webpage is intended to provide information for cycle tourists who may be considering tours in the countries I've visited. For more information, journals and pictures leave a message in my guestbook or send me an email.
`` Yes, it's hot. But we've seen worse haven't we my friend. There was that day east of Warnambol when the chip seal melted and the chips stuck to the tires. A few revolutions later we had flats front and rear. So we pushed for a mile seeking shade to repair the punctures. And the flies Ah! And there was that time in Zamorah. Ah! But not now.''
|On the legendary climbs, cols of the Giro d'Italia and Tour de Suisse
tour started July 2005, submitted 1 February 2006
Although the tour that I had on the legendary climbs of the Tour de France in 2004 tempt me back to indulge in nostalgia, this year (2005) I decided to bicycle on the cols of the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de Suisse, and beside it to take part in the hard Fausto Coppi bicyclemarathon / gran fondo, which is a real challenge with its 187 km and has 4400m height difference.
Before the fantastic marathon, I bicycled to France to climb the Col de la Moutiere, and when I were there it was logical to climb also the 2802m Cime de la Bonette. Both cols are unforgettable.
Next to Briancon I enjoyed the nice Col du Granon (2413 m) which was not only steep but very beautiful. In 2005 at the Colle Finestre (Italia) there was a hard fight between profi Giro d'Italia racers; on my tour I had the most remarkable experience after a light rain, when the Sun could shine between the clouds.
In Switzerland I had cold weather for days, but I could climb nice cols. I loved Grimselm because I enjoyed very much the feeling of a triathlon race, and I loved Gotthard because its ``old'' feeling - thanks to the cobblestoned road.
In the last 3 days - through sunny weather - I went up to the legendary Passo Gavia, Passo Rombo / Timmelsjoch and last day the 2829m high Gletscherstrasse. The highest point on the last day!
|On the legendary climbs, cols of the Tour de France (2004)
tour started July 2004, submitted 30 January 2006
In 2004 I succeeded in cycling through the French Alps, which had been one of my Great dream, plan for years. For years I felt that a tour in France can have more problems than in the nearer countries, but with the experiences of my tour in 2003 (along the Adria and to Montenegro), in 2004 I felt enough encourage to cycle up to the famous french cols. I had read a lot of travelogues (Trento Bike Pages, Velofahren.de, biketrip.org, etc.) and I tried to think about every problems which can occur through a French Alps tour: weather, busy campings, the effects of the Tour de France, and maybe some mechanical problems, etc.
In the first two days and in the last two days I had some problems, adventures, but just between the high mountains of the French Alps everything happened well. During the 12 days between the mountains, I climbed almost all of the passes / cols, that I planned for the whole tour, this means 21 serious ascents, 13 of them are above the height of 2000 m. The most famous cols where I cycled are: La Bonette (2802 m), Col du Galibier (2645 m) , Col d'Izoard (2361m) , Alpe d'Huez (1860m), Col de Iseran (2770m), Col Agnel (2744m), etc.
Although there was 1 or 2 rest days in the plan, as I didn't have any serious - whole day long - rain through the tour, every day I was riding my bicycle. The beautiful nature and the experiences, adventures, ascents gave my power to climb them. Usually 1-2 days with panniers were followed by a ``light'' day without panniers (but with 2 climbs).
|Mountains, Rivers and Rivieras
tour started April 2005, submitted 29 January 2006
Europe: England, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Italy, SanMarino, Monaco, Andorra
It began as a crazy idea whilst on holiday in France back in 2003 and within a couple of weeks had turned into a serious plan. Now after two years preparation and a couple of false starts we're finally off.
The plan is to ride from our home in Chesham to the south coast city of Portsmouth where we can catch a boat to Bilbao on the north coast of Spain. Then we'll cross France to the Black Forest in Germany where we can pick up the famous Danube cycle path which we plan to follow to east to Vienna. After that we want to spend a couple of months in the Alps before heading south for a lap of Italy. The final leg of the tour will see us cross France again to the Pyrenees before we head south to Spain where we plan to follow the coast round to Portugal and back into Northern Spain where we can catch the boat back to England.
|Rhine - Mosel Cycling Trip
tour started September 2003, submitted 29 January 2006
This was my second European bike tour, primarily following the Rhine and Mosel rivers. I started in Frankfurt, cycled down the Main to Mainz, then north along the Rhine to Koblenz. I then went up the Mosel Radweg as far as Metz, France, took a train over the Vosges mountains to Savern, then followed the Marne au Rhin canal to Strasbourg. I concluded my trip by again following the Rhine, back to Mainz and Frankfurt.
|Jerry's Tour of the Pyrenées, Cantabria and Asturias 2005
tour started July 2005, submitted 15 January 2006
27 days of cycling throughout the Pyrenées and Cantabria (start and finish in Lourdes). On 27 days I cycled 4474 km (165,7 km/day); 83551m (3095m/day) (height meters) and visited ca. 241 cols. (Only counting the 24 full cycling days, I did 4131,5 km (172,1 km/day) and 77108m (3213m/day).) The longest day was 274,5 km from Esterri d'Aneu in Spain to Lourdes (via Mourenx). Max height meters on one day was 4270m. Got a gold classification in the l'Etape du Tour race (the day after cycling 274,5 km) on a half-decent time around 6h30mins (ca. 2 hours slower than the Tour de France winner this year). Steepest was the famous Angliru climb in Asturia (26%). Lots of facts, but some nice photos and stories.
|Jerry's Tour of the Alps 2004
tour started July 2004, submitted 15 January 2006
22 full days of cycling (I cycled a little the first day upon arriving at Nice and cycled 81 km on a travel day). I visited around 115 mountain passes. A total of 3532 km for 22 days (161 km/day). I climbed ca. 73078 m (3322 m/day). Maximum inclination/steepness: walking: 33% up Col de Traversette in snow; 42% down Grand col de Ferret. Steepest cycling was perhaps up Monte Zoncolan with 6 km at around 15% on average. Most difficult was probably Koralpenstrasse with an average gradient of 11,2% for the final 14,4 km, which make it into one of the hardest climbs in the Alps that could be cycled with a normal racer cycle. From snow to blazing sun around Nice. From Nice to Lavamünd and back again.
|La Bretagne à vélo / Radwandern in der Bretagne
tour started 2005, submitted 14 January 2006
language: fr, de, it, en
Découvrir la Bretagne, ses paysages, ses traditions, ses légendes, sa culture en vélo avec une cycliste bretonne.
Landschaften, Traditionen und Legenden, Kultur: Die Bretagne mit einer Bretonin auf dem Fahrrad entdecken!
|Cycling the High Pyrenees
tour started September 2005, submitted 8 January 2006
Unrelenting switchbacks, beautiful rugged peaks and the history of the Tour de France. 27 photos and movies (movie) by Steven Hill and Rebecca Heald.
The formidable reputation of the French Pyr´n´es is what intrigued me most. That the best cyclists appear to suffer like mere-mortals each year during the most crucial stages of the Tour de France is a sadistic lure of this great mountain range. Of course, I also wanted to check out, first hand, the beautiful, rugged scenery. My quiver of cycling climbs would be incomplete without the legendary Tourmalet, Ausbisque and so many others.
|A cycletour of Brittany, NW France, 1999
tour started September 1999, submitted 3 January 2006
A self-contained cyclecamping tour of Brittany in September 1999, lasting eleven days and 600 kilometres, with photos.
``The payback for the long uphill stretches came later on, when the last ten kilometres of the day's run to Carhaix was very fast indeed, down superbly smooth highway. Thus it was that I made good time in getting to Carhaix-Plouguer, stopping at the Intermarch´ supermarket to stock up on foodstuffs, toilet rolls and wine. I had been forewarned that the supermarket stood at the top of a very long hill which led down to the Les Hyères campsite, where we would be setting up camp that night, and so it would be wise to stock up there before heading down to the campsite. The bike made a comical sight when I had managed to stow the toilet paper (see picture).''
|Cycling the Rhine
tour started September 2004, submitted 28 December 2005
The big picture was to fly into Amsterdam, take the train to Cologne, and then bike in 50km legs to Colmar (Alsace). Our intent was to bike up the Rhine from Cologne to Eltville (just shy of Mainz), leave the Rhine to continue south along the Weinstrasse (“wine road”) through Bad Durkheim and Wissembourg into France, on to Strasbourg and then to Colmar. Our ultimate objective was the village of Eguisheim about 7 km outside Colmar, for a total distance of 500 km. If we made it that far we’d rest our legs and play the return by ear; if we didn’t, we would park ourselves in a vineyard along the route and send postcards saying we’d made it to Switzerland! We decided to go “up” the Rhine rather than “down” for a couple of reasons, not the least of which was the north-to-south direction of the prevailing wind in the Rhine valley, which we judged would compensate for the slightly rising elevation .
|England to Gibraltar, indirectly, Camino de Santiago.
tour started June 2004, submitted 25 December 2005
Pictorial personal diary, equipment list, and route guide for a 4.5 month cycle trip, Boston, England to Gibraltar.
tour started August 2003, submitted 24 December 2005
In 2003 I attempted Paris-Brest-Paris. I didn't finish due to knee troubles, but had a wonderful time nonetheless.
|Tour of the French Alps 2002, Grenoble to Nice
tour started June 2002, submitted 24 December 2005
This report covers my first tour of the Alps with three other people, starting in Grenoble and ending in Nice- including my first-ever mountain: l'Alpe-d'Huez. A beautiful 10 days' ride in beautiful weather, over a beautiful landscape.
|The Great Heart Travelers
tour started 2004, submitted 28 November 2005
Europe: France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Holland, Belgium
language: en, fr
``The Great Heart Travelers'' promote the blood donation riding around the world. They made a Europe tour of 5400 km in 2004, and a tour in New Zealand in 2005. (Follow the archive link at the bottom of the page to go to the European tour.)
|Riding to Aix
tour started 2001, submitted 26 November 2005
A record of my progress from Alkmaar to Aix; by pedal power. From Netherlands to France via Belgium.
Most important is perhaps to point out that this for me was a most enjoyable thing to do. It was also an easy thing to do, and required remarkably little advance planning. I checked the bike and did the necessary repairs and changes, I drafted a route though the low countries and through France, estimated how long it would take me to do it, and with the minimum physical preparations I set off from Alkmaar on the 5th June.
I benefited of course from previous bicycling experience, I was aware of possible (physical) problems that might turn up, and was very careful not to let minor problems develop into more serious ones. Also extensive travel experience over the years (not much of it on bicycle) has taught me that there is always accommodation, there is food and drink to be found on the way. I climbed from Bonnieux up the hill [...] there was the most fantastic ride down the narrow valley towards Lourmarin, narrow hairpin bends, and again a downhill ride that seemed to go on forever.
tour started March 2005, submitted 17 November 2005
We are 2 18 year old students. We made a tour across Europe from Holland to Sweden and Great Britain. After this we took the boat to Holland and set off to the south of Portugal.
In the spring (2006) we are going to make a trip from Anataly Turkey to Holland.
|The record of the Breton Bikes charity ride in the Pyrenees
tour started October 2003, submitted 17 November 2005
In September 2003 I organised and led a charity ride in the Pyrenees. A group of 14 braved the elements, and gravity, to raise £12,000 for Intermediate Technology Development Group. The two-week trip involved tears and blood, food and wine, 2000m cols and 50 mph descents. What follows is the record of that trip.
|Entlang der Loire von Nevers bis Angers
tour started April 2004, submitted 17 November 2005
A self supported relaxed bike tour along the beautiful Loire valley. Pretty villages, nature, castles, delicious food, nice hotels - a report of a nearly perfect tour.
Additional infos about travel by train in France.
|Tour of the French Alps (Geneva to Nice)
tour started June 2005, submitted 2 November 2005
A tour of the French Alps, from Geneva to Nice, returning via the Piemont plains of Italy, followed by a visit to various climbs in Switzerland.
|Demi Tour de France
tour started August 2004
>Viewing the Pyrénées stages of the 2003 Tour de France inspired me to choose this itinerary. I knew that replicating the actual TDF stages would be much too long (as the stages are not interconnected) but at the end of the day, I rode 2,488 km which is more than 2/3 of the actual length of the Tour: 3427 km! Having said this, my general average was 82.7 km/cycling day, a very small number by TDF standards.
The general game plan for the demi tour was sketched on a map of France (1/2,000,000). The trajectory chosen as I rode was varied, never dull, grandiose in the Pyrenean cols and valleys, and sprinkled with a number of spectacular towns and cities (Bourges, Toulouse, Poitiers, Chinon, Blois, Chartres, Versailles to name only a few).
Stayed in hotels (generally 2* which is admittedly pricy!), B&B’s and in a Youth hostel (10 Euros/night). Travel can be cheap in France, even without camping. I carried 17 kg of gear.
tour started 2004
It's 2004, and my dream came true: to go on an extended cycling trip of Europe, taking in Portugal, Spain, France and the UK. I left Brisbane on January 22 for a Tasmanian ``warm-up'' trip before my BIG trip, which started on 27 February. Here are my favourite photos and some thoughts I had along the way. I hope you enjoy them...
|Bodensee and Beyond
tour started June 2003
In June 2003 my wife, Andrea and I took our hybrid bikes to Frankfurt. Leaving Frankfurt on the Main cycle path we rode to the Rhine where essentially we turned left and rode up the Rhine cycle path till we came to Bodensee (Lake Constance) in Switzerland. On the way we took short detours by riding into Karlsruhe and later into Alsace Lorraine. Once we arrived at Bodensee we cycled secondary roads to the Neckar Valley then rode down the Neckar radweg (cycle path) to Heidelberg. All told we rode some 1260 km. Undoubtedly the highlight was riding the Route de Vin (wine route) in Alsace.
|La Haure Route des Pyrénées à Vélo
tour started May 2003
Qu'est-ce que le cyclotourisme? C'est de l'amour ambulant dont la nature est l'objet. Nous devons cette définition à Henri de la Tombelle , dans son manuel du cyclotourisme édité en 1943, et je n'en connais pas de plus satisfaisante.
Pour ma part, même si le cyclotourisme demeure une activité ayant ses exigences d'effort et d'endurance, il n'est pas question de devenir esclave de la moyenne kilométrique. Dans la pratique du vélo, je vois essentiellement une façon agréable de se déplacer dans la nature, de découvrir des paysages, des régions, de réviser sa géographie en allant sur place ressentir la profondeur d'une belle vallée ou l'altitude d'une montagne.
Le Pyrénées, lorsqu'on habite Toulouse, sont l'objet de nombreuses conversations entre amoureux de la nature. Très nombreux sont les adeptes des randonnées durant l'été, et du ski durant l'hiver. Pour notre part, peu attirés par le ski et occupés à bien d'autres activités en été (du vélo par exemple), ces montagnes, pourtant si proches, demeuraient étrangères à nos pérégrinations et du coup globalement méconnues.
|Return to Provence - Our second tandem trip in Provence
tour started May 2003
We encountered not one hint of anti-American feeling or negativity. Just as last year, the French people were wonderful. People repeatedly went out of their way to help us. One small example: Early in the trip, we were passing through a very small town with almost no signposting on the various intersections. On our third pass through the downtown trying to find the right road, we stopped to ask directions of two ladies talking in to main square. After some discussion, one of them went and got her car and drove to the edge of town just to show us the right way.
Summing up the trip, we had a wonderful time, ate lots of really great food and rode enogh miles not to gain weight in the process. What more can one ask from a vacation?
|Jerry's Tour of the Dolomites and Central Alps
tour started 2003
I cycled for 16 days and climbed 58624 m (which is 3664 m on average per day). It was 2381 km (which is 148.8 km on average per day). These figures are a bit lower than for the previous year, mainly because I visited more unpaved mountain roads (otherwise they would likely had been higher). It was between 10 (first day at the race it was much cooler in the morning) and 41° Celsius. The maximum speed was down the Kühtai pass at 91 km/h (new record for me). Steepest road I cycled was Ischgl-Viderjoch with several kilometres above 20%. Steepest road I did not cycle was down to Switzerland from Viderjoch, with ramps at 45% on average. I had thunderstorms, I had three punctures (one on asphalt and two on gravel), and a car incident in Schwaz, Austria (early on day 17 out of 21 planned days of cycling) where I got a fracture in the back and was hospitalized. (Fortunately, I fully recovered after 3-4 months.) I visited around 119 passes (106 new passes, with perhaps 100 officially recognized ones).
|Tour of the Alps 2003
tour started 2003
We descended to Selva di Cadore (1336m) and headed east to Passo Staulanza (1773m) along the Torrente Fiorentina all the while heading straight for Monte Pelmo (3168m). The Staulanza is an easy pass and comes as a surprise because there is no apparent gap past Monte Pelmo. After a hairpin turn just before the mountain, the pass shows up unexpectedly.
Typical of the Dolomites, this route is a scenic wonder. We rode to Longarone (472m), notorious for the dam disaster at 22:42 on 09 October 1963 when the town was destroyed by a ``tidal wave'', that a landslide from Monte Toc (1921m) had forced over a dam and through a narrow gulch across from the town, to claim 1909 lives. Our hotel as, most in that area, had many before and after pictures on its walls.
[The following day] we started out under blue skies that gradually turned cloudy as the day passed. We crossed the valley and rode up the granite wall through tunnels as we headed to the gap of death for Longarone. Below, carved into the vertical wall, we saw the old road notched and tunneled into the gorge as we passed tunnel openings in our road. Then we saw the hollow arch of the dam, still intact, with only a bit of the rim cracked of on the far side. It is less than 50m across but at least three times that high, narrowing to almost nothing at its bottom.
After the last tunnel we emerged just above the dam that still has a bit of water between it and the mountain that slid into the former lake. A memorial chapel by Corbusier stands vigil over this disaster.
|A Tandem in Provence 2002 - Meandering through French countryside by tandem
tour started May 2002
We are David and Suzette Welch, a nurse and librarian living in Chico California. Even though we are longtime cyclists and tandemists, and took a two week tour for our honeymoon thirty years ago, neither of us had been to Europe before and our total touring experience over the years has been pretty modest. But with age advancing upon us (total team age at the time of this trip was 111 years) we decided it was time to start doing some of those trips we had dreamed of for years.
With an eye to this trip, we had acquired a coupled tandem, which makes the non-cycling parts of the travel ever so much easier. Determined not to be more gauche than necessary, we put a certain amount of time into the study of French. Suzette, with more background and more free time did rather better at that than David. We did lots of pre-trip research online. Particularly helpful were the trip reports posted on the Trento Bike Pages and the generous and expert advice of many of the folks on the Tandem@Hobbes listserve. We dedicate this journal to all those people whose advice helped us, in the hope that this information may help someone else and encourage others to make similar trips.
|Trans-Mediterranean 2002: Spain to Turkey
tour started March 2002
The route follows the northern rim of the Mediterranean Sea, along the coast of Spain, France, across north Italy, the coast of Croatia, Greece, and Turkey. Powered by pastry, we pedaled and pushed our bikes from the sandy beaches of Spain to the sandy beaches of southern Turkey, over hills, over mountains, and across rivers of all sizes. Along the way, we found helpful people, stunning scenery, and great food.
|A trip through Northern France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany
tour started 2002
I am a child of 67 summers who enjoys cycle touring. My ride is a 1999 Litespeed Blue Ridge fitted with 46-36-24 chainrings and 12-25 cluster. I have largely abandoned camping, and use small hotels and restaurants. I carry a [credit] card, a set of bike clothes (shorts, jersey, shoes with Frog cleats, helmet, tights, a capilene long sleeve shirt and Gore-Tex jacket) and a set of dinner clothes (running shoes, nylon long pants and shirt and a polypro sweater). A small bottle of CampSuds for the evening clothes wash keeps me social. Rear panniers (now with rain covers) carry the clothes and a handlebar bag carries maps and camera. All together bike plus gear comes to about 35 lbs.
|Sant Quirze del Vallès (Spain) to Kirkenes (Norway)
tour started 2002
Total Kilometers/Miles Cycling: 3849/2392 - Total Kilometers/Miles by Train: 435/270.5 - Total kilometers/Miles by car (rushing to Kirkenes to catch the plane to Chicago: 519/322.5 - Average distance per day 167/104.
|From Tyrol to Alsace 2002 via Italy and Switzerland
tour started 2002
From Carsten's Cycling Web. While it's still high summer I begin three weeks of mountain bike holidays together with a couple of friends. Ten days later we ride through a snow-covered scenery on our way across Bielerhöhe. Forced by the cold weather we change our plans to avoid the highest summits. Even the cattle have had enough and return from the green summer pastures to the warm cow houses. Nevertheless, we have some nice days off-road. One of the attractions is Val d'Uina with a just 1.5 m wide hiking track blasted into the rock wall over a of 600 m distance. As a prelude to the tour we participate in Ötztaler Radmarathon.
|Biking in France
tour started 2002
This is a trip I took in 2002, starting in Dinan in Brittany and biking northeast along the coast through Mont-St-Michel, across the Cotentin penninsula and the D-Day invasion beaches in Normandy, ending in Honfleur. There are nine pages here, each with about a dozen pictures and detailed description.
tour started 2002
Welcome to the diary and pics from our July 2002 trip to Amsterdam, Brussels, and mostly France. Amsterdam and Brussels were explorered on foot, but for France we took our bikes with all the way from South Africa. For friends, enjoy the pics and diary. For others, we hope that our experiences and info we've given here help to make planning your trip a little easier.
We were originally planning a conventional holiday overseas, until I had the good fortune to spot the Lonely Planet Cycling France book in a bookshop, which really got the planning juices going. We had bikes, a reasonable level of fitness, France sounded great for riding, we could get to see some of the Tour de France, ... it sounded like the perfect holiday!
|Sherwood Cycling Club
tour started 2002
After watching Lance and the Tour de France peleton zoom through the Alps in the 2002 Tour, me and my clubmates Neil and Chris started to plan a quick four day dash to the Alps to sample the famous climbs, and get a late season fitness boost. Chris was the organizer and did a superb job of finding accomodation and booking flights. We flew to Grenoble [and stayed] in Venosc.
Venosc is a charming, quiet mountain village with narrow, cobbled alleys, craft shops, bars and restaurants. I recommend ``Le Petit Pub'' just below the church, and the Pizzeria just round the corner where they make your pizzas right in front of you on a wood fired oven.
The only snag about staying there is that every day begins with a cold descent back to the N91 in the Romanche Valley, and ends with a tough climb back to Venosc. The redeeming features of the return climb are the fact that it isn't very long, and that you can also visit the Dutch cycling pub on the way back. This is marked by a red bicycle at the side of the road and is worth a visit for the friendly, English-speaking service, and good Pelforth beer served. They do afternoon pasta too!
On the first day we decided to warm up on the Col de Sarenne approach to the village of Alped'Huez. We climbed towards the Lautaret on the N91 to Freney d'Oisans, crossed the dam, and turned left on the D25 towards Mizoen. Follow the left fork above the village through Clavans le Bas and Clavans le Haut. The road above the villages is a tremendous, quiet climb in an open valley with great views. The surface is very poor, but it's not too much of a problem when climbing. [In the picture at right you see] Chris climbing towards the col. The small village at the right of the picture is Clavans le Haut, only about half way up the climb.
|Tour of the Alps 2002
tour started 2002
I rode along the Vermenagna River below the Tenda rail line, famous for being either in a tunnel or on a bridge most of the 80km from Borgo San Dalmazzo to Ventimiglia and Nice. The river and its tributaries had ripped out bridges and carried away parts of the road in recent floods. While the railway gained altitude in looping tunnels and bridges and vanished in the mountain for long stretches, I cruised up the 4% grade to Limone (990m), where the climb to the highway tunnel begins and the 8090m-long Tenda Railway Tunnel, completed in 1913, bores through the mountain to Vievola. [...]
|Jerry's Tour des Alpes
tour started 2002
With many nice pictures, and a detailed list of all the passes.
I travelled for 14 days and climbed 53173 m (which is 3798 m on average per day). It was 2277,75 km (which is 162,7 km on average per day). It was between 4 and 38 Celsius. The maximum speed was (probably) down the Nufenen Pass at 79 km/h. The maximum inclination up a pass road was probably at around 19% (Col du St. Bernard). I had rain on several days, I had a wheel damaged, and a rib fractured. I visited around 75 passes.
I took a photo at Croce de la Roley [...] and I thought it looked rather steep down there - I had to go down this steep part on a zig-zagging steep path. It did not seeem very difficult apart from that I now had to lift the bicycle for most of the time. I suddenly lost my balance and fell together with my bicycle without control down the steepest part of the mountainside! I happily stopped at the next lace in the path, which was lucky as I felt like I was gaining speed down there...