La France est l'Europe est lui pas?
With Rummys' - anyone at all remember the unlamented Rummsfield? - 'new' Europe joining with 'old', there are even more countries added to those that we think of as Europe. A heap of different climates, cultures, cuisines, languages, landscapes etc etc all packed into a contiguous land mass. How can a cyclist resist?
There are plenty of well-known bike routes in Europe like the Romantic Road in Germany, the Danube Bike path in Austria, long-distance bike paths in Scandanavia and paths to Prague and beyond in 'new' Europe to name a few, that all beckon
Europe's possibilities are magic, the choices of where to ride endless. Even so, how can a cyclist go past France ?
France, home of the bicycle (and in passing where the vélo couché, recumbent bike, was also born), home to the world's most famous (or infamous) bike race, home to spectacular alpine challenges, tranquil bike-;paths along canals and everything between, home to mouthwatering food and some of the world's best wines. The temptations are boundless...
France My first experience with a packaged tour: 2005
August was the only time I could get away and it's not a great cycling time in the northern hemisphere - too hot, too many tourists and so-on - so, I took a commercial 'self-guided' tour of Provence in southern France. All I had to do was ride, my accommodation, my evening meals were pre-arranged and more importantly, my gear was taken from hotel to hotel for me
France My second experience with a packaged tour: 2008
Again, August was the only time I could get away and so I repeated the '05 experience but this time it's a very lazy couple of hundred k's around the Loire
EuroVelo 6 A 3500 km ride across Europe: 2012
Yes, the EuroVelo 6 route crosses France!
And Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland and Romania too - but I went to Turkey instead of going to Romania...
Europe Redux Another long ride thru Europe: 2014
A lazy loop thru Europe in 2014 via EuroVelo long-distance cycle routes 2, 4, 5 and 9
And the Rhine, and Nekar Radwegs as well as the R1 and a bit of riding in England...
France An incredibly lazy tour: 2015
A lazy doddle along the Loire from Orléans to Saint-Nazaire, swinging across Brittany to Saint-Malo and Mont Saint-Michel before heading to the D-Day beaches for a (very) brief visit
And being completely indolent, I haven't created a new page, rather, you can see my Crazy Guy on a Bike blog. Of course, the sharp-eyed amongst you will note that this was a trikeless ride, I rode a (rented) 'wedgie'...
Germany/Italy Challenging myself: 2016
A non-lazy route thru the Alps in 2016 from Munich to Venice along the Via Claudia Augusta, again using a (rented) 'wedgie'
What did I find?
2005 - all-in-all a 'self-guided' commercial tour is a very easy way to tour
And for what it's worth, those cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys were actually really friendly, welcoming folk. Nary a trace of the fabled uppity Frog...
And in 2008? - it really was a lazy tour! But oh soooooo nice, even better than the '05 experience
2012 - a fabulous 3 month solo ride of wonderous discovery, mostly of myself...