First Cycling Holiday

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tometoyou
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First Cycling Holiday

Postby tometoyou » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:46 am

Hi All,

Myself and 3 friends are looking at going on a cycling holiday the week before Easter, we are all fairly new to road cycling so thought I would ask on here for any advice.

Initial thoughts are to go somewhere in the South of France via the Eurostar, can anyone recommend anywhere that I can read up on this? We would be going for 9-10 days.

Thanks in advance

tometoyou
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Re: First Cycling Holiday

Postby tometoyou » Thu Jan 10, 2013 14:52 pm

Also any tips on what we should take, will be looking to camp as much as we can, maybe even wild camping if needs be.

Whats the best way to South of France, ferries go to Santander and Bilbao from Portsmouth? not sure on eurostar ease and costs?

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bernithebiker
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Re: First Cycling Holiday

Postby bernithebiker » Thu Jan 10, 2013 15:37 pm

SW France or SE?

If SW, Brittany Ferries are excellent and will get you to Santander, which then puts you within easy reach of Biarritz etc.

SE France, non! Take a shorter crossing and head across France.
http://www.cyclespeedtours.com

Bespoke and 5* cycle trips based in Palma, Mallorca.

tometoyou
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Re: First Cycling Holiday

Postby tometoyou » Thu Jan 10, 2013 17:21 pm

Hi berni,

We have no plans as of yet, if we going to go by ferry then SW, if we were to go by eurostar then we could SE, possibly even in to Italy.

Is there anywhere that I can find out about good routes for beginners or any suggestions? We wouldn't be going hell for leather each day, more enjoying scenery, long lunches holiday.

Can anyone recommend good places to go in areas mentioned above please?

dylanfernley
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Re: First Cycling Holiday

Postby dylanfernley » Thu Jan 10, 2013 18:56 pm

have you read Downhill all the way--edward enfield-- might be appropriate-- don't know how much experience you have, but a little forknowledge can make or break such an adventure-- Easter can be quite cool , so yes south of france is likely to be much better temp wise. Have you done any cycle camping ?

maringirl
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Re: First Cycling Holiday

Postby maringirl » Thu Jan 10, 2013 20:54 pm

If you go by Eurostar then TGV you will need to box your bike for TGV. So you ned to think what you will do about storing the box whilst you are touring. Can recommend area around Uzes near Narbonne/Avignon. Lots of choices for rides of all kinds.

tometoyou
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Re: First Cycling Holiday

Postby tometoyou » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:31 am

Dylan, no I haven't read it, will look in to it. Haven't been on a cycling holiday, only recently getting in to raod cycling and a cycling holiday is something that I have always wanted to do.

Maringirl, thanks for the info on the Eurostar and TGV, I thought that might be the case about having to box the bike which is a shame really, looks like it will have to be a ferry then to South West France.

Gadge
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Re: First Cycling Holiday

Postby Gadge » Mon Jan 14, 2013 21:11 pm

Check this out for an alternative - although I really like the overnight ferry to St Malo.

http://www.bike-express.co.uk/

Also see my post here re Voie Vertes

viewtopic.php?f=40003&t=12899456
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tometoyou
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Re: First Cycling Holiday

Postby tometoyou » Mon Jan 21, 2013 17:26 pm

Hi, thanks for all your posts so far.

I think we might look at flying somewhere relatively cheap and warm and just rent bikes, can anyone recommend a good place to go, ideally south of France or Italy? and any good bike rental companies?

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Russell Smith
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Re: First Cycling Holiday

Postby Russell Smith » Mon Jan 21, 2013 23:24 pm

Right Id recommend Velo Ventoux Craig and Vicky are great hosts,the gite is superb, as is the food :-) and then there's The Big V but above all we were looked after properly and had a great 5 days

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durhamwasp
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Re: First Cycling Holiday

Postby durhamwasp » Mon Jan 21, 2013 23:31 pm

Le Grand Bornand!!
http://www.snookcycling.wordpress.com - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....

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bernithebiker
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Re: First Cycling Holiday

Postby bernithebiker » Tue Jan 22, 2013 09:31 am

durhamwasp wrote:Le Grand Bornand!!


Cycling, not skiing!
http://www.cyclespeedtours.com

Bespoke and 5* cycle trips based in Palma, Mallorca.

Philippe_velo
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Re: First Cycling Holiday

Postby Philippe_velo » Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:00 pm

Hi,

You can try www.bikerentalfrance.com, there is a base in Toulouse and deliveries are possible.

Philippe.

andymiller
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Re: First Cycling Holiday

Postby andymiller » Sat Feb 23, 2013 15:25 pm

A quick comment on eurostar and French trains. It's true that if you are going down to Avignon or Marseille you need to take your bike in a bag (IMO a box would be too big and awkward). But there are trains with bike-carriage facilities going from Paris to south-west France. So it is possible without a bag. You can also go to Italy using the DeutscheBahn CityNightLine sleepers however this is a bit of an epic journey so not really feasible for a short break.

It's important to bear in mind that you have to go quite a long way south before it gets warm and sunny at this time of year. At the moment it's actually as cold in Bologna as it is in London. If you go further south to somewhere like Rome or Lecce (in the far south of Italy) the forecast temperatures for this week are in the low to mid-teens (which is of course very pleasant if the sun is shining). Southern Italy in late March can be really nice but the weather can be a gamble - it can also be rainy or cold (I was in southern Italy in April the year before last and it was warmer and sunnier in London).

So it might be worth hanging on until April or May when your chances of good weather are much higher.

IME most campsites do not open until after Easter (or late April if Easter is early). The main exceptions are campsites at ski resorts.

Bike hire is tricky: IME if your are looking for places that will rent you a sporty bike then you probably need to go to a destination where they see a lot of sports cyclists - somewhere like Riccione in Italy might be a possibility at this time of year. My impression though is that if you want to go on a cycling holiday - as opposed to just rent a bike for a day - you are probably going to be better off investing in a decent bike bag or case (or I think you can hire these) and taking your own bike.

Oh and for a first cycling holiday it might be worth checking out companies like skedaddle.co.uk - or at least check out where they go at this time of year.

All in all, my advice would be to hang on for a month or two.
Last edited by andymiller on Sun Feb 24, 2013 08:15 am, edited 2 times in total.

Tom Butcher
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Re: First Cycling Holiday

Postby Tom Butcher » Sat Feb 23, 2013 19:42 pm

This may sound a bit obvious but what about Majorca and get some cheap accommodation rather than camping ?
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Tom Butcher
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Re: First Cycling Holiday

Postby Tom Butcher » Sat Feb 23, 2013 19:47 pm

Russell Smith wrote:Right Id recommend Velo Ventoux Craig and Vicky are great hosts,the gite is superb, as is the food :-) and then there's The Big V but above all we were looked after properly and had a great 5 days


I was going to suggest the same area but at that time of year is Ventoux passable ? A quick google suggests mid April and not til May from Malaucene.
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it's a hard life if you don't weaken.

tometoyou
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Re: First Cycling Holiday

Postby tometoyou » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:08 am

Hey,

We have booked Mallorca, flying out on the 23rd until the 31st March. Renting a bike for 115 euros for the week.

Is it easy to camp around Mallorca or is it out of the question? Picking the bikes up in Palma and then seeing where the road takes us, any recommendations?


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