Cycling guide to france
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Jun 10, 2012 8:06 AM Last Post By: NewIslander
May 26, 2012 5:00 AM
Cycling guide to franceI just noticed there is this LP guide. Does anyone know if its any good? Anyone ever used it? If you have this book, do you still need the usual french guidebook?
I think i'm going to have to get one for trip planning at hte least. Or borrow one from the library if i can find one.
Are there any other cycling guidebooks to france that you would recommend?
May 26, 2012 7:05 AM
1If it's anything like their Australia and NZ cycling guides it will be very limited in scope - basically a bunch of join-the-dots routes with no information about anywhere in the country not immediately on the route.
Get the Michelin maps and stick to the squiggley yellow D (departmental) roads and you really can't go wrong. If you can find Nicolas Crane's 1980s "Cycling in Europe" guidebook read the France chapter. It gives a very good overview - concise and inspiring.
May 26, 2012 7:52 AM
2yeah i think you may be right. I read the reviews on the amazon site and got the same picture as what you suggest. I guess now that i've started piecing things together from the web, i'm slowl finding a few bits of useful information.
Its just you have to visit so many crap websites first. And read so much stuff that isn't what you are looking for in order to find the stuff hte might be interesting.
May 27, 2012 12:36 PM
3I always use a guidebook to decide where I want to go and the Michelin maps to pick out routes and I agree with #1. If you're just visiting one area, than the Michelin Green Guides are very good for sites and attractions. If you are biking over multiple regions than I'd just use a guidebook. Besides LP the Rough Guide on France is good.
Sometimes the local tourist office might have some cue sheet type of rides.
France is part of the long distance bike route network. These are called the eurovelo routes. They are numbered and you should be able to research online to see if any of them correspond to your plans.
I've never checked them out but there always was a big French cycling organization. They might have some resources of interest.
May 27, 2012 6:46 PM
4Yes i have become aware of the eurovelo bike routes but i wonder if i would really like them. I think i am not too keen on following someone's predesignated route. I never ask people which route i should take when planning a trip. I always ask only about stuff i should do or see and figure out my own roads and routes. Maybe i will ask someone on the bike branch what he thinks.
But maybe its time i had another look. I remember not being able to get a very good sense of where they go when i looked before as well. Mauybe now that i know more about the areas i want to go and see it will be easier.
Jun 2, 2012 5:56 PM
5I do have the "Cycling France" LP book. It's pretty basic but still, it offers some basic information on routes and stuff. It offers 34 rides of between 1 and 9 days, averaging about 4 or 5. So it's not a book for going "across" France for sure.
Really, I think you would also need the standard travel book about France to complement it. I will know more soon, since I am taking a 2nd look at the book as I'm trying to decide where in the world I will go and France is among the possibilities.
If you are good at fetching information from the web, you might be better off doing that and planning the route from a bigger perspective. And now I'm discouraged someone else here said the cycling book about Australia was just as bad :(
Then again, the web is nice but it takes a LOT of time finding the "right stuff" too. Isn't there nothing ever easy for bike tourers? lol
Jun 3, 2012 5:34 AM
Jun 7, 2012 5:21 AM
7I found the LP France and the LP Cycling Guide to France interesting to read beforehand for ideas on where to go (and where to find other information) but once actually on the road in France the country guide was next to useless and we ended up ditching it very quickly.
The reason being that it focuses mostly on cities and larger towns and the attractions and facilities therein. I have found that this is the tendency for travel guides in general, not just LP. Which is great when you are in the larger places, but when you cycle, you spend a lot more time in between. Their (LP) focus seems, in recent editions, to have turned away from camping too, which is something we did a lot of.
The regional travel information centres are much more useful. For example, the Department of Normandy annually produces an accommodation pamphlet which includes every campsite, hotel, B&B etc and their opening dates. Some even produce cycling guides. Much more useful and much lighter to carry. And the local tourist offices will tell you about local attractions that would never make it into a guide book (OK, some with good reason).
I wouldn't rely on the free maps though - go Michelin.
Jun 7, 2012 8:45 PM
Jun 8, 2012 1:07 AM
Jun 10, 2012 12:33 AM
10Quite a few French regional tourist offices have sections on their websites about cycling in their particular area, often with quite detailed maps. The links to the cycling pages in the main areas of Provence are gathered here. http://bit.ly/li0WC1 But most other areas of France probably have them too.
Jun 10, 2012 8:06 AM
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