Fifty Plus (50+) - Tour Companies in France?
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12-11-09, 04:29 PM
My sweetie and I are heading to France next summer, and we're hoping to catch a few stages of the TdF while we're there. I'm trying to find a tour company that offers a tour that will include one or two TdF stages (or stage finishes) without spending the entire trip following the peloton.
Does anyone know of such a thing? I've searched the internet, but it seems to be an all-or-nothing proposition: either they spend 10 days following the Tour or they don't even mention it.
(BTW, I'm looking for tour companies because I really like having someone else take care of our transportation and lodging. Even with the internet I find travel planning a real headache.)
12-11-09, 08:32 PM
W did a trip like you describe with Backroads. Great trip, we saw the time trial and the finish in Paris. We've done two trips with Backroads, I highly recommend them But, I'm sure there are other good ones.
12-12-09, 01:36 AM
There is nothing like the TDF as a cycling event. I have been to several stages of it and the atmospere of the day is unbelievable. You choose your spot to watch it from- get there very early to make certain you get a good spot and then do not move till the pelaton has passed. Either that or go with a bunch of BIG friends that will keep a spot for the group of you so you can go and get food- drinks or comfort breaks. Then the Pre ride procession starts and that lasts for about an hour. This is where the BIG mates come in as 1,000 French scrabbling for the handouts can be a bit risky. Then the leaders come through and then the Pelaton and its over. Then it is the crush of trying to leave your chosen spot and you will be lucky if you can do that without any problems.
But given the chance- I will do it again. The thrill of the day is unbelievable.
Been looking at a few sites over here for the sort of trip you are looking for but the only ones I can find are for pretty serious riders and avid fans of the Tour.
Another that provides "Moderate" riding is here
And a shorter trip from the same company
Other than that- just keep looking on the Internet. But get your booking in soon. Place on TDF tours fill up fast.
And if you want a "Real" French experience- get there for Bastille day. I spent a fantastic 14th July in La Rochelle a few years ago. I enjoy music and the whole Town was turned over to it. Every corner of every street had some form of Music festival going on. You name it from "Hard Rock" to "Classical and it was there. Just don't book a Hotel in the centre of town for that night- as the Night will never stop.
12-12-09, 09:47 AM
Thanks -- I didn't see anything on their website, but I went ahead and e-mailed them.
12-13-09, 12:35 PM
A brit company that hooks up with many French outfitters is Cycle Skedaddle - don't have their exact web address, but google will have you there in a jiffy - I've always found them to be supremely responsive and to have plenty of time to be helpful. I organised a couple of group tours in France through them, with rentals and hotels and the rest - very thorough
Another Brit company - Graham Baxter Bike tours - again, google 'em
I hope you find what you're looking for - enjoy!!
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