Touring - Rhone river experience in France?
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Does anyone have any experience riding along the Rhone river in France? I am planning to ride from Frankfurt Germany to Santiago Spain this summer, going down the Rhine river, to the Rhine-Rhone canal and Doubs river, to the Saone river and then down the Rhone. Can anyone tell me much about riding along the Rhone and / or Saone river? Many thank!
01-17-05, 07:35 AM
I've ridden a portion along the Rhone River between Avignon and the Ardeche River. In all honesty, I think it's a lot more interesting away from the Rhone valley. While it sounds like you might be trying to reach Santiago via the flattest possible route, I would urge you to consider riding across Auvergne and then down the Dordogne & Lot Valleys in SW France. Those regions are simply superb for touring. French road grading is excellent, so crossing the Massif Central needn't be too painful.
01-17-05, 07:48 AM
I have rode about Avignon and eastward towards the Luberon valley. Incredible riding...NOrth of Avignon, my impression it is pretty busy...ANy bike maps of this area...The guide I used did not mention any scenic rides in the area between Burgundy and Provence..
01-18-05, 07:24 AM
last summer I've ridden the Rhone vally from St Etienne to the Mediterranean coast. I think the most important advantage, is the possibility to have the Mistral winds in your back (when you travel from north to south). When I was there, winds were blowing at around 80km/h, which made it very easy to me to ride (full packed) at around 35km/h on average! So if you consider doing it, keep an eye on the wether forecast.
On the other hand, the road along the Rhone vally is a so called "route nationale" which means it has quite heavy traffic.
I would suggest to take it of you want to travel on a fast way through the region. If you have more time, take the smaller and more quiet roads of the Massif Centrale which have very scenic views.
01-18-05, 08:23 AM
I agree with Quickfit, what the French call the "Route to the sun" is very busy and not to be recommended unless you are in a hurry. Stay away from the Rhone valley and take the quieter and more scenic route. George.
01-19-05, 01:11 AM
Route National..I recall ending up on some of those by mistake..It was not fun...Busy...And seems that is one road not ideally suited for cyclists..Cars passed by really fast and close..
01-19-05, 11:14 AM
Try the 2004 TdF route for the day ending in the Pyrenees. I have not cycled, but have driven back routes through the Massif Central. The roads are well surfaced and are not packed with stressed drivers. You might have a problem with cows like the TdF. Download videos of that stage and watch the scenery.
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