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  1. #1
    Senior Member Chop!'s Avatar
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    More on the downtube (from France!)

    Hey Yah Boo! Yan didn't pay me to write this! Lol!

    Just met a couple in Montpellier (France), Levin is from USA and his girlfriend Helene is French. She's just bought a non-suspension Downtube off ebay. Levin's Mum is bringing it over when she visits, so maybe I'll get a chance to try one out!
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    Chop! The mad Welshman, lost in the urban jungle somewhere between LLanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch and Vladivostock!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tomaso's Avatar
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    Hi Chop,

    Montpellier is a cool place, I've been there several times. But France isn't really a cycling-friendly country. Lots of nice places to visit in the Herault-department !

  3. #3
    Hairy Member Crankypants's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomaso

    Montpellier is a cool place, I've been there several times. But France isn't really a cycling-friendly country. Lots of nice places to visit in the Herault-department !
    I strongly disagree! I've spent several months touring throughout France, and I find that it is one of the greatest places to tour a velo. After all, if the bicycle wasn't invented here, then the French have largely contributed to it's development. It is true that French drivers have a fondness for blazing speed, and the large cities and busy highways are unpleasant to ride on. But France has an extensive network of smaller roads linking the tiny villages throughout the countryside. These roads are usually very quiet, the drivers are courteous, the scenery spectacular, and there are water fountains in the center of most of the villages to replenish those empty water bottles. Fresh food and wine isn't bad either
    Vive la France a Velo!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tomaso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankypants
    I strongly disagree! I've spent several months touring throughout France, and I find that it is one of the greatest places to tour a velo. After all, if the bicycle wasn't invented here, then the French have largely contributed to it's development. It is true that French drivers have a fondness for blazing speed, and the large cities and busy highways are unpleasant to ride on. But France has an extensive network of smaller roads linking the tiny villages throughout the countryside. These roads are usually very quiet, the drivers are courteous, the scenery spectacular, and there are water fountains in the center of most of the villages to replenish those empty water bottles. Fresh food and wine isn't bad either
    Vive la France a Velo!
    OK, If you can tell me where in the wider area of Montpellier I can cycle on cycling paths for about 5 KM, please let me know.
    BTW when you drive/ride around on the N or D-roads (National /départemental) in France, try the count the numerous signs showing the deadly accidents which have occured on the French roads (including many cyclists!). I know France very well, my parents-in-law live in the Hérault-department

  5. #5
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    Velo rule 1 in France. Stay off the N and D roads.
    Velo Rule 2 in France. Don't ride any road in August.

    Maxim No. 1. The closer to DE or CH you ride, the safer you are.

    My fav department: Alsace. Vive la Strasbourg.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tomaso's Avatar
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    If one has to stay off the D/N roads, then where the hell can you cycle in France????? On motorways??? (route du soleil?)
    Seriously, if France is a cycling-friendly country, then I am the pope !

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    OK... a little overstated, but basically I cycle the D roads. Thousands of them. Many times there's a D road parallel to a N road, the D road being the older. And I have found even the N roads comfortable hear the Rhine.

    If you are set up for touring, the canal paths. Some, like the ones along the Rhine, are paved.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tomaso's Avatar
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    Hi Mauna,

    In the Northern & eastern regions the situation is indeed much better. But I was replying to the situation in the South of France. I know, that in the Alsace & Jura there's much less traffic, and people have more common sense when driving their cars. Anyway, with all that beautiful scenery I do agree that France is great for touring !

  9. #9
    Hairy Member Crankypants's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomaso
    OK, If you can tell me where in the wider area of Montpellier I can cycle on cycling paths for about 5 KM, please let me know.
    BTW when you drive/ride around on the N or D-roads (National /départemental) in France, try the count the numerous signs showing the deadly accidents which have occured on the French roads (including many cyclists!). I know France very well, my parents-in-law live in the Hérault-department
    O.K. From Montpellier
    Option # 1: traverse the esplanade de l'Europe until you arrive at le Lez. On the east side, there is a bicycle path that follows the river 12 km to arrive at the Mediterranean Sea. Very nice ride, but busy with joggers on weekends.
    Option #2: Pass the Paul Valery University and take the road leading to the zoo. After you pass the zoo, continue straight through the next two roundabouts to take D112. This is a very quiet road, and there is a bike path on half of it leading to Pic Saint Loup.
    From Pic Saint Loup you can ride the Gorges de l'Herault, a stunningly beautiful ride on quiet roads.
    Southern France isn't a good place for cycling? Are you kidding?
    1. Languedoc Rousillon is an incredibly beautiful region filled with tiny roads that pass through quiet and hidden villages. Riding through les Pays Cathares and the Parc Naturel Regional du Haut Languedoc is highly recommended.
    2. Les Cevennes are filled with wonderful cycling routes that aren't even too busy in the middle of the summer vacation season. Highlights include Mt Aigoual, les Gorges du Tarn, and Les Gorges de l'Ardeche (although this area does get a little busy in July-Aug).
    3. Provence is an absolute dream with over hundreds of km of bike routes throughout the Luberon. Les Alpilles are another tranquil riding area, and don't forget Mt. Ventoux. All these roads have very little traffic excpt for the slow driving tourists and bicycle racers who tackle the giant of Provence (Ventoux). LEs Gorges du Verdon is another excellent bicycle route.
    4. Further east you have the Plateau de Caussols and the Alps-Maritimes that are totally hidden away from tourism, no traffic whatsoever, and pass been incredibly beautiful villages perched high on the cliftops.
    5. The Pyrenees............
    6. Corsica is still Southern France. Superb cycling!
    Throughout my extensive touring of Southern France, I have found the drivers to be very courteous. It is true that trying to find a good ride to leave a city like Montpellier can be nerveracking. Unfortunately, many of my favorite routes are too small to be indicated on the Michelin Atlas Routier Touristique so you need to be lucky or find a highly detailed map!
    Bonne Route!

  10. #10
    Hairy Member Crankypants's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maunakea
    Velo rule 1 in France. Stay off the N and D roads.
    Velo Rule 2 in France. Don't ride any road in August.

    Maxim No. 1. The closer to DE or CH you ride, the safer you are.

    My fav department: Alsace. Vive la Strasbourg.
    Actually the D ( le departemental) roads are usually the ones that I ride on, you just need to choose the quiet ones. Even in august, there are many quiet backroads to enjoy.
    Alsace is actually a region not a departement.

  11. #11
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    OK, les départements des Bas-Rhin et Haut-Rhin.

  12. #12
    Hairy Member Crankypants's Avatar
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    Sorry Maunakea, I wasn't trying sound like a jerk. I would love to visit Alsace as well. I have heard that les Ballons des Vosges are really beautiful......

  13. #13
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    no offense taken. I'm normally more precise.

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