I am going to Rouen, France, for a conference. Flight lands at Charles de Gaulle Int'l.
Q1: Can I really go to France (for free) in July and NOT bring my touring bike (a French-built Peugeot no less) and take a small vacation? I figure this one is a no-brainer.
I've heard great things about the Michelin and IGN maps for touring in France. But I'm in Canada so I did a Google maps "get directions" search using Charles de Gaulle airport and Rouen as departure and destination, respectively, using "walking" as my mode of transport. None of the roads along the way are A class (all D or smaller) and a total distance of 132km.
Q2: How much faith could I put in a route like this (anyone from France or who has spent time there familiar with the area)?
I arrive at 7am and I don't sleep well when traveling, but I'm young and in decent cycling shape. My conference begins the next morning, so I have to do this in one day. I've done two centuries (last summer) at a brisk pace, so over 12 hours I figure I can get from point A to point B (132km) on a loaded bike (tent, sleeping bag, minimal tools, minimal clothes). Now that the weather is nice I'm going to be riding as many miles as possible on both my touring (weekend camping trips) and TT bike.
Q3: Is doing this in one day realistic? How much of a risk am I taking?
I can't NOT make it in one day (my boss would kill me), but it's only 130km so even if I get stuck (catastrophic bicycle failure), I'm sure I could leave my bike somewhere and get a ride somehow (I'm Canadian, so 130km is like a drive to the supermarket) and pick up the bike after the conference.
Since I am new at touring (picked up my touring bike this winter) I'd REALLY appreciate any and all feedback from you seasoned vets. Especially from those who are familiar with biking in France.
I can't wait for the 10 days I've taken off to ride around in the French country-side (Normandy&Britanny)!!