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Old 06-17-10, 10:29 PM   #1
deepakvrao
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Question regd roads in France

Hi Guys,

We just got these maps for our France tour [IGN 1:100,000]

http://www.mapkiosk.com/pages/keuro_france_100k.html

Planning our first leg from Bordeaux to Lacunnae and most of the cycling is on a purple road, which is marked in the map as a 'Main' road but not a motorway. Is cycling allowed/safe/fun on a road like this? Thereafter most of the trip will be on yellow marked roads on the map. In Google maps, the purple of the IGN maps is marked as yellow. Here is a pic of our first leg:



What do most people follow when touring in France?

Thanks.
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Old 06-17-10, 11:00 PM   #2
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That route looks fine. The D roads in france are all good for riding, although they do vary in size and traffic. In general the larger roads have a good wide shoulder, the smaller roads less traffic Even Route Nationales RN roads can usually be ridden unless sign-posted otherwise, but the D roads are a better bet...

Hope this helps. Have a great time in france
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Old 06-18-10, 07:21 AM   #3
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As it says in Lonely Planet's cycling france "D-roads make cycling in France a Dream!"

Don't know about the IGN maps, but I usually follow the white D roads on the Michelin maps, which are usually pretty deserted.

Typical D white colored roads in France, meaning low traffic:






And here is a D road marked in yellow on the maps, meaning it is a "busy" main road.
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Old 06-18-10, 08:30 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. Now I need to find out if the White D roads in Michelin are like the Yellow D in IGN. Does D refer to the D2, D210, D209 way of numbering? If so, then the D roads are yellow in the IGN maps.
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Old 06-18-10, 08:44 AM   #5
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A word of warning about "D" roads in France. The French government ceded control of many "N" roads to the départements in recent years, and the designation of these roads has changed from "N" to "D". Older maps will still have the old "N" designations. The upshot for cyclists is that the old rule-of-thumb that "D" roads are generally excellent for cycling is no longer valid. Some are, but many aren't. I was just touring in France, and I found that if a road with a "D" designation looks nonetheless like a main road on a map, then it may very well have a fair amount of traffic and also probably used to be designated an "N" road.
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Old 06-18-10, 08:50 AM   #6
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^^

Yes that is true, but still you can see how wide the road is, how many lanes, how much traffic (supposedly) and such by the thickness of the road on the maps. I have an older version of the maps, 2007 i think, so the old numbering conventions still hold true.
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Old 06-18-10, 09:00 AM   #7
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BTW a useful site

http://www.viamichelin.com/

as you can see on their map red roads are heavy traffic, yellow moderate, and white low traffic. The thickness on the map corresponds with the road width. Some red roads are indeed shown as wide and named with the D convention, most likely old N roads, but the map is usually correct about the road width information, which is extremely helpful.

When you get on those roads with no pavement markings like the ones i posted above the are generally extremely low traffic, and absolutely wonderful cycling, although sometimes in poor condition surface wise.
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Old 06-18-10, 09:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoltani View Post
^^

Yes that is true, but still you can see how wide the road is, how many lanes, how much traffic (supposedly) and such by the thickness of the road on the maps. I have an older version of the maps, 2007 i think, so the old numbering conventions still hold true.
Your first point is exactly what I meant when I wrote that if a "D" road "looks nonetheless like a main road on a map", it may have a fair amount of traffic. However most people who will read this will have newer maps and the old road designations may NOT hold true.
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Old 06-19-10, 09:51 AM   #9
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Look at the roadway itself in Satellite view (preferably without labels so you can see traffic and shoulder conditions. Looking at the D6 along the Bois de Boutas, it seems to be a pretty wide road with traffic moving at highway speeds (cars are spaced far apart).

Whether cycling is allowed along this road or whether it is advisable, I couldn't really say.

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