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Old 01-15-05, 06:47 PM   #1
becnal
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Rhone river experience in France?

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!
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Old 01-17-05, 07:35 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 01-17-05, 07:48 AM   #3
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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..
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Old 01-18-05, 07:24 AM   #4
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Hi Becnal,
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.
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Old 01-18-05, 08:23 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 01-19-05, 01:11 AM   #6
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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..
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Old 01-19-05, 11:14 AM   #7
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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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