Old 07-11-10, 08:19 PM
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NoGaBiker
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Bikes: Merlin Extralight DA, 1982 Peugeot CFX-10 Campy NR, 7 Cruisers kept at beach, Raleigh Passage 4.0 hybrid, Marin Commuter with racks and bags

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What a wonderful trip! I had the good fortune to travel about 250 miles around the Luberon last September with a close friend from London. We headed southeast towards Menerbes out of the Avignon TGV station. Eventually looped up north to Sault, stripped our bikes and left the gear in the hotel to climb Ventoux then back to Sault for the night. What a great climb, and even better descent!!! Eventually crossed our own earlier path as we headed southwest through Cavaillon to Arles'

For us, the wonder of this trip was that it was entirely unplanned. Each night we'd stop at the town we were closest to when we started getting hungry. Stop in at the Office de Tourisma and ask for a Gites or Hotel de Chambre (sort of B&B in a farmhouse on the outskirts of town, usually). We'd call the madame, make arrangements, pedal out to her inevitably gorgeous and happily situated ancestral estate, shower and change in our spacious, well-appointed upstairs bedroom/suite, then pedal back into town for a 3000-calorie feast. Between courses one of us would pull out the Michelin and say, "Hmmmmmm... how about we head up to Antoine-sur-la-Lac tomorrow? Looks like a scenic route to me," and that would be the sum total of our route planning.

It was the most leisurely time I've ever spent on a bike, and it changed everything about my riding. We did the whole trip on Lynskey ti race bikes with seatpost racks, but I now would redo the trip on relaxed geometry touring bikes, even if I wasn't carrying any more stuff. We averaged 12mph for the whole trip because so much time was spent coasting or climbing slowly through ancient villages of unspeakable beauty. To go any faster would have been to discard beauty with heartbreaking wantonness.

Glad you got to see this region. Sounds like your other two destinations were just as fantastic!

Cheers
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