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France & Italy in April

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France & Italy in April

Old 03-30-19, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by geoffs
I cycled along the riviera 30 yrs ago on my way to italy and it was great. So when I went back there in 2005 with my wife and our brand new tandem we intended to ride from nice heading west along the coast. The traffic at the beginning of June was horrible. We made it as far as Antibe and caught the train to Les Eyzies in the Dordogne. We rode around there down to Cahors where we caught the train to Carcassonne and from there rode across the Languedoc region to Avignon, then through the Haute Provence region to the Maritime Alps then down to Menton and cycled back to Nice. We were in France for 5 weeks and most days were about 38C so we had to be on the road and cycling by 6am for me to survive the heat. We would be at our destination each day by about mid-day just in time for Plat du Jour and a bottle of rose. It was easy to tell good campgrounds as they were the ones that had bottles of rose in the fridge for sale to go with dinner.
We are about to head to Italy at the beginning of May and we are planning on flying into Milan. Staying there for a few days to recover from jetlag and we will stay in a hotel where we can leave our S&S bags for the tandem for our return. We are going to catch a train from there to Palermo? and then ride back avoiding Naples and Rome. We have 7 weeks so we should make it as far as the dolomites and we hopefully will be fit enough to ride up Stelvio by then. I'm sort of following the route of the Bike Dreams "Bella Italia tour". We are hoping that by doing this the weather will be getting warmer as we head further north and we'll avoid hot weather in Sicily. Lots of things undecided yet but I'll be keeping the daily distance to only 50-60 kms for the first couple of weeks because although I'm training 7 days a week my wife has to work and isn't really getting enough kms in.
Enjoy your tour!! We leave in about 15 days!!
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Old 04-01-19, 12:38 AM
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I just finished my tour (that I posted about earlier in this thread). I wanted to come back here to tell you that it was amazing. The weather was perfect. The traffic was difficult in some places, but on the whole, it was great. Because it was the off season, I made no hotel reservations and just stopped wherever I was too tired to keep going. There was always a room at a nice hotel available.

Good luck on your trip. My prediction is that you will love it.

Will
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Old 04-07-19, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by helouwn
I just finished my tour (that I posted about earlier in this thread). I wanted to come back here to tell you that it was amazing. The weather was perfect. The traffic was difficult in some places, but on the whole, it was great. Because it was the off season, I made no hotel reservations and just stopped wherever I was too tired to keep going. There was always a room at a nice hotel available.

Good luck on your trip. My prediction is that you will love it.

Will
Thanks Will for taking the time to post and providing great encouragement. We just started packing our bikes today. We are getting really excited and your post moved the excitement up a notch. BTW, do you blog? Since your trip was so recent perhaps there will be some learning. Thakns

Last edited by debade; 04-07-19 at 07:13 PM. Reason: add info
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Old 04-10-19, 07:09 AM
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as someone who has biked and used campgrounds in France back in the very early 90s and up to last summer, in general I've found that campgrounds are much nicer than they used to be. I am sure there are still some very basic ones, but especially along areas that are "touristy", even for French people, local campgrounds can have very nice facilities, often newer buildings and so well thought out layouts and clean facilities.

enjoy, and good luck with the weather.
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Old 04-12-19, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by debade
We are experienced bicycle tourists on our second trip to Europe. Our other European tour was along the N. Sea. This one is mostly France and a touch of Italy. I have attached the map of our route. We will camp and stay in hotels. We will also look for Warm Showers. Our language skills are weak but we have been working on our smiles. Any thoughts about things to see on our route, where to stay, etc. is appreciated. If you happen to be along our route and see a retired couple struggling along the road, stop and say hi.
Warmshowers was pretty parse in Italy when I toured there years ago but it has been growing. The other thing to consider is hostels which can be better than some hotels in some respects. Betiful and unique in many cases.
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Old 04-14-19, 03:10 PM
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Thanks to all for your comments!
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Old 04-14-19, 03:30 PM
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Assuming you will be cooking in the campsites, I have never been to France but I have heard that the butane stove canisters in France usually are the non-threaded type ones. If you can't find the threaded type stove cannisters, you might need to buy another camp stove to work on the unthreaded ones. I have talked to others that carried two stoves for that reason. The MSR Superfly works on both threaded and non-threaded types of cannisters (I have a Superfly so I can verify that it works on both types of cannisters) and I have heard that Primus makes one that will work on both. In the photo, the cannister on the left is an unthreaded one that most stoves sold in USA will not fit on.

But butane stoves are cheap, I would not worry about it, just cautioning you that if you buy a stove cannister, look at it first to make sure it fits on your stove.

Have a great time.


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Old 04-14-19, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
[...snip] I have never been to France but I have heard that the butane stove canisters in France usually are the non-threaded type ones. [snip...]
Both are readily available (see decathlon www a large sporting goods retailer). There's the "camping gaz" model (pop in) and the "Primus" (I believe referred to as ISO) screwed to the burner.
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