Summer antics: Cycle Camping in France

On this week’s show I promised some documentary evidence of my cycle tour in France last month. Well here it is. All filmed on a cheap and cheerful Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07 compact digital camera with a video mode, so please excuse some less than perfect audio quality.

Part one:

Part two:

My route took me from Biarritz on the Atlantic coast to Brioude in the massif central via most of the big Pyrenean cols, through Cathar country to the Mediterranean coast, Narbonne & Montpellier and then up across the Cévennes to Le Puy-en-Velay and the Auvergne. Train back from Brioude to Clermont Ferrand, Paris and London.



Some stills:

Bikely route map coming soon.

Day 1: Bayonne Airport – St. Jean de Luz – Ascain – Sare – Cherchebruit – Col de Pinodieta – Esplette – Itxassou – Pas de Roland (outstanding swimming spot). Camped in a field. 45km

Day 2: Pas de Roland – Bidarray – St Jean Pied de Port – Larceveau – Arros – Col d’Osquitch – Tardets – Montory – Arette. Hotel run by former tandem world champion. 92km

Day 3: Arrete – Issor – N134 – Escot – Col de Marie Blanque – Bielle – Laruns – Eaux-Bonnes – Col d’Aubisque – Col du Soulor – Argeles-Gazost – Soulor. Campsite. 102km

Day 4: Soulor – Lourdes – Soulor – Luz St Sauveur. Campsite. 50km

Day 5: Luz St Sauveur – Col du Tourmalet – Col d’Aspin – Arreau. Campsite. 63km

Day 6: Arreau – Col de Peyresourde – Bagnere de Luchon (excellent thermal spa). Campsite. 38km

Day 7: Bagnere de Luchon – Col du Portillon – Bossost – St Beat – Col des Ares – Col de Portet d’Aspet – St Lary – Castillon-en-Couserans. 98km.

Day 8: Castillon-en-Couresans – St. Girons – Massat (fabulous lunch at L’Hotel le Globe) – Col de Port – Tarascon – Appy. Camped in field, with donkeys. 102km

Day 9: Appy – Lordat – appalling track 5km through a wood – Col de Marmares – Belclaire – Quillan – Couiza – Rennes-le-Chateau – Rennes-les-Bains. Hotel de France. 94km

Day 10: Rennes-les-Bains – Col de Linas – Cucugnan – Tuchan – Vingrau – Opoul – Perillos – Fitou – La Franqui – La Palme – Port-la-Nouvelle – Narbone. Camped in a vineyard by the canal. 155km

Day 11: Narbonne – La Barque – Coursan – D162 – Nissan-lez-Enserune – Lespignan – Vendres – Serignan – Canal du Midi – Vias – D192 – Agde – Sete – Frontignan Plage – Vic-la-Gardiole – Villeneuve-les-Magelone – Maurin – Latts – Montpellier. 143km

Day 12: Montpellier

Day 13: Montpellier – Castelnau-le-Lez – D21 – D109 – D26 – Treviers – D1 – D1e9 – Valfaunes – Pompignan – St Hippolyte – Lasalle. Lovely campsite by a waterfall. 74km

Day 14: Lasalle – St Jean du Gard – Pompidou – Florac. Campsite. 73km

Day 15: Florac – Le Pont de Montvert – Col de Finiels – Le Bleymard – L’Estampe – Chasserades – La Bastide – Langogne – Pradelles. Campsite. 102km

Day 16: Pradelles – La Monastier-sur-Gazeille – Le Puy-en-Velay – Vorey – Retournac – Craponne-sur-Arzon – Cheyrac – St Victor-sur-Arlanc – Piers – Bonneval – La Chaise Dieu. Camped in a field with wild boar. 156km

Day 17: La Chaise Dieu – Chassignoles. L’Auberge de Chassignoles. ~30km.

Day 18: Chassignoles – Brioude. ~30km.

Train from Brioude to Paris, Eurostar to London.

  • http://virtualcyclist.wordpress.com Adrian

    Great videos!
    I could watch them all day, great stuff.

  • http://www.jordan-maynard.org Rob

    Jack, I can’t help noticing there was steam coming out of your head at the top of the Col de Portet d’Aspet!!

  • Jack

    Rob, that climb was definitely the biggest lung buster of the tour. Steam and all! I think if I had to choose a top three in intensity it would be:

    (1) Portet D’Aspet
    (2) L’Aubisque
    (3) Marie Blanque

    The Tourmalet has a couple of steep sections but there’s plenty of places to get one’s breath back.