There were only 3 things I wanted to do while in France: eat cheese, drink wine, and ride my bicycle. A couple years ago I bought a Ritchey BreakAway from my friend Keith, the perfect travelling bike. When broken down, it fits into regular sized luggage (aka no additional bike fees on the plane); but once assembled it’s a full sized road bike.
Finding good information on cycling in Provence was more difficult than expected. Ultimately, the best resource was Provence a Velo, but even that information was sometimes sketchy. It seems like Provence is trying to develop a comprehensive bike route system. But, the routes are incomplete, and sometimes the trails just end – with a note saying that they are under construction.
It’s hard to complain too much, because even on non-cycling specific routes, cars are respectful and views are spectacular. Provence has a nice combination of farmland:
And very interesting bike specific structures. This is a picture of a bridge that goes across the Rhone. The bike route is inside the bridge structure. A four lane “highway” is on top, dividing the two directions are translucent panels that allow a bit of light inside. It’s surreal being inside the bridge and hearing the cars drive over top of you.
In order to fully enjoy a countryside ride, one must break the rules and wear a backpack. Although, I would argue that as long as the bag contains a baguette and a couple bottles of wine, it should be exempt from the Velominati.
I bought this Evoc bag the week before leaving Whitehorse. It underwent some significant pre-France training, by lugging beer, wine and Strongbow across the frozen lakes of the Yukon. In the end a 20L bag can easily carry – a baguette, 3 types of cheese, 2 varieties of sausage, 2 bottles of Chateauneauf du Pape, a banana, and a change of clothes. Although I strongly recommend starting with 2 bottles of wine and ending with one. It makes the ride home much more entertaining.