Top Bike Rides in France for Summer, 2011

By Maggie LaCoste

Other than final planning for my birthday bike trip to Puglia later this month, I am busy planning my bike trip to France for July and early August.  I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share some insight into the major routes I am considering, along with some resources in case you want to do more research for a trip of your own.  Even though I am planning a two week trip, any of these areas are perfect for a long weekend also.  All itineraries are on low/no traffic roads, and are best suited for recreational, not high mileage rides.  The object of each of the itineraries is to experience France, rather than merely being a visitor.

My top rides for the summer of 2011 are:

•  The Burgundy Canal from Tonnerre or Montbard to Dijon

•  The Atlantic Ocean Green Trail from the Pointe de Grave to the Spanish Border

•  The Loire River

•  The Canal du Midi from Bordeaux to Toulouse

None of these routes require a car and all are easily accessible by train.  Two of the routes, the Burgundy Canal and the Loire are less than 2 hours by train from Paris.  The other two routes begin in Bordeaux, an easy train or plane ride from Paris. Each of the routes can easily be biked on your own, or through a self-guided tour.  One of these routes will be my summer trip for 2011.  Join me over the next few weeks as I explore each route, the history, the food, the wine and things to see along the way.

Posted by Maggie LaCoste

I love the adventure and unpredictability of experiencing France by bike. Cycling in France is the ultimate slow travel adventure, an opportunity to see it through the back door in a way few tourists experience. One week on a bike in France and life takes on a different meaning! I created Experience France By Bike to inspire recreational cyclists to visit France the slow bike, and to be the best source of information for planning the perfect bicycling adventure. I encourage readers to embrace the uncertainty of the road ahead and to take the path less traveled, exploring roads, towns and villages that you would never experience traveling by car.