Even if the borders are open, even if SNCF reservations are 100% refunded until August 31, 2020, even if you have just bought a new car … you have decided, for once, to go by bike for summer. Itineraries, duration, difficulty, tourist activities… to know everything before setting off, we have selected four sites to prepare your itinerary. In complete relaxation to start the vacation mode.
France bicycle tourism, the most flexible
The baptized site France bicycle tourism allows you to find a route from point A to point B with the maximum number of cycle routes, that is to say used mainly by bicycles or pedestrians. To do this, on the home page, click on the “route map” tab and then on the “my GPS” option. Simply fill in the two empty fields corresponding to the places of departure and arrival. The interactive map then appears in purple two route proposals. By default, the site will favor the route with the most cycle routes. For more information, you can click on “detail +”, which displays the difference in height, for example. However, the type of path (road, dirt, tar, gravel, etc.) is not indicated, which can lead to unpleasant surprises.
To note : the travel time estimates are wide since they are calculated in the “ride” mode. Instead, rely on the number of kilometers, also displayed first.
Bonus : the site offers already established routes. In this case, go to the “routes” tab. And, if you have some specific ideas about your trip, the tab allows you to sort by different criteria: difficulty, duration, theme and destination.
Cycling in France, the most sporty
Second more exhaustive alternative: Cycling in France. The official website of the Fédération française de cyclotourisme allows you to find tailor-made cycling routes that are already listed. Most of the circuits are ultra-precise and rather unconventional. To find the perfect route, the site offers a wide range of search criteria: by departments, by type of bike, according to distance, difficulty or elevation, but also the type of tours (loops, events, etc. .) and finally, according to the estimated time of your journey. The routes are then classified using icons which give you an overview of the route at a glance: is it accessible, easy, long, hilly?
To note : the circuits are generally aimed at more athletic cyclists, trust the level of difficulty mentioned on the sticker to avoid being stuck at the bottom of a ridge with an unsuitable steed.
Bonus : as its name does not indicate, the Vélo en France site also offers itineraries throughout Europe. The 2.0 catalog called “Vel’Europe” extends mainly to border countries (Spain, Italy, Belgium, Great Britain etc.) but also to Ireland and Portugal.
Eurovelo, the most European
Don’t panic at the glaring lack of ergonomics and design instead old-schoolEurovelo which do not pay tribute to the precise work of developing the bicycle routes listed on the site. Made for ” discover Europe by bike », It offers cross-border journeys in more than 32 countries. A digital map makes it possible to have routes carefully designed by cycling and tourism professionals throughout Europe in one click. For each proposed route, a map in PDF format (booklet style – as complete as it is obsolete) is available, accompanied by a short description text translated into four languages. Despite a total lack of aesthetics, this directory is intended for those who want to cross Europe lengthwise, broadly and across. And, can give others travel ideas.
To note : the site is also available in French.
Flat : the map is not at all interactive, nor intuitive for that matter. This rigid format is simply used to show predefined routes but it will not be used to find yours, from your exact place of departure to the place of arrival.
Global biker, the most personal
Nothing to do with the cards listed above, Global biker is a blog that compiles the personal stories of people who have traveled by bicycle, especially in France … but also in Asia, Africa, Europe or who have traveled around the world. It is therefore not a question of simple itineraries, but of sharing experiences. It’s up to you to sort through this information – which can be tedious but also very rich. The site is full of tips, anecdotes, good plans. To do this, you just have to type the keywords (rather regions, for example: the Canal du midi) in the search bar, and the site will send you back to all the stories of cyclists passed through there.
To note : the site is amateur, all the posts are written in the first person, the advice should therefore be followed with a grain of salt.
Bonus : it is very easy to identify with such and such a cyclist who shares his experience. A very personal sharing that can allow some to take the plunge.
With this sample of pages specializing in bicycle travel, you are ready to go on a mop. As a general rule, if these sites have the merit of being very precise, rich and informed, there is nevertheless a big downside: they are not available as an app – a format that is nevertheless suitable for traveling around France by bike, with your hands firmly secured. on the handlebars.