le tour 2008 advice

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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ash
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 8:26 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by ash

Hi Guys,

I and the new misus will happen to be in France as part of our honeymoon in july 2008 and i thought i what better way to spend our honeymoon than looking at bikeporn and skinny guys in lycra. So now im wondering if anyone has any suggestions for seeing/following some of the tour - specifically some mountain stages.

The plan is to leave Nice around the 18th of july, and head towards the mountains, to try and catch some of the alpine stages.

How easy is it to find a more detailed route that the tour is following (hate to wait on the side of a wrong road!)?

What are likely to be the pros/cons of a) basing ourselves in a couple of towns and driving out on a couple of days to whatever mountain pass happens to be in the stage for that day? Im guessing traffic is likely to be pretty heavy, but does it disapate quickly, or are we likely to be stuck there for 2 days kind of thing?

We dont mind travelling from town to town, I'd just really love to experience the atmosphere as the race passes through on the way to the crest of an epic pass, and ultimately i guess i'd like to see it a couple of times. At least that way we have a 2nd/3rd chance incase we screw it up.

Is it likely to be easier to get a campervan of some description and just sleep whereever we want to?

Unfortunately taking the bike wont happen.. i was -> <- this close to taking it, but logistically it just wont work on this trip. I also didn't really want to do a week long riding tour while she got to enjoy our honeymoon hanging around some chalet on her own.


Cheers, and thanks

Ash

OrcaChris
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 4:38 am
Location: Perth WA

by OrcaChris

I went to the Tour this year,

Also Stayed in Nice, I would recomend you take your shoes and Pedals. I manged to Hire a Scott Just near the train station for a few days And Managed to ride Le Co EZE a few times. Great riding.

Also we went to the Albi Time Trial as it was the whole day not 5 minutes of the tour. We also traveled all over on the train.

GrahamB
Posts: 1343
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 7:16 am
Location: Lyon, France

by GrahamB

How's your French?

http://www.letour.fr/
Graham

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swinter
Posts: 1227
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 2:27 am
Location: Grosse Pointe, MI

by swinter

The Tour's webpage is also available in English, but the route data is not very detailed at this point in time.

I haven't done the Tour, but I would think a camper van parked at the side of the road at least a couple days in advance would be necessary for mountain stages.

On the other hand, I was in the Alps last summer just after the Tour and I have to say it was some of the most beautiful riding I have ever done. I rode part of Stage 7. Very nice. I would encourage you to bring a bike or rent one, as suggested above.

(My first day there was actually the last day of the Tour. As I rode through a small town, a woman sitting at a sidewalk cafe shouted "Monsieur, monsieur. Le Tour de France est arrivé!")
"I can't understand why people are frightened by new ideas. I'm frightened of old ones." -- John Cage

http://weightweenies.starbike.com/phpBB ... 928#126928

ash
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 8:26 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by ash

Thanks for the heads up about pedals/shoes, hadn't thought about that option.

It was more detailed route information than Embrun, col du Galibier, Saint-Jean de maurienne, bourg d'oisans, l'alp d'huez (though that one is probably easy enough to figure out the route) - specific roads/route etc is more what i had in mind. Unless of course that info is on letour.fr and i havent looked deep enough.

Cheers,

Ash

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Danton
Posts: 2327
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:52 pm
Location: Aix-les-Bains

by Danton

Full route details, down to the last road, comes out in early May. Get a 1:200.000 Michelin map and you can trace the route onto it then. Later in July, you should be able to buy Vélo magazine in France which has a guide of the race, including every road and the time the riders are expected to pass, or just buy the local newspaper on the day for the same thing. As you say above, you can work out the obvious route on the main mountain stages.

Remember, a trip to see a Tour stage is really an all day picnic, you will see the riders pass for a few minutes but have to fill the rest of the day. So take warm clothes, sunblock, books, food and drink and other things you might want all day.

You can rent campervans but these are restrictive, you will have to arrive very early, possibly 48-24 hours before on a mountain to find a place to park your van. But it means you have a bed for the night, local hotels get booked up, but the Alps are full of ski hotels so there's always something but you might have to drive away from the Tour route.

When the race has passed, maybe head over to nearby Mont Ventoux for some nice countryside and you can rent a bike to ride up and down from the town of Bedoin.

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