September Camping Group Trip for 2017 to the Languedoc
Toulouse and into the Languedoc - a real slice of France
On all our other trips once you leave our base you are free of us unless you need help. On the led trips I get to come too! Apart from my sparkling company you also get the benefit of my nose for restaurants, unique knowledge of sub-2 Euro bottles of wine, scintillating camp-stove recipes and of course the unique camaraderie of other cyclists trying to out-eat each other... On these trips you’ll find men and women, couples and singles, of all ages and from wildly different backgrounds. Yet, without exception, the group soon gels and becomes a group of like-minded friends ‘lost in France’. Because of the nature of these groups the ‘route’ is very flexible, often a poster advertising a fete, or the prospect of another stunning day at the beach, will make us change our plans. For us these trips are the high point of the season, and are the ones that bring people back to France year after year, so if you want to join this select band don’t leave it too late. To give you some idea of the priorities of the group go and have a look at the Breton Bikes Gourmet Guide...
Sunday 3rd September to Friday 15th September -
To see lots of pictures of previous group-trips go see our Cycling Holidays in France facebook page
This year is an adventure into the rugged landscape of the National Park of the Languedoc. I've cycled here three times and it's wonderful - you'll see very few tourists, pass through tiny villages where in the wine harvest the gutters run red with wine, and simply get lost in France;-)
From the map below you can see that the basic plan is only 500 kms which is extremely unambitious giving an average of around 40 kms or 25 miles a day. In fact the route will almost certainly cover a lot more ground (even to the Med?) and will modify on a daily basis depending on the usual restraints of weather, wind, how sore we are or how much we've had to eat... However the final route works out you will ride through a constantly changing landscape that will give you a real taste of much of France. BUT it is important that anyone booking for the trip should be capable of 50 miles in a day. The terrain is also hilly with some climbs being 800m of gain so this is not for the beginner, but regular cyclists or anyone who is moderately fit should have no problem.
Anyone coming on the trip must get to the start-point at Toulouse. I will camp as near to the station and airport as possible and people will have to taxi to the start campsite – usually people get together and share so it doesn't work out expensive. Here we'll meet up as I will have all the bikes and equipment and everyone must get ready for the off on the Monday Morning. The car and bike trailer will then stay at the campsite awaiting our return.
The Important Bit...
These trips do NOT have a support wagon. The only back-up is the toolkit I carry on my bike. Mechanical problems are all down to me to sort out (in 25 years we've coped without problems;-). However if anyone has a personal problem e.g. becomes ill, has an accident, simply can't manage the ride etc then it is their responsibility to get to the start/finish point along with their equipment. Anyone who arrives and finds they are exhausted after 20 miles will, I'm afraid, be on their own as I cannot compromise the trip for the others in the group.
I don't want anyone to think for a minute that they have to keep up with a load of hammer-heads cycling at 20 mph. We tour at a very gentle pace – in my own case I rarely average more than 10 mph over a day. But I need everyone to be capable of covering the distance so please be sure, and practice before coming.
The Good Bit
Of all the holidays we organise this fortnight is probably the high-point of the year. There are only 14 places available and as a rule at least 10 will be taken by people coming for their 2nd, 10th or even 20th time so be warned – once you are on these trips they become addictive. It is very much a ride for people who are moderately fit, and do a bit of cycling. The group is always populated by a mix of experienced 'Breton Bikers', newbees, all ages and with generally a 50/50 male/female mix this is not one of those tours with lots of muscly men with shaved and oiled legs (sorry ladies).. We cycle on lovely roads, see beautiful countryside, eat and drink like kings and spend a lot of time with a wonderful bunch of people. If anything will ever convert you to cyclecamping then these trips will do the job;-)
As always on these trips the route is both vague and flexible as we are at the mercy of conditions or just where our noses take us - which of course is what makes the trip so special...
Because of the nature of the trip (i.e. we are away from our base) it is ESSENTIAL that you have holiday insurance that will cover you for any medical attention (Europeans will be covered by the European Health Card), travel expenses, accommodation and of course compensate you for any lost holiday time if you have an accident. Because there is no vehicle back-up it is down to you to get yourself and equipment to the finish point if for any reason you don't make the full trip. On a couple of occasions in the last 25 years members of the group haven't been able to manage the riding and so have split off to continue an easier route and meet back with the group later having had a rather lovely (but different) holiday to the rest of us.
So be there or be square...
Cost - Because this is a 'special' the price is only £475/550 € for the trip.