Seek Travel Ride Newsletter April 2021 Edition
- We are very excited to announce we have recently launched a Seek Travel Ride YouTube channel. Our aim for this is to be able to provide you with practical information and tips in relation to cycle travel and cycling in France. Keep an eye out for new videos as we look to add more content to the channel on a regular basis.
- The Scandibérique is a 1700km / 1056mi route tracking diagonally across the country from the Ardennes in the North East all the way down to the Pyrenees in the South West. This route forms the French section of Euro Velo 3 which is the Pilgrim Route and connects Norway to Spain. There is now a new website dedicated to this section of the route which is very handy to use in terms of planning out your trip. The site breaks down the route into smaller stages and also suggests places of interest along the way. So whether you want to cycle just a few hours or perhaps plan to cover the entire route as part of a longer period of travel, this is a great resource to explore further. The route crosses 20 departments and 4 regions in France, with major cities such as Paris and Bordeaux incorporated along the way. Discover more about this route here. We have definitely put this one high up on our priority list to explore further.
- We continuing to update our COVID-19 page as new developments arise in relation to travel to France. As the vaccine rollout worldwide begins to gain traction, there has been recent discussion around the idea of ‘vaccine passports’ to allow a return to the tourism industry. Whilst nothing has officially been set up in this regard, President Macron has indicated in recent days that there is a desire to have something set up which could allow for travel to France by fully vaccinated Europeans and Americans for this summer holiday season.
- The French Government has moved a step closer to implementing a ban on short haul internal flights of 2hr 30min duration where the equivalent journey could be completed by train. The measures were first spoken about last year as a result of a government bail out of Air France, the national airline carrier. This bill is part of steps the government is taking to address climate change and will have impacts on internal flight routes such as Paris to Bordeaux and Paris to Nantes. This will certainly be something to keep in mind for your future travel plans within France. Of course train travel in France is still a fantastic option. See our tips on travelling with a bike on French trains in our article here.
- There have also been new incentives announced by the French Government which is looking to entice more people out of cars and onto bikes. The latest news is that French people will be able to trade in an older car for a 2500 euro voucher to put towards an e-bike or cargo bike. e-Bikes are gaining popularity and make up one in every five bicycles sold last year in France. Dedicated cycling infrastructure continues to expand across the country whether they be separated cycle lanes or extra spots on trains to transport bikes as well. More and more French people are embracing travel on two wheels and this will only be positive for those of us looking to embark on some cycling whilst on holidays in France.
Ride in the French mountains on Car Free days
These popular evens offer a chance to experience riding some of the famous mountain climbs of the Tour de France on fully closed roads . Held across multiple regions in France we are happy to see that the car free days are only gaining in popularity and are being held once again in 2021. Pre-registration for these events is generally not required. Often there are also refreshment stations available at the top of the summits for you to be able to refuel. So if you are hoping to ride some of the mountains in France this year, why not plan your trip to coincide with these days? We have searched which events are being held this year and listed each one below.
Cols Réservés 2021 – Hautes Alpes
Saturday May 29: Upper Clarée Valley
Sunday May 30: Col de l’Echelle
Sunday June 6: Ascent Ailefroide / Pré Mme Carle
Sunday July 4: Montée Puy Saint Vincent 1600
Thursday July 8: Col d’Izoard
Monday July 19: Col de Vars
Tuesday July 20: Col de Moissière (Ancelle)
Wednesday July 21: Col de Granon
Thursday July 22: Col Agnel
Thursday July 22: Col du Galibier
Tuesday August 3: Montée de Chabre
Wednesday August 4: Col de Pommerol
Thursday August 5: Col d’Izoard
Monday August 16: Col de Vars
Wednesday August 18: Col de Granon
Thursday August 19: Col du Galibier
Friday August 20: Montée des Orres
Sunday 05 September Col d’Agnel
2021 Oisans Col Series – French Alps
This series provides amateur cyclists with the opportunity to take on some of the most famous climbs such as Alpe d’Huez in the French Alps on roads which are closed to motorised vehicles. These car free days take place every Tuesday in July and August beginning on 06 July. The event is entirely free and registration is not required. Refreshment stations are also available at the top of the climbs as well. For more information about this series check here.
Pyrénées Cycl’n’Trip 2021
From the 19 – 23 July 2021, the roads to 15 Cols in the Pyrenees will be reserved wholly for cyclists. The roads will be closed to cars from 09:00am to 12:00pm making this an ideal time to test yourself on some of the most famous Tour de France climbs. Across the five days there will be different peaks available to ride such as Col d’Aubisque, Col du Tourmalet and the Col d’Aspin. As with the events being run in the French Alps, there is no need to register your participation. For more information and to see which climbs are available to ride on which day check the official website here.
French Jura – Grand Colombier
Taking place on the second Saturday of the Month the road to the summit of the Grand Colombier is closed to traffic from 7am to 3pm. This particular event has been run successfully since 2013 and is gaining in popularity with each year. There is a refreshment station put on at the top of the climb by the local Tourism body. There is also an option to ride with as part of a larger group leaving from the local bike store at 10:00am at Maison du Velo in the small town of Culoz at the base of the climb. Dates for this year are listed below.
June: Saturday 12th
July: Saturday 10th
August: Saturday 14th
September: Saturday 11th
Paris Roubaix 2021 Challenge cancelled
Unfortunately many cycling events continue to be cancelled in France this year due to COVID-19. Late last month Paris Roubaix was the latest event to see a postponement to later in the year in October. Unfortunately organisers of the amateur Paris Roubaix Challenge Sportive have decided the event will not being run in 2021. The organiser hopes to be able to run the event again in April 2022.