We plan to take the high speed train direct from CDG to Avignon.
You will want to check to see if you can still takes bike on TGVs.
There have been some policy changes due to security in the past
year. In 2002, I had no problem with my bike in a bag from Paris to
Grenoble; it was a carry-on and put in the luggage rack. In 2003, I
was able to just put my naked bike into a small storage area from
Guingamp to Paris- but that was during Paris-Brest-Paris and the
French may just have been being accommodating.
If you know, when and where should we get our train tickets?
IME get them before you leave home, and check into a Eurail pass (IIRC
and I'm sure I've got that wrong, but someone can
correct me). You can get better fares buying your ticket this way
than buying in France, IME. Buy a museum pass, too, if you're going
to go sightseeing in Paris (IME do not miss Saint-Chappelle).
Rick Steves gives me the creeps for some reason, but his book on Paris
is full of very good information. www.ricksteves.com
Do you know of reasonably priced and located Paris lodging?
I found 2 star hotels very reliable, reasonably priced and they always
had English-speaking desk staff. There are lots of ways to get hotel
rooms, I found the various Internet sites helpful. I stayed at the
Hotel Castex in the Marais; it was perfectly adequate and cheap. It
has upgraded to a 3 star hotel now, with concommittant price
It's also near the Gare de Lyon, if
that's your terminus (you might actually depart for Avignon from Gare
Where can we get bike boxes for our return flight?
Keep the ones you take over for the return flight, if you can find
somewhere to store them in Avignon or at your "home base."