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Provence, Ventoux



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 25th 06, 05:18 PM posted to uk.rec.cycling
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Default Provence, Ventoux

Hi

Thanks to all who replied to earlier threads about bikes on TGVs,
Provence and Ventoux. I returned yesterday from a brilliant week in
Provence with a tan and desire to return as soon as I can.

I didn't do as much riding as I'd like to have as it was a holiday with
friends, not bikes, but my appetite for more has definitely been
whetted. The roads are smooth (even the tinest D-roads are better sealed
than some A-roads here), drivers are more courteous or at least less
uncourteous than drivers here and the scenery, food and drink clearly go
without saying. Taking the bike in a soft bag on the Eurostar and TGV
(which is superb) was trouble-free once I'd hung around to make sure
nobody dumped a heavy suitcase on it and the whole journey from London
to A-e-P took under 7 hours. The change from Gare du Nord to Gare de
Lyon is a nuisance with a bike bag but not impossible.

What's a respectable time for climbing Ventoux? From Bedoin centre I
took just under 1 hour 40 minutes and from the summit to Malaucene
around 20 minutes, hitting 50mph a couple of times. I didn't find the
climb too hard in general -- the stretch to Chalet Reynard is the
toughest (ooh, another kilometre at 10%!) but I found the stretch from
Reynard much easier. I even got into the 39/25 a couple of times (I used
a 53/39 and 12-27) to honk out of the saddle and wheeze a quick "allez"
to some other poor bugger. The weather was favourable when I climbed
(overcast and not too windy) but I expect it'd be very tough in the full
sun or wind or at the end of a long ride. My whole
car-Bedoin-summit-Malaucene-Bedoin-car loop was only 45 miles or so.

Next stop: the Alps. Is l'Alpe d'Huez generally reckoned to be easier or
harder than Ventoux?

Cheers,

Mark
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  #2  
Old June 25th 06, 05:50 PM posted to uk.rec.cycling
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Default Provence, Ventoux

Mark wrote:
Hi

Thanks to all who replied to earlier threads about bikes on TGVs,
Provence and Ventoux. I returned yesterday from a brilliant week in
Provence with a tan and desire to return as soon as I can.

....... Taking the bike in a soft bag on the
Eurostar and TGV (which is superb) was trouble-free once I'd hung
around to make sure nobody dumped a heavy suitcase on it and the
whole journey from London to A-e-P took under 7 hours. The change
from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon is a nuisance with a bike bag but
not impossible.........


Look at changing at Lille instead; worst you've got there is a platform
swap, and there are lifts as well as escallators.
We've used Lille regularly for walking holidays; frequently arranging an
overnight stop-off at Lyon.

If looking to book complex Eurostar & TGV which is not listed in the very
simple Eurostar booklets (and onward European rail) travel, then use a rail
agency (eg. Ffestiniog Travel). They have access to the discount fares
which are lost on the rest of us due to the booking windows being variable.
eg. something like Eurostar is 3 month, for each leg, and TGV is 2-month for
each leg. So the window to book a 2-week long trip is nearly 6 weeks long!
By the time your last train is listed, the cheap tickets on the first have
long gone. But the agencies can reserve seats without commitment until the
last component is in place. There is usually a fee for booking, around ten
quid.


What is the limit on a soft bagged-bike for Eurostar ? I've found their
website unclear on the topic, though have seen people board trains with
bagged bikes (though they look like they are probably racers).
I have big touring bikes, mudguards, racks, etc. And I'm tall, so the "old
trusty" tourer is a big 24in frame.


- Nigel


--
Nigel Cliffe,
Webmaster at http://www.2mm.org.uk/


  #3  
Old June 25th 06, 06:44 PM posted to uk.rec.cycling
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Default Provence, Ventoux

On 2006-06-25, Nigel Cliffe wrote:
Mark wrote:

....... Taking the bike in a soft bag on the Eurostar and TGV (which
is superb) was trouble-free once I'd hung around to make sure nobody
dumped a heavy suitcase on it and the whole journey from London to
A-e-P took under 7 hours. The change from Gare du Nord to Gare de
Lyon is a nuisance with a bike bag but not impossible.........


Look at changing at Lille instead; worst you've got there is a
platform swap, and there are lifts as well as escallators. We've used
Lille regularly for walking holidays; frequently arranging an
overnight stop-off at Lyon.


Yes, I heard that Lille was easier but the Eurostar website didn't offer
connections at the right (lowest!) price for me.

If looking to book complex Eurostar & TGV which is not listed in the
very simple Eurostar booklets (and onward European rail) travel, then
use a rail agency (eg. Ffestiniog Travel). They have access to the
discount fares which are lost on the rest of us due to the booking
windows being variable. eg. something like Eurostar is 3 month, for
each leg, and TGV is 2-month for each leg. So the window to book a
2-week long trip is nearly 6 weeks long! By the time your last train
is listed, the cheap tickets on the first have long gone. But the
agencies can reserve seats without commitment until the last component
is in place. There is usually a fee for booking, around ten quid.


Ah, thanks. The Eurostar 3-/TGV 2-month window is frustrating -- just as
you said, I found that the cheap seats for the Eurostar leg had gone
before I was able to book the whole trip through on the Eurostar site. I
can see myself using the train again so I'll speak to an agency next
time -- thanks for the tip.

What is the limit on a soft bagged-bike for Eurostar ? I've found
their website unclear on the topic, though have seen people board
trains with bagged bikes (though they look like they are probably
racers). I have big touring bikes, mudguards, racks, etc. And I'm
tall, so the "old trusty" tourer is a big 24in frame.


Nobody weighed my bag and I had to heft it into the X-ray machines
myself so I suppose the weight limit is as much as you can lift with a
straight face. I thought I'd read somewhere that bikes had to be in bags
under 120cm long (as with the TGV) so you might have trouble there -- my
bag was 110cmish with both wheels off and no rack/guards.

Cheers,

Mark
  #4  
Old June 26th 06, 08:36 PM posted to uk.rec.cycling
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Default Provence, Ventoux

On Sun, 25 Jun 2006 16:18:00 -0000, Mark
wrote:

Hi

snip


Next stop: the Alps. Is l'Alpe d'Huez generally reckoned to be easier or
harder than Ventoux?



I'd say it's easier, but I did them on different bikes. Ventoux was on
my own, heavyish, Raleigh tourer stripped down. Alpe d'Huez was on a
road bike hired from a bike shop in the middle of Bourg d'Osain (sp?).
This was fitted with a triple so was lower geared. However by the
time I did Alpe d'Huez I'd done more cycling, so may have been fitter.



Tim
 




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