Once we leave Colmar and our friends behind, we take our epic bike ride into the Tour de France territory. Although some serious cyclists like Justin say that the Giro d’Italia is better (not going to enter a debate right now), we are still excited to touch upon the 202o race route. Although, having watched the Tour on TV, some of those climbs they do are fierce, so I am shi***ng myself! Lots and lots of training required or I will end up walking my bike up those climbs. Or have Justin pull me up with the tow rope I’m considering brining along.
So, after Colmar, we have another decision to make. We can either head towards Paris and then the west coast of France (which would add some extra kilometers to the grand total) or we can head south. Either way, we will include some Tour de France stops on the route.
There are benefits to both route options and challenges, too. Again, challenge-wise, I am thinking about the climbing, but let’s face it, I won’t get through the first couple of days of our epic ride in Norway, if I can’t face a few horrendous climbs because there will be plenty right at the start. If we go west, then we could have a little stop-over in Paris (it would also be a flatter route). If we go south, we could take in a couple more countries including a bit of Switzerland, the top of Italy and maybe even Monaco (and while there persuade some of the super rich to donate for our cause, too).
The problem is, there are so many options and they are all so attractive, that it is hard to make up our minds. Talking of which, we have had a rethink about an earlier part of our route. From Berlin, we might head west into Netherlands and then through Belgium and Luxembourg into France. Truthfully, our final route might not take shape until we are actually on it so make sure you follow our blog when the epic ride starts in August 2021. You can sign up for email alerts on new blog posts here.
Route Planning Resources
Whatever route we decide to take in the end, we have found a couple of great websites to help map out the route. The first one is France Velo Tourisme. If you know your start and end points, then on the homepage you can calculate your route. It will give you a couple of different options and the total distance for each option.
If you are not sure where to start, you can also search for cycling routes based on your preferences. You can set your proficiency level, the duration and the area you want to cycle in. The search also allows you to set the theme of your ride. For example, there are routes touring the vineyards (great for wine tasting) or castles and monuments for those with an interest in history.
Another useful website about is Cycling in France. This website also has maps for cycling in France. In addition it has useful information, for example, of taking your bike on trains in France.
The more we look at the maps and possible routes, the more the magnitude of our challenge sinks in. And I won’t lie, we both have a lot of work to do before the ride. Justin has a head start, but he hasn’t ever done climbs such as the ones we will face on our journey either. They are on a different level to say Ditchling Beacon, which is a 1.45km climb on the route from London to Brighton. But our ride would not be a challenge if it was all easy riding.
So, bring it on!
Until next time.
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