Frequently asked questions about cycle touring in South of France
Find all the answers below to the most frequently asked questions about preparing for a cycling break in Vaucluse.
Q: How do you get to the route?
A: The train is an alternative to the car with Regional Express Train (TER) services between Bollène, Orange, Avignon, Isle sur Sorgue, Cavaillon, Pertuis, each one a gateway to the cycle routes. You can easily "be transported" with your bike: the TER trains have special carriages - marked by a bike - to accommodate touring cyclists and their mounts. For more info: www.bikes.sncf.com
Freshly arrived in Vaucluse, do you know how to reach the place where you're staying or the cycle route of your dreams by road? Take a look at TransVaucluse, the network of bus lines serving your holiday towns and villages.
Q: Should I bring my own bike?
A: Yes, if it is your essential companion. Otherwise, the network of "Provence Cycling" rental companies in Vaucluse can provide recent ranges of bikes (road bikes, hybrid bikes, mountain bikes, tandems, children's bikes, trailers, attachment bars) tailored to your trip along with repair kits. Some of them will take you and your bike to the start of your favourite route.
Q: What do you do with your luggage?
A: for those who like to roam about without being laden down, a luggage transfer service can be provided by the network of carriers with the "Provence Cycling" label.
Q: Is there special accommodation for cyclists?
A: The same network of professionals with the "Accueil Vélo" label who have signed the charter for welcoming cycling tourists have establishments that are in general located less than 5 km from the routes. As well as specific services (such as energy boosting breakfasts), these accommodation providers will make sure there is secure bike storage, help with breakdowns if you have technical issues and put you in contact with rental companies, guides and bike taxis who are also members of the "Provence Cycling" network in Vaucluse.
Q: Do you have to be a keen cyclist and is the route practical for children?
A: The vast majority of the routes have been designed with the family in mind and are indicated by the family level in the route brochures. The discovery level on the other hand includes long routes or routes with climbs. As for the third competitive level, this requires a good level of endurance cycling.
Q: Which way can you follow this route?
A: The wind directions and terrain were studied when these routes were created. It is also recommended that you follow the direction of the signposts and/or descriptions to get the most out of your bike ride.
Q: What types of roads are on the routes?
The routes use small paved roads with very little car traffic.
Q: What type of bike should I use on the cycle routes?
R: the ideal bike is a hybrid bike. However, many cyclists use mountain bikes or racing bikes.
Q: I need a garage for my car for several days, where can I park it safely?
A: You can cycle with complete peace of mind, all the accommodation in the "Provence Cycling" network offers secure bike storage and secure garages for your vehicle.
Q: What is the average length of a stage?
A: For beginners, you should count on the following on average: 10 km/h by bike i.e. 40 to 50 km per day for touring cyclists who are stopping to visit places.
Q: What are the emergency numbers to call in case of problems?
A: The three numbers 115 put you in direct contact with the emergency services. This is a toll free number from fixed lines or mobiles.
Q: What equipment do you need to make the most of cycling on your routes?
R: a bike: choose the right bike which should be a road or hybrid type, but above all it should be suitable for your size and your body type, and if you cycle regularly, a made to measure bike is a really good investment. Please note: an unsuitable bike can quickly become discouraging: do not overlook the choice of gearing (it is best to have 3 cogs), depending on the weight of your bags and the climbs you have in mind.
Luggage racks: if 2 panniers are not enough, aim to have a low rider rack at the front (it is best to load the front and as low as possible).
Panniers: aim for 2 or 4 good quality waterproof panniers (the capacity of a rear bag is approximately 20 litres); a handlebar pannier with a card holder is also very useful.
When cycling as when walking, remember to travel light (approximately 10kg of luggage)!
Also aim to have: a speedometer (for the number of km), a pump, a repair kit with the minimum of tools, safety equipment, two water bottle holders (you must drink lots), waterproofs or a cycling cape and shorts or under-garments with a "chamois" which is essential for protecting the buttocks.
Q: Can we go cycling in all seasons in Vaucluse?
A: Vaucluse enjoys a mild climate in the heart of Provence which means you can discover our Destination all year long. To take advantage of the most beautiful scenery and the best weather conditions Spring and Autumn are still the ideal seasons for cycling.