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Biking tour options from st-remy easy to moderate level

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NJ, USA
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Biking tour options from st-remy easy to moderate level

Hello,

We booked last week of May in St Remy and have a car to drive around to see the villages. But we'd like to do some biking, nothing hard core just to see the lovely region at easy to moderate level. So question one is where is our best bet to bike? Could we rent a bike if so where in St. remy? Question two, is St. remy the right location to start the bike trip, e.g. Will it be too hilly or too far to nearby towns? We could drive to an ideal village to start a bike tour if necessary. We are in 50ish in decent shape and would like to do 4-5 hrs biking for a day or two. We don't have enough days to join those 7 days biking tours, but Is it possible to DIY by following maps from a bike rental place?

Thank you so much for your advise.

1. Re: Biking tour options from st-remy easy to moderate level

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London, United...
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2. Re: Biking tour options from st-remy easy to moderate level

The place to hire bikes from in St Remy is Velo Passion. There is a website (velopassion.fr?) with all the details. The owner does not speak English and I don't speak much French but I always managed. We rented bikes from Velo Passion a few time when friends were in town. The Alpilles are a great cycling area. You can start near St Etienne de Gres and cycle the length of the Alpilles chain. It is up and down a bit but car free and I have done it with friends who were not all that fit.

The area both north and south of St Remy is very flat so makes for easy cycling. And St IS a fantastic place to visit for a few days, whether you are cycling or not: architecture/food/olive oil/wine/ van Gough/Roman ruins, a perfect spot from which to explore the area. Please let me know if you need any other tips about the area

London, United...
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3. Re: Biking tour options from st-remy easy to moderate level

The place to hire bikes from in St Remy is Velo Passion. There is a website (velopassion.fr?) with all the details. The owner does not speak English and I don't speak much French but I always managed. We rented bikes from Velo Passion a few time when friends were in town. The Alpilles are a great cycling area. You can start near St Etienne de Gres and cycle the length of the Alpilles chain. It is up and down a bit but car free and I have done it with friends who were not all that fit.

The area both north and south of St Remy is very flat so makes for easy cycling. And St IS a fantastic place to visit for a few days, whether you are cycling or not: architecture/food/olive oil/wine/ van Gough/Roman ruins, a perfect spot from which to explore the area. Please let me know if you need any other tips about the area

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Biking tour options from st-remy easy to moderate level

We spent two weeks cycling through Provence and just used the Michelin Orange Map (no GPS) - it was very helpful and simple to navigate with.

I think you would really enjoy the ride from St. Remy to Les Baux and ending in Arles. It was challenging (and rewarding!) yes, but if you're an experienced cyclist you'll do fine.

For short day rides you might enjoy:

A little farther north, the ride between Avignon and Chateaunuef du Pape was very easy, but not the most scenic (I'm sure we missed something).

You might also enjoy riding from Avignon to the Pont du Gard, the terrain was slightly hilly but there are lots of beautiful interesting villages to distract you along the way (Aramon was our favorite).

I have a ton more suggestions, but I think once you get ahold of a map you'll come up with much better ideas. Cycling in Provence is awesome, you can't go wrong!

NJ, USA
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5. Re: Biking tour options from st-remy easy to moderate level

Hi Tarinay,

Thanks a lot for the suggestions. We definitely will get the Micheline map, bringing iPhone for GPS in case needed and try those short trips.

We in fact read about the ride from St. Remy to Les Baux ending in Arles from a few biking tour companies. The route looks fantastic (descriptions, and photos) thus we are very tempted to do it ourselves.

At the same time, we are a bit worried if we are up to it -- not anywhere near experienced cyclist level, though in good shape. So for us laymen level, if you don't mind, how long will the trip take to ride at moderate speed? Is it 5 hrs, 7 hrs? Can we get back to St. Remy the same day by public transportion, e.g. put the bikes on a train or bus?

Thank you very much.

NJ, USA
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6. Re: Biking tour options from st-remy easy to moderate level

Hi Arthur,

Thanks for the rental place. We will try our luck at Velo Passion. It is very encouraging to know it is flat in adjacent area, and traffic free is a big plus. We will try to get a map of the Alpilles region and go to the tourist center for route ideas too.

Thanks again. We are counting our days for departure -- 19 to be exact!

San Francisco...
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7. Re: Biking tour options from st-remy easy to moderate level

I'm so sorry my delayed reply!

We never took public transportation during our trip, so I'm sorry I can't answer that question for you - but it took us 10 hrs pulling a 75lb trailer to ride between Avignon (including a lunch stop in Les Baux to Arles.

I think if you're free of luggage, it should be a manageable ride. The only steep terrain we encountered was getting up to Les Baux, otherwise its mostly flat.

If you're going through a company, most likely they should offer vehicle support for your luggage and/or in the event health issues prevent you from riding any farther.

Hope this helps and have a great time!!

Paris, France
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8. Re: Biking tour options from st-remy easy to moderate level

Here are some notes about the Michelin maps and biking in France in general. I bike all the time in the countryside near Paris and all I ever use are the Michelin maps. You want to make sure you get the ones with a scale of 1:200,000. The ones with the scale of 1:150,000 are good too.

Let me give you some tips on how to read the Michelin maps. I generally stay on the small white roads and sometimes the yellow roads while generally trying to avoid the red roads (which carry the most traffic). You will find that the small white roads (country roads) are remarkably traffic free in the countryside. If a road has a hill with greater than a 5% gradient you will notice that such a road will have a gradient arrow superimposed on the road. One arrow means a gradient of 5%-9%, two arrows means a gradient from 9%-13% and three arrows means a gradient of over 13%. Just because a road has no gradient arrows doesn't mean there are no hills but whatever hills there are should not be too strenuous. Twisty roads often mean hilly as well. Areas shaded in white are generally flat to gently rolling and non-forested terrain while areas shaded in green mean either forested and/or hilly terrain.

The Michelin maps have icons for all kinds of historically/touristically interesting things such as châteaux, ruins, churches, abbeys, scenic view points, caves, Roman sites, megaliths, designated scenic roads and many other things. Usually when I'm exploring various regions in France I just look at the map and I am able to plan interesting and scenic rides just reading the map. For instance, I usually look for a designated scenic road, which are highlighted in green, and I especially look for towns with the historic church and/or château icon. I also try to make sure the route goes through as many small villages as possible. Usually putting all these things together I find interesting and scenic rides without even knowing where I am going and with no assistance from a guide book. Often these places are never mentioned in guidebooks and remain completely unknown to many tourists.

You can buy the Michelin maps from their website and here is a link to the page that shows all of the maps of France: http://tinyurl.com/4bt96ev

And speaking of Michelin, you can go to the website viamichelin.com and get info on biking times and distances and suggested routes (i.e. scenic routes). The ride times given do not consider stops (rest, food, bathrooms) nor do they consider bad weather and traffic.

Here is some other general advice for you. You should google some of the town/tourist office websites for any towns you may want to visit. You will find loads of info on these websites including hotel/accommodation and restaurant info as well as what to see and do in the area. Occasionally the websites have English versions. In doing a google search enter the name of your town followed by the words "site officiel" or "office de tourisme" and this will bring the town to the top of your search. Another thing I like to do to see if a town may be worth visiting is enter the town name in a google search followed by the word "photos". Sometimes I visit a town if I find it looks charming/interesting in photos.

If you are looking for dedicated bikeways you can do google seaches using keys words such as "pistes cyclables (enter your region)" or "voies vertes (enter your region)". Also, the local tourist offices usually have very good info about hiking and biking trails which they usually don't put on their websites. France does have some websites that will show where there are designated bike routes and there are also other on-line resources available for bikers so let me gives you a few links you may find useful:

http://www.voiesvertes.com/

http://www.ffct.org/

af3v.org/Cycle-routes-and-greenways-in.html

http://www.gobicycletouring.info/

http://www.cartovelo.com/

http://randovelo.fr/randovelo/-Anglais-

http://slowtraveladventures.wordpress.com/

…blogspot.com/2010/03/biking-directions-adde…

Memphis, TN
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9. Re: Biking tour options from st-remy easy to moderate level

Start with the flat routes to the north, east, and west. Take a detailed Michellin map & follow the shapes of roads - it's really pretty easy although sometimes just getting out of town is the hard part.

There is a back road up to Le Baux - I see it listed as Le Mas Verans on the Google map - don't take the busier D5. It is steep, but take your time. You should be able to bike to Le Beaux fairly easy, explore the ruins, & coast back to St Remy, but if you bike on to Arles & choose to return you will have the steep hills to deal on your return and as you are exhausted.

Look up the Domaine de Valdition - Route d'Eygalières - 13660 Orgon before taking your trip towards the east. They have very good wine & olive oil & it is a nice stop. The other place I would recommend is the town of Maussane south of Le Beaux. It is a quaint town with a very nice square & fountain & some very good restaurants. We ate at the restaurant in the Hotel L'Oustaloun, it was excellent. There was a bar that served the square & had excellent drinks & service.

NJ, USA
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10. Re: Biking tour options from st-remy easy to moderate level

Hi tarinay

Again, thanks for the info. Actually, we are one week away from the beautiful Provance and your suggestions come just in time. We will do a drive run to Arles and see if we can bike it. Very appreciated your taking time to help us. Happy cycling!