I suppose being a French-teaching cyclist, I am the perfect target audience for a new book which is subtitled ‘The ultimate cycle journey from Channel to Med – St. Malo to Nice‘. Even if you are not a French-teaching cyclist (which, let’s face it, the chances are you aren’t) this is probably a book that you’ll enjoy anyway as it is a thing of beauty; great photographs & high-quality design. It comes from the same people who published Jack Thurston’s Lost Lanes. Jack interviewed me a couple of years ago for his radio show in London and although I haven’t actually seen his book, I suppose France En Vélo does for France what his book did from Britain.
Get 20% off the RRP of France En Vélo – see below!
The journey starts in the north of France at St. Malo taking in a route that crosses Brittany, the Pays de Loire, Poitou-Charantes, the Dordogne and the Lot before heading through Provence in the south of France to arrive at its destination, Nice. So as not to alienate anyone, there are three suggested ways of completing the journey; the ‘classic’ two-week itinerary, the ‘explorer’ three-week itinerary or, if you are up to it, the ‘challenge’ which is a ten-day itinerary. I have to say it does seem a shame to race through such a beautiful country so I think I would opt for one of the first two options. Each stage of the ride is described in some detail along with an accompanying map and practical information rounds off each chapter with suggestions as to where to sleep, eat or get your bike fixed if needs be. Each of the three different ways of completing the route simply requires you to cycle a varying number of stages in one day. There is also plenty of tourist information alongside the descriptions as well as a ‘Best stages for…‘ section that points you in the direction of which section of the route you might want to choose if you don’t have time to complete the whole thing but have a penchant for, for example ‘exhilarating descents’ (who doesn’t?) or ‘foodie heaven’ (err… same again). At the end of the book there is also a useful ‘packing and preparation‘ section as well as a cycling glossary of terms in French. In brief, unless you are a hard-nosed UKIP supporting hater of the French, here’s a book that will help you plan your route across France and perhaps inspire you to do so in the first place. Well worth investigating!
France En Vélo costs £16.99, is published by Wild Things Publishing and is available online via this link. To get a discount of 20% off the RRP (& free postage & packaging) use the discount code SMNCE. Here are a couple of pretty pictures that are taken from the dedicated website for the book showing the authors – Hannah Reynolds and John Walsh – in action!