Cycling

‘Cycling The Loire Cycle Route’

I was interviewed earlier this week by Keri Jones for the Great Destinations Radio Show (the interview will be broadcast sometime in June and also available as a podcast). One of Keri’s questions was along the line of “which section of your [Spain to Norway] route would make for a good cycling trip on its own?”. I said the Norwegian coast but also mentioned the Loire Cycle Route, La Loire A Vélo or the French section of Eurovelo 6. Norway because it was spectacular, remote, adventurous etc… The Loire as it was so accessible and pretty with lots of things to do along the way and plenty of cycling-friendly infrastructure; good quality segregated cycle paths, signage, campsites, bike shops, cafés and the like.

In 2015 I cycled from Saumur as far as Orleans on the Eurovelo 6 before branching off and heading in the direction of Paris; it was cycling day 30, day 31 and day 32 of the journey to Nordkapp. Having lived in both Saumur and Tours in the 1990s, it was familiar territory for me and, despite mixed weather (it was only May at the time), it was good, trouble-free cycling.

The reason I mention this is that Cicerone have just sent me a copy of Mike Well’s new edition of their Cycling The Loire Cycle Route guidebook. I say ‘new edition’ but I suspect it’s a full-blown rewrite of their 2003 book ‘Cycling the River Loire’ (which does sound somewhat tricky, no?). Mike’s route is in the opposite direction to mine, starting in the Massif Central and finishing on the Atlantic coast and split up into 26 days of cycling.

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It’s the usual high-quality stuff that you’d expect from Cicerone with detailed maps, altitude profiles, tourist information etc… and, from the English-speaking perspective, probably the definitive description of the route. Leafing through the book, it does make me wonder why I am sitting at my computer here at home with the prospect of returning to work tomorrow morning rather than out there doing Mike’s job… Mmm…

If you are interested in more general information about the route, there’s a short blog piece on the Cicerone website that may be of interest and if that whets your appetite to do the whole thing (or just a section like I did), you can buy the guide for £16.95 online.

I’ll leave you with a selection of photographs (and one video) from my own journey beside the Loire…

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