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Lonely Planet Cycling France (Travel Guide) Paperback – 21 Aug 2009

3.9 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Paperback, 21 Aug 2009
£82.55 £30.90
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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 2 edition (21 Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741040442
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741040449
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 274,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

The French have a nickname for the bicycle--la petite reine, or little queen. With the country's fondness for the queen of the road, its vast network of quiet backroads, magnificent scenery, and scrumptious eateries, it's the perfect choice for discovering the world on two wheels. In Lonely Planet: Cycling France, Lonely Planet has created an excellent guide, chock-full of itineraries, maps, and information and advice for those who want to get off the bus and set their own pace. They've mapped out the best rides in the country for neophytes, veterans and off-roaders, with itineraries ranging from a few hours to two months. Here's a sampling: in Paris you can take the bike paths along the Seine or all the way to Monet's gardens in Giverny. The Loire Valley offers intimate excursions by sandstone villages, magnificent chateaux and scenic waterways. Take the tiny, winding roads of Provence to see perched villages and spectacular panoramas of the Cote d'Azur, or dip into Champagne for the terraced vineyards of Dom Perignon. For those up to the challenge, there's the dramatic volcanic landscape of the Massif Central, with its steep climbs and sweeping descents. The Guide includes a chapter on the island of Corsica with its rugged coastal scenery and prehistoric sites. Travelling by bike calls for a plethora of information not found in the typical tourist guidebook. Lonely Planet has it all. "Facts for Cyclists" provides practical information on when to ride, based on the weather and wind patterns, a checklist of what to bring, information on buying or renting locally, a list of cycling events, and Internet resources. There are tips for senior, disabled, or gay and lesbian cyclers, and those riding with children, and lists of which airlines and which types of trains are bicycle-friendly, and how to pack and transport your bike. The "Health and Safety" chapter explains the French rules of the road (including the confusing "Priority to the Right"), and gives tips for getting and staying fit, and treatments for common ailments on the road. Of course, there's the usual info on where to stay, what to eat, and what to see for a wide range of tastes, from camping to a night in a chateaux. There's also a history of cycling in France and a chapter on the Tour de France and its nuances. With the inclusion of the requisite chapter on bicycle maintenance and repair, you're ready to ride.--Lesley Reed --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other. --New York Times


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Used the LP to bike from Nimes to Carcassonne. LP did a great job of outlining the trip. Each day there was a map that showed the elevation of the ride, detailed directions, and what to expect. Unfortunately, in the trip we took, some of the descriptions were vague on what to see or how to get around, so I would have liked to see more details on this. Also, a few new roads showed up that weren't mentioned, so bring a detailed map. Overall, a great biking book that I will use to explore the rest of France.
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Format: Paperback
This book is probably great if you're at the planning stages of a trip. If you're after general information about getting to France and cycling, then it's a bit vague. I expect that the majority of English speaking cyclists arriving in France will be coming via Calais or Boulogne, or perhaps over-land through Belgium. This book contains no entry for either French city, and doesn't cover the border with Belgium at all. So if you're thinking of pootling about north eastern France this simply isn't the book for you as it doesn't actually contain any specific information about the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region.

The regions covered in the book don't overlap, so there are other departments you won't be able to find much about: Poitou-Charentes is largely omitted, the cities of Lille and Lyon and surrounding areas don't appear in the index (or as far as I can tell the book) and there's a band of un-covered territory stretching from south of Nantes on the Atlantic coast to just south of Grenoble on the borders with Italy.

In all - if you want to parachute into the Champagne region, or teleport to the Pyrenees with your bicycle, then this is the book for you. If you're interested in getting aross France it's simply not going to be enough.
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Format: Paperback
And you can eat as much as you like, because you're going to burn those calories off! We've done a few of the routes now, and though they vary in accuracy, and ease of following the directions given, that justs adds to the fun. The routes are superb in taking you off the beaten track as much as possible, showing gems of villages and stunning scenery along the way. Best off all are the suggestions about where to stay, e.g. we stayed in a vineyard on the Alsace route where a full, and very generous, wine tasting was thrown in for the price of the B&B. I would recommned the LP cycling books to those just wishing to start cycle touring, it makes it extremely easy, as well as those who wish to tackle the more serious routes.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As with any of the lonely planet books, this book is super.
There are detailed maps, guides where to eat for cheap or if you find you have a bit of money some days, places to spoil yourself, places of interest that you should visit etc.
We cycled all over France for 8 weeks and this book was our bible.
A few places here and there need to be updated but you won't be lost in the middle of nowhere with this book.
Fully recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
There are a few good points to this book, but there are many reasons why I would advise against buying this guide. The main ones are:

1 - Most routes are linear (rather than circular), and there is very litttle information regarding travel to and from the start and end points of the rides with your bike. Many routes don't appear to begin or end anywhere near transport hubs (e.g. train stations).

2 - The maps are very poor quality and they would be completely useless as a navigational aid on the bike. As as example one route I was interested in doing (a 3 day 167km loop in the Pyrenees) is shown on a map at scale approx 1cm:30km. The entire loop was contained within a square inch of paper, and it didn't even show many of the towns/villages that were described in the guide, including one of the overnight stops. The book does give you advice in which IGN maps you can purchase for a particular ride, but surely the point of a cycling guide is that it can be used to guide you when cycling?

3 - There is a superfluous 20 page section at the back titled 'Your Bicycle' which is essentially a guide to basic bike mainenance and set-up. This just seems a bit tokenistic as most people considering going on a foreign cycle tour would I suspect already know how to fix a flat tyre, or oil a chain, and could almost certainly identify their rear pannier bag. People who are completely new to cycle touring would be much better informed with one of the many excellent instructional books on bike maintenance and touring. The pages would instead have been better used adressing issues mentioned in 1 & 2.
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Format: Paperback
A good idea, and the best option available for covering the whole of france in one simple book. But when riding some of the routes, I did get the feeling that they hadn't actually done so themselves, for example some hills and gradients will be mentioned while other far more significant ones will be missed out, and the choice of roads at some points are certainly not always the safest option when you have a bike loaded with panniers and camping gear.

By No means perfect, but if taken with a good pinch of salt will certainly show you more than bumbling around by yourself.
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