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2013: France & Italy

written by Rene K. Mueller, Copyright (c) 2013, last updated Tue, August 27, 2013

Updates

Wed, August 7, 2013: First version of diary.


Quick Facts


Tour 2013: France & Italy Passes
Date: July 5 - August 5, 2013

Duration: 4 weeks

Distance: 2500km

Countries: France, Italy

Cities: Geneve, Montpellier, Toulouse, Turino

Rivers: Rhone (France), Durance, Po (Italy)

Passes:

  • Col du Banchet (695m) - Rhone Valley
  • Col du Lautaret (2058m) - Hautes Alpes
  • Col du Galibier (2642m) - Hautes Alpes
  • Col du Telegraph (1566m) - Hautes Alpes
  • Col du Mont Cenis (2083m) - Hautes Alpes
  • Colle della Maddalena / Col de Larche (1996m) - Provence
  • Col de l'Echelle (1762m) - Hautes Alpes

Bicycle: Longrider recumbent Fateba L1

Camping: Wild (100%)

Brief Description


Colle della Maddalena / Col de Larche (1996m)
I skipped the part in Switzerland using the train to Geneva, and on the way back from Locarno. Unlike earlier trips with my recumbent, this time I targetted the passes in the Hautes Alpes region of France, and the ones on the border on France and Italy.

I chose the passes and the route approaching them wisely so I could master those passes with the baggage (apprx. 15-20kg incl. water) I had and a rather heavy recumbent (18kg), mainly a steady climbing around 5%-8%, e.g. Col du Galibier I rode from the south side (5%-8% in average, last 1km was 10%-12% and quite hard), whereas approaching the same pass from the north would have been more steep from Valloire up, which I rode down and experienced the limits of my brakes which heated up the wheels to the point the inflate melted and lost air within few seconds, yet still sufficient to stop (yes, I need disk brakes).

First I head to Toulouse to visit a dear friend in the Midi Pyrenees, where I encountered the apprx. 140km long "Voie Verte" or bicycle pathway on an old train way from Albi to Bedarieux - highly recommended; and then returned into the Provence and slowly worked myself up the Hautes Alpes, and Briancon I visited twice during this tour, making it the center of this tour.

The most beautiful passes for me were Col de Maddalena / Col de Larche (1996m) and Col de l'Echelle (1762m), both connecting France and Italy; as well Col du Mont Cenis with its lake.

Impressions

Col de Lautaret (2058m)
2013:07:24 19:30:31
Col du Galibier (2642m)
2013:07:25 11:43:30
Col du Mont Cenis (2083m)
2013:07:26 15:01:53
Lac du Mont Cenis
2013:07:27 10:19:44
Col du Mont Cenis
2013:07:27 16:25:42
Col de Larche / Colle della Maddelena (1996m)
2013:07:30 11:29:34
Colle della Maddelena / Col de Larche
2013:07:30 18:34:32
Col de l'Echelle (1762m)
2013:08:02 12:34:47
Col de l'Echelle
2013:08:02 18:02:20

Photos

July 06, 2013: Zug - Zurich - Biel - Geneva - Hermance 25km (-) 25km

Taking the train from Zug - Bern - Geneva, and riding to Hermance to visit a new friend.

Start in Steinhausen / Zug
2013:07:06 10:31:43
In the train Zug - Zurich - Bern - Geneva
2013:07:06 11:31:45
Geneva
2013:07:06 15:34:41
Hermance
2013:07:06 21:15:14
2013:07:06 21:15:25

July 07, 2013: Hermance - Geneva - Viry - Frangy - Seyssel - Lucey 99km (-) 124km

Reaching France, via Viry and Frangy, riding along the Rhone river.

Leaving Switzerland for France
2013:07:07 12:13:56
First climb from Geneva (375m) up to Viry and route to Frangy (690m)
2013:07:07 13:14:27
Bicycle path
2013:07:07 14:58:12
Seyssel
2013:07:07 14:59:21
2013:07:07 15:10:49
2013:07:07 15:51:47
2013:07:07 18:10:25

July 08, 2013: Lucey - Yenne - Les Aveniers - Les Abrets - Col du Banchet (695m) - Voiron - Tullins - Vinay 113km (7:02) 237km

Trying a new route between Rhone and Valance, in between Col du Banchet (695m) which has steep slopes, and the bicycle path along the Rhone from Grenoble to Valance suddendly ends already in Vinay . . .

Rhone near Les Aveniers
2013:07:08 10:24:40
Col du Banchet (695m)
2013:07:08 13:38:29
2013:07:08 14:08:44
Voiron
2013:07:08 14:18:18
2013:07:08 15:43:22
2013:07:08 15:43:29
Bicycle path Grenoble - Vinay
2013:07:08 15:46:01
2013:07:08 15:46:43
2013:07:08 15:51:00
2013:07:08 16:11:39
2013:07:08 17:51:46
2013:07:08 17:52:13

July 09, 2013: Vinay - Romans - Valence - Montelimar 103km (-) 340km

2013:07:09 11:10:03
2013:07:09 11:10:16
2013:07:09 12:20:04
2013:07:09 12:20:12
2013:07:09 15:11:20
2013:07:09 15:33:02
2013:07:09 15:33:09
2013:07:09 16:36:56

July 10, 2013: Montelimar - Pont St. Esprit - Remoulins - Nimes 134km (7:10) 474km

Leaving Rhone and riding aside through nice but hilly nature.

2013:07:10 10:18:33
Pont St. Esprit
2013:07:10 11:30:43
2013:07:10 12:37:19
Near Connaux, busy road, but beautiful region
2013:07:10 13:41:53
Camping near Vergeze (D139)
2013:07:10 18:09:56

July 11, 2013: Nimes - Montpellier - Sete - Agde 110km (6:14) 584km

Reaching meditarean sea at Sete, and reaching Canal du Midi near Agde.

Reaching Sete
2013:07:11 14:05:35
Sete
2013:07:11 14:25:31
Sete
2013:07:11 14:30:44
2013:07:11 14:44:35
Bicycle path along cost Sete - Marseillan Page
2013:07:11 15:14:04
2013:07:11 15:17:17
Camping at Canal du Midi near Agde
2013:07:11 17:27:12

July 12, 2013: Agde - Beziers - Capestang - Carcassone 123km (7:11) 707km

Slightly hilly passage as bicycle path along Canal du Midi isn't developed, so I ride on the ordinary street all day.

Reaching Montady
2013:07:12 10:43:17
2013:07:12 10:58:51
2013:07:12 13:14:55
2013:07:12 13:15:03
2013:07:12 16:36:49
2013:07:12 16:45:17


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