Toulouse to Bordeaux

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  • So in the summer I'm cycling with my father in law (and his friend) and sister in law from Toulouse to Bordeaux (actually ending up in Arcachon for a couple of days of R&R). And I'm looking for a detailed elevation plan but I can't find one anywhere. Does anyone have a recommendation? The plan is to broadly speaking follow the Canal Du Midi; which I'm assuming is relatively flat being a canal.

    The reason I'm asking is I want to know if I can feasibly do the ride on a single speed. Why? You are probably asking yourself. Well my winter training has been on a single speed and I've been really enjoying it and I feel strong as a result. And also I want to make it a challenge for myself as my riding partners are not particularly experienced cyclists so I think the pace will be modest - the plan is to do it over 3 days (appropriately 4/5 hours in the saddle per day).

    Any leads greatly appreciated. Also any larges saddle bag recommendations? It only needs to be large enough for provisions for each day + stuffing clothes layers + a few spares. In Cycling Plus the best on test was the the new Rapha Apidura but it's spendy and Rapha divides opinion.

    I look forward to getting your learned thoughts.

  • I don't know the route but how about a Caradice Super C saddle bag? Of the older style but you can fit plenty and it's easily accessible and also you can strap/attach stuff to it. I know the older style bag is not on trend but I think they are more functional.
    Have a great trip and please put up some photos.

  • I really like the Carradice Super C Audax and that'll probably be large enough. But do you know if it'll fix to a regular (non Brooks saddle)?

  • It's not designed to but you can buy attachments that go on the rails that allow to use regular saddles. It's also worth getting the bagman support.
    On this link there's a bunch alternative solutions.­le-fixing-systems
    I have the Audux version with the support and its perfect. You can stuff plenty of gear in it.

  • The reason I'm asking is I want to know if I can feasibly do the ride on a single speed.

    You can, actually do it fixed, it's more than plentiful.

    Make sure you get a frame bag as well as 2x bottle cages.

    There's a whole topic in regard to this;­32/

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  • Thanks Tomo187. I'm going to have a look at that with the support for sure. I prefer the look of those over the long ones.

  • Great thread that I can't believe I missed it. My single speed is around 63 gear inches so that's all good.

  • 63GI is perfect, just about enough for the worse of the hill too.

  • Rode it fixed on 66gi a couple of years ago, anywhere mid 60's will be a good gear I think, the section from Toulouse to Bordeaux is the best looked after too so ther'll be no problems, can recommend a few campsites along the way too if that's your thing.

    Hardest part was linking the cycle route coming into Bordeaux to the path to Lacnau Ocean and then on to Arcachon. If you want/need i can dig out the strava route out of the city for you.

  • Cheers @nott_mike

    So 28mm tyres and mid 60's GI. Perfect, exactly the endorsement that I needed. And if you could send the GPS/Strava that would be great. And campsite recommendations would be appreciated too. I've hit the jackpot.

  • Yeah I rode on 28c too, if you could go bigger then I would just as some of the route can be a bit bumpy with tree roots sticking through the tow path, but 28c tyres were easily enough.

    As for the route, here's the strava track from the campsite at Creon (amazing site with a pool and lovely restaurant) down to the super U in town and then on to the McDonalds/Super U at Eysines, once you're at Eysines it's all very straight forward, just follow the cycle path to the sea! If you look at the rides either side of that on my profile hopefully you'll get a decent idea of the rest of the route, linking from the canal to the Piste Cyclable Roger Lapabie can be tricky but from what I remember it was signposted okay. You can orger a map off a French website too, google voie vert or route entre les deux mers and that shoild find it I think.­501

    As far as campsites go, the Camping Municipal at Valence D'Agen was great, an easy days ride frok Toulouse, when you get into town on the canal come up onto the road and turn left away from town, follow the road and go straight over the roundabout and the campsite is next to the horse stables on the right, the campsite on the left of the road was pretty dodgy so I'd avoid that one ha ha.

    Another good campsite was at La Reole, just before you cross the massive red suspension bridge down a little road to the right, it was basic but did a job.

    Best campsite of the lot was definitely at Creon, Camping Bel Air (I think) as I said great restaurant and bar and swimming pool. It's a little bit up the road (uphill with your back to the town) past the car garage as you cross the road on the cycle path in Creon.

    Once you get past Bordeaux too the sea there are plenty of campsites on the coast, I stopped at the last one you come to before the sea, they were pretty expensive and this one was the cheapest but most basic, had everything you need though and lovely little wooded pitches.

    Hope all that info helped!! Sorry for the wall of text, it was a couple of years ago so I suppose routes/repairs might have happened to different bits of the route but to sum up, it's easy to navigate, lovely countryside and an abundance of cheap well appointed campsites.

  • This has made me plan a tour for next year.
    The idea of camping in France is making me nostalgic.

  • I can't thank you enough for this! Perfect. Better than I ever expected. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

  • No worries, if there's anything else you think of PM me or reply on here and I'll try my best to answer. Hope you have a great trip! I loved it when I went and am very eager to return.

  • I know what you mean, I keep looking at a longer route down to Bordeaux from the St Malo area then riding across to Narbonne again. Just a case of finding the time, as they always say the hardest part of any trip is getting out the door.

  • The chosen one in credit-card bike packing mode.

  • The chosen one in credit-card bike packing mode.

  • The chosen one in credit-card bike packing mode.

  • The chosen one in credit card touring mode

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  • You can contact a french shop : Pierre qui roule. They even made a race from Toulouse to Bordeaux. Maybe they still have the GPS tracks :)

    And you can do it fixed ;)

  • I've pinged them an email. Hopefully I'll hear back soon. And perhaps fixed but perhaps not........

  • So this route is highly recommended. We did deviate from the Canal du Garonne but for the most part we stuck to the route and even continued to Archachon (on a gravel road through the pine forests). The one major deviation was a climb in to Blaymont and then a 22km descent back into Agen then next day.

    The route wasn't particularly busy and we didn't have to touch the brakes until lunch. There are a few little towns on the route and Moissac and La Reole were probably the highlights.

    I'll try and upload the gps tracks but Garmin had a couple of meltdowns.

    The route is well sign posted and there are a couple of times when you leave the side of the canal but they were a welcome change of scenery.

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Toulouse to Bordeaux

Posted by Avatar for Lanterne_Rouge @Lanterne_Rouge