ride fast, see the world

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  • I forgot about Albula, been a while since I last crossed there. Bit far from our usual stay in Schweiz and I’m not that fit anymore :)

    As said above, you can take the old road up Simplon from Ried Brig, but last time I was there (2021) you could only do about 4km on it and it diverted onto the main road due to ongoing construction. Once you are over it is a pretty nice descent and Domodossola is a quaint mountain town for lunch and supplying. We usually go there just for this and everything is much cheaper than in Switzerland.

    Reminiscing about all this really makes me want to do a multi-day or week tour just between France, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Austria and Italy.

  • I'm riding from Strasbourg to either Besancon or Dijon (depends if I can be arsed with an extra 150km of flattish riding) through the Vosges mountains at the start of summer. A mate lives on the edge of the mountains and is going to help me with the route so am happy to share. It's a meandering route but mostly because I want to tick off some more of the stuff I've seen but never ridden there and some places I'd meant to visit but never had managed to. Here's the route I have and it'll get updated as I work it out.


    From the end of the Vosges, depending on whether you have good weather (i.e. no snow) and the urge you could either flatland it down the Saone/Rhone valleys or go through Switzerland over the Gotthard pass into Italy.

    I'd agree a bit with what @Glws said; Paris to Dijon isn't super inspiring. The bike route is about 550-600km I guess, with about 2000m of climbing so it might feel a bit much of a muchness. That said, there's worse places to ride and you'll move quite fast.

  • sweet plan, that's really the full Vosges climbing edition.
    i don't know the south too much, but zooming on the first part, you're doing the cycle path from strabsourg to St-Odile, which is great ( though at km27.3 you are going up a one way road which will irk cars and campervans, you should turn left and go around... just a detail as it's not a long stretch ). km36.4 I wouldn't turn right as you are missing the Champ du feu summit. IMO there isn't a point in going down in the Valley, the stretch between Rothau and Fouday is a busy A/B road, no point in that. I would go to the Chamo du Feu tower, turn around for a few hundred meters, go down to Belmont, go up again the way you intended ( km 52.3). at km 54.4, turn right instead of straight and head west towards la Salcée ( cordial/yogurt making place that offers cordial on tap ) then uturn right south towards le Climont, nice little road, then there is local downhill longboarding road that takes you back to Fouchy, and you're on your road again to Col de Fouchy.

  • Thanks! The drop down into the valley is actually so I can visit Struthof on the way. I appreciate it's a strange visit to include on a fun trip but I've meant to go on a number of times when I've been in the area but there hasn't been time. I could just turn around and go back up after the drop down, but assumed I'd like new road not the same bit of road twice... will definitely reconsider now.

    Generally mostly done the southern end (Lac Blanc from bikepark southwards) so thanks for the tips. Map updated.

  • add it to the list

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  • pretty impressive, i remember someone giving some critique of those hope clamps in a post on here a good while ago, not sure if anything about big ol cracks being mentioned though haha

  • Got one on a 15 year old MTB. Totally fine. Kudos for destroying one.

  • Oh, and thank you all for the tips on routes and the like. It’s really really helpful.
    Think I’ll start doing some route planning starting in Paris and moving out towards Lyon.

    One problem I encountered the last time I tried planning routes was that I wasn’t sure where to end.
    Obviously if planning to end in a town it makes sense to spend a night in a hostel/hotel but for a lot of the days I’d like to end somewhere I can camp.
    So for France in particular, what’s the vibe on camping. If I end the days riding in say, a national park, is it possible (and legal) to pitch up somewhere away out of sight?

  • It s always allowed to set up camp for the night even in national park , exceptions would be les calanques around Marseille to prevent fires, and limit access to an already overcrowded area, or avoid waste like around Mont Blanc.
    The time for pitching up and down is even specified.
    Ride on!

  • Did you use a torque wrench? Be careful with the carbon

  • Yeah :/ Torqued properly whenever I've changed the saddle height and moved it around.
    Has been moved by other people on occasion without torquing so could be that.
    Thankfully the carbon underneath is fine as I was pretty worried.
    New seatpost clamp torqued to 5nm so fingers crossed that won't happen again.

  • This is in French but you can translate easily enough. Gives specific rules for national parks etc and has suggestions where you can camp in different areas. If you don't NEED a specific mileage per day, then just chop the route up into bits and then stop when feels right.


  • Yes it's legal and fine, while respecting common decency as outlined in article. However because of the revolution, rights of way are an oddity rather than the norm, i find that there is a different vibe to the Uk.
    Outside of the national/regional parks, everything is private and can feel not so permeable with locals totally unaware of those rules. Sometimes large forests in parks can also feel very "managed" and sometimes patrolled, especially in summer.
    Inversely.if you are stuck, asking locals with a large plot if you can pitch up for the night will probably be better received in france.

  • In honest, I've never wild camped in France but mates who have have found that knocking on a door produces positive results for the most part. I have gone to farms when I've run out of water on rides and without exception they've refilled bottles for me.

    @samrensho - this website is useful if you're riding through France https://www.eau-cyclisme.com/

  • my thoughts too, just pointing out cutural differences. dwelling on napoleonian land redistribution and the presence of gendarmerie, which "can" be overzealous with their surveillance of land in touristy spots.
    Individuals will generally be welcoming.
    Someone camping in an area is supposed to be charged an overnight local authority fee (~1.50€), which all campsites and official campervan areas collect now.

    Re:water, all cemeteries have a tap.

  • Cemeteries have a water tap? Might taste a bit off

  • Yep. They're for people to water flowers etc etc.

    I Imagine most are mains water.

  • I've never had a problem with those; enough visitors to keep the water in the pipes fresh.

  • Back on the ratty Dolan for track.
    Needs an Aeolus saddle for it to be perfect in terms of fit.
    Moved over to SPDs as my road shoes are dead and racing isn't back for a while yet so not a big issue.
    The Bernard Carre was really nice - just couldn't get it fit me quite right. Really stiff for an older steel frame but a bit of a pain trying to optimise it when all the standards are old/odd.

    Right now on a pretty mild 52x15, down from 52x14 I was on over the summer. Tempted to even put it down to a spinny 52x16...

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  • #cutebikeshit

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  • commuting rn so disgusting lookin but rides great :)

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  • looks ace , cat mount too

  • Older dura ace cranks looked way nicer...

    Why the apex?

  • fit reasons :( need 165 for proper fit and less pain.
    completely agree that they looked way better.. wanted some silver middle burns to replace them but too £££

  • What's your plan for the tour now?

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ride fast, see the world

Posted by Avatar for samrensho @samrensho