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11 more things I learned while cycling in France

Written by Fiona July 16 2013

While cycling the new 400km Veloscenic cycle route from Paris to Mont St Michel I blogged about 25 things I’d learned. That was in the middle of the week. There are many more things that I learned along the way. Here are some of them:

get-attachment-171) Panniers do get heavier the longer you cycle. Is this due to the accumulation of dirt and dust? Or is it because my legs became wearier?

2) 400km of a route demands several different bike types. While the Planet X Pink Panther coped with most of the road and greenway sections there were times when we had to detour mountain bike style tracks and gnarly paths. It would have been great to have a mountain bike, hybrid bike and racer bike with us for this route! All the same, we managed –and what we couldn’t ride on racer tyres we got around.

3) Pigeon French does improve, even over just one week.

4) Mont St Michel is beautiful but my advice is to go early morning or late evening when there are less tourists and the shops selling Mont St Michel tat are firmly shut.

5) Chartres still rates as the most beautiful place that we visited.

6) The French really, really love their castles and churches. We oohed and ahhed at every single one. They are all gorgeous.

7) After a week of cycling on very quiet roads and paths we were overwhelmed by the traffic in Paris and London on our return.

8) Eurostar and Virgin trains are the best way to travel with a bike. Trains are so much less hassle than flying when you are taking your bike.

get-attachment-169) I chose my cycling pal well. Not once did Skinny H and I have cross words and we somehow managed to find enough to talk about for an entire week together.

10) There is nothing like a cyclist’s tan. I look like I am wearing a white trisuit when I take my clothes off!

11) And there is little to beat the hugs of a daughter and partner after a week of not seeing them because you are cycling.

I will be blogging more about this route…

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