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Going to the Tour in '03(7 posts)

Going to the Tour in '03HBPat
Oct 28, 2002 1:47 PM
Certainly not as a rider but I convinced my fiancé to get married in july and take our honeymoon in France. I of course will plan our itinerary and it may accidentally coincide with some bike race. Just needed to share my joy.
France is the best country anyways :-) Congrats !PeterRider
Oct 28, 2002 2:39 PM
Oct 28, 2002 3:24 PM
My wife and I spent two weeks in the South of France for our honeymoon in July 1987. We rented a house near Cannes (Golfe Juan actually), spent most of our time on the beach, did some day trips and ate lots of good food. At the end, we spent a few days in Paris and saw the end of the Tour. I would recommend highly staying put in one or two places. You will be tired after your wedding and will need some rest. That being said, you should take in a few stages of the Tour. Unfortunately, the only stage near the beaches in the South of France is Stage 10 (July 15 -- Gap to Marsailles). If you decide to go to the Alps you will not be disappointed. There is plenty to do (even though the tourist season is in the winter, not the summer) and the stages of the Tour will be exciting. If you plan to view one or more of the mountain stages, you should take your bike with you and ride up to the summit of one of the climbs -- you will not find a parking space near the top unless you want to camp out days in advance. But, with a bike, you can get a spot near the top fairly easily.
Oct 28, 2002 4:17 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. I haven't planned anything yet but I think we are probably going to rent a house in the wine country and take a few day trips but hang out there most of the time. I am definitely going to rent some bikes and ride to the top of at least one mountain stage, after all I pretend to do that almost every week during a training ride. Might as well do it for real.
France IS the wine country : )soup
Oct 29, 2002 7:11 AM
For my money, I'd find a house near St. Jean de Luz (sp) or somewhere else in the French Basque country. From there (with a car and bike) you can catch the finish at Luz-Ardiden (or hang out on the Tourmalet) and hang out on one of the climbs on the Pau-Bayonne stage.

The southwest of France, and particularly the Pays Basque, is beautiful, not crowded, and has great local food, wine and color. The Pyrenees are awesome to look at, hike or cycle. You can take a day trip into Spain if you want. I also hear that the beach scene around Biarritz is pretty happening if you are in to that sort of thing. Bordeaux is not too far away either.

I spent a year in Pau, so I am partial to that neck of the woods.

Bon chance!

Take your bikems
Oct 29, 2002 8:18 AM
I do not know how hard it is to find a good rental road bike in France. But, my experience in the US has been that rental road bikes are hard to find (even bad ones). For the last year, I have taken my bike with me (including a trip to France last summer). It is not that hard to travel with your bike. If you do not own a case, your LBS probably will lend or rent you one. If you are going to ride up any of the great climbs in France, I expect that you also will want to have the joy of doing a few descents. When you are zooming down from a Col on a narrow road with no guardrail (and a several hundred meter drop at the side of the road), you will want to be on a bike that you know and trust.
Reserve now for Bourg d'oisans at the foot of Alpe d'Huez . . .Look381i
Oct 28, 2002 4:24 PM
Consider the Hotel Milan:

The Bourg is a small town with a good bike shop and the traditional launching point for tourists to do the climb.
Grenoble is the nearest city, and not a bad place to stay if you like cities.

If you want a really romantic spot in the Alps near some good climbs, try Lac d'Annecy. It has a medieval town, bike path around the lake, local climbs and reasonable access to the Telegraph and Galibier.