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Following the Tour(3 posts)

Following the TourGeds
May 5, 2003 8:53 PM
Has anyone independently travelled with their bike through France following the Tour?

I'm going over and am looking forward to seeing some of the action, particularly the Alpe d'Huez and the final day in Paris.

But is it plausible travelling around on your own? Is accommodation hard to find? Should I save myself the hassle and try and find an organised tour (alhtough I think most would be booked out by now)...
re: Following the Tourms
May 6, 2003 9:09 AM
Last summer I was in the Alps for the Tour. French friends had arranged for us to rent a house in Areches (near Beaufort). It is possible to view the Tour on your own. However, I think that is would be impossible to get accommodations in or near any of he start or finish towns -- the Tour itself and the army of journalists, etc. that follow it take all of the available hotel rooms for miles around. You may be able to find accommodations near the middle of a stage, however. One warning about the Alps -- distances that appear on the map to be short may not be so by car. If you are planning on seeing the Alpe d'Huez stage (July 13) and the finish in Paris (July 27) you must be planning to stay in France for at least two weeks. I would think that your ability to find accommodations near the Tour would be better when the Tour is near larger cities than in the Alps.
re: Following the TourAnaerobic_Nut
May 6, 2003 10:48 AM
My wife and I did it last year; saw five stages and the finale in Paris over two weeks. Accomodations weren't too bad to come by but you'll need to do it quickly. My best advice is to look at staying in a gite as most large hotels will be booked in the area. We rented a car to get around mostly and then took a train to Paris which I highly recommend. Look at flying into Lyon or Geneva and then fly out of Paris. One other thing, if you take the train anywhere, make sure you get a bag for your bike. The TGV's only allow bikes on the train if they are in the appropriate bag. They cost about $30, but will save you lots of hassle.

An organized tour would save some hassle, but you'll be missing out driving through some lovely small towns and having freedom to do what you want. I personally enjoyed this part of the trip and would do it again. All you need to do is plan accordingly and you'll be fine.