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Cycling in Provence, Rent or Ship Bike(12 posts)

Cycling in Provence, Rent or Ship BikeLeadvilleBlues
May 26, 2003 11:00 AM
I'll be in Provence for 6 weeks, Travelling with the family and lay overs has me thinking of shipping my bike UPS, FedX. I've heard of a duty to be paid on some shipments, would this be true of the bike ? If I could find a 1/2 way decent road frame to rent I'd do so. I'd like to stay in shape for our local 36 mile hill climb here, which is 2 weeks after I return from France. Towing 2 kids in a bike trailer behind a mountain bike while I'm there may help, but I want the road frame for serious training. Any comments ???? Thanks
re: Cycling in Provence, Rent or Ship BikeMy Dog Wally
May 26, 2003 11:38 AM
I'd definitely ship my bike over there if I knew I'd be there for 6 weeks. There's tons of riding around there. But it makes no sense that you'd have to pay a duty on a personal possession that you already own. Call or email UPS and ask them for the particulars.
I've travel a lot with my bike...Tiny Tank
May 26, 2003 2:03 PM
all over the US and Canada. Being a little smaller than average finding the right size to rent was a big issue, so I've tried different things.

I've shipped my bike but hated the fact that it had to leave early before the trip and arrive much later than me on the return as well. Aside from preventing me to bike for a few days before and after the trip I didn't like to be a part from my bike for this long. Okay at the time I did this I only had one bike and now I have 3 so it may not be so terrible now but still, leave my bike for days with strangers... not for me.

Also when that I didn't travel with 2 kids so, if you choose to go that route here is a little advise. Make sure your bike is well protected and packed; I recommend a bike case with locks. Make sure it is well labeled and find yourself a reputable LBS to receive your bike, or a hotel. You shouldn't have to pay anything as it is personal stuff and it will be returned however you need special customs documentation and for Europe I'm not sure what it is. I recommend calling the consulate for more information.

The other option, the one I adopted for ever since, is to fly with my bike, it's really just one more piece of luggage, okay it's a big one, but just luggage never the less. For local and domestic (which does include US to Canada flights) the limit to check in luggage is two and there is a size limitation as well. So you most likely will have to pay a fee for that box or bike case. However for international flight you should be able to bring it on as regular luggage no problem as the rules are different. Again here I would check with your airline for more information.

I sure hope this helped a little. Have fun, take some pictures and post them when you get back. You're very lucky; I sure hope I get the chance to bike in Provence some day.

Take it with you if your canking of Norway
May 26, 2003 7:20 PM
2 years ago I took my bike to France in a soft case with no problem. Most airlines consider a bike bag as one of the 2 pieces of luggage for Int'l flights so you won't be charged extra. Since its your bike and presumably used you don't have to pay tariffs or any duties. If your concerned, just take a copy of your reciept. I've also bought a bike in Italy and took it back on the plane without any concern or questions about duties or tariffs.

At first I was a little concerned about a soft bag but after my trip I would recommend it first. Airlines to Europe are more accustomed to handling bikes and both Alitalia and air France, and United handled my bag quite well. I used foam plumbing insulation and packing tape to wrap the complete frame and received a few tips and tricks from my LBS. Just ask and they well set you up fine. In France it took me about 10-15 minutes to set up my bike and I was rolling without any problem. Your need some tools (Ie. Cassette socket, pedal wrench,chain whip, allen wrenches,etc) Once again If in doubt ask your LBS. Also the good thing about a soft case is that you can fold it up or carry other luggage in it when not carrying your bike. If your can't take it with you, I think the cost to send back from Europe with proper insurance is about $200-250, which might be even more now b/c of the weakness vs. the Euro.
where are you going? I've got some addresses...philippec
May 27, 2003 12:37 AM
I know of a few shops that rent bikes, including some that rent trailers and at least one that rents high-end road bikes. For 6 weeks, though, it may be more cost effective to bring/ship your own. If you want, I can give you some ride ideas as well...


where are you going? I've got some addresses...LeadvilleBlues
May 27, 2003 8:25 AM
Good Day Philippe,
I'll be staying in Lourmarin, a 45km drive, SW from Avignon. Thanks everyone for your comments.

Alohas from Maui,
where are you going? I've got some addresses...philippec
May 27, 2003 10:32 AM
Lourmarin is great, you'll want to head north into the Luberon Valley for most of your rides. Here is a list of cycle shops that rent (mostly mountain bikes -- the one in Menerbes rents trailers as well I think)

Cycles Christian Rieu. Tel : 04 90 71 45 55
Cavaillon Deux Roues. Tel : 04 90 78 07 06

Les Roues du Luberon Tel : 04 90 72 37 45

Cycles Guy Agnel. Tel : 04 90 74 17 16
Cycles Patrick Ricaud. Tel : 04 90 74 16 43
Passion Ocre. Tel. : 04 90 74 63 64

For some nice Daytona-Centaur-equipped Casatis (nice Italian road bikes), you need to head further north to Carpentras to thew Routes du Ventoux cycle shop (they speak english as well) at (click under the Casati on the right hand-side under louez-moi! (rent-me).

I spend a few weeks per year in that area so if you want some ride suggestions, let me know...


re: Take your nice biketeoteoteo
May 27, 2003 7:58 AM
Being in Provence is like bike heaven to me--I can say that there is no other place in France that I have enjoyed riding in more. With such a long stint I think you'd be heartbroken to see so many great places ride and not have your a rig.

The length of time would seem to make the rental thing a bit cost prohibitive. Enjoy the good life and a bottle of Cote Du Ventoux for me please. Gordes is a particular favorite of mine. There is a nice couple that runs a tiny Thai place called Jardin du Levant just across the street from the Hotel Bastide de Gordes. Great food and a nice change up.

Lots of great local market days in the smaller villages and a nice one in Carpentras too. Pic below is of market day there.
Lurker adding $.02rit-atl
May 27, 2003 11:55 AM
Just a quick link to my post on the MTBR board a few months ago. Thought the pictures might get you excitedabout your trip. We stayed at the base of Ventoux in a town called Bedoin. By far the coolest place I've ever been. Do what you have to do to bring the good'll need it to tackle that monster.

The link to pics...

And apparently the Paella is mesmerizing to everyone...

From the Sunday(?) market in Isle Sur la Sorgue
Random town is Gordesteoteoteo
May 27, 2003 12:46 PM
Your random town is Gordes (sixth pic down) and I think the sheer size of the Paella adds to the allure.

The restaurant I spoke of in Gordes is a mere 150 meters further up that road on the left. The steep drive on the right takes you down behind the Hotel Bastide where I stayed for about 5-6 days last year.
oh, and your random biker in avignon...philippec
May 27, 2003 1:11 PM
is none other than the facteur aka as the mailman -- they have the most bomb-proof bikes I have ever seen!

A+ Philippe
re: Cycling in Provence, Rent or Ship Bikemapei boy
May 27, 2003 3:37 PM
I just got back from France and I have an unused France Telecom phone card. It's good for something like a half-hour of phoning back to the US. It comes complete with instructions in English. If you send me your mailing address, I will send it to a gift from one RBRer to another. My e-mail -