Loire a Velo with Friends : 2019-05-31 : Planning and Prep

Type Name Description Service Provider Cost Notes Actions
General Info EuroVelo 6 Rhine to the Atlantic - pretty much our exact trip $0.00
General Info EuroVelo 6, France section $0.00
General Info EuroVelo 6: Loire Valley $0.00
General Info 01. Route $0.00 I'm thinking that we might want to skip starting in Basel (for this trip) and do just the "Loire a Velo" route, which officially starts at Nevers and is 800km long.

If we have time at the end, there are lots of options, and folks don't necessarily have to do the same thing. We can:
1) Continue down the Atlantic coast south of Nantes on the Eurovelo 3 route, which is also called La Vélodyssée in France (https://www.velodyssey.com/).
2) Take a train up to Mont St. Michel, which is certainly worth a look
3) Take a train up to Paris

I think 800km is a reasonable goal in a month and ensures that people do the Loire section, which, I think is the nicer section.
General Info 02. Getting To-From $0.00 There are flights from Edmonton and Calgary to Nantes.

We could look for accommodation in Nantes that we would stay in at the start AND end of our trip where we could store bike bags. Perhaps a hostel or an AirBnB place.

From Nantes, we could take a train to Nevers. This needs to be researched: How to get from Nantes to Nevers by train with assembled bikes. Here are some resources:
1) Crazy Guy's blog
2) Per Crazy Guy, Deutsche Bahn is a good resource for finding trains in France (better than the France web sites, apparently). This makes train travel to Nevers look pretty straight-forward on TER trains. Click the box for "show routes that take bikes".
3) Cyclomundo's blog. I like his first sentence about taking bikes on the train... "First of all, you should ask yourself if it is really worth it!"
4) Info for how to make a reservation for your bike
5) Freewheeling France article about bikes on trains. Note that on their train map you can trace the thin purple line from Nantes to Nevers:
General Info 03. Printed Materials for Loire $0.00 I already have this set of maps, which Brent and I used (some of) in 2015: EuroVelo 6 It's really good and shows lots of Campingplatzes.

Velo Guide: This is a series of guides. I have the "Nantes a Royan" one, which is French. It's ok, but not fabulous (i.e., I don't think it shows campgrounds). BUT, there is an ENGLISH one for the Loire, which may be worth it for easily readable material. English Bike Guide

Bikeline: There's also a Bikeline book for this route which we can consider buying, depending on what we decide about other materials. This one is in German.
General Info 04. Printed Materials for Velodyssey $0.00 This looks interesting. It's the Loire-Atlantic area, so basically exploring (thoroughly) the area west of Nantes without really going down the coast.

Velo Guide: Per above, I have the "Nantes a Royan" Velo Guide in French. Not crazy about it.

La Routard: This may be something to consider. It looks better than the Velo Guide one.

The Velodyssey web site has interactive maps that you can zoom and choose options for and then print. This looks pretty awesome. Example
General Info 05. Electronic Navi - Eek! $0.00 OK, seriously... is it time for me to join the 21st Century? I'm thinking so, but I'm at a loss for even the most basic decisions like whether to use a GPS or an app on a phone. I'm leery of phone apps because I've had such terrible experiences trying to use phones in Europe.

We can download GPS tracks for Loire

And for Velodyssee

Articles for using a GPS:
Cycle Tourer
Travelling Two
Toms Bike Trip

Article about using phone app:
Long Haul Trekkers
General Info 06. More Resources $0.00 This web site seems really good... Cycling-Loire. It also looks like it has information about luggage transfer and bike rentals.

Incidentally, I also have this, which shows all the cycle routes in France. Sort of a one-stop-shop map that Laura wanted to look at.
General Info Group Messages Planning and prep e-mails sent to trip attendees. $0.00
General Info 20. Sample Itinerary Map $0.00 NOTE that this is just a sample itinerary - the actual trip dates will be June 1-30
May 1 Fly to Nantes 0 Plane
May 2 Arrive Nantes, Assemble Bikes 15 Nantes. Hostel? BnB?
May 3 Train to Nevers 10 Nevers (Campground)
May 4 Ride to Givry (near Cours-les-Barres) 24 Campground (Fourchambault)
May 5 Ride to St-Satur 43 Campground (St-Satur)
May 6 Ride to Bonny-sur-Loire 32 Campground beyond Bonny-sur-Loire
May 7 Ride to Sully-sur-Loire 50 Campground Sully-sur-Loire
May 8 Rest Day 10 Campground Sully-sur-Loire
May 9 Ride to St-Denis-de-l'Hotel 28 Campground St-Denis-de-l'Hotel
May 10 Ride to Orleans 25 Campground beyond Orleans
May 11 Ride to Muides-sur-Loire 50 Campground at Muides-sur-Loire
May 12 Ride to Chaumont-sur-Loire 48.5 Campground at Chaumont-sur-Loire
May 13 Ride to Tours 46 Tours - Hostel? BnB?
May 14 Rest Day 10 Tours - Hostel? BnB?
May 15 Ride to Savigny-en-Veron 53 Campground at Savigny-en-Veron
May 16 Ride to Gennes 41.5 Campground at Gennes
May 17 Ride to Montjean sur-Loire 55 Campground at Montjean sur-Loire
May 18 Ride to Mauves-sur-Loire 52.5 Campground at Mauves-sur-Loire
May 19 Ride to Frossay (beyond Nantes)
*End of trip option
50 Campground at Frossay
May 20 Rest day in Frossay 0 Campground at Frossay
May 21 La Vélodyssée: Ride to Pornic 40 ?
May 22 La Vélodyssée: Ride to La Barre-de-Monts 52 ?
May 23 La Vélodyssée: Noirmoutier par le Gois 45 Same as previous
May 24 La Vélodyssée: Ride to Sables-d'Olonne 65
May 25 La Vélodyssée: Return to La Barre-de-Monts 65
May 26 La Vélodyssée: Return to Pornic 52
May 27 La Vélodyssée: Return to Frossay 40
May 28 Ride to Nantes 35
May 29 Errand Day in Nantes Nantes. Hostel? BnB?
May 30 Errand Day in Nantes Nantes. Hostel? BnB?
May 31 Fly Home 15 Home
General Info 21. Route Specs - Loire $0.00
Nevers 0 x x
le Guetin 14 x
Cuffy 17
Givry 24 x
La Charite-sur-Loire 44.5 x
St-Satur 72 x
Bannay 76.5 x
Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire *80 x
Belleville-sur-Loire 94.5 x x
Bonny-sur-Loire 102.5
Bonny-sur-Loire (Campground) 104.5 x
Chatillon-sur-Loire 108 x
Briare 112.5 x
Gien 124 x
Sully-sur-Loire 153 x x
St. Benoir-sur-Loire 160 x
Chateauneuf-sur-Loire 172 x
la Bourdonniere 176.5 x
Jargeau 181 x
Orleans 202 x x
St-Jean-de-la-Ruelle 205.5 x
Beaugency 230 x
Muides-sur-Loire 246 x x
Huisseau-sur-Cosson 261 x
Blois 272.5 x x
Cande-sur-Beuvron 287.5 x
Chaumont-sur-Loire 294.5 x x
Amboise 314.5 x x x
Lussault-sur-Loire 321 x
les Fosses Bouteilles 332 x
Tours 349.5 x
Savonnieres 361.5 x
Langeais 371 x
Chateau d'Usse 384 x
Contebault 391 x
Savigny-en-Veron 399 x
Candes-St-Martin 409 x
Montsoreau 414 x
Turquant 417.5 x
Saumur 428.5 x x
la Houssaie 437.5 x
Tour Treves 445.5 x
Gennes 449 x x
St-Remy-la-Varenne 459.5 x
St-Mathurin-sur-Loire 461 x
la Dagueniere 472 x
Angers *480 x
les-Ponts-de-Ce (near Angers) 480 x
Another campground 481.5 x
Bouchemaine 487.5 x
la Possonniere 497 x
Chalonnes-sur-Loire 506 x
Montjean sur-Loire 516 x
Ingrandes 520.5 x
Ancenis 536 x x
Oudon 545 x
St-Simon 557 x
Mauves-sur-Loire 558.5 x
la Bourniere 565.5 x
Ste-Luce-sur-Loire 568 x
Nantes 574 x x
le Migron 608.4 x
Paimboeuf 619.4 x
St-Brevin-les-Pins *END LOIRE 633 x
*Campground off the main route - extra distance required
General Info 22. Route Specs - La Vélodyssée $0.00 There are campgrounds all down the coast, but I don't know if they all take tents. We should have a proper cycle touring guide to find out.
St-Brevin-les-Pins 0
St-Michel-Chef-Chef 10 x
*Pointe de St-Gildas +12
Pornic 26
La Barre-de-Monts 78 x
*Noirmoutier par le Gois (Island) +45
Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie 113 x
Sables-d'Olonne 143 x
La Tranche-sur-Mer 191 x
Marans 236
*La *Venise verte* au depart de Marans +50-80km
La Rochelle 271 x
*L'ile de Re au depart de la Rochelle +50
*Bonus/Diversion - off the main route
Handy Accueil Velo Freewheeling France $0.00
Handy Loire Valley by Train Interloire $0.00 Thanks to the "Train Vélo Loire" (Train Bike Loire) system, you can board trains on the Interloire line with your bicycle, from mid-June to mid-September. The service is free and has dedicated personnel for taking care of your bike from the moment you board to when you get it back when you get off. This allows you to easily skip stages or return to your point of departure.
To Do Maps.me Load required maps into Maps.me $0.00
Type Name Description Service Provider Cost Kms To Date Total Notes Actions
Cycle Basel to Nantes $0.00 0.00 0.00
Type Name Description Service Provider Cost Notes Actions
Rental Bim Bim Bikes Possible bike rental option $0.00
Rental Bike Hire Direct Possible bike rental option $0.00
Rental Spin Lister Promising rental options (individuals) $0.00
Storage Blue Marble in Paris Luggage storage and shuttle services in Paris Blue Marble $0.00

Trip Log

Notes Actions
I started a new blog this year, called "Self-Supported Cycle Touring for the Faint of Heart". It's mostly for me, but maybe someday someone else will get some value from it.

During my preparations for this trip, I wrote a few posts: