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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to hear any suggestions for a route touring France from those who have actually done it. We're going to start on September 24th and have 9 days - hopefully the weather should be perfect then. We'll start and end in Paris.

I've been to France a couple of times, speak VERY little French although my girlfriend who will be accompanying me has much better fluency - so we won't be total "ugly" Americans.

My idea is to have a lot of serendipity - I'm not fond of organized tours and would much prefer to have a "loop" type of route planned to explore the country. I can see us hanging out for a couple of days if we like the area we pass through. I don't want to be on the bike every day.

If you have any specific recommendations for a rental agency and type of bike that would be appreciated as well. I would much prefer to rent a BMW.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
 

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Try to get down to the Milau viaduct....amazing!
LeMans.....a ride down the main straight (the mulsanne) is a public road and always gives me goose bumps.
Me and a pal "did" France a few years ago, down the middle to the South, Monacco, turned right (West) and rode some fabulous roads to the Atlantc coast, then up. FABULOUS!
Simon
 

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Hi Ron, I'm not really familiar with France I traveled once in a while over there but not often.
The weather should be good in September is always a even month not to hot and not really cold.

A Route not to hard and for 9 days would be.

Paris > Orleans > Tours > La Rochelle > up north follow the coast line in direction Brest > Siant-Malo > Le Havre > back to Paris.

Is about 1000 mi just good enough to take some days of for sightseeing.

Regarding Bike, yes you can rent a Bike over there I think you have to calculate for 9 days 1500,-to 2000,- Euro.
You should Google it up.
I be sure that some french knowers jumping in for more Infos.

Hope I could give you some idea, Manfred
 

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Have only touched into France starting in Milian, Italy but Annecy and the lake it's located on were very nice.

Highly recommend the Col de la Madeline which is usually on the Tour de France bicycle race route. It was fantastic.
http://www.cycling-challenge.com/col-de-la-madeleine-via-col-du-chaussy/

Next stop was Andermatt, Switzerland and the roads, mountians and town are amazing.

Have a great trip.
 

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Ron,

I have a KLT stored in Heidelberg. http://www.knopftours.com/Web-Site/Hello.html
My wife and spend at least a month each year touring Europe and have gone into France twice.

If you are interested spending any time in the Alps, you might consider a loop from Germany into Switzerland down into the Roanne valley then up to Paris and back to Germany. Try to spend 2 nights in most stops and do day trips to nearby sights. You can expand that loop if you are comfortable with extra miles since miles go very fast on the toll road. There is lots to see. Get Rick Steve's guide book and see his videos. Be sure to allow at least 2 nights in Paris (It's magic).

I think Knopf's rental are very competitive and I'd consider renting my bike to an experienced member that would treat it like their own. Tires and service are ridiculously expensive in Europe, so nothing is cheap.

Knopf will take care of everything (for a fee). Frankfurt airport shuttle, 1st and last night's B&B, liability insurance, health and breakdown insurance.

Have a great trip. It's a great experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Richdude said:
Ron,

I have a KLT stored in Heidelberg. http://www.knopftours.com/Web-Site/Hello.html
My wife and spend at least a month each year touring Europe and have gone into France twice.

If you are interested spending any time in the Alps, you might consider a loop from Germany into Switzerland down into the Roanne valley then up to Paris and back to Germany. Try to spend 2 nights in most stops and do day trips to nearby sights. You can expand that loop if you are comfortable with extra miles since miles go very fast on the toll road. There is lots to see. Get Rick Steve's guide book and see his videos. Be sure to allow at least 2 nights in Paris (It's magic).

I think Knopf's rental are very competitive and I'd consider renting my bike to an experienced member that would treat it like their own. Tires and service are ridiculously expensive in Europe, so nothing is cheap.

Knopf will take care of everything (for a fee). Frankfurt airport shuttle, 1st and last night's B&B, liability insurance, health and breakdown insurance.

Have a great trip. It's a great experience.
Hi Rich:

That's an interesting thought about renting a buddie's bike while there - I think I may see if there is another LT owner on the site that would like to do a straight up swap since the Southwest is so desirable in the winter. It would be so easy since all my gear is perfectly set up for the LT... just shove it all in a big duffle for the trip over.

I'll PM you. WE can't wait - it's her first time ever to Europe.
 

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Hi Ron,

My wife & I have toured France a lot. As you're going to be based in Paris, I'd suggest a run down the Central Massif to the south coast. That'll get you the Millau bridge mentioned above. Also on the way is Rocamadour and a monkey park just outside it. About 20k away is Gouffre de Padiric, an amazing experience. At the coast (Montpellier) turn left and run along the coast for a bit then left again to come up Route Napolean as far as Grenoble. Then slice diagonally back to Paris.

We travel every September. As stated above the weather is still ok in the sense that it's still warm. You take your chances with rain. Last year we had blue skies and 80 degrees thoughout, but the year before was a week of drizzle (in fact we've done the Central Massif twice because we didn't see it the first time!). We bring our liners but have never used them.

Enjoy yourselves. You'll find that the motorists in France have a very healthy attitude to bikers and usually make gaps for you. I'm off to book the ferry now!

Kevin.
 

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What... No input from Zippy_GG?

Hey, Gilles... Come out, come out, wherever you are! :cool:
 

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Ron, I recently toured the Vogessen mountain area (around Colmar, Munster,and Strasbourg) Not the best known part of France, but some of the best riding I have ever done. The food and hospitality is great, and everything is reasonably priced (for Europe)
 

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Hi Ron,

I have no route suggestions as I have not ridden that much in France but I wanted to inform you about the funny motorcycle rules the French invent:

One of the newest is that every car and bike must carry a valid alcometer along. This a rather new rule so the police might show mercy to you in case you don't have one if you get stopped.
Double check this when you get there. The "offcial" alcometers are sold at gas stations.

Have fun!

Regards
 

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dougholck said:
Next stop was Andermatt, Switzerland and the roads, mountians and town are amazing.
Andermatt is incredible, and the ride on through to the Gotthard Pass. Not France (sorry Ron), but an a** kicking ride!
 

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If you get to the south, Lot and the Dordogne regions are worth visiting. we visited on the bike in 2009 and have been back several times in the car. We love that area. Places to visit, Souillac, Domme, Rocamadour, Saint -Emilion, Sarlat and many others nearby.

Some of our pics and video.

Facebook pics

2009 bike trip https://vimeo.com/5293865

2011 visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEq-X0j_CZs
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wow guys - thanks so much for all the recommendations - I need a month but I think I can wrangle 18 days which should be enough to carve a lot of corners. Can't wait to cruise the alps since I've clocked a lot miles in the Rockies over the past 30 years or so.

I'm getting a real itch to send the LT over for a couple of years of residency, but it looks like I may be able to borrow one for my first foray.

My last trip to France was by bare boat barge through canals all the way to the Mediterranean over 3 weeks. Magnifique! ... but - I think my upcoming trip just may top this especially with a new squeeze on board. I'm already instructing her how to hold on tight in the sweepers. :yeah: As long as she doesn't have a final drive failure I think it will be cool runnin' mon. :D
 
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