For Australian Cyclists travelling and touring OS
7 posts • Page 1 of 1
I have always enjoyed cycling on rail trails both because I have a fascination with railways and also enjoy traffic free cycling.
When I cycled in France I enjoyed cycling some rail trails like Dieppe to Forges and Along Lake Anncey.
Numerous ones in UK, in particular Buchan to Ashbourne, Market Harborough to Northampton, Bath to Bristol, Cardiff to Brecon and Leighton Buzzard to Hertford.
I'm wondering what rail trails people have had the pleasure of cycling on, when they have been overseas?
I have heard about the Midway to Hope railtrail in BC Canada, anyone cycled it?
In the US, the Mickelson Rail Trail in South Dakota
http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory ... fault.aspx
In France a couple of years ago I stumbled across La Voie Vert, starting near Le Puy en Velay, a beautiful rail trail heading south (my direction) towards Solignac-Sur-Loire. Only 14 kms long, but good surface (compacted gravel) and an easy 2% gradient. There were good views to the east occasionally, but these were limited due to vegetation, it was like riding through a green tunnel. Real tunnels came further along, these were up to 2 kms in length, it was cold inside, there was overhead lighting and the Gothic like arches of the tunnel made for an eerie ride. Also a strong wind from the south funnelled into the tunnels and slowed progress.
I was using the Michelen Road Atlas, scale 1:200,000, not much useful cycling specific info, so rail trails or off road bikeways always came as a pleasant surprise.
Canal du Midi in France is a 200km nice trail from Toulouse to Beziers. The first 30km is asphalt but the remaining 170km is a small (often single track) trail along the canal.
Route planner : http://www.bike-and-hike-route.com
Roger Laperbie trail about 8 km out of Bordeaux. Brilliant track in great conditions. Went for around 80km from memory. Worked our way back to canal du Garonne via rolling hills of vineyards and then rode along the canal to Toulouse. Great canal track. Once out of Toulouse it becomes the Canal du Midi. 35 kms beyond Toulouse it becomes a real struggle especially if wet. Coming into Carcassonne it was a nightmare. Came to grief a couple of times but as we were basically reduced to walking speed, had time to fall gently and away from the water.
Anyone looking to do it I would say think again or get onto to some local roads and see some countryside. But I would go back and do the Laperbie rail trail and canal gu Garonne up to Toulouse in a flash. Also Bordeaux had some wonderful bike paths and is very beautiful. Trams, pedestrians and bikes all get first go. Toulouse was also good for getting around on our bikes. Canal path runs through the middle of town.
7 posts • Page 1 of 1
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