|Whether you prefer the challenge of big Cols and big distance or the pleasures of riding between villages along valley bottoms, the area of and around the Durance and Buech valleys, they join at Sisteron 10km away, is perfect for cycling. Good roads, sparse traffic and lots of cycle lanes along the main roads, not to mention biker aware drivers make cycling a pleasure. The fact that a large proportion of the French population cycle, coupled with the popularity of the Tour de France means that provision for cyclists is excellent with some Departments like Drôme, next door, even having signed road routes, and you can be assured of an encouraging "Allez" from any French locals you pass on the roads, it can make all the difference on a long climb.|
Conquer the Cols or visit the cafes
There are several excellent local Cols; Col St Jean, Col de Perty, Montagne de Lure and St Geniez all tie in with good day or half day circular rides from the house, other smaller Cols can be added to the routes to make them longer if the mood/madness takes you. We have knowledge of all the routes having cycled most and can provide details and copies of maps. Otherwise there are a number of good long and short day rides sticking to the valley bottoms and gentle slopes. In the summer when it is a little too hot for the long day rides there are some very pleasant routes taking in the local villages and their amenities (cafes and bars).
Mont Ventoux and the big Cols
those seeking the ultimate challenge Mont Ventoux is only an hours drive
from here and the climb is perhaps one of the most rewarding of any I
The Tour visited Gap for Bastille day in 2003, on the 100th anniversary of the Tour, the fireworks were incredible. It has visited the area in all but one of the subsequent years and the Etap de tour started at Gap in 2006. Catching up with the tour for a day is an experience not to be missed and with the razzamatazz of the caravan and the carnival atmosphere it is worth the early start to get a place on the route. Gap and Briançon, and the Cols in the area are favourite venues for the tour, most are easily accessible from here if you feel the urge to visit or to conquer some of the biggies.
Clubs and Groups
For clubs or groups we can provide a full service including airport pick-ups and support vehicles or transport to and from start and finish points if required, let us know and we can build an itinery - and price to suit, including accommodation and breakfast etc. etc.
Car free Cols
Every year the local Department closes several Cols to traffic for two hours each on consecutive days between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. specifically so cyclists can enjoy the roads with no vehicles - a pleasure previously reserved for the competitors in the Tour or other big races. This takes place in the first week of July and the last week of August. The closed Cols vary but usually include Isoard, Granon, Pommerol, Lebraut, Noyer and occassionally Galibrier. Details are available from the Haute Alpes website but unfortunately are not specific regarding dates and which Cols until the spring.
Bringing your bike
French trains are very bike friendly or you can bring bikes on many of the airlines provided they are adequately prepared, plus there is the bike bus from the UK. See the getting here section for more details of travel options.