Loire a Velo with Friends : 2019-05-30 : Group Messages - Planning

Type Name Description Service Provider Cost Notes Actions
General Info Prep Message 1, Feb 25, 2017 Intro to the Trip $0.00 Hi everyone,

Per my recent e-mail, I've added you to our list of cycle tourists to join us for the Loire a Velo tour in 2019: http://www.andwa.com/events/details.asp?eventid=1173

June 2019 is a long way off yet, but it's not too soon to start thinking and preparing for it if this will be your first major cycle tour (besides, I'm excited already, so you should be too). I'll send out some "prep" messages fairly regularly, and if you have specific questions, please send them to me (others may have the same question as well).

The first thing I'd like to tell you is exactly what you're signed up for. Although I've titled the trip "Loire a Velo", our total route is actually more than that. Loire a Velo is a very beautiful and popular route following the Loire Valley in France. "Velo" is French for bicycle, so "Loire a Velo" means "Loire by Bicycle". Loire a Velo forms a portion of the EuroVelo 6 (EV6) route, and we will be doing more of EV6 than just the Loire Valley.

Let's unpack that.

"EuroVelo" is a network of cycle routes defined which criss-cross Europe. Although an entire network of trails has been defined, not all of the route are finished. EuroVelo route 6 crosses Europe from east to west and is one of the most complete, and most popular routes. You can find more information about the EuroVelo network itself here:
Here's a good map of the entire EuroVelo network:
If you look for the pink line going across from the coast of France all the way to the Black Sea in the east, that's EV6.

EV6 crosses Europe, but the most popular sections are "Loire a Velo" and the "Danube Cycle Trail" (which Brent, Laura and I did in 2015). Our intended route for 2019 starts in Basel, Switzerland and follows EV6 west down to the coast of France. In 2015, Brent and I rode a portion of this route from Nantes (near the west coast) to Orleans. We wished we could have done more, but we had to get on over to Germany, so we used a train to get from Orleans to Strassbourg, France. We've been dying to go back - France, and the Loire Valley, were definite favorites for us.

Here's some information about the France section of EV6:
And here's some information about just the Loire Valley portion:
Here's a Google map sketch of our intended route for 2019:

You will see that I have us starting in Basel, Switzerland and ending at Bay of Biscay, for a total of 1055km. You can see the elevation profile (on the left) and it looks like there are two sections of climb, but overall downhill to the coast. I haven't yet figured out where we would fly in and out (probably Paris?), or how to get from that place to the tour and back, so the exact route may change slightly as I investigate further. Also, on the event details, you'll see that Brent and I want to stay past the end of June to go catch some of the Tour de France (and you're absolutely welcome to do the same). 1055km in a month (mostly downhill) isn't so bad, right?

Velo Velo!
General Info Prep Message 2, Apr 10, 2017 Practice Cycle Tours 2017 $0.00 Want to get a jump-start on preparation for our tour in 2019? Brent and I have a couple of easy beginner cycle tours set up for this year. We'll also plan at least two for next year. If possible (conditions willing), we'll try to set some up for early 2019 before the tour, but no promises yet.

If you'd like to participate in the ones this year to get a sense of whether touring is for you or not, we have:
- April 29/30, Edmonton area: http://www.edmontonoutdoorclub.com/events/details.asp?eventid=4861
- September 16/17, Calgary area: http://www.andwa.com/events/details.asp?eventid=1402
General Info Prep Message 3, May 14, 2017 Follow us in Germany, 2017 $0.00 Brent, Laura and I will be leaving soon for Germany. June 1st can't come soon enough! If you'd like to follow our trip (and think about how fun and easy it looks), you can follow us on my web site, DAMDetails: http://www.damdetails.com/calendar/trips/12/2017/6

The site is part planning tool and part blogger, so if you're interested in finding out more about what we're doing, where we're staying, and how much we're cycling each day, that will be posted on the site. Or, if you're more interested in just living vicariously, you can do that too. The link above is for the calendar page (which shows everything, day by day), but you can also go directly to:
- The important info: http://www.damdetails.com/trips/lists/12
- The vicarious living: http://www.damdetails.com/trips/triplog/12
General Info Prep Message 4,July 1, 2017 Hardships $0.00 I know I've been giving you the sales pitch about coming along on our cycle tour in France in June of 2019. I just got back from Germany, and although we had a great time, this kind of trip is quite difficult, and is not without its hardships.

So, in the interest of being completely honest with you about what I'm trying to talk you into, here's a list of hardships that Brent, Laura and I have drafted to make sure you're properly informed. This list will likely evolve over the next several months if/as we think of more stuff.

Hardships per 2017
General Info Prep Message 5, Mar 4 2018 Brent's Bike Training Schedule Blog $0.00 What better way to pass a "Snow Weekend" than to start planning your training schedule for our trip to France? You'll probably have a couple of months to train early next year before we leave, but if you're feeling ambitious, or maybe unsure of whether you can do it, it might not hurt to do some training this year.

To that end, I would like to share Brent's Bike Training Schedule blog with you. He wrote this several years ago, but it's super helpful if you're not sure where to start.


Trip Log