RIDES OF PASSAGE
So how do you cycle from the Channel to the Mediterranean?
It's simple, you catch the boat to Saint Malo and just head south-east.
The route Matt and Arthur followed on the first cycle ride across France really wasn't much more complicated than that. They started in Saint Malo because it is the nearest French port to their home in Jersey, then followed a course that saw them spend nights in Saint Médard,
Saint Julien, Argenton, Chauvigny, Saint Junien, Saint Yrieix, Saint Céré, Rodez, La Cavalarie, before finishing in Sète. Sète became the chosen destination because that was the final stop in a coast-to-coast cycle route that was already available from the CTC in 1994.
In the 21 years since that first trans-France cycle tour, French roads have changed significantly. So, although Matt and Arthur tried to keep as closely as possible to their original route, the 2015 journey became a voyage of discovery as they attempted to find quieter and safer options away from busy roads. Click on each day below to see a map of the route they took.
— Day 1: Saint Malo to Saint Aubin du Cormier
— Day 2: Saint Aubin du Cormier to Vern d'Anjou
— Day 3: Vern d'Anjou to Argenton les Vallées
— Day 4: Argenton les Vallées to Chasseneuil du Poitou
— Day 5: Chasseneuil du Poitou to Confolens
— Day 6: Confolens to Saint Yrieix la Perche
— Day 7: Saint Yrieix la Perche to Vayrac
— Day 8: Vayrac to Decazeville
— Day 9: Decazeville to Millau
If you want some more practical advice, we thoroughly recommend the book France En Vélo by Hannah Reynolds and John Walsh.
Matt and Arthur had already done their 1994 trip long before this excellent guide was published, but for new French coast-to-coast cycle tourists
it will prove invaluable. franceenvelo.cc