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France - Nice 2008

swiftrockswiftrock Posts: 31
Hi,

I was hoping that someone would be ale to give some advice on a trip Nice at the end of February 2008. There is a group of us heading out for a weeks cycling and we're staying in a villa in Grasse close to Nice. Looking at google earth it seems to be quite a mountainous area and was wondering if anyone out there has experience of the terrain in and around Nice, its not that climbs are a problem but some flat terrain would be welcome. We're hoping to complete about 25 hours over the week so around 80 mile a day would be the target. If anyone can contribute on routes, places/roads to avoid then it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Posts

  • laerteslaertes Posts: 68
    I have never cycled around there but have been on holiday a few times. Like a lot of coastal areas the roads are very busy near the sea. However away from that they are not to bad. The town of Grasse itself is on quite a hill, I seem to remember, but the area itself is mostly flat with rolling hills. The mountains are mostly east of Grasse - by car they are about an hour north of Nice to get right into them, so I suppose about 40 miles.

    Dont know anymore than that I'm afraid, except that the mountains are beautiful.
  • yogiyogi Posts: 456
    I've cycled around NIce. The city is very busy. Lots of mountains to the east. I really liked the area.

    You've got the Col d' Eze which is a good climb right out of NIce and used to be a time-trial on the final day of Paris-Nice. They still go up it, twice usually as a stage. It's a lovely climb with great views of Cap-Ferrat and the sea. There are some good roads around the outskirts of Nice around Vence. The run from Grasse to NIce is very much downhill.

    If you keep going you'll end up in Monaco and there are some great climbs out of there. Many are used on the Monte Carlo rally.

    There's a lot of climbs in the area, after all Armstrong used to live there and many top riders have lived in Monaco. Try out the Madone.

    Enjoy your holiday, I'm very envious.
  • craigentycraigenty Posts: 960
    Hi Swiftrock,

    It's good cycling country around Grasse but it can be arduous to say the least.
    The town itself is on a hill with steep roads out to the north but this is the best area for scenery. You must go and ride the Gorge du Loup only 15-20 km to the north east and climb up to the village of Greolieres, it's stunning up there. Then you can head over the Col de Blaine to the north 1439m.

    The area to the west is good to, the villages of Mons and Fayence are lovely and the vilage of Tourettes is f,f,f***ing beautiful :wink:

    Try to limit the time you spend on the N85 Route Napoleon. You won't be able to totally avoid it but it's a fast road with not much room for bikes.

    A monster day out and a bit of a must do is The Verdon Gorge. Head for the south rim via Comps sur Artuby. Maybe you can go part way in the car?

    I'd avoid the flatter area between Grasse and Cannes and Antibes. far too busy.
    The road down from Grasse to Nice isn't much fun either although the town of Vence is ok.
  • pneumaticpneumatic Posts: 1,989
    Just discovered I'm going there aswell in the Summer (my kids decide where we go on holiday and, being teenagers, they have settled on Antibes - my wallet opening fingers are shaking already!!). Anyway, while they are spending a fiver on a ice cream they don't want, I shall be heading inland on the Spesh Roubaix looking for adventure.

    Craig, do you mean Greolieres village or Greolieres les neige (or both?). col de Bleine looks fun, too.

    Would also recommend Gorges de Verdon. We did it in the car last Summer and my knees were itching the whole time.

    Seem to remember the OP said something about not being bothered about hills; sorry, mate, there's nothing but hills around there, but they are a lot of fun!


    Fast and Bulbous
    Peregrinations
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • craigentycraigenty Posts: 960
    Pneumatic,

    No I mean the lower village overlooking the perched village of Cipieres although the road up to the upper village Greolieres les Neiges at 1400m looks great. Never been up there but there's a teleski there and it's north facing so might be some snow.

    Actually I have some photos of a tour we did last May through this very area in my Picasa album.
    http://picasaweb.google.fr/Bikerboy1912 ... ourMay2007
  • pneumaticpneumatic Posts: 1,989
    Looks fantastic! Now I can't wait to get there.


    Fast and Bulbous
    Peregrinations
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • pneumaticpneumatic Posts: 1,989
    Just to report back on the rides discussed here, I did the Gorges du Loup one Sunday morning this Summer and it was just FANTASTIC! Highly recommended, but I suggest you go up the East side and down the West, as follows:

    From where I picked it up just West of Cagnes, it was basically 40km continuously uphill but never such a severe gradient as to upset the cadence. Deep gorge to start with and then eventually, you break out onto Alpine switchbacks that take you up to Greolieres. Double coffee there and then onwards to the Pont du Loup (there are two of these, I mean the second one you come to, not the one half way up), where you can cross the river and head back down the other side of the gorge. That first part had been spectacular enough, but then you get onto the Plateau de Caussols which is extraordinary, like the Tibetan highlands and then, if you can take any more excitement, you get to go down the from the Col de l'Ecre, a thrilling descent, stop (if your brakes are up to it) at the extraordinary village of Gourdon, hanging in the sky like something out of Lara Croft, and then sweep down the most wide open and steep descent imaginable back towards Valbonne and the coast.

    It was a great morning out and more than made up for the frenetic experience which is the Riviera in high season.

    My ride was 100km and 1000metres of elevation. As it was a Sunday, it was also very sociable with dozens of other riders out an about.


    Fast and Bulbous
    Peregrinations
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • We're not long back from staying just outside Grasse and it looks fantastic for cycling, although as others have said it's pretty lumpy. I was hoping to hire a bike but didn't see a single bike shop! Does anyone know if there is anywhere in the Cannes/Grasse/Valbonne area?

    To the OP - we managed to spend £70 for 4 hours on 4 sunbeds and 2 beers on a beach in Antibes. There are free beaches but they're rammed. We spent a few lovely days at Lac du St Cassien near Fayence - fresh, clean water,
  • pneumaticpneumatic Posts: 1,989
    I had the same problem with bike shops. I looked up the yellow pages and apparently there are shops in Antibes and Nice, but I never found them. When I was out riding I also saw a guy advertising a shop in Sophia Antipolis but he was a bit quicker than me so I never got the chance to ask him. :(

    It used to be the case that you could hire a reasonable road bike quite easily in France (I am talking 20 years ago) but when I tried recently in Roubaix (of all places), they told me it is not commonly done any more. Shame.


    Fast and Bulbous
    Peregrinations
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

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