Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Tour & expedition

Nice to Barcelona

ConnEireConnEire Posts: 3
edited May 2010 in Tour & expedition
Hey everyone, first time poster here (found the suggestion for the forum in one of the 2005 issues of Cycling plus my dad had laying around! it had an article in it going through the basics of touring for first timers)

Anyway, my five mates and I have set out to cycle from Nice to Barcelona in July this summer. I have just started to cycle on racing bikes two weeks ago! while im not too sure in this, but i think only two of my other friends have cycling experience (your probably thinking theres not a chance you can do this, but were quite fit, although translating this into cycling is another story). At the minute i have done around 88miles on the road so far, consisting of hilly country road and main road surfaces.

The mileage from Nice to Barcelona is approximately 530 Miles, well so my friends tell me. The thing im wondering about is are there any tips you could give me about what way to go about my training? (I already have a journal set up and have been filling it in containing the Miles covered, how long it had taken, date, what kind of weather it was and how i felt while doing the cycle)

I also have a few questions i hope some of you can help me with. Has anyone done a tour around this area before? Is there any websites i can go to that would easily help me with the geography of the area, so i know before i get there if theres any monster hills we can try and avoid! and one last question, is there any where online i could plot the route? or will i just have to whip out the map?

Posts

  • cycladeliccycladelic Posts: 641
    Pyrenees: I started riding in Pau to get to Barcelona. You can see some picture and a map here...

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=R ... 6355&v=1Q4

    I also did a ride along the coast east from Toulon to Nice and beyond and it is detailed here...

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page ... 35547&v=LX

    You can go to Michelin's website and type in some places and select 'bike route' and it'll then tell you where to pedal...

    http://www.viamichelin.co.uk/web/Itineraires
    It's an uphill climb to the bottom
  • crankycrankcrankycrank Posts: 1,830
    I would first load up your bike with the actual gear you plan to tour with and go for as long a ride as you think you'll be doing on tour. Make sure you throw in some hills and rough roads if possible. This will get you accustomed to the feel of a loaded bike and give you an idea of your conditioning. Taking a 2 day pre-tour is good idea too. Just pick some location within a days ride, stay there overnight and pedal back the next day. You can actually get some pretty good training by doing plenty of short, hard rides and throw in a long distance ride once a week. Take a day or two off every so often so you don't burn yourself out. I'm not a training expert but that worked for me for my first tour.
  • ConnEireConnEire Posts: 3
    Thanks cycladelic, was an interesting read and some of those pictures were amazing. Were actually plotting the route today so I'll post it up here later.

    Yea i was thinking of actually doing that soon Crank, were doing this over 3 weeks so where not over stretching ourselves on our first tour. This averages out at 25Mile a day every day. That should be around an 1hour and a half on the bike, this in itself shouldn't be the hard bit, but doing 25mile everyday for 3 weeks will eventually take its toll. So hydration and refueling is a top priority. ( Also have to factor in the heat, which around that area would be?)

    Also what kind of kit would be needed? were thinking of mostly staying in hostels along the route as too cut down on what we have to carry. I was told that we would need different shorts everyday?

    I was also wondering about wind direction, especially with our route which we are trying to keep as close to the coast line as possible. Is there anyway i can find out were it would be most likely to be coming in off the coast from? After cycling into a head wind for an hour a couple days ago, 3 weeks of cycling into the wind cant be too much fun i'd imagine.

    Thanks for the reply's guys, all of your information is very much welcome and needed!
    (I'll get that route up asap so you can have a look-see at what were attempting)
  • stevegoatsstevegoats Posts: 11
    Hi, we went from Nice along the coast through Cannes/ Antibbes and then in land to Grasse and back to Nice. The coastal roads are unbelievably busy around there. It wasn't hot when we went and the cycling was not really much fun at times due to our lack of decent maps. So if I had to do it again I would get some decent maps. Take a good look at the types of roads you are cycling on, many of the main roads have smaller roads running parallel which are much more fun. Fill your bags with what you think you will need then dump half of it. I took old socks, pants and T shirts and disposed of them when dirty. Take easy dry clothes and wash what you need when you need. Learn to speak a little French, unlike Holland, people don't queue up to assist you in France. In fact, jump on a ferry and go to Holland when you get back. You will be amongst a nation of cyclists, even the ones that drive cars actually ride bikes too so courtesy on the very occasional road you might meet is not a problem, we have been there twice and have not managed to find anyone who was not friendly and who does not speak English. Any questions about France you want answered please post and I will give you my experiences.
  • cycladeliccycladelic Posts: 641
    ConnEire

    It was a great craic and I'm sure you'll love it.

    Don't fret about the wind. It may be a bit gusty around Marseille, but it should be behind you.

    25 miles a day is a piece of piss. I'm sure you'll pedal more than that.

    Anyway, a railway line runs along the coast, so if things go belly up, just hope on a train.
    It's an uphill climb to the bottom
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