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French roads, better than UK?

unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
edited July 2011 in The bottom bracket
Looking at the Tour de France coverage it seems that French roads are less of a patchwork quilt of repairs, different surfaces and potholes than ours (at least in Scotland). Or does the TV just hide the blemishes?
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  • anto164anto164 Posts: 3,500
    from my experience, the uk roads are terrible. Roads are much better over the continent.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,425 Lives Here
    The roads are much better.

    However, Tour roads are especially better, since most roads are re-surfaced to a very high standard for the tour (if it's necessary).
  • anto164anto164 Posts: 3,500
    The roads are much better.

    However, Tour roads are especially better, since most roads are re-surfaced to a very high standard for the tour (if it's necessary).

    And they tend to use the more major roads (With some exceptions)
  • MountainMonsterMountainMonster Posts: 7,423
    In general, UK roads are the worst I have ever seen, and this is coming from the States, which has some pretty terrible roads. Here in Austria, unless you really are in the middle of nowhere, where no-one ever drives, you'll be lucky to find a pothole. If you find one, there is normally a works crew right next to it.

    I love the roads here, even farmers trails are well paved and make for some fun sweeping roads to descend and climb on.
  • brianonyxbrianonyx Posts: 170
    I've just finished the PROPS bristol to bordeaux ride and this is the fifth long ride through France I have done. You can find bad roads in France but it is the exception.

    I am not a road construction expert but usually most surfaces are smooth tarmacy stuff rather than the jiggly stones sprayed on finish you seem to get in the UK.

    There is also much less traffic, fewer chavs, and what seems greater mutual respect between bikes and cars.

    Only my experience though.
  • izzaizza Posts: 1,561
    Just completed L2P.

    Their roads are much better. In the London to Dover leg, there was constant shouting on the front of the group of "hole". This nigh on disappeared on the subsequent days.
  • maddog 2maddog 2 Posts: 8,114
    Or does the TV just hide the blemishes?

    No. The roads in Lancashire at least, are terrible. And getting worse.

    I've just come back from Italy and the Alps and driving home from the airport was like driving over a tarmaced field compared to the roads over there. Embarrassing.
    Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer
  • geoff_ssgeoff_ss Posts: 1,201
    We've just returned from a 3 week motor caravan assisted cycling holiday in France (how the mighty are fallen :)) We were in the north and east (Alsace, Champagne, Somme) and the roads are quite reasonable but we do tend to seek out little back roads and they can be a bit rough.

    Generally better, I would say, but it's as well to remember that traffic levels in France are generally very, very much lower than here, even on main roads. I hate driving over here but when we go to France I remember why I used to enjoy when I were nobbut a lad in the 1950s.

    btw we'd never been in that part of France before and it was brilliant. Made nice change from our usual mountainous regions and was better for my fragile back.
    Old cyclists never die; they just fit smaller chainrings ... and pedal faster
  • Yes, they are way better, I was surprised how much when I did some cycling in Brittany a few years ago.

    Let's face it, the UK is going down the plughole! No navy,army, roads censored and paying people money who contribute nothing towards society.

    Rant over.
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  • JamesBJamesB Posts: 1,184
    Yes, they are way better, I was surprised how much when I did some cycling in Brittany a few years ago.

    totally agree it was lovely a few years back cycling in Brittany too and even country lanes excellent surfaces, made it so much more enjoyable :D Perhaps only thing bad was occasional rough edge camber but can easily live with that minor difficulty.

    Roads in Spain (Alpujarras region) also I found to be excellent, a few real bad bits around on par with UK roads but overall smooth and fast, even right up into the mountains
  • iancgrayiancgray Posts: 4
    I stayed with the In-Laws in Larroque over Easter and cycled part of stage 11 from Bruniquel to Gaillac. 75 % of the road was in a terrible state, years of patching up, frequent potholes and a fair amount of variable surfaces. Spoke to my Father in Law mid May and the whole section had been resurfaced ready for Le Tour and is now in great condition.
    As has already been mentioned it depends where you go, but I live in rural Suffolk and the roads are mostly comparable to the ones around the region of Tarn. I do find the Autoroutes and major roads are much better than the UK though. Perhaps it's because there is less traffic per road mile in France or maybe they have a decent road network policy. These are only my views and I'm sure others will have experienced something diffenrent, it's a big place after all.
  • holmeboyholmeboy Posts: 674
    Horrible road at Gravais end of Chamonias vally. It was the alterative route to the two bridges to get out the vally, went down for miles was brilliantly windy but as bad/worn as road in East Lothain.
  • jma001jma001 Posts: 11
    Hi all,

    We have been going to France now for quite a few years now, and have always found the roads far better than the U.K.

    We drove up the combe laval in the Ardeche a few weeks ago.It is literally cut out of the side of a mountain but is in better fettle than the road outside my house.

    regards

    jma
  • dizzydanedizzydane Posts: 322
    Just returned from France and definitely MUCH better ;o)
  • Evil LaughEvil Laugh Posts: 1,412
    I'm there now, gonna complete our last leg of st malo - foix tomorrow.

    The roads are amazing. 85% beautifully smooth ime. Rough roads are the exception as above and potholes, well I've seen about 3 in 600 miles. Brittany was nice and the ride from Bordeaux, through Auch to Foix has been breathtaking with some beautiful descents where the roads come into their own.

    When my legs recover next week I'm gonna head into the Pyrenees for a couple of days, can't wait.

    Not gonna be fun getting back to uk roads.
  • dizzydanedizzydane Posts: 322
    When my legs recover next week I'm gonna head into the Pyrenees for a couple of days, can't wait.

    That's it... Make us all jealous.
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