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

Solo Trip to France . .

ZibblesZibbles Posts: 6
edited April 2011 in Tour & expedition
I'm heading out to St Malo in early september, for a few weeks; possibly heading down to spain, and coming back on the ferry from spain; yet to decide this; as I'm doing a few trail runs in the coming months, to see how I handle the hills...Going to attempt 60 miles per day; and I'm wanting to go for 3 weeks. As most of my mates are into getting loaded of a weekend, I'm going solo; so wanted some pointers;

I've got myself a FUJI roubain 3, and I've upgraded to 32 spoke wheels, and I've bought myself a tag-a-long single wheel trailer for my gear (Not gonna bother with panniers)

First question is, about security really, If I'm in my tent sleeping, where am I going to lock my bike and trailer up? Should I opt for a tent that can contain my trailer? Or should I presume my bike will be okay locked outside? Will campsites have somwhere to lock my trailer and bike up?I'm from birkenhead, and I wouldn't leave anything outside locked up here, because it would be gone quicker than you can say jeremy kyle.

Also, advice on my list of stuff I'm taking
Camping stove,
airbed & pump,
sleeping bag
clothes(Inc waterproofs)
spare spokes
spanners puncturekits, pump, and spare pump
cooking utensils
suncream, insect repellent, first aid kit

That's pretty much a basic list so far;
Anything obvious I've missed out?

Anyone attempted anything like this solo before?


  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    Ive done S France and N Spain both in Sept. Its a great time to go.
    I managed without cooking gear. If you have the money, its a great shame not to sample to local cuisine.
    I used a tiny Gelhert Solo tent, all the gear fitted inside 2 rear panniers and wasn't that heavy. Trailers are good for heavier loads but for lightweight camping they add a lot of weight. The advantage is that you can base yourself at a campsite and take off for day-rides.

    I only use a thin cable lock on tour. French campsites seem to be fairly safe places with security-controlled access. I never had any stuff messed with even when it was laying in the tent all day.
  • ZibblesZibbles Posts: 6
    I'm taking quite a bit of money with me, so I'm hoping to use my camping stove for breakfasts, and green tea's in the evening, and inbetween eat out. I will spend the odd night in B&B's as well.

    The reason I didn't take a pannier, is because I'm quite heavey, so I want to give my wheels a chance, even with the 32 spokes, I wouldn't want to load the bike up, hence the trailer. I'm in no rush, I mean I'm training at the moment, averaging 20mph over 20/30 miles; 18mph over 50 miles- but I'm yet to attempt a loaded trip - This weekend, I'm going from birkenhead to Betwys-y-coed for a spot of camping, and the weekend after, I'm gonna go around the coast of cornwall. Test out my trailer- I have a tent, but it's censored , so I need to sort something in the coming weeks
  • Good luck and good averages for a 'heavy' person
  • ZibblesZibbles Posts: 6
    Good luck and good averages for a 'heavy' person

    Cheers; I'm 19 and a half stone. But my routes are generally flatter than a witches censored .
  • Well I'm down from 19+ jan last year to 17.
    Avg about 16-17 on my own, feels good going to me so hats off to you
  • Hi
    I am doing something similar myself leaving end of May and probably going for about 4 weeks however I am heading down the Eastern side of France from Dieppe down to Lyon then back round. First off I would say that the major thing that you have left off your list would be map/maps which may be a pretty obvious thing to mention. I am glad you asked about the camping safety as I will be camping and going alone and that was a concern. I used to go on holiday to France a lot as a kid though and I cannot imagine having any security issues in camping in rural towns, if you were going to be somewhere more urban then would be more cautious (had bad experiences in Toulouse train station). Get yourself a good cycling guide book as well as that would be invaluable, lonely planet do one which is apparently very good (just ordered mine) and a phrase book if you don't speak much French like myself.
    Have a good trip!
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