Introduction

Introduction
Early in 2010 we were cycle touring in France and stumbled across EuroVelo 6. We then made an impromptu decision to follow it for a few weeks. The official website, http://www.eurovelo6.org/, does not provide enough detail to allow good planning.

Maps for the French and Romanian sections are now available. Maps for the central section are being prepared but no release date has been announced.

We found that the maps for the French section were not completely accurate as some sections have been realigned, and do not always show route through the larger cities. Portions of the route are still not marked so there are a few challenges.

The maps do not provide accurate information about what accommodation is available, though there is an accompanying guidebook but we have not seen one for sale. Some of the regional tourist boards do have information about accommodation.

This blog is to share information about EuroVelo 6 so those who had ride part or all of the route can share their experience and advice with those who are planning to undertake a ride all it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A day in the office - Typical EuroVelo 6 Problems

The Sector between Chagney and Dole contain several typical challenges for the cycle tourist.

Chagney is a reasonable sized town with four or five hotels but the cheaper ones were full when we arrived so the only options left was the €200 a night four star hotel with €150 per person menu, camping or travel on to Chalon-Sur-Saône which is 25 km away.

Chalon is a small city at the edge of which the EuroVelo signs end but before the city map provided in the EuroVelo 6 map set starts. So a combination of luck and guile are needed to get to the centre of the city while avoiding cars and buses. An unmarked bike route, which follows the Saône, takes the rider through an industrial area where the Canal du Centre joins the Saône. Then the difficult part starts, the route follows the main road that is very busy on weekdays. The alternative route is beside the river, in July 2010 the path was little better than a mountain bike track. This track runs for 16 kilometres until the village of Gergy where the track joins the main road.

At Gergy a cycle path takes the rider to the pretty village of Verdun-sur-le Doubs. It has several restaurants, two hotels and several camping grounds. There is no bike path between Verdun and Seurre but the roads are quiet and go from village to village but are not marked. Outside of Seurre, the route uses dirt roads. After leaving Seurre, the route follows more dirt paths. However, after 5 km the route returns to paved surfaces and is well marked. There is little accommodation at Seurre. The next major town is St-Usage, where some accommodation is available and the route follows the Canal Rhône au Rhine.


EuroVelo 6 Near Seurre

The surface is good but at Abergement la Ronce the route detours so as not to ride through a gigantic chemical complex. However, the route takes the rider through several non-descript suburbs in addition to a pleasant ride in a forest. No sooner than the path rejoins the canal the rider arrives in Dole. Dole is a very popular place due to its proximity to the Saône and Doubs rivers, along with its history and connection with Louis Pasteur. However, there is limited accommodation.

In this short section of a little over 125 km of EuroVelo 6 the cycle tourist has to contend with poor maps, bad or missing signage, limited accommodation and poor track conditions. However, we enjoyed the riding along this section. Verdun sur-le-Doubs is worth a stop as is Dole.

4 comments:

  1. hey this is a great site i can see it being very helpful, its a shame it hasnt recieved many posts yet. im planning on undertaking the euro velo 6 from constanja at the beginning of june for charity, i have given myself a month to complete the journey. maybe im being a bit niave, its my first long distance trip. also, is it essential to have maps i was under the impression that the whole route was sign posted. il be riding an avenue spirit 4000, a pretty light weight racer/road hybrid. do you think this is adequate for the route?

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  2. Sign posting along Eurovelo 6 can range from very good, none or confusing. In some cases Eurovelo 6 is integrated into a local "velo verte" so there are a lot of signs pointing in every direction. We have just returned from a tour in New Zealand using GPS's - definitely will use one next year in Europe.

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  4. We averaged 60 km per day on Eurovelo 6, with rest days every 4 days or so. During our recent trip to New Zealand we averaged 63 km per day. On Eurovelo we had changes of clothes and some bike spares, in New Zealand we had spare clothing, bike spares and some camping equipment.
    Eurovelo 6 is about 4100 km long, a month is 30 days so you will need to average about 140 km per day with no rest days. A strong rider with a small amount of luggage can average mid 20s per hour so six hours in the saddle each day. The more luggage, the slower the riding.
    If you have not got support you need to have enough energy to find accommodation, find food etc each day. This can be difficult – we found hotels etc fill quickly so we started to look for accommodation mid afternoon. This may not be a problem if you are camping.
    As for your bike – I am not familiar with the bike mentioned – we use touring bikes for travelling. We have Surly Long Haul Truckers (in the 700 and 650 wheel frame sets). Most of our problems over the 50,000+ km of touring have been wheel related, then headsets. So providing the wheels are strong (not lightweight racing wheels) you should be ok. See my blog on wheel sizes. We used our 650 bikes in New Zealand and are planning to use the 650 bikes for our next trip to Europe.
    Good luck, safe riding and enjoy the challenge.

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