|Type of tour:||Self-guided|
|Distance:||40 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Daily: Jun 1-Sep 15, 2014|
|Start city:||Le Freney-d'Oisans, France|
|End city:||Avignon, France|
On this tour you can learn how the pro riders suffer and take inspiration from the amazing beauty of these spectacular mountains. Go to the top of Alpe d’Huez, touch the monument to Henri Desgranges at the summit of the Galibier, climb Les Deux Alpes, Lautaret, and others! If you are an experienced and passionate rider, then come climb where legends have passed and been made!
At Ventoux, this mythical mountain has influenced many Tours de France over the years being famous for its steep ascent, its heat, its bald and exposed peak, and simply its legend. For those who are really strong, there is the "Club des Cingles", for which we will propose a service to achieve this status. Can you conquer the ‘Giant of Provence’?!
In the Alpes base ‘camp’ is the charming village of Le Freney-d’Oisans. This charming little mountain town is 50 miles (80 km) from Grenoble and 7 miles (12 km) from Bourg d'Oissans the attractive local capital of the Oisans mountain area. At Ventoux, base camp is a charming hotel in Bedoin at the foot of the Giant. On arrival you get a detailed briefing upon the cycling possibilities, the routes and organization of your cycling holiday.
Day 1: Arrival
Travel from Grenoble to the hotel – installation – welcome meeting – bike delivery - and orientation of your program for the week. Local bus service is regular to Freney; or you can arrange a private transfer for a supplement.
Overnight in Le Freney-d’Oisans.
Day 2: Choose your route
Don’t waste any time as you head out directly for warmups and some big climbs! You may wish to ride down the valley toward Grenoble and return along a steady but gradual climb after which you can choose among Le Col de la Sarenne, Le Glandon, La Croix de Fer, the Col d' Ornon or Les Deux Alpes.
Overnight in Freney d'Oisans.
Day 3: L’Alpe d’Huez
A legendary day. This vertical climb of 3,733 feet (1,120m) , 9 miles long (14 km), gradients between 7.7 and 12% and 21 switchbacks is one of the most historical and heroic ones in the history of the Tour de France. Again, you can warm up with some miles in lower valleys around Bourg d’Oissans. There is an option to a timed ascent of the Alpe today.
Overnight in Freney d'Oisans.
Day 4: Le Col du Lautaret and le Col du Galibier (25 miles/40km)
Today you will climb the Col du Lautaret from Le Bourg d’Oisans, with a vertical climb of 4,666 feet (1,400m) and average gradients of 3.8 % (max 9%) – the climb to the Galibier is 5 miles (9km) longer with a vertical climb of 1,950 feet (585m)with an average gradient of 6.9 % (12% max). The good news is you can come down afterward if you aren’t dizzy!
Overnight in Freney d'Oisans.
Day 5: Bedoin and Mount Ventoux
Departure after breakfast – 10:00 transfer to Bedoin and Mont Ventoux.
Allow 4 hours travel time. After checkin in Bedoin, you can use any free time to spin or visit the village. Dinner on the terrace after a dip in the swimming pool, then rest for tomorrow!
Overnight in Bedoin.
Day 6: Mont Ventoux
Today, its best to start the attack today. You can opt for a different ride to stretch and prepare if you rather do it tomorrow. All of the rides below are at your disposal. You are free to ride them in any order you wish.
To start, we suggest to climb the Mont Ventoux via the south side from Bedoin which is the most difficult route ! Starting from Bédoin, we have a climb of 13 miles (21km) but we suggest you to make first a nice warm-up ride through the vineyards of the Ventoux area. And then, finally the climb: between 2 and 6% during the first kilometers but after Saint-Estève between 9 and 10.5% until Chalet Reynard... and then there are still six kilometers to go to the peak winding up in a steep stone-desert landscape.
If you will attempt the Club des Cingles, we have additional advice for your preparation. This is not advised but for the strongest of riders.
Overnight in Bedoin.
Day 7: Gorges de la Nesque, Gordes, Vineyards
Take your pick, all are lovely country rides. The Gorges de la Nesque is a great option, it will take you through lavender country and wind alongside deep gorges and provide wonderful views. It does come with some climbs: Combe de l’Hermitage, Col N.D. des Abeilles and back via Gorges de la Nesque.
Overnight in Bedoin.
Day 8: Transfer to Avignon – Departure
If you have time, you can do some more riding this morning, or you can add on some additional nights. Hotel checkout is noon, and return transfer to Avignon included.
Bikes available to rent on this tour (booked in advance):
They are high performance bikes best used on our challenging tours for longer distances and climbing the big mountains challenge tours. These bikes do not carry panniers or handle bar bags. None of the bikes is more than 1 year old.
The 566 is an entry level yet high quality carbon frame bike. The frame weighs in at 1100 grams and the carbon fork is another 350 grams! Total 1450 grams or 1.45kg (about 3 lbs!) The geometry as described by Look offers a taller head tube and shorter sloping top tube - a compact design to allow for more comfort for going longer and faster.
Look road bikes are unavailable in July
Pedals are not included, please bring your own.
The proposed climbs have an elevation between 2,397 feet (719m) and 8,520 feet (2,556m), gradients vary between between 3.8 and 12%. The tour is challenging and is for experienced cyclists in above average physical condition.
"We had a great trip through France. The biking and climbs were awesome, the food was delicious, and the accommodations and inn keepers were marvelous. The operator was quite helpful. The only suggestion I have is, if they are going to provide a GPS unit (which they did, to my surprise), a newer model which is lighter and smaller and which provides directions as one approaches a turn or intersection would be better. Not a complaint, just a suggestion."
Nearest airport: Turin (TRN)
Nearest train station: Grenoble
Nearest airport: Avignon (AVN)
Nearest train station: Avignon
Local bus service from Grenoble is regular to Freney; or we can arrange a private transfer for a supplement of €95/person (must be booked at least a month before departure.)
DISCOVER FRANCE ADVENTURES is the leader in self-guided bicycle tours to France. With our offices in both France and the USA, we are positioned to provide the best trips, itineraries, and value to customers from anywhere in the world coming to France. It is our mission to provide exceptional cycling services that allow our clients to experience their destination in their own unique way.
We are French and American owned and operated. We provide consistent quality bicycle equipment from our bicycle shop in Lunel, France. Local French guides create our road books, utilizing their native knowlegde to create the most interesting and uncrowded routes. Our clients can travel knowing they have local support and will have an orientation with an local guide at the beginning of their tour.
We hope to make you a customer soon, if you aren't already! Never hesitate to contact us, we welcome all questions and all comers; we will help the beginner or the expert!
Cancellation of Tours
Once a deposit is received, a reservation confirmation is made, and final payment is due 60 days prior to tour departure. If a cancellation is made after deposit but before the 60-day period, all deposits are returned except $125 per person. Within 60 days, but more than 45 days, all of deposits are retained, and within 45 days additional penalties may apply, up to 100% of tour costs. No refunds are available once the trip commences. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS, including weather or other factors beyond our control. We reserve the right to cancel any tour prior to departure for any reason, in which case a full refund will be processed. If the tour is cancelled within 45 days of departure, an additional discount will be made for an alternate trip in addition to the full refund.
Discover France (DF) acts as an agent in securing all aspects of these tours and is responsible to the participants for the arrangements, services, and accommodations included only in such capacity. DF, its agents, and/or employees shall not be responsible for personal injury or property damage arising out of the act of negligence of any direct or associated carrier, hotel, or other person rendering services or accommodations; nor is DF responsible for injury, death, damage, loss, or delay in any means of transportation or any event beyond the actual control of DF, its agents or suppliers or due to force majeure. In the event it becomes necessary or advisable, for any reason, to alter the itinerary or arrangements, such alterations may be made. Additional expenses, if any, will be paid by passengers, likewise, any savings will be shared by passengers. DF reserves the right to decline, accept, or retain at any time, any person as a participant of any tour, or to cancel any tour. Instruction in bicycle use is not provided, and participants assume all risks associated with the activity they have booked; and participants affirm they are familiar with the operation of a multi-speed bicycle. By completing this booking you affirm that you and all participants are in good health and capable of engaging in the activity you are booking. HELMETS ARE REQUIRED.
Reservations, Deposits, and Final Payment
AGREEMENT: by completing a booking form and signing your acceptance either by hand writing or by typing your name; you agree that you accept all Terms herein and that this is a directive to perform services on your behalf. All persons named in this booking are subject to this agreement and your signature implies acceptance of all terms by all participants named and that as signer, you have made all persons aware of the terms – regardless of how final payment is made.
Full payment is due 60 days prior to departure. The tour price is per person based on double occupancy and includes those items mentioned in the itinerary, plus any prepaid optional items. Single room requests are subject to supplemental charges, and must be requested at time of booking. Group sizes are limited to a maximum and a minimum; a deposit will confirm space. A reservation is made by completing our online booking form or fax form. You may make your reservation tentatively by phone, or provide a credit card number by phone, but all bookings must be made by online system or by fax form in writing. This is to ensure that you are familiar with these terms and our release of liability.
Check each tour description to see what each trip includes. Self guided and guided trips vary on what is included, and among those there are variations.
If we do not receive payment or hear from you about your intentions to pay by 60 days prior then we may assume that you intend to cancel and you will be subject to terms of cancellation below.
Hotels from the point of tour departure through tour completion. Rooms are doubles and include private bath or shower. Single rooms are limited and require supplemental charges, singles not requesting single rooms will be booked into a double, and if a share arrangement is unavailable then the supplement will be assessed. If alternative hotels of the same category/standing are booked because of lack of availability, there will be no change to the tour price. If availability forces the booking of inferior/superior category hotel or room; you will be advised in advance and given the option to accept or decline the change as well as any change in tour price.
Meals included vary; check the individual trip description, however normally dinner in the tradition of each property is included.
Transportation includes a variety of situations. Longer trips may include transfers, and often, guided trips include transfers. Please refer to the trip description to be sure what is included. If you wish to arrange for separate transportation our agency can complete your needs. Also, daily vehicle support will transport baggage. Sightseeing and side touring are included only when paid in advance or noted on the itinerary. Tips, taxes and service charges are included on each included item such as hotels, restaurants, governmental, guides. Most attractions such as chateau entrance fees are not included.
The tours do not include all other trip costs such as airfare, trip and/or medical insurance, excess baggage charges, or any personal items. Meals in addition to those mentioned in the itinerary are excluded, as well as any unpaid optional tour or sightseeing event. Drinks are typically excluded.
Emergency Service: each self-guided cycling and walking tour includes what we call Emergency Service. This is a local contact available by telephone with English speaking staff. Examples of reasons to call: broken down equipment (other than flat tire); minor injury/illness that hampers or prevents continued cycling or walking, (serious injuries must first be reported to emergency medical responders – numbers are provided), missed trains/connections that would change your services, or the need to schedule additional services such as transfers. This service is only available during daylight cycling/walking hours. Hotel staff are available for other non-emergency related matters outside of your cycling/walking activities. PROBLEMS: If you find a problem or something that doesn’t meet with your expectation you may call this service to seek help. A resolution will be attempted in a timely manner. If you do not avail yourself of this service before making changes on your own you assume responsibility for any added costs you may incur as well as forfeiting any potential refunds. Problems must be brought to the attention of Emergency Service during the trip as resolutions after completion of travel are nearly always impossible to fix. Our USA office is your backup Emergency Service number if needed – mind the change in time zones and office hours.
For tours longer than 8 days, a participant may wish to bring their own bicycle for assured comfort and better trip enjoyment. You know your bicycle inside and out, which leaves less to adapt being in new terrain. Bicycle rentals are optional for all tours, and can be made available for an additional charge for those who prefer. Bicycles are typically hybrids equipped with necessary gear for this type of travel/terrain. You may rent a road bicycle on many tours, but you must explicitly request this type of bike in your booking or at least 60 days prior to travel – supplements will apply for road bike rentals. Hybrids are multispeed bicycles equipped with bags, locks, water bottles, repair kit, and other misc items. All bicycles are kept exclusively for our customers. Any customers who choose to bring their own bicycles are responsible for all mechanical issues, for all transportation issues including traveling by train, which is difficult in France on the TGV. (See our recommendations in your travel documents.) If you plan to rent a bicycle, you are responsible for the bicycle once you take possession of it at your first hotel. Your responsibilities include any costs for damage or theft up to the full value of the bicycle.
Air and Train Reservations
We do not handle air reservations. Customers are encouraged to contact a travel agent or web service. Car and train reservations/tickets can be arranged by us in advance. If we should make any such reservation or ticket purchase on your behalf you agree and understand that we do so in an agency capacity and are performing a reservation service only. Fees for this service may apply. You further agree that you are subject to all terms and conditions of the car/rail/service provider. You are responsible to be familiar with those terms and agree that you are ultimately responsible to the car/rail/service provider for any reservations, changes, cancellations, disputes or other regardless of how your reservation was made on your behalf. With respect to train travel with bicycles, you are advised that rules exist for transport on TGV and other high speed trains. Please ask for information on baggage limits if traveling by TGV prior to purchasing tickets. We are not responsible for any problems you may have traveling on the TGV with your bike. See your travel documents for our suggestions.
Once a booking request is received and confirmed, any modification of dates or alteration of itineraries will require a change fee. Fees vary according to the scope of the change but can be substantial if last minute changes lead to hotel or other service cancellations. A minimum change fee of $20 applies to any change within 60 days of travel.
In the event that any significant changes are made because of a problem with a supplier, for example a hotel bankruptcy, we will advise you as soon as is reasonably possible with the alternatives available. Such changes may require a supplement or even offer a refund, but except in extreme circumstances, all Terms still apply. This does not apply in the case of Force Majeure.
Force Majeure: Refunds and compensation payments are not liable in circumstances beyond our control or our supplier’s control. This includes but is not limited to changes due to war, threat of war, acts of terrorism, civil strife, strikes, natural disaster, fire, adverse weather or other acts of God.
Trip cancellation insurance is not included in the tour price but is strongly recommended. This will protect you should you need to cancel for certain necessary reasons such as illness, and provides your refunds for air and tour in full. Additional insurance for baggage, health/accident is also strongly recommended. An insurance offer will be included with your initial confirmation and final documentation after receipt of your deposit. Our preferred insurer is CSA who is well respected in the industry and highly rated. We assume that if you choose not to use our preferred provider that you are taking protection through another provider of your choosing.
After receipt of your final payment, a variety of documentation will be sent by email delivery including suggestions for clothing, preparations, packing, money, etc. Also, included will be confirmations, travel info, release forms, and an outline of what to expect. You are responsible for passport requirements, and we suggest you plan early to apply for a passport. Some foreign nationals will be required to have a visa to enter France. Please check your government requirements. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open and use this information. Instructions will be provided to you. We can ship materials to you, but must add $25 for USA/Canada and $45 for all other destinations to your invoice for DHL delivery. (HI, AK, Puerto Rico and US territories get $25)
Additional responsibilities of you the traveler include, but are not limited to the adherence of all local laws, respecting customs and culture, assessing your abilities, respecting other trip members privacy, and if on a guided trip following the suggestions and advice of the guide.
All information provided in a booking will be kept in a confidential manner and will not be disclosed or sold to other companies for any purpose beyond what is needed to secure your travel arrangements with our suppliers. Credit card information will be destroyed or deleted from files, but mailing information and past travel information will be retained by us. You may receive mailings from us periodically unless you explicitly ask to be removed from said mailings. Any photos that you send, or that are taken by our guides with your permission, are deemed to be our property and available for use in promotions we make without any compensation to you for their use.
You are enrolling in a self-guided vacation and accept the Terms above as stated. You understand what self-guided travel involves and agree that you are capable of managing by yourself during the tour and comfortable with the independent aspect and freedom of travel that this style of vacation offers.