Raymond Poulidor, Roger Pingeon, Galibier, Tour de France, 1967

We don’t get many vacation days, so we want to spend as much time in heaven as possible. There is no doubt France fits the bill. Aside from Paris, there are the sun-stroked villages and beach resorts of the Riviera. Plus, there are the Alps with their domineering landscape and excellent ski slopes. If that isn’t enough, there is plenty of fun to have at Disneyland, the iconic amusement park.

There is a lot to see and do, and it doesn’t get much better than doing it via a bike. Whether it’s a motorcycle or a roadster, the experience gives you a look at the real France. Here’s how to plot your version of the Tour de France.

Plot A Route Beforehand

The odds are that you’ll fly into Paris and take in the city for a couple of days. After roaming around, it’s time to get out into the suburbs and countryside. Lots of people will tell you to ride off into the sunset with reckless abandon; don’t bother with the planning. However, France is notorious for its hectic road system which involves cars, buses and trucks swerving across lanes. Frankly, you need eyes in your butt to be safe. By knowing the route inside and out, it’s one less thing to worry about on the roads. Plus, you may not understand French.

Research The Laws

Everything is different on the continent. Thankfully, the French drive on the right-hand side of the road, so there shouldn’t be any wrong turns. However, they are strict when it comes to speeding and using mobile devices. If a police officer catches you wearing earbuds or using a sat nav with a speed trap feature on, they will fine you on the spot. A speeding ticket can cost upward of €700. Still, it doesn’t stop drivers from being reckless, which is why you’ll find safety advice at RiceLawMD.com. Don’t be the person who pleads ignorance and pisses the authorities off more.

You spend the day cruising through the countryside on your chopper before you land in a major city. The temptation is to stick with the motorcycle because it’s familiar. It’s a bad move because the driving in the cities gets chaotic. Following cars around in a concrete jungle is a recipe for disaster, so you are better off using a bike. The majority of French cities has bike lanes and is safer than and cheaper than riding a motorbike.

Give Yourself Plenty Of Time

Sadly, the vacation can’t last forever and you’ll need to fly home at some point. Depending on where you flew to and fly out of, this can be a problem. Riding down to the South of France is sweet until you have two days to get back to Paris. It’s cutting it short, to say the least. So, either schedule the return flight from the closest city to your route or turn back with plenty of time to spare.

Paris isn’t a bad place to wait around, right?


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