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France by Bike: 14 Tours Geared for Discovery Paperback – March 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Series: By Bike
  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books; 4th edition (March 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898863163
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898863161
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,360,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Geoff Darst on October 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
It became fairly clear to me after reading this book that the authors were more interested in having a good time riding than they were in doing the research necessary to produce a guide book that would actually be useful to others. Their attitude can be best summed up by the fashion in which they deal with the issue of getting to and from the tours: they don't. Instead they mention that they heard second hand that you can ride the RER from Charles de Gaulle airport (Paris), but they really don't have any information because they always go in through Brussels! In addition, they mention that you should take the trains everywhere to get to the tours, but they don't bother to fill you in on SNCF's fairly unfriendly bike policy. What else is lacking? The only distance information given is the total for complete day, so unless you follow their route exactly this book is useless for planning. Route choice is poor--they don't put you on the best, least trafficked roads. In the case of the Loire Valley, they completely missed the signed bike routes that are the preferred roads for cyclist to be on (or perhaps the book is just too out of date). Elevation profiles? Forget it. They also don't provide a great deal of information about what kinds of food and lodging are available in the towns--particularly if it isn't where they choose to have you stop for the day. Their attitude is generally "check with the local tourist office to find a hotel." This advice is only helpful if the office happens to be open when you roll into town. If you are looking for a real guidebook (and it would be extremely charitable to put this book in that category) I would suggest that you buy the Lonely Planet Book "Cycling France" by Sally Dillon instead. It has similar good tour suggestions, but provides all of the information that this book completely lacks--information which you must have to sucessfuly tour France by bike.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Eric Schuller on July 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
For a first-time touring cyclist like myself, this book was a life-saver. On a bike tour in 1996, I used seven of the fourteen routes detailed in this book. The advice was absolutely invaluable. Fabulous recommendations for low-traffic, scenic routes and great advice for places to stay and see. Many recommendations are particularly helpful for budget-minded bike tourers who want to take advantage of low-cost camping options.
ONE DRAWBACK: With an original publication date of 1993, some of the advice in this book is bound to be a bit out-of-date. The bike-friendly French road system, for example, undergoes periodic changes (due to construction, route changes, etc.), so you'll want to check recommended cycling routes against a good Michelin map of the region. I also found that one or two of the recommended campgrounds had gone out of business since the book's original publication, but you can find a current listing of campgrounds through the local tourist office.
Despite these minor drawbacks, this book is still perfect for those considering a bicycle tour of France (which, by the way, is a fabulous country for both experienced and inexperienced bicycle tourers). I hope to return in the near future and explore some of the book's routes I didn't complete on my first trip!
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
Just biked the trip from Dijon to Orleans in May 1999; the biking and camping was outstanding and the book gave great detailed directions; we flew our bikes over, which was an adventure, but I highly recommend the book and the trip to anyone who feels up to it!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kenny O. on March 9, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There does not seem to be a great selection of France bike touring books. This is one of few, and we found it very useful. We have done two tours with it. As has been said, the maps could be better, but you'll have your Michelin map anyway.
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