Planning 17th May 2013

As is now our habit, we have done no more actual trip planning than the purchase of air tickets from Sydney to Paris.  This took long enough.

We looked at the sites that aggregate information from all of the other air ticket sites, and they informed us that we could fly to Paris for around $A1400.  However, it turns out that this entails a nine-hour stopover in China, and travel by an airline that all of the reviews say no one should ever fly on.

 So, eventually we cashed in frequent flyer points and will travel by Qantas and Emirates with only an hour or so in Dubai to change planes.

 As usual, we will travel the 300km from Canberra to Sydney by hire car. This is the cheapest and quickest way to do this leg.

 Our rough plan this time is to fill in a few gaps from our previous trips as well as checking out new places.  We plan to ride north-east from Paris to Main, where we will then turn south along the Rhine River cycle route. This will put us on the only section of this route that we have not ridden, that is, from Main to Basel.  We will not follow the cycle route precisely, but swing over into Alsace, a region Roz is keen to see.  From Basel we will ride to Geneva probably following the Jura Trail.  This is fairly hilly, but picturesque.

From Geneva, the plan is to follow the Rhone River towards the Mediterranean Sea.  Somewhere towards the Mediterranean we will swing west across France towards Lourdes, which is a starting point for a loop up into the Pyrenees.  We fancy doing a one-day ride up the Col du Tourmalet, a big mountain that features on the Tour de France.  From there we will ride back to Paris.

 Of course, we may not do anything like this.  If someone changes our mind or the weather is awful, we may just go somewhere else.  As I write this, the weather is forecast to be awful from Paris to the east as far as the forecast goes.

 We have changed little about the rest of our planning, which we believe we have pretty well sorted after five such trips, and which is pretty well documented elsewhere in this website.  Perhaps the major difference is that we won’t carry much in the way of books and maps, but use a Kindle and Roz’ Ipad for reading material, which should save a substantial amount of weight.  We are a bit paranoid about weight.

I serviced our bikes and changed the tyres.  I record what I do to my bike, it was necessary for some warranty work early on, and have continued to do so.  I noticed that the front tyre I replaced, a Continental Travelcontact as I have recommended elsewhere on this website, had 22,000Km on it, and a few more miles to go.  I think that is pretty good.

The photo is of our full tool kit and spares.

Four days to go, then into the rain at Paris.

The Trip Route

On to Day 1