Transcript for Episode 474: Pedal Through France a Self-Guided Cycling Adventure

Category: Active Vacations in France

[00:00:00] Annie Sargent:


[00:00:16] Annie Sargent: This is Join Us in France, episode 474, quatre cent soixante quatorze.

[00:00:22] Bonjour, I’m Annie Sargent, and Join Us in France is the podcast where we talk about France, everyday life in France, great places to visit in France, French culture, history, gastronomy, and news related to travel to France.

Today on the podcast

[00:00:35] Annie Sargent: Today, I bring you a trip report with Susan and Ron Crump about their long distance bike trip through France. And let me tell you what, if you’re thinking of burning some calories and lose some weight in the new year, doing that sort of a bike trip is your ticket. Plus, Susan and Ron have plenty of experience and so many great tips. Stay tuned.

Podcast supporters

[00:00:59] Annie Sargent: This podcast is supported by donors and listeners who buy my tours and services, including my Itinerary Consult Service and my GPS self-guided tours of Paris on the VoiceMap app. Or you can take a day trip with me around the Southwest in my electric car.

[00:01:16] You can browse all of that at my boutique,

Bootcamp 2024

[00:01:21] Annie Sargent: There may still be a few spots for the bootcamp in May 2024, but since I’m recording this early, I’m not sure. If you’re interested, go to, click on the bootcamp icon. And you’ll see possibly if there’s room left or I’ll post an update to the page when the bootcamp is full. And you can read all the details and book your spot there, if any are available.


[00:01:48] Annie Sargent:

No magazine section

[00:01:48] Annie Sargent: There won’t be a magazine part of the podcast today because I am on a plane making my way back to France today, but I do want to thank my patrons for their support, keeping this podcast going. The podcast is turning 10 in a few weeks, and it wouldn’t be here without the support of my patrons.

[00:02:06] To join this wonderful community of francophiles, go to And to support Elyse, go to

[00:02:19] Back next Sunday for a regular episode, but don’t miss this amazing tale of a long distance bike trip in France with Susan and Ron.

[00:02:34] Happy New Year, you guys!

Susan and Ron – Long distance trip through France

[00:02:44] Annie Sargent: Bonjour, Susan and Ron, and welcome to Join Us in France.

[00:02:49] Susan and Ron Crump: Bonjour, Annie. Bonjour.

[00:02:50] Annie Sargent: Wonderful to have you to talk about your amazing bike trips. You guys are hardcore, right?

[00:02:58] Susan and Ron Crump: I don’t think so, but I think other people look at us that way.

[00:03:03] Annie Sargent: Yeah.

[00:03:04] Susan and Ron Crump: We’re not so hardcore. We just pedal. We love to ride bikes.

The logistics of shipping your bike to France

[00:03:08] Annie Sargent: On this trip, you took your own bikes, right? You shipped your own bike to France.

[00:03:13] Susan and Ron Crump: Yes, yes we did. We shipped our bicycles. It’s not a difficult process, but there is some logistics involved. And those are, well naturally, with the logistics of shipping a bicycle, it’s just finding the right box, breaking it down, putting it in the box, and you know, getting onto the right airline that doesn’t charge you too much, and shipping it over.

[00:03:36] It’s not as difficult as it seems.

[00:03:38] Annie Sargent: So the bike was on the same airplane as you were, as cargo?

[00:03:44] Susan and Ron Crump: Yes, yes, it goes as cargo.

[00:03:46] Annie Sargent: Okay.

[00:03:47] Susan and Ron Crump: So what we do, to back up a little bit, what we do is we go to our local bike store, we ask for a box that a new bike came in, we bring that home, so that’s the dimensions, the bike box is the same box that a new bike would come in, a Trek bike, a Giant, and then it has to be under 50 pounds.

[00:04:10] Which the touring bikes that we ride, they’re called touring bikes, and they’re a little bit heavier than a normal road bike. They’re steel. So they start out about 30 pounds.

[00:04:21] Yeah, right at 30.

[00:04:22] And then we’re able to put some of our gear in there. Our bags are called panniers. I think that’s a French word.

[00:04:29] Panniers. Yes, it is. Luggage, our little saddlebags. So we put our bikes, our panniers, our sleeping bags, and our helmets, in with the bike. And that goes on the plane. It’s $50 for that oversized, based on the economy ticket that we buy. Sometimes you can get a ticket that allows for that, but for us, our ticket level, the bikes in our experience, $100, oh yeah, 100 dollars. 50 to ship a bike. Like you would a canoe or a set of golf clubs.

[00:05:00] Annie Sargent: Very good.

[00:05:01] Susan and Ron Crump: We ship those and then we get to the airport and we have to reassemble the bikes. Indeed. And it’s not difficult.

[00:05:07] And we go from there.

[00:05:09] Annie Sargent: So is there a reason why you bring your own bikes rather than rent a bike once you get here?

[00:05:14] Susan and Ron Crump: Yes. Tons of reasons. Tons of reasons, yes. But the main reason is having your own bicycle that you know, you already know how to take care of its service. And once you get to a particular location, like flying into Amsterdam and starting there, you can rent a bicycle, but then there’s the process of how are you going to get it back to the start location?

[00:05:37] Are you going to do a loop vacation? You know, we do point to point, so it’s, it would be very difficult and expensive.

[00:05:44] Annie Sargent: Right.

[00:05:45] Susan and Ron Crump: And want to make sure we don’t have any, we want to eliminate as many snafus ahead of time as we can.

[00:05:51] True.

[00:05:52] So our bikes, we know our bikes, we’ve prepared them, new chains, new brakes, everything’s ready to go. And like Ron said, we are traveling point to point, so we need a dependable bike. We don’t want to break down. We have, although we kind of fly by the seat of our pants, we do have a start and end date for plane tickets. We want to make sure nothing happens.

[00:06:16] And we love our bikes.

[00:06:17] Annie Sargent: Do you unpack your bike at the airport and ride off?

[00:06:21] Susan and Ron Crump: You can, depending on the airport. Yeah, that’s why we choose Amsterdam, because it’s extremely bike friendly, that particular airport, Schiphol. However, the two trips that we have done, and we started in Amsterdam both times, we did not. We took the bikes on a shuttle to our hotel room and took two days, two nights to prepare and get our gear situated the way we want then roll out.

[00:06:48] But some airports you can certainly, and there are plenty of YouTube videos of people putting their bicycles together right in the airport and taking off. We’re not 25 anymore, we’re 58 and 64, so we need to get a good night’s sleep, get our bikes put together.

The best place to start a bike trip

[00:07:05] Susan and Ron Crump: And Amsterdam is absolutely the best place, in our opinion, to start a bike trip.

[00:07:12] You are faced with flat roads, dedicated bike paths, you can get your legs, you build up some strength in your legs before you start hitting the hills of some other areas. Germany, Austria, I had no idea, we’ll get to that, but I had no idea there was hills in Normandy. I’d never been to Normandy on all of our trips.

[00:07:33] I had never been to Normandy before. Yeah. I thought it was going to be flat. I thought we were going to be riding along the beach. That’s not how it is.

[00:07:42] Annie Sargent: Okay.

[00:07:42] Susan and Ron Crump: What is that French word? What starts with a C? Colline? Colline.

[00:07:46] Beaucoup Colline.

[00:07:47] Annie Sargent: Beaucoup de Collines, yes.

[00:07:49] Susan and Ron Crump: Oh my, yes, beaucoup, beaucoup.

[00:07:52] Annie Sargent: So, what do you do with your bike box? Because you’re going to need to save it and use it to go home?

[00:07:58] Susan and Ron Crump: No we throw it away, we threw it away.

[00:08:01] We don’t even bring suitcases, we pack everything in boxes and throw them away at the airport. Our bike trip last year in the fall of 2022, at the end, we did buy suitcases and a bike box from a bike shop and shipped everything back. This year, we left our bikes in France, at Ron’s mom’s house.

[00:08:20] Annie Sargent: Ah.

[00:08:20] Susan and Ron Crump: So next year we’ll be able to eliminate that step and just fly over, pick up our bikes and continue our loop.

[00:08:27] Annie Sargent: Okay, yes, right. Because your mom lives in France, in Rochefort, you were just giving me travel tips for Rochefort. Thank you very much, because I’m going next week.

[00:08:36] Susan and Ron Crump: It’s a wonderful place.

[00:08:38] Annie Sargent: Yes, it’s a beautiful place, so that’ll be very fun. Okay, so now we have the logistics, you brought, so you had your tent and everything, right?

[00:08:47] Susan and Ron Crump: Everything. We had our tent. We even had our peanut butter. Completely self-supported. Completely self-supported, yes, exactly. And we, I do want to give some kudos out to our friends who introduced us to bike touring a couple years ago and we went on our bike trip in 2022 with our good friends, the Serpicoes.

[00:09:10] They introduced us to long distance cycle touring and showed us the ropes. And this year we were able to take what we learned and continue our loop around Europe on our own. We’d always ridden bikes. We’ve always ridden bikes, our first anniversary in 1988 was spent on bicycles.

[00:09:29] We’ve always ridden bicycles. We love bicycles. But to tour long distance is, it’s something in its, it’s very different. And we’ve toured all over Europe. And we’ve lived in Europe. We’ve lived in Germany two different times. But to take your bike and travel from point to point is such an adventure. It’s so freeing.

[00:09:51] It’s the most relaxed we’ve ever been, although exhausted.

[00:09:55] Annie Sargent: Right.

[00:09:56] Susan and Ron Crump: Completely exhausted at the end of the day.

What was the end goal of the trip?

[00:09:59] Annie Sargent: So where did you start? Well, this trip, you started in Amsterdam. We know this. What was your goal, your end goal for this particular trip this year?

[00:10:09] Susan and Ron Crump: Well, the end goal was to get to my mother’s house in Rochefort. So, what we really wanted to do was ride the coast of Normandy. There’s a lot of history there, especially, you know, World War I and World War II. There were some personal connections for both of us, between, you know, my family from World War I on, and her grandfather participated in the Normandy invasion.

[00:10:31] So, we wanted to see those things and, you know, pay our respects to all those who sacrificed over the years. And then, of course we wanted to see all of Normandy, because we hadn’t toured up there at all, not even by car, a little bit of Brittany, and then coming down towards home, La Rochelle, was very satisfying for me, especially.

Kamoot app and French IGN Map

[00:10:53] Annie Sargent: Yeah. So how did you, did you use an app to prepare this trip? You have a map behind you, but the people who are listening to the podcast can’t see that. So did you use an app in particular? Did you use paper maps? What’s the process?

[00:11:08] Susan and Ron Crump: Well, there’s a wonderful map, it’s a French map, I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it. It’s called the French IGN Map. Have heard of the IGN? Well, there’s a map that has all the bicycle routes, the trains, the roads. It’s the IGN map. Was it 924, maybe? And we bought that several years ago, and that’s how we gather our big picture.

[00:11:31] We take the IGN map, and we look at it, and we decide our point to point. And then we can see the bike routes, it has the actual bicycle routes numbered on there. And then on a day to day basis, we pick point A to B, might be 50 to 60 miles, and then we use an app, can either use Google Maps, or there’s a bicycle app that we like called Kamoot. Have you heard of Kamoot?

[00:11:58] Annie Sargent: Oh yes. I use Kamoot, yeah.

[00:12:00] Susan and Ron Crump: Oh, wonderful! So we use that, and that really breaks down that leg, that segment. Yes. So much. It breaks it down. You can see so many things on it. You can even reroute yourself, which we’ve had to do a few times because Google and Kamoot for the bike route isn’t always perfect. Nope. Often you land in what we call a goat path, which is a very unpassable section of road, trail, field, farmer’s back door, their driveway.

[00:12:32] So you have to kind of reroute. But we do use the, that’s the tools that we use, the map and the Kamoot app.

[00:12:37] Annie Sargent: Right. So your bikes are not made to go on these types of really rugged paths, are they?

[00:12:44] Susan and Ron Crump: Right. They’re not mountain bikes. The tires are thicker. What’s the width of the tires? 35 and 38 centimeters. So they can go on a crushed gravel, they can go on sand.

[00:12:55] They can go, they just don’t, well, you wouldn’t want to go on some of the roads that Kamoot has sent us on.

[00:13:00] Where we had to walk and push and be covered in mud and the bikes have fallen over on us and we haven’t sounded very nice to each other.

[00:13:12] Annie Sargent: When I first got my electric bike, I decided I was going to go into the city with the electric bike. So that’s what, 17 kilometers away and back, but I told Google, I wanted to go on the bike route, right? I picked the tab for the bike. Oh, jeez. It sent me to roads like that, the back farms, there were, like the path was like this huge hole in the ground.

[00:13:38] My tire was going to get caught in that and I was going to fall over. I’m like, I’m, no…

[00:13:44] Susan and Ron Crump: Exactly. Exactly. That’s happened. That’s exactly what happened to us. Plus we have another, you know, 60 pounds of gear on our bicycle. You eventually learn to, the night before, you eventually learn to really blow up the Kamoot route and really explore that. And you learn at first, when you first go down a goat path, you think, oh, how long can this last? I can push my bike 50 feet. You eventually learn not to even attempt it and to turn around and reroute. More times than I can, that I’m proud of, we’ve attempted to just push through when we should have just said, oh, let’s just turn around and find a D road and go around it.

[00:14:26] But it makes for great stories though.

[00:14:28] And I have a quite a few wounds where I’ve fallen and scraped and

[00:14:34] Annie Sargent: Yeah.

[00:14:35] Susan and Ron Crump: We do carry a first aid kit.

[00:14:37] Annie Sargent: Yeah, that’s good.

What types of roads have they taken?

[00:14:38] Annie Sargent: So, did you have to take a lot of busy roads, share the road with cars a lot or too often?

[00:14:45] Susan and Ron Crump: Not too often. Now, a number of times we did by choice, simply because it was the best route to take rather than going through those fields and zigzagging through farmland that we knew we were going to run into some bad paths. So we opted for busier roads and nothing was too busy that we got on.

[00:15:06] You know, we stayed on some, on the D roads and mostly they weren’t very busy. I don’t think so. I was very comfortable. And I find that, you know, unlike in the United States, drivers are extremely comfortable and used to having cyclists on the road. So there, there’s a lot of respect for cyclists in France that you don’t find here.

[00:15:28] Annie Sargent: No, it’s true. We have to be careful. We get ticketed if we get too close to the cyclists and that’s how it should be. Like, I’m totally OK with that.

[00:15:36] Susan and Ron Crump: And we’ve actually seen that. We’ve seen the police pull over cars who were not yielding to us or driving too fast.

Dedicated bike routes

[00:15:46] Susan and Ron Crump: I did want to expand a little bit on the bike routes, I think I mentioned this in our notes. For people who are wanting to do self-supported trips and the bike routes. So, in Holland, in the Netherlands, in Belgium, Germany, and France, and Italy, there are a lot of dedicated bike routes, bike paths.

[00:16:08] There’s a lot of canals. When you’re doing trips in a particular area, you can get around and you may never have to hit a D road. Where you’re going in Rochefort next week, you’ll see tons of dedicated bike paths. But when you’re traveling a long distance, point to point, three weeks, a thousand miles, you have to go on the road.

[00:16:28] Yeah.

[00:16:29] You may be able to do your trip completely on connected bike paths, but in our experience, you’re going to have to hit the roads and the D roads they’re wonderful. They’re wonderful. Sometimes they have a dedicated bike path right next to it. If they don’t, like Ron said, the drivers are great.

[00:16:46] Just be prepared that it’s not all dedicated bike paths. People think, oh, I’m going to ride my bike in France for three weeks. I’m going to do the EuroVelo, whatever, you know, and it’s going to be, you know, a thousand, fifteen hundred miles or, you know, two thousand kilometers of wonderful bike path. Well, just because it says EuroVelo marking doesn’t mean you’re not going to be on the road.

[00:17:09] Annie Sargent: Right, right. At the very least, you will have to cross major roads at times, and sometimes you will have to go along the major road. And by major road, a D road, so I should explain that a D road is départementale, that just means the department that is in charge of maintenance, of road maintenance. Most of the time, these are smaller roads.

[00:17:33] But you have some D roads that are pretty big, so…

[00:17:36] Susan and Ron Crump: And some of them are dual D and Ns, Department and Nationale in sections.

[00:17:41] Annie Sargent: Exactly.

[00:17:42] Susan and Ron Crump: So the traffic picks up, the big trucks are there, the buses.

[00:17:46] Annie Sargent: Yeah, yes, so you do have to have your wits about you.

Safety first

[00:17:49] Susan and Ron Crump: Yes. You definitely have to have your wits about you. You have to be prepared. Your bike needs to be equipped with flashing lights.

[00:17:55] You need to have the correct, you know, safety features, that’s for sure. You know, the flashing light on the front, the flashing red light on the back. If you know you’re going to be on a D road that’s fairly busy, well, at any time you’re on a road sharing the route with the vehicles, you should have something bright on.

[00:18:12] We have bright rain jackets that we put on the back of our bicycle. So it’s, you know, lime green, bright.

[00:18:20] You see a lot of people in France that wear the vests also.

[00:18:23] Annie Sargent: Yes, yeah, just a safety yellow vest.

[00:18:27] Susan and Ron Crump: And a very good helmet. You need to have a helmet on. You never know when you, we’ve fallen over from standing still. Yes, that’s a very heavy bike, like Ron said, the bike is 30 pounds. Then you throw in your body weight and then you throw in 50 to 60 pounds of gear and maybe 80 or 90 for Ron because he’s carrying the tent.

[00:18:48] Annie Sargent: Yeah.

[00:18:49] Susan and Ron Crump: You need to be safe. So gear is very important.

Setting up for the night: planning 24 hours ahead

[00:18:51] Annie Sargent: How long did it take you to get either set up somewhere for the night? How did you find places for the night? Did you go to campgrounds? Did you use hotels, hostels, whatever?

[00:19:05] Susan and Ron Crump: On this trip, it was 22 nights on the road, 22 days on the road, we spent 13 nights at campgrounds. We spent eight nights in Airbnbs or hotels, and we spent one night in a warm shower home. Not sure if you’ve heard of Warm Showers or In My Garden.

[00:19:28] Annie Sargent: Very recently, yes.

[00:19:29] Susan and Ron Crump: It’s a wonderful reciprocal bike program, bike hosting program, and we do it here in the States. We host bicyclists. We, just this summer, we had a man, Gerwin, if you’re listening, from Holland, from the Netherlands, and then we do the same, and it’s free. You find a host in your area, and you contact them, and you stay there.

[00:19:53] So we had 13 nights camping, 8 nights in a hotel. And our 8 nights in a hotel were because when you’re looking for a place to stay at the end of the day, you normally look the night before. You look at your route, I’m going from A to B, where am I going to stop? We don’t plan too far ahead because you don’t really know what’s going to happen.

[00:20:14] The terrain could change, the weather, so we plan 24 hours in advance. But sometimes there’s not a campground where you want to go and we prefer camping. We love camping in good weather, as long as it’s not raining.

[00:20:28] But sometimes there’s not a campground. So you have to do a hotel or an Airbnb. And we found some wonderful VRBO Airbnb, guest houses, Gites, we stayed in a chateau one night, we stayed at an old mill, I can give you those, if I haven’t already for your notes, the names of some of these places. But camping is the best. Camping or warm showers is wonderful.

Budget for a long cycling trip

[00:20:55] Susan and Ron Crump: Because we also, we should talk about budget, there’s also a budget involved when you’re spending three weeks on the road for us this year, and last year we spent two months on the road, so you really have to have a budget.

[00:21:07] And we try to keep that budget for two people, between $75 and $100 a day. So if we can get a campground for $12, we can eat better in the evening. I can have two beers instead of one. And you are very exhausted at the end of the day.

[00:21:26] Annie Sargent: Right.

[00:21:27] Susan and Ron Crump: Very exhausted. So, we have a budget. You want to get to your site. You want to set up. We keep it simple. We’re very simple people. We have our tent. We have our bedrolls. We have a coffee pot that we travel with. It’s called the Jetboil, to have coffee and pastries with that in the morning.

[00:21:44] Again, keeping our limit, $75 to $100.

Behind the Postcard: Not visiting normal turisty places

[00:21:49] Susan and Ron Crump: We’re not visiting a lot of, I did make a note to mention that, we’re not visiting a lot of the normal touristy places on our bike trips. It is really, for us, we really like to get behind the postcard and see real French people, real life, real Italian people, real German people, wherever we might be.

[00:22:11] We’ve been married almost 40 years. We’ve been together almost 40 years. We’ve lived in Germany twice. We’ve traveled to a lot of the normal, typical tourist sites, and we love them. We love them, especially the ones in France.

[00:22:26] But when you’re on the bike, our purpose, the last two years, and hopefully the next three years as we circumnavigate our Europe, we really want to get behind the postcard.

[00:22:37] We want to see real life, real people. And on a bike, you can do that. And Ron pointed out yesterday, I’ll let you talk about that, how unassuming you are, I think is the word, when you’re on a bicycle. I want you to talk about that.

Rolling in on a bicycle makes local look at you differently than if you were on a group tour

[00:22:52] Susan and Ron Crump: Yes, being a tourist, being a tourist in France, you go to all of the iconic tourist places, and you look like a tourist, you’re with a tourist group, which is fantastic.

[00:23:03] You see wonderful things and learn about the history of France.

[00:23:06] However, when you’re on a bicycle, no matter where you roll into, you stop and people look at you, there’s some French spoken, broken English here and there, and you are very unassuming. You’re non-threatening, you’re on a bicycle, you appear to be almost like a vagabond, and it doesn’t matter.

[00:23:25] We can stop at any cafe or bakery, and someone has questions. Where did you come from? Where are you going? And where are you from originally? And questions, and there’s always an offer of assistance. You know, are you looking for something? Do you need help? There’s just good local conversation and recommendations.

[00:23:49] Oh, stop here. Go two blocks down the road. That cafe is got the much better coffee. Go there. You’re to hear those things. Mm-Hmm,

[00:23:58] Annie Sargent: Yeah.

[00:23:59] Susan and Ron Crump: Plus, as you’re rolling through, you can wave at people, you’re on a bicycle, you’re going slow. You see real life. If I go to somewhere in France as a tourist, I don’t see the guy who’s taking care of his lawn or walking his dog and talking to his neighbors.

[00:24:16] But here I do, I see real life.

Chased by dogs?

[00:24:18] Annie Sargent: Yeah. You do. You do. Have you had any dogs chase you?

[00:24:22] Susan and Ron Crump: Oh, dogs. I mean, we don’t really have trouble with dogs. No, that, that is a problem on the bike. And we live, currently we live in Kentucky. We’re not from Kentucky, but we currently live here in Kentucky and we ride our bikes and there’s a huge problem. And every cyclist in the world knows that Kentucky is famous for dogs. Dogs and dog problems.

[00:24:44] But in Europe, they have no problems. They’re well behaved. They’re very well behaved, no problems.

[00:24:49] Now we have turned around a couple of times because we saw some monster dogs that looked like they might not be very friendly. We chose a different, different route, you know. Yeah.

[00:25:01] But they were on their land.

[00:25:02] They, you know, Kamoot might’ve sent us through their farm.

[00:25:06] Yeah, so they’re just protecting their territory.

[00:25:09] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Farm dogs, you have to be a little cautious. Yeah. It’s their job. You know.

[00:25:14] Susan and Ron Crump: Right. And I did want to say that throughout the years I’ve listened to your podcast because I am a huge francophile, I love everything French, everything French. And it’s so perfect for me that I married Ron because he’s half French and I’ve been able to spend the last 40 years of my life going to France, vacationing in France, and he speaks French and I try to speak French. And for me that’s part of the experience is just practicing my French. say, no, you don’t talk. I want to order. I want to order.

[00:25:52] Annie Sargent: Yeah, I do it. Yeah.

[00:25:54] Susan and Ron Crump: Yeah. It’s just been a wonderful life, but to get really behind that postcard, like Ron said, and see someone taking care of the lawn, or walking the kids to school or going into the pharmacy and…

[00:26:06] Annie Sargent: Yeah everyday things. Yeah.

[00:26:08] Susan and Ron Crump: We have to talk about Leclerc.

[00:26:10] Annie Sargent: Aha. Yes.

Leclerc Tour de France t-shirts

[00:26:12] Susan and Ron Crump: We have to talk about Leclerc.

[00:26:14] Annie Sargent: For the people who are listening, she just stood up and she has her beautiful Tour de France, Leclerc shirt, Édouard Leclerc, that’s the grocery store. And he a France t-shirt with a flag on it. So they are prepared.

[00:26:30] Susan and Ron Crump: We are prepared. So I got this shirt, Colette, Ron’s mom, got it for me. You know all the Leclerc clerks wear these during the Tour de France, at their cash registers.

[00:26:43] So she went in and asked the manager if she could have one for us. Actually she got it for Ron but I took it away. It’s my shirt now. And it’s the Tour, the King of the Mountain jersey with the polka dots all over it, and it’s my favorite souvenir.

[00:27:00] Because another thing that we enjoy doing, like so many of your listeners, we love being behind the postcard, we love going to Leclerc, Intermarché, into Decathlon, the markets, and on this bike ride, we were able to do all those things.

[00:27:16] Every town, as you know, and as you explained, this town’s market’s on Tuesday, this town’s market’s on Wednesday. So as you’re rolling through, you’re hitting a market almost every day.

[00:27:28] Annie Sargent: Yeah, of course.

[00:27:29] Susan and Ron Crump: On the bike ride.

[00:27:30] Annie Sargent: Yeah. How could you not?

[00:27:32] Susan and Ron Crump: Exactly.

[00:27:33] Annie Sargent: You would have to make a serious effort to avoid the street markets because they’re everywhere.

A word of caution about planning a cycle tour: Road closures happen

[00:27:39] Annie Sargent: I do want to throw out a bit of caution for someone who is planning a cycle tour.

[00:27:47] Okay.

[00:27:48] Susan and Ron Crump: Like I said, Ron and I really look at our map on a grand scale and say we’re going from Amsterdam to the south of France, and then over 21 days, we’ll break those down to 21 segments. And we really don’t plan beyond that. We look at the map the night before, decide where we’re going to sleep. When we get to that sleeping spot, we decide where we’re going to eat. Things have always worked out well. Last year and this year.

[00:28:12] However.

[00:28:13] I know what you’re going to say.

[00:28:14] Things do happen. Yeah.

[00:28:16] And this year when we got to Le Havre, on June 18th, do you know what happens in Le Havre on the Seine on June 18th this year?

[00:28:26] Annie Sargent: Le Havre, you mean, right? What happens on June 18th? Uh, I don’t, I don’t know.

[00:28:32] Susan and Ron Crump: It was the Armada, there was a huge tall ship, Armada, leaving Rouen, how do you say that word? The town Rouen? Yeah, I think so. Where Joan of Arc is from. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. So we could not cross the Seine in Le Havre to Deauville. To get to Deauville.

[00:28:51] We started in Le Havre and we needed to get to Deauville. Yes, because we actually had our first hotel booked for the trip there.

[00:29:00] Yes, we we’re going stay in it.

[00:29:02] Right, we wanted to see this casino in Deauville and see the, it’s supposed to be where all the parisians vacation.

[00:29:10] Go for that, the big film festival they have there.

[00:29:13] Annie Sargent: Right. Right.

[00:29:14] Susan and Ron Crump: It wasn’t there at that time, but we were going to visit in Deauville and get a hotel and we’re all set. So that was June 18th, and we start our trek, and it’s going to be a short day. Short day. Normally, we average 50 plus miles a day.

[00:29:27] Annie Sargent: Wow. That’s a lot.

[00:29:29] Susan and Ron Crump: It is a lot. Nope. We traveled 21 days of biking, 1100 miles, which is about 52 miles a day.

[00:29:38] Annie Sargent: Wow. That’s a lot.

[00:29:39] Susan and Ron Crump: But on this particular day, we were only going to do 35.

[00:29:42] And we had our little bike route, 35 miles, I think, maybe 38, short day. We get to the Seine. We’re ready to cross the river. Every road, every bridge, and every ferry is shut down except the autobahn. There’s a huge over autobahn that goes way up so the tall ship goes under it.

[00:30:04] You can’t go on the autobahn. Can’t get over. And we’re rolling up to all these different ferry crossings. What’s that word for ferry in French? Bac?

[00:30:12] Annie Sargent: Un bac, un bac.

[00:30:13] Susan and Ron Crump: Yeah. Roll up to them. The gendarme is there. They’re wonderful, but you can’t go. We can’t say enough about how wonderful the gendarmes are when you’re on a bike.

[00:30:25] They’re wonderful. Yeah. Very helpful. Very helpful. We can’t get across. And of the 21 days we’re traveling, 22 days we’re traveling, this is the only day we have bad weather, a major storm, major orage and the gendarmes are like, oh, there’s a major storm coming. You’ve got to get, you know, our hotel’s over there.

[00:30:48] Well, we never could get there. We couldn’t get there. It was Saturday. We said: when is the ferry opening? They said tomorrow. We said: Tomorrow? We can’t imagine that in the United States, them closing something till tomorrow. So we were shocked.

[00:31:04] Annie Sargent: For special events it happens. It happens. It’s hard to plan a thing like that because even if you have known about it.

[00:31:11] Susan and Ron Crump: And we should have, we should have. That’s the detail I wanted to point out. You should know a little bit about the activities going on. What events are happening in that area. You should look ahead. Look ahead a little bit. Two days or so. It’s exciting to roll upon the unknown. That’s part of the thrill of cycle touring.

[00:31:32] But this one really threw us off. We couldn’t get up to our hotel. There was a horrible thunderstorm and actually it was Sunday. I’m sorry. It was Sunday. So nothing was open. Nothing was open for food, which, you know, we’ve traveled to France tons of time. I was prepared. I knew to have some food with us.

[00:31:50] Yeah, we were tired, we were cold, we were wet, we couldn’t get to our hotel.

[00:31:55] Annie Sargent: So what did you do?

[00:31:56] Susan and Ron Crump: I had a little freak out.

[00:31:58] I had a major freak out. We freaked out a little bit for about 60 seconds. Yeah. We found a campground. We rode back through the storm, up a monstrous, monstrous hill.

[00:32:10] Oh, that was awful.

[00:32:11] Pushing our, you know, bikes that weigh too much, way too much, and we got to the campground, and it was just a field. There was no restaurants. There was a nice, warm, dry shower block. Yeah, the sanitary block was our savior that night. We were able to get in there and get into dry clothes, wait for the storm to pass, and then set up our tent.

[00:32:33] Set up our tent and I had, the night before, I had bought two cans of lentils, two cans of lentils, so we each had a nice, yeah, can of lentils. I had two apples, two cans of lentils, two apples, and I always would have secret coke in my bags. Coke is our, we don’t drink, we don’t drink soda, we don’t drink pop in the States, but on our bike trips, we drink so much Coke.

[00:33:02] Yeah our bodies is craving it, it’s that energy, that sugar. Yeah.

[00:33:06] So that’s what we had for the night. And it just added to the experience. It was hard, but it added to our memory and our experience. It probably was the roughest campground we’d been to.

[00:33:19] Annie Sargent: Yeah, yeah, that sounds pretty basic, like just a field and a sanitary block. Hmm. Okay.

[00:33:26] Susan and Ron Crump: But there was electricity though! There was a sanitizer and there was electric cords running everywhere and there was other people in camping cars.

Charging your devices and cell phone service

[00:33:33] Susan and Ron Crump: Yeah. I think that’s something Ron wanted to point out to people wanting to tour also is how we navigate on the road, how we keep things charged, our cell phone service. So I’ll let you talk about that a little bit.

[00:33:46] Part of the logistics of every single day is how do I charge my gear?

[00:33:52] You charge your lights, you have to charge your phones, especially your phones because it’s your navigation system. So finding a campground with good electricity available is very difficult when you’re tent camping. Because the tent area usually has no electricity.

[00:34:09] Annie Sargent: Yeah.

[00:34:10] Susan and Ron Crump: So you end up usually in a sanitary block, you know, with all of your stuff plugged in.

[00:34:16] And if you’re going to cycle tour, you should prepare for that. You can go on Amazon or something and find yourself a good European plug, extension cord, it’s got USB ports and everything, so you can plug five things in with only one electrical outlet. Tell about the lockers.

[00:34:34] Oh yes, and we actually, well, when you’re on a bicycle, you’ve got lots of time to think. And I’m thinking as we go from campground to campground, I told Susan, and if I owned a campground that was going to be friendly to cyclists, I would put in a system of lockers that had ports in there that you could plug in and you just lock it up and leave your stuff and you can go to dinner and come back and not about your stuff. But I said that, I told him that was a stupid idea, that is a ridiculous idea. There’s no ways.

[00:35:07] So that particular day, we rolled up on a campground we found, which was very nice. And she goes in, she always takes care of the checking in and checking out and all that stuff, you know, because she’s much more particular than I am.

[00:35:23] And she walks out and she said, I’m not going to tell you. I’m just not going to say it, Ron.

[00:35:31] I said, what?

[00:35:31] She goes, they’ve got lockers here to charge your stuff. So, yeah. Yeah. I was like, I told you it’s a great idea. When he told me, I was like, that is not feasible. They’re not going to have lockers, it’s a campground. And then I get to the desk and they’re like, do we have any lockers for your charging?

[00:35:48] I was like, oh, you’re kidding me. You don’t. So that’s a wonderful feature to look for is on the road. It was amazing. It was awesome.

[00:35:58] Annie Sargent: Makes your life much easier because you can just drop your stuff and go buy some dinner or whatever.

[00:36:04] Susan and Ron Crump: Yes. Because we’ll go into restaurants with all of our stuff and we’ll ask the restaurant, you know, the owners, the waiters, waitresses say, Hey, do you mind if we plug our stuff in right there?

[00:36:16] Some will say, most will say yes, but in some places they say, uh, no, no. Yeah, we’ve had people tell us no.

[00:36:23] It’s really, it’s so much fun to go on trips. And we also, we carry two cellphones. We each carry a cell phone. We have T Mobile here in the States and T Mobile for $50 extra a month, you get their international plan, which we have had no problems with.

[00:36:42] We are never without signal. Even when we went to Albania last year, and Montenegro and Croatia, and Greece. No problem. T Mobile just connected to each country seamlessly. But you do run out of, you do run out of battery power because you are roaming or hitting those cell towers as you go. We carry two phones, and two spare batteries. That usually gets us through the day.

[00:37:07] But sometimes, depending on how many miles and how much your phone is pinging off different towers, it can be a little difficult. Because you’re using GPS.

[00:37:17] Annie Sargent: Well, course. Yeah. You’re using Google Maps, or Kamoot, or whatever. And it’s going to suck in a lot of power.

[00:37:25] Yeah, yeah.

Worrying about getting their stuff stolen

[00:37:26] Annie Sargent: Did you ever worry about theft? Did you ever worry about somebody’s going to take our stuff and ride off with it?

[00:37:33] Susan and Ron Crump: I mean, it’s always in the back of your mind, it has to be. I think that’s just normal. You don’t want your transportation to be stolen. That’s for sure. And your gear, you know.

[00:37:42] So, when we stop places, if we stop to do some grocery shopping or something, only one of us goes in. One stays with the bicycles.

[00:37:50] If we’re at a cafe or something, normally we’ve locked our bikes up where we can see, we got a line of sight on it all the time.

[00:37:58] In the campgrounds it’s not quite that way. I think in the campgrounds we feel a little safer. We’re with like people who are doing the same thing. Other bicyclists. So everyone’s pretty respectful there.

The why and the how

[00:38:10] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Did you run into a lot of other people doing the same thing you were?

[00:38:13] Susan and Ron Crump: Yes. Yeah, we did. Especially at the campgrounds. As a matter of fact, on this trip we ran into the same two people at two different campgrounds. Right. Yeah.

[00:38:23] So it was interesting. Everyone has their own wonderful, unique story, but your connection is that bike and the life on the road.

[00:38:33] Yeah.

[00:38:34] And you’re so interested in where they’re from and what they’re doing, and where they’re going and how they’re getting there.

[00:38:40] And we always talk about the bikes, you know, we’re so interested in the bicycle itself.

[00:38:45] And the why. Why are you doing it? We talk about those things too. The why and the how. You know, we’re very blessed, I said a few minutes ago, I’m 58 and Ron’s 64. Ron’s fully retired now. And I stepped away from my full time job and I took a job with the school system so that I can have summers off and breaks throughout the year.

[00:39:07] So now I get two full months in the summer and we’re able to do these things, these wonderful trips.

[00:39:13] As we, you know, move into this next… it’s just amazing. It’s just been amazing.

[00:39:17] Annie Sargent: And you do similar things in the US or just in Europe?

Century rides in the US

[00:39:21] Susan and Ron Crump: We ride bikes in the US. We have not cycled, toured across a segment. What we do now is just this last two months, we go on what’s called century rides or metric century rides. Two weeks ago, we did an 80 mile ride. And you do them with groups of people, kind of like a marathon.

[00:39:39] They have century rides, and a group of cyclists go out, and we go out in the country, and we ride 80 miles, or 60 miles.

[00:39:46] We go to a different state and do a ride with, you know, other cyclists and then come home the next day.

[00:39:52] We hope to do some cycle touring in the States. Now we’re focused on completing our loop in Europe.

[00:39:57] Annie Sargent: Right. So do tell where you’ve been and where you hope to go in France and other places.

European rides Susan and Ron have done

[00:40:01] Susan and Ron Crump: Well, in the fall of 22, we did our first cycle tour with our good friends Pam and Ralph, who she’d already said they introduced us to this, which was fantastic because they were so experienced already. But we did that, you know, the name of it was A to A, Amsterdam to Athens.

[00:40:19] We started up there in the Netherlands and we followed the Rhine, down through Germany. Through eight countries. Yes, and we ended up crossing the Alps from Innsbruck to Brenner and down into Venice, Italy.

[00:40:33] So we covered Italy, Austria, Germany, and then we crossed the Adriatic, on a ferry to Croatia, to split Croatia. And then from there we went down through all of Croatia, Albania, Montenegro, and into Greece, and all the way down to Athens. That was a tremendous trip. It was an eye opener to see, you know, the Balkans for the first time, and of course, to cross through Germany, which was, you know, a place where we met and spent a lot of time there.

[00:41:01] Right, we revisited where we had first met, where we were stationed in the army, where our children were born. It was fantastic.

[00:41:07] We went to places we were too broke to go to in our twenties.

[00:41:11] We actually, we finally made it to the Oktoberfest.

[00:41:15] Annie Sargent: Nice.

[00:41:16] Susan and Ron Crump: Yeah. So that was our first trip. It was 2000 miles.

[00:41:19] That was a great trip. 52 days. Remember we had that budget.

[00:41:24] You know, we really have to keep it within budget. We did a lot of camping and when we got to the Balkans, things were very cheap compared to Western Europe. So this year we did, we went back to the Netherlands, we went back to Amsterdam and we rode all the way down.

[00:41:39] We went through Rotterdam, the Hook of Holland, Ghent, Bouarge, Ypres, where the Menin Gate is, a lot of Canadian and British history in that part of Belgium and Flanders. We went to, I’m going to say this wrong, Ouistrem, where the Pegasus Bridge is.

[00:42:03] Annie Sargent: Yes.

[00:42:04] Susan and Ron Crump: In France, we went the Pegasus Bridge.

[00:42:07] Annie Sargent: Yep.

[00:42:08] Susan and Ron Crump: Was wonderful there every day they have bagpipes where they still play the bagpipes as they go across the Pegasus Bridge and there’s so much history and still remembrance. This was the 79th anniversary, so it wasn’t a big anniversary of the Normandy.

[00:42:24] Next year it’s going to be huge.

[00:42:26] Then we shot over to all the beaches.

[00:42:28] We did all the beaches. We did Sword, Juno, Omaha, Gold. And then we shot down to Mont Saint-Michel, which was my dream. We did not go up into the town, but it’s very doable, but we’ve seen 700 medieval towns. But just to stand there in front of that. It was something. Yeah.

[00:42:49] My 12 year old little self who always dreamed of being in France, and I’ve gone to France numerous times, but to stand in front of that iconic Mont Saint Michel on my bicycle, with Ron was just magnificent.

[00:43:02] Then we shot down in the direction of Rennes, to Rennes. We hit a fabulous, by chance. Because remember, we like to fly by the seat of our pants, we don’t want to know where we’re going. We landed in this town, just south, just outside of Rennes, having a festival.

[00:43:20] Yeah, that was wonderful.

[00:43:21] It wasn’t the musical festival though, although it might have been around the same time.

[00:43:24] It wasn’t their musical festival. Now that I think about it, it might have been. It was around the 21st. And there was plenty of music.

[00:43:30] So it might have been their town music festival.

[00:43:31] But that was great.

[00:43:33] Then we shot over to Laval. And having been in Normandy and Brittany, we were in so many, again, beaucoup, beaucoup, collines, I was ready to lose my mind.

[00:43:43] Finally, we got over to Laval, and we were, you know, heading toward, to the Loire, and we were on a canal path. And finally, we had about three days of peaceful, flat riding. That was a nice break. And I forget what that, so now we’re on the Vélo Vert, the actual bike path, the Vélo Vert. Vélo Vert, yep.

[00:44:02] Wonderful. So, when you do find yourself able to get on and connect with an official Vélo Vert, Greenway, Euro Velo. They’re wonderful. Wonderful.

[00:44:14] And then we headed, to Ron’s mom’s. And we headed down to, from Laval to Anjou.

[00:44:21] Anjou.

[00:44:22] Annie Sargent: Yes.

[00:44:22] Susan and Ron Crump: And then through Saumur.

[00:44:24] Annie Sargent: Saumur yes.

[00:44:28] Susan and Ron Crump: There also, beautiful, and that’s where we stayed in the Chateau for $12.

[00:44:32] Annie Sargent: Oh.

[00:44:34] Susan and Ron Crump: Was one of our nights in a chateau. We found on Could not find a campground. We had points on, we had stayed so many times. For $12 we stayed in this beautiful. Which, you know, Ron is from La Rochelle where of course, Cardinal Richelieu and all activity occurred.

[00:44:55] In the 1600s, yes. So now we’re in Saumur, and in this chateau, the owner, I can’t remember his name, the owner of this chateau, his wife is the sister of Cardinal Richelieu. Original yeah.

[00:45:09] So not that I was thrilled about that, but interesting, interesting fact that, you know, Richelieu, this man who caused so many issues in France, his sister lived in this home.

[00:45:21] We shot down closer to La Rochelle, and now we’re heading, you know, to Parthenay, and New York. Yeah. On to Sergere, where Ron’s stepfather is from.

[00:45:34] And we should point out that Jean died this year. So our bike trip went from being six weeks to three weeks, because the focus was now on getting home to his mom, and doing some family things, and wrapping up things with her.

[00:45:48] Annie Sargent: Of course, of course.

[00:45:51] Susan and Ron Crump: So the whole trip, although we tried to really enjoy the moments, it was more, especially for Ron, I’m sure, it was kind of a pilgrimage home to say goodbye and…

The Bicycle brought f reedom to the farmers

[00:46:02] Annie Sargent: And you really get know, like, the country, like you mentioned before, in a way that you don’t, and you know, in France, there’s this historical perspective that the bicycle is what brought freedom to the farmers. Because farmers have long hours of work and once they could buy a bicycle, as soon as work was done, they would go phew… you know.

[00:46:27] Susan and Ron Crump: Oh, yes.

[00:46:28] Annie Sargent: Go meet in the town, go meet the girl, whatever it was, you know, it brought a lot of freedom to people. And I think that’s one of the reasons why we still love it so much, and why we have so much respect for people who travel by bike. Nobody, I mean, you said you look like a vagrant, but nobody treated you poorly.

[00:46:48] Susan and Ron Crump: No, no, no, no, not at all. You’re just so non-threatening on a bicycle.

[00:46:54] Annie Sargent: Yeah.

[00:46:55] Susan and Ron Crump: Very non-threatening.

[00:46:57] Annie Sargent: You know, immediately what it is, and you must have seen some families that were doing this, because I know couples that do this with young kids as well.

[00:47:04] Susan and Ron Crump: Yes We saw it. We saw lots of them. So many with their children. It’s so impressive and they have, you know, the little eight year old might be on his own bike, but the four year old might be pulled behind the bike with that bar that connects to the little trailer, you know, and it’s just a wonderful, like, those are the things that we did with our children here in the States when they were little, and just something that…

[00:47:28] Annie Sargent: It’s fun.

Electric bicycles for touring

[00:47:29] Annie Sargent: Did anybody scoff at electric bicycles or are these allowed on those trips?

[00:47:35] Susan and Ron Crump: Well, it’s wonderful, and Ron’s going to talk about that, because we wanted to mention that.

[00:47:39] Annie Sargent: Yeah.

[00:47:39] Susan and Ron Crump: We love electrical bicycles, and as we age, I’m sure we’ll get one, but I want you to hear Ron’s take on this, because it’s very typical, and you can see his evolution.

[00:47:50] As we were, well, they’re not, they’re becoming popular here, but just as like commuters, but when we were out on our first trip, back in last fall, I did see some touring bicycles out there that were electric and, I will say Ralph and I both would talk about it and say, Oh my gosh, you can’t get electric bikes for touring, no way. That’s just not the right thing, you know, and we keep going.

[00:48:15] And as I progressed through Germany, and we could see more and more, but my thoughts changed on it. My opinion changed. I saw lots of people, I think, that were getting to a point, either some physical ailments or age alone, precluded them from being able to tour anymore on a standard bicycle. And the electric assist made it possible to still enjoy what they’ve always enjoyed. And I started to have, I had a revelation that this is a wonderful thing.

[00:48:48] Those people are still, they could be 75, 80 years old, and they’re still touring.

[00:48:53] Long distance.

[00:48:54] Yeah. Now, I will say, that when we did talk to these people, to every group, I had at least one person who said, I don’t really use the electric part except when I need real help up a hill.

[00:49:07] Annie Sargent: You can turn it off.

[00:49:09] If you do, it’s actually a heavier bike than normal.

[00:49:13] Susan and Ron Crump: Oh, yeah. Yes. But I’m ready. Because there was still a stigma. I am ready to purchase one when the time comes. And I would love to have one now just to commute around town.

[00:49:23] Annie Sargent: Yeah.

[00:49:23] Susan and Ron Crump: Maybe not this next time, but maybe the time after, we might entertain the electric bike purchase.

[00:49:30] Annie Sargent: That’s what I tell people is, you know, if it’s no biking, or electric bike then just get an electric bike. Because you know, then you’ll get on the bike and go. Which you wouldn’t have done on a push bike because you’re afraid that it’s going to be too hard or you’re out of shape or you’re sick or you’re too old, whatever it is, you know?

[00:49:49] And so why not? I’m sold on these things and you see them everywhere.

[00:49:54] There’s some mightily expensive ones too.

[00:49:57] Susan and Ron Crump: Yes, and if you’re going to purchase some stuff at the market or something, this is a load. You need some, it’s nice to have the assistance.

[00:50:06] Annie Sargent: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Fantastic.

[00:50:08] Susan and Ron Crump: And things are coming around in the States too. You do see more electric bikes now in the larger cities, but in Europe it’s just exploded.

[00:50:16] We had been there in 2019 prior to COVID.

[00:50:19] We went, our last trip prior to COVID was 2019 and we didn’t see many electric bikes. And then when we went back in 2022, they were everywhere. And I think that came out of COVID, you know over the 2020. And then this year again, continued explosion that you, it’s really hard to go to a bike store and you see mostly electric bike stores now.

[00:50:45] Annie Sargent: No, it’s true. And I think it’s also a fact that for commuters, for city people, they didn’t want to get back on the freeway, I mean, on the subway.

[00:50:54] Susan and Ron Crump: Right.

[00:50:56] Annie Sargent: You know, because of COVID, they were worried about, you know, proximity to all these people, and they wanted to be on their own bikes, which I agree.

[00:51:05] Susan and Ron Crump: Right.

[00:51:06] Annie Sargent: It’s better if you’re on your own bike rather than on the subway.

[00:51:10] Susan and Ron Crump: Yeah, I can’t wait. I can’t wait to get one. Yeah, it’s going to be nice, but it’s not in our budget right now.

[00:51:16] Annie Sargent: My sister has a really expensive electric bike. I think theirs are like 7000 or 8000 euros for those bikes. Mine was just 2500, and I thought that was quite, you know. But I mean, I ride it a little bit every day. I just go do little things, you know, nothing big, like I rarely go more than 10k, but it doesn’t matter, I’m just, if I have to go somewhere, I go somewhere on the bike, and it’s much nicer, I think.

[00:51:43] Susan and Ron Crump: It’s so wonderful. I think it’s fantastic.

[00:51:45] With that, between the smart car, you know, the little electric cars and electric bicycles for commuting, it’s good for, it’s good for everybody. It’s just, it’s good for the environment.

[00:51:55] Annie Sargent: It’s better for the environment, and it’s better for us, I think, as well.

[00:51:58] Well, you know, Ron and Susan, it has been wonderful, we’ve been talking a long time, so we’re going to have call it quits. There are more details about where you went exactly and all of that in your guest notes, but it has been fabulous getting all these details about what it takes to go on a trip like this.

[00:52:16] I wonder if you have inspired some people. And if Susan and Ron inspired you, do let me know because I will pass the message on to them. I think it would be really spectacular to have people, you know, say, Hey, I’m going to do a long trip on a bike. Wonderful.

[00:52:33] It’s a wonderful way to experience life behind the postcard, real life, and you can stop at all the major tourist things, you can take breaks on the road. We didn’t do that so much this year, but you know, on our trip last fall, we stopped and we explored Venice, and we went to the Oktoberfest. Yeah. No, this time you had a really ambitious schedule.

[00:52:55] Susan and Ron Crump: We really needed to make it from point A to point B.

[00:52:58] Annie Sargent: You were moving a lot.

[00:52:59] Susan and Ron Crump: And we personally enjoy that athletic portion of accomplishing 50 to 60 miles a day, and putting that back to back. It might sound crazy, but it makes us feel alive. Yeah, and there are plenty of cyclists we run into who are just doing, you know, 30 miles a day.

[00:53:17] Yeah, so it’s just pedal, that’s all you have to do, you just pedal. And next year we’ll pick our bikes up, they’re in France, we’ll pick them up, we’re going to go to Toulouse.

[00:53:27] Annie Sargent: Ah, nice.

[00:53:28] Susan and Ron Crump: Straight to Toulouse. Head through Toulouse and maybe we can have coffee.

[00:53:31] Annie Sargent: That would be lovely.

[00:53:32] Susan and Ron Crump: And then over to Barcelona.

[00:53:35] Annie Sargent: We have a good, I mean, there’s a lot of biking along the canal here.

[00:53:39] Susan and Ron Crump: Right, that’ll easy.

[00:53:40] Annie Sargent: Yeah, that’s pretty easy. And then there’s the Passapais, which is an old, it’s between Mazame and Bédarieux. So that’s like a, you would do this in a day. It’s like 70 kilometers or something, or 75 km.

[00:53:53] Susan and Ron Crump: A perfect day.

[00:53:54] Annie Sargent: Yeah, and it’s along an old train track.

[00:53:57] Susan and Ron Crump: Yeah, we like that.

[00:53:58] Annie Sargent: Once in a while you have get off, you know, have to cross a road or whatever, but it’s mostly, you know, very well protected, so I think you will love that. And then from the Passapais, you can ride, there’s another one, can’t remember the name of it, but it goes all the way to Barcelona.

[00:54:13] Susan and Ron Crump: Oh! Yeah, see, that’s, that’s where we’re… yeah… because we like to pick an end point where we know we have a major city and airport to get in and out with our bicycles logistically. Right. Because we won’t be able to leave them in France next time. We’ll have to either sell them at the end or ship them home.

[00:54:31] But, it has been wonderful talking to you and I just want to thank you for everything over the years that you’ve provided to us, made our trips easier and. Yes.

[00:54:42] I’ve just enjoyed… I continue to enjoy your podcast. I listen to it almost every single day.

[00:54:48] Annie Sargent: Wonderful. Thank you so much, both of you. And I wish you many, many more wonderful trips on your bikes.

[00:54:55] Susan and Ron Crump: Thank you, Annie. Merci and Bonne Journee!

[00:54:57] Annie Sargent: Bonne Journée. Au revoir.



[00:55:06] Annie Sargent: The Join Us in France Travel Podcast is written, hosted, and produced by Annie Sargent and Copyright 2023 by Addicted to France. It is released under a Creative Commons, attribution, non-commercial, no derivatives license.


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Category: Active Vacations in France