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Ride Rating System

The BAC has a Ride Rating system that can tell you what to expect while on one of our rides. Learn more...

Ride Info

Ride Overview

Discover Prehistoric, Roman Provence and Luberon

  • Arrival
  • 6/6/2020
  • Departure
  • 6/21/2020
  • Ride Director
  • Smith Doss
  • Ride Co-Director
  • Claude Monnier
  • Starting Location
  • Aix en Provence, France
  • Finishing Location
  • Aix en Provence, France
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $2550
  • Deposit
  • $1500
  • Number of Riders
  • 22 (min. 22 /max. 22)
  • Space Available
  • 0
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 0

Ride Rating

2B  Warning - Read the Description Carefully

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† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

and you can request to participate in this ride.

Ride Description

Tandems tour:  Join us for an exploration of the natural, prehistoric, roman and medieval sites of Provence and the Ardeche regions.  Smith and Claude have been riding tandems for 26 years and have made many tandeming trips to France, where Claude is from.  You will start and finish in Aix en Provence and discover an ancient dolmen and a Roman bridge near Bonnieux, ride a scenic bike path into Apt and discover a wilder side of the Luberon.  Goat cheese lovers will relish the visit to Bannon, and the fruit preserves in Apt.  A typical day will be around 40 miles with 2,100 feet of climbing per day. We will explore the Small Colorado region, then tackle Mont Ventoux (or not for those who prefer flatter options).  We will enjoy local wines (the famous Cote du Rhone, reds and roses).  After a trip to Orange and its famous Roman Theater, we will cross the mighty Rhone river, discover the Gorge de l'Ardeche and visit the spectacular Caverne de Pont d'Arc (prehistoric painted cave).  We will get back into Provence via the spectacular Pont du Gard and into Arles, with its roman Arenas, antique baths and museums. The last part of the trip will have us explore Les Baux and get back to Aix. Luggage service will be provided to transport one suitcase or duffle bag less than 30 lbs. per rider from point to point.  No sag will be available at any time.  We expect our tour participants to be self-sufficient. 

If there is space available after July 1, 2019 we will open registration to non-tandem riders.

RATING: 2B.   There are a total of 8 travel days (must ride) and 6 days of loop riding. The option to climb Mont Ventoux will be 65 miles and 6300 feet of climbing, with grades over 11% for 2.5 miles. Most grades are less than 6% grades except for the climb to Mont Ventoux. The GPX files will show each day’s profile.  

DAY    MILES    FEET    
1          40          2700    Transfer
2          65          4300    Loop
3          56          3650    Loop
4          30          2200    Loop
5         45             950    Transfer
6         40          5900    Loop 1
6         65          6300    Loop 2
6         55          5800    Loop 3
7         45          1200    Transfer
8         35          3000    Transfer
9         10            775    Loop
10       67          3100    Transfer
11       35            600    Transfer
12       25             850    Transfer
13       40           2100    Loop
14       50           2300    Transfer
Transfer Average:  43 miles, 1838 ft.            
Total Average:  43 miles, 2501 ft.  

These values are approximate and could change due to unexpected route changes.         

The routes are mainly on very quiet roads. There are a few exceptions when entering and leaving towns where  there may be busier roads.  

This route has been fully scouted and ridden by the ride leaders.

The weather is typically sunny and warm (average temperatures are from 55 to 85), so plan for sunscreen, but be ready for the occasional rainstorm, and if you decide to climb Mt Ventoux, you will need layers for the descent. Caves visits also demand extra layers as the caves are usually around 55F degrees.

We will stay in local 2-star inns and hotels.  Some will have a pool.  If you need extra nights, please let us know.  

All breakfasts and light happy hour beverages and snacks are included. Lunches and dinners except for a group dinner at the beginning and end of the tour are on your own.  The Ride Leaders will provide suggestions. 

Nearest Airport is Marseille Marignane (MRS).   Airport shuttle available from the Airport into the Bus Station in the center of town. You can buy tickets on the bus.  Our hotel is located near the bus station.  All tour participants are expected to book their own flights and airport shuttles.

The tour starts on Saturday, June 6, 2020 6:00 PM for the introductory meeting followed by dinner.  The tour ends after breakfast on Sunday, June 21, 2020. Luggage storage will be available at the host hotel for the duration of the tour.  Luggage service will be provided to transport one suitcase or duffle bag less than 30 lbs. per rider from point to point.  No sag will be available at any time.  We expect our tour participants to be self-sufficient. 

First riding day is Sunday June 7, 2020 and last riding day is Saturday June 20, 2020, from Aix en Provence.

We expect tour participants to arrive no later than Saturday June 6th and build their bikes that day. Luggage needs to be ready for transport on Sunday morning at 8:30 AM.

Luggage service will be provided to transport one suitcase or duffle bag less than 30 lbs per rider from point to point.  No sag while on the road. We expect our tour participants to be self-sufficient.

Will provide detailed cue sheets and GPX files. Participants are responsible for printing cue sheets and loading their own GPX files.

Will provide an inventory list for those who would like a detailed list of what we carry on our tours.

The per person cost of the tour is $2,550.  This does not include the $100 BAC ride registration fee.  Included in the cost are 15 nights lodging, 15 breakfasts, 2 group dinners, daily luggage transfer, storage of bike cases, light happy hour beverages (since Provence is a great wine region, we will look for local wines to sample at happy hour) and snacks.  Most hotels will have a cash bar, but some will not.   We will pre-book the Caverne de Pont d'Arc to secure an English-speaking guide (fee included in tour package).  All other tour attractions are at the discretion of the riders.  

The cost of the trip was calculated on an exchange rate of $1.15 = 1 Euro.  Since the costs are in Euros, we may need to adjust the cost of the trip, based on currency fluctuations, in early 2020.

Deposit of $1,500 plus the $100 BAC Ride Registration Fee is due immediately upon acceptance to the ride.  Final payment of $1,050 is due January 15, 2020.

Due to the limitation of rooms, solos cannot be accommodated.  We are assuming double occupancy for tandem teams.  If you are a non-couple tandem team and do not wish to share a room, please contact the Ride Leader to discuss options. 

If the ride is not filled with tandem teams on July 1, 2019, registration will be open to non-tandem riders (couples and/or singles sharing a room).   If the ride opens to non-tandem riders on July 1, 2019, the Ride Leader will assist matching singles who apply for the ride but do not have a roommate.  

The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fee is not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled.  Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped.  The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations.  If the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time.  If the cancelling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed.  BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.

Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support. Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles.   All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour.  We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leader.  While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and clean-up.  Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour.  Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you may have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions.

To submit a request to join this ride use the "links" displayed above this Ride Description.  When you are accepted, the Ride Leader will move you from the Waitlist to the Pending List.  At this time you will receive an email notification to login to the BAC website to sign the release of liability form and pay the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee and the initial tour deposit of $1,500 by credit card.  As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List.  To contact the Ride Leader, "click" the name at the top of this Ride Description.

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PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510

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