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Ride Rating System

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Ride Info

Ride Overview

CANC Gorgeous Gorges of the French Maritime Alps

This Ride has been Cancelled

  • Arrival
  • 5/16/2020
  • Departure
  • 5/28/2020
  • Ride Director
  • Smith Doss
  • Ride Co-Director
  • Claude Monnier
  • Starting Location
  • Vence, France
  • Finishing Location
  • Vence, France
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $2300
  • Deposit
  • $1200
  • Number of Riders
  • 3 (min. 14 /max. 22)
  • Space Available
  • 19
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 0

Ride Rating

4C  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.

Ride Director Comments

Ride Description

Come explore the Maritime Alps, just north of the famous towns of Nice and Cannes.  Enjoy the perched villages of Saint Paul de Vence, Gourdon, and Tourrettes sur Loup.  Admire the gorgeous gorges of the Loup, Cians, Daluis and the French Grand Canyon of the Verdon.  Take a rest day at the spa on Lake de Sainte Croix.

This is a region where our tour leaders have lived in the past and continue to ride their tandem there. They will be riding their tandem on this tour.

The mountain goats will enjoy this extremely scenic tour of the Maritime Alps.   We will stay away from the coast to avoid traffic and explore the wilder side of the mountains.  Because there are few towns on some of the routes, our tour includes “carry on your bike” sandwich lunches that you can prepare at the start of the ride each day and enjoy at your convenience along the way. 

To help acclimation and get your legs ready for climbing, we will spend 3 days in Vence, exploring the area perched villages, artsy communities and tour old towns on foot.

From there we will ride over the first mountain ridge to the town of Puget-Theniers.  From Puget, we will explore the red canyons of Gorges du Cians and Gorges du Daluis.  Between the gorges, we will cross two small ski towns of Beuil and Valberg.  Finish the downhill from the Daluis into Entrevaux, where the medieval citadel used to be the border between France and Italy.  If your legs feel like it, walk to the top of the citadel and enjoy the valley views.  The other day, we will enjoy the impressive Clue de Saint Auban and its' high plateau.

From there we will go to the French Grand Canyon du Verdon and the turquoise blue waters of Lac de Sainte Croix.  Our stop will be in LaSalle sur Verdon, where you can either take a rest day, and maybe book a massage at the hotel's spa, or enjoy an easy ride to Moustiers, a town very famous for its hand painted ceramics.

Heading back to Vence, we will make a stop in Saint Vallier, a town established since Neolithic times.  Megaliths can still be found in the hills nearby.  We will explore the Caussols plateau (host to an astronomic observatory) and then finish our tour with joyful descents back towards the gorges du Loup and Vence.

Rating 4C: The average for the 11 days of riding average mileage is 51 miles and 5734 feet of climbing. There are 4 travel days with average of 58 miles and 6644 feet of climbing.  The longest day is 65 miles and 8860 feet of climbing, which is a travel day. The climbs are mostly in the 6% range. The climbing rating is more for the length of the climbs than the steepness of the climbs. We’ve climbed all of these climbs riding a loaded tandem.

On the non-travel days the riders can decide to take a day off or choose shorter loops.

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

The GPX files will show the profile for the days. 

Daily details

·         Day 1 Loop ride of 22 miles 1900 feet
·         Day 2 Loop ride of 50 miles and 6500 feet (or 30 miles and 3550 feet)
·         Day 3 Loop ride of 65 miles and 6900 feet (or 2 options 35 miles and 3300 / 3950 feet)
·         Day 4 Point to point ride 50 miles and 5500 feet
·         Day 5 Loop ride of 60 miles and 7550 feet (or 22 miles and 2300 feet)
          Day 6 Loop ride of 53 miles and 7300 feet (or 40 miles and 3300 feet)
·         Day 7 Point to point 68 miles and 8850 feet
·         Day 8 Loop ride of 40 miles and 3450 feet (or optional SPA day)
          Day 9 Point to point of 65 miles and 7550 feet
·         Day 10 Loop ride of 40 miles and 3450 feet
·         Day 11 Point to Point to 55 miles and 4775 feet (or 32 miles and 2800 feet)

The weather is typically sunny and warm (average temperatures are from 53 to 70F), so plan for sunscreen, but be ready for the occasional rainstorm (average of 4 days of rain in May), and if you climb Valberg, you will need layers for the descents.

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

All breakfasts and light happy hour beverages and snacks are included.  Sandwich lunch supplies will be available for 7 days so that you can carry snacks on the rides. Dinners will be included for 7 evenings. These options are very limited, so strict diets may be an issue, will try to accommodate vegetarians.  If you have to follow a very strict diet, we cannot commit to accommodate you.

Other lunches and dinners are on your own.  The Ride Leaders will provide suggestions.

Nearest Airport is in Nice, France (NCE).   Airport shuttle available from the Airport into Vence Bus Station in the center of town every 20 minutes. Our hotel is located 550 meters from the bus stop in Vence.  There are some private shuttles companies from the Nice Airport to Vence. All tour participants are expected to book their own flights and airport shuttles.

The tour starts on Saturday, May 16 2020 6:00 PM for the introductory meeting followed by dinner.  The tour ends after breakfast on Thursday, May 28, 2020. Luggage storage will be available at the host hotel for the duration of the tour.

First riding day is Sunday May 17, 2020 and last riding day is Wednesday May, 27, 2020, from Vence.

We expect tour participants to arrive no later than Saturday May 16th and build their bikes that day. On travel days luggage needs to be ready for transport or storage 8:30 AM, our first travel day is Wednesday May 20, 2020.

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.  Other luggage will be stored at the start / end hotel.

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

Lights are required since there will be some tunnels on the climbs. We always run with blinking head and tail lights all of the time for better visibility

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

The cost of the tour is $2300.  This does not include the $100 BAC ride registration fee.  Included in the cost are 12 nights lodging, 12 breakfasts, 7 group dinners, 7 days of supplies for sandwich lunches,  luggage transfer, storage of bike cases, light happy hour beverages and snacks.   All tour attractions are at the discretion of the riders.

The cost of the trip was calculated on an exchange rate of $1.25 = 1 Euro.  Since the costs are in Euros, we may need to adjust the cost of the trip, based on currency fluctuations, in October 2019.

Deposit of $1,200 plus the $100 BAC Ride Registration Fee is due immediately upon acceptance to the ride.  Final payment of $1100 is due - November 1, 2019.

It is recommended that singles who want a roommate try to find their own. However, after receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until September 1 st to find a roommate. If they are unable to find a roommate, they will have the option to receive a full refund (minus the BAC fee and payment processing fee) or pay the $1,000 solo supplement and stay on the ride.  If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary.  The Ride Leader will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride.  Solo supplement payments need to be sent to the BAC office. Checks should be made out to “BAC” with a notation of the tour name included on the check.  They should be mailed to:  Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193.

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.  If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the cancelling roommate may also be liable for the solo supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour.  BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.

Ride Participant Responsibility
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 (insert dollar amount) 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.

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

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