Ride Description – Provence
Join us for 10 wonderful days and nights cycling the beautiful rural Vaucluse region of Provence France, home of abundant sunshine, brilliant colors, incomparable scenery, splendid world-class regional wines and exquisite local cuisine! Our fixed base tour lodging in the medieval village of Vaison la Romaine is poised high above the modern city of Vaison, a Roman archeological wonder. Old and new Vaison are split by the Ouveze River but conveniently connected by a medieval Roman bridge which you will cross many times as you wander back and forth between the old and new worlds of the villages.
Our location is conveniently positioned a few short kilometers from the base of Mont Ventoux, one of the most famous and iconic stages and climbs of the Tour de France. And YES, you will have the opportunity to ride to the summit of Mont Ventoux on one of our daily rides, an unforgettable and exhilarating experience!
The price of the trip is $2445 USD per person double occupancy and includes the following INCLUSIONS/EXCLUSIONS just below. NOTE there is NO trip registration fee and there are NO payment fees by credit/debit card through PayPal. These fees are paid by Cycling Friends, LLC. A $750 USD deposit per person is required to secure a slot on the trip for each participant. Due date for final payments will be March 1, 2019. If single supplement applies, it will also be collected at the time of final payment due date. Single supplement cost is $750 USD.
- 3 Star cycling friendly hotel lodging located just inside the walled medieval village of Vaison la Romaine.
- Per person double occupancy room for 10 nights.
- Daily continental traditional French breakfast in the hotel garden overlooking modern Vaison below.
- Dinner each evening in the hotel’s beautiful courtyard (weather permitting) to include 3 courses plus wine, water, coffee and dessert. A daily vegetarian selection will also be available with no meal repeats during our stay. Dinner on the evening of our day off will be on your own and the hotel will provide many wonderful alternatives in and around the town of Vaison la Romaine.
- Daily business meeting and Happy Hour in the hotel garden prior to dinner. Light snacks, soda, wine and beer will be provided.
- Exclusive website for participants only which will provide GPS tracks, maps, cue sheets and much more information about the ride and sight seeing opportunities in the area. The website will be available approximately 6 months in advance of departure.
- Pickup and drop off at the Avignon, France TGV rail station. Dates and times are outlined below. Arrivals and departures should be planned accordingly. Travel time to/from the hotel is approximately one hour.
- Pickup Date/Time: Departure from Avignon TGV on Wednesday, May 22nd (Section 1) or Wednesday, June 5th (Section 2) at 4:00PM arriving at the hotel about 5:00PM.
- Drop Off Date/Time: Departure from Vaison la Romaine hotel on Saturday, June 1st (Section 1) or Saturday, June 15th (Section 2) at 8:00AM arriving at Avignon TGV about 9:00AM.
- Pickup and drop off will include you, your luggage and bike case (if applicable).
- Bike rental coordination and assistance.
- Hotel gratuities for front desk, restaurant and maid service personnel.
- Luggage transfers during entry to and exit from the hotel.
- Complementary wifi.
- Secure bike storage.
- Airfare and other transportation to and from the pick up and drop off location at the TGV rail station in Avignon, France.
- Sightseeing fees.
- Bike rental.
- Daily lunches.
- Dinner on our cycling day off.
- Alcohol with meals other than wine which is included at dinner.
- Lodging before or after the trip.
- Personal items purchased during the trip.
It is recommended that singles seeking a roommate try to find their own, but the Ride Director and/or Ride Co-Director may also assist by attempting to match singles registering for the ride. However, after receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the trip and given an agreeable and reasonable period of time to find a roommate. If they are unable to find a roommate, they will have the option of receiving a full refund or paying the single supplement and staying on the tour. If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary. Single supplement payments will be added to the unpaid balance due at the time of final payment.
Our 3 Star hotel, Le Beffroi, is positioned perfectly just inside the walled medieval village of Vaison la Romaine. The panoramic view from the hotel affords a wonderful view of the surrounding modern village of Vaison and countryside or you may enjoy the peace and tranquility of its terraced gardens and swimming pool. The hotel’s quaint rooms occupy two adjoining 16th and 17th Century houses; each room uniquely decorated with antiques and includes the modern conveniences of a private shower or bath, toilet, telephone, mini-bar, television and hair dryer. The hotel also offers a laundry service for cycling clothes (not included in the trip price). A day off in the middle of our trip is planned so that you can enjoy the regional weekly market, quaint shops, lively restaurants and inviting lanes of the village, all located a short walk from our hotel.
Arrival and departure for the trip will be at the Avignon, France TGV (high speed) rail station. Luxury shuttle transportation will be provided from Avignon TGV to our hotel in Vaison la Romaine, approximately one hour’s distance. Note there will be only one date and time pickup and drop off per trip and times stated will be prompt. See INCLUSIONS in the COST/ADMIN tab above.
Several options exist in planning your arrival and departure to Avignon TGV. The two recommended approaches are from Paris or Nice via TGV. Bike storage at these destinations is available if you are bringing your own bike(s). However, to avoid the issue of transporting and storing your own bike, high quality bike rentals will be available. See OTHER INFORMATION tab above. Details on TGV transport and bike storage and rental options may be discussed with the Cycling Friends, LLC Ride Director and/or Ride Co-Director for the tour.
Rather than wasting time and energy packing and unpacking each day, worrying about making it to your destination without getting lost, etc., our fixed base riding will do in and out (loop) rides of 35 to 50+ miles of varying but moderate terrain, returning to our hotel early to mid afternoon each day.
Riding in this area of Provence is gentle with our range of daily climbing from 1500 to 2500 feet. All roads we will ride are paved and consideration has been given to avoiding high traffic areas. GPS tracks, maps and cue sheets of the suggested daily cycling route will be available in advance of the departure date and can be discussed with your Cycling Friends, LLC Ride Director and/or Ride Co-Director who has personally ridden each route many times. Plan to make 2 to 3 stops sampling the quaint coffee shops and take lunch (not included in the trip price) in one of the many villages along the way. You are welcome to join one or two group led rides each riding day that will follow the ride schedule published on our private ride website for participants only.
Although the general area where we will ride offers moderate terrain, there is always one ever-present sight on the horizon; Mont Ventoux, one of the most famous and iconic of all Tour de France climbs and stages. For those that enjoy climbing and descending, one of the highlights of our trip will offer the opportunity to take in the summit of Mont Ventoux. The climb offers 3 ascents ranging from 3969 to 5304 feet, covering 21.8 to 26 kilometers with average grades of 4.4% to 7.43%. Two of the ascent’s grades are 8.9% for 16 kilometers. For all ascents conditions can be very windy. Ride time will take 2 to 3 hours. Please note this ride is not mandatory and other rides can be easily substituted if you prefer. The Cycling Friends, LLC Ride Director and/or Ride Co-Director of the tour can make suggestions for you. If you do choose to ride with us up Mont Ventoux, it will no doubt prove to be an exhilarating and unforgettable experience!
Bike rentals will be available from our excellent supplier and partner in the area, France Bike Rentals (FBR) in Bedoin at the base of Mont Ventoux. We have used FBR since the inception of this ride in 2012 and for good reason. The quality and variety of bikes they offer and their level of service is unparalleled. We are proud to be associated with such a great supplier and we have an excellent working relationship with them. We will provide rental coordination and assistance when ordering and at delivery and pick-up. Please note we will not begin the rental process until about 6 months prior to departure.
Mentioned in RIDING IN Provence just above, we offer daily group rides for our scheduled and published ride of the day. We offer a couple of groups split not so much by riding ability but more by the actual participants themselves desiring to ride with their friends.
Our guides on each ride will not let anyone fall away from the group and you will not be left on your own. Although Cycling Friends, LLC does not have a dedicated sag vehicle, in case you get stranded on the road we will do whatever necessary to get you back safely to the hotel. We will publish a phone number list prior to trip departure in case of an emergency or if you need assistance.
May and June in Vaison la Romaine have average temperatures of 64 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit respectively with highs and lows of 75 and 54 and 82 and 61 Fahrenheit respectively. Cooler temperatures in May promote the abundance of colorful and fragrant wildflowers along our routes and for a moment you might think you are in a Paris perfume shop!.
Cyclists on our trips with non-cycling partners need not fear of a lack of things for the non-cyclist to enjoy in the area. It is also possible to rent a car locally and drive to many attractions close by. However, Vaison offers a wide range of activities. The Cycling Friends, LLC Ride Director and/or Ride Co-Director can direct you to the Vaison Tourist Office centrally located in modern Vaison. This office has a multitude of information about sights to see in and around the area.
One such activity is Market Day in Vaison. We plan our cycling day off to occur on the day of the market, Tuesday, so all can enjoy. It is a huge regional market and attracts many folks from the surrounding small villages. Fresh food, clothing, books and about anything else you can imagine are available. French markets are known for their high quality of goods and services and the Vaison market is no exception.
Another fun activity very close to the Tourist Office are the Roman Ruins. For a nominal charge you can wander the ruins and experience the reach and breadth of the Roman empire right in downtown Vaison!
Congratulations! You will love this trip!
The deposit amount for this trip is $750 USD per person and is due at registration. Please note if there are any allowed discounts these will be deducted at the time of final payment. You will be notified in advance by Cycling Friends, LLC of your final payment amount if different than outlined below.
The balance of $1695 USD per person (double occupancy or single with a roommate) or $2445 USD single supplement ($1695 USD + $750 USD = $2445 USD) will be due on or before March 1, 2019. Depending on currency exchange rates, there may be some minor changes in the amount of the final payment but this is unlikely. If this occurs you will be notified in advance by Cycling Friends, LLC.
Please review the 2 steps below for registration and making your deposit.
First, complete the registration form below. Every participant, whether cycling or not, is required to complete the form.
Second, you have two choices for signing the Release of Liability (aka RIDE APPLICATION WAIVER OF LIABILITY, ASSUMPTION OF RISK and INDEMNITY AGREEMENT) and making your deposit payment.
1) You can choose to electronically sign the Release of Liability and make your deposit payment by credit/debit card which flows through PayPal. You do not have to be a PayPal user to make payment. All fees associated with a credit/debit card payment are paid by Cycling Friends, LLC. Note you must do both, electronically sign the Release of Liability and make credit/debit card payment through PayPal or go to option 2) below and complete the process manually. This is your choice.
2) Or you can print the Release of Liability, date and sign it for each participant and then mail it and your deposit check(s) made payable to ‘Cycling Friends, LLC’ to the address below via USPS.
Cycling Friends, LLC
Provence: Land of Color & Light 2019 (please indicate Section attending)
2294 Seven Lakes Drive
Loveland, Colorado 80538 USA
In all cases of payment, whether electronically with a credit/debit card or through the mail, you will receive notification by email that your Release of Liability and check(s) or PayPal payment have arrived safely and been recorded and deposited.