French Cycling Holidays with Veloiste CC
I was very lucky to meet a great new friend Mark who runs a wonderful cycling holidays company in France called Véloiste. I much prefer holidays run by people living in the country they are hosting from and who also regularly ride themselves so know what cyclists need on these kind of trips. Mark is one of these people. He moved to France with his family six years ago – and is based about an hour north of Bordeaux. A marketing consultant by trade he only started road cycling when he moved to France and was immediately hooked by the French love of cycling.
Mark organizes many different trips including in 2008 a ride from London to St Emilion the details of which can be read here, http://lesveloistesgentils.wordpress.com/2009-perpignan-to-biarritz/ This year he is heading off with 20 riders, travelling from Geneva to Avignon over five days in June. Alpe d’Huez, Galibier and Ventoux beckon. Véloiste was born out of Mark organising these kind of rides. His hope is that there’s a real authenticity about the rides, which go deep into the mountains and don’t waste money by staying in the flashiest hotels. Instead he focuses on the riding and covering some legendary roads. Each trip is a beautifully simple few days where riders they get up, get breakfast, fix up their bikes and then ride somewhere else, usually over a couple of big climbs where they’ll sink a few beers and chew the fat before showers, dinner and bed.
Check out the website to see the specific ‘off-the-peg’ tours Mark is planning which is based for groups of 6 – 12 riders. These are perfect for a cycling club wanting an overseas trip, a bunch of friends looking to organise a charity ride or a group of people wanting to prepare for a European sportive. The great thing is Mark has a lot of local knowledge (and language) which can come in very handy.