Le plan for La Vélodyssée

In 2018 I went on a long walk across New Zealand. In 2019 I decided I wanted to do a long cycle. I’ve done a few audaxes and rode across Wales, which confirmed that I really like riding my bike in non-race contexts.

After some researching I settled on “La Vélodyssée“, or the French part of Eurovelo 1. Sometimes it’s called the Alantic Coast Way, or the West Atlantic Way. I’ll be starting at the end of August.

The route

Starting in Roscoff the route follows La Loire to Nantes and then is mostly along the west coast, down to Hendaye at the Spanish border. At approximately 1200km, I’ve given myself 2 and a half weeks including getting there and back and a rest day. This works out at roughly 100km per day, which should allow for plenty of boulangerie stops.

There is meant to be decent signage of Eurovelo 1 in France but I’ll have the GPX trail loaded on my Wahoo for back up navigation.

The terrain

It’s mostly canal paths to Nantes and then a mix of small roads and car free cycle lanes. For the mixed terrain I’ve got 28c tyres which worked well on the gravel on the Lon Las Cymru. There’s no mountains on the route so I’m not playing with the gearing, and will just be peddling slowly up the hills on my loaded Sabbath.

Accommodation

I’m fixing a pannier rack to my Sabbath and will be camping. There’s a multitude of campsites along the way so I’ve made a rough schedule but am not planning on booking every night.

Kit

I’m going for a hodge podge approach using the gear I already have. This means I’ll have 1 rear 20 litre pannier (Ortlieb classic) that I’ve used every day for the last 4 years commuting, a double ended dry bag for my handlebars (Alpkit), a top tube bag (Lezyne) and a handlebar pouch (Alpkit) (for croissants).

My camping gear remains the same as my recent backpacking trips except I have gone for an Enlightened Equipment Enigma quilt. I use my (lovely) Alpkit sleeping bag like a quilt anyway, so figured I could reduce the weight and space it takes up in my bag.

My gear will be pretty similar to the ride across Wales. Two pairs of shorts and jerseys, some layers and one non cycling outfit.

My dynamo hub means my front light is always on, and I can connect a USB charger to the output port on the light. I’ll use this to charge a battery pack from which to charge my phone & Wahoo from – due to the variable current they shouldn’t be charged directly from the dynamo.

I’ll take my tiny Koro stove so I can boil water for porridge/cous cous so I don’t have to rely on finding patisseries open at the right times.

Logistics

I’m not going to have time to cycle there and back so I’m getting the train to Plymouth and the overnight ferry to Roscoff to start. At the other end from Hendaye I’ve booked a direct TGV to Paris and then a Eurostar to London. I had to ring to book my bike on in a not-dismantled state on the Eurostar but it was a pretty painless system.

One thought on “Le plan for La Vélodyssée

  1. Sounds like a good trip .Quite envious as my cycling days are over now.
    Are you camping or hostelling/B&B’s ?

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