Thanks to the freedom of car ownership, we couldn't afford to go anywhere this weekend, which was a compulsory 4 days, not even camping. I didn't have to persuade the missus to go for a ride as it's the only thing we can do.

We put the kid seats on, and the 4 of us went to Cagnes Sur Mer castle. It's 4.5km along fully separated paths, until the last km odd. We stop on the way at a playground, and for lunch. There are a fair few cars during the short climb into the citadel. Ollie says "I'm sick of these cars!" That's my boy! I hug him, and give him a kiss. We parked in front of the garage attendant's box, while the cars must wait about 5 to 10 minutes each, for the loading machine to take the car away, roller coaster style.The old town has a spectacular setting, and great views. The total for the day is 8 euro odd for sandwiches.

There are some great paths around here, and on Monday we roll into Nice along the sea front. This path extends 15km from Antibes to Nice, and then onto I'm not sure, but would like to find out. We hop on and off for a roundabout ride, for the youngest to sleep on a park bench, to throw stones at the beach, and to run around in a playground (total 5 euro + food). They're both great days for me, and I think the boys enjoyed it a lot too.

Thanks to Renault for making it possible.




Louis, ahead of his time, sleeps on a park bench.

Views: 110

Comment by Neil Alexander on November 4, 2011 at 8:01am

"Thanks to the freedom of car ownership, we couldn't afford to go anywhere..." Beautifully and so accurately put, Mr Re.

I trust you have handy your copy of Lonely Planet's Cycling France (1st Edition Collectors' Item). Pages 444 to 447 detail some nice rides in the Nice area/Cote d'Azur. Two challenging ones which I particularly enjoyed start at Vence, just inland from Cagnes-s-M. (You might need to convince the wife to let you go with a friend, because I don't think kiddies in seats is likely to be practical on these.) Anyway, there are two good circuits out of Vence, one of 102 km through the Gorges du Loup and over the Plateau de Caussols to the west and the other of about 75 km looping west through the gorges and circling back to Vence via Carros and St Jeannet. Both, but especially the first, offer lots of climbing, col conquering and scenic but hilly French fun. You can shorten the second by heading straight up the Col de Vence and turning right onto the D8 into Coursegoules then ride back towards Nice along the Corniche du Var above the River Var.

Oh, I am so envious. (BTW, does your company expect you to work while you are there? That would be a bummer.) ;-)

Comment by Edward Re on November 5, 2011 at 5:44am
Yes work is ruining my holiday here. I start riding before sun up and the sun sets on the way home and
meanwhile I've wasted something like 8 hours. Lucky we have 5 weeks holidays, 10 odd public holidays, 1.5 rostered days off per month, and a 2 hour lunch, or I'd tell them to shove it!
If I take a whole day off on the weekend, I think that Tammy Wynette d-i-v-o-r-c-e song might start playing again. I hope we can do some more rides close to home. The road between St Jeannet and Gattieres (corniche?) looks very doable even with the extra 25kgs of kid + seat.
Most of my riding is just between work and home. Each day I notice something new, even a whole village (I never noticed Gilette until the other day). There's now some snow on the mountains in the distance. It's been raining all day, and tonight I had to carry my bike through the underpass and above knee high frosty water on the way home, that's new. Bye bye toasty feet.
It's funny to read your comments about the towns in my backyard. You know them better than I do! That book sounds good, and I've already got the big she to agree to a cycle holiday. It just needs to be flattish with our load.
Comment by Neil Alexander on November 5, 2011 at 10:15am

Of course I erred in my earlier advice. As my wife points out, I should have suggested you find a friend to look after the children while both you and your wife take a day to ride your choice of routes in the hinterland...

It's been about a dozen years since I cycled those roads (researching the aforementioned tome -- 2nd edition out now, without any additional input from moi) so I am a bit hazy on the exact merits of particular roads. The corniche route climbs towards St Jeannet along the side of the valley above the river and is shown as a widish but still low traffic road on my (old) Michelin map so, provided more recent maps concur, could be a goer with kiddies in seats.

Have fun.

For some reason I now have this song in my brain.


Comment by Edward Re on November 6, 2011 at 6:01am

So you listen to both kinds of music, country and western?

One guy at work offered help once. I mentioned babysitting and he just started laughing. Not sure if it's my poor communication, or the idea of looking after 2 boys 2 and 4 is laughable. A day in the mountains sounds nice! Maybe I could get funding from Lonely Planet - Cycling in France for parents with a 20 odd kg children.


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