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“I’d love a cycling holiday in France; if only I could persuade my other half...”

Posted 01 Jan 2016

Is it really possible to both have a great time cycling in France if one of you hates cycling?

We hear the 'Lament of the Lonely Cyclist' on a regular basis, but many of our biggest fans are other halves who took a bit of convincing the first time round. To anyone hoping a reluctant pedaller will agree to a two-wheeled trip, we suggest the following advice

1. Remember it's not all about the cycling (Part 1)

This isn't going to be the Tour de France where every waking, breathing minute is spent furiously pedalling up hills. On average, our holidaymakers spend a gentle two or three hours a day in the saddle. If that's too much then reduce it or have days where the bike is banned completely.  It's your holiday and there are no rules.

2. Remember it's not all about the cycling (Part 2)

Cycling is really the excuse to enjoy France at its loveliest. The wonderful food, superb hotels, local produce, delightful little towns and glorious countryside should be equally enjoyed by you both.

3. Stay in only one or two hotels

We call this our Super Softie option. It removes the pressure of having to do anything on the bike unless you want to.  If the cycling does turn out to be a non-starter, the rest of the holiday isn't affected.

4. Split up for some mornings

This works well when one half of a couple is a really keen cyclist. On the days your partner doesn't feel like getting on the bike, you whizz off after breakfast to explore further afield. They are free to curl up with a book or have a look around a market. In the afternoon do something non-bikey together.

5. Go with friends

If you know a couple in the same plight then invite them along and keep each other company.

6. Choose an area with lots to do

Loire, Alsace, Provence and the Tarn are great options: lively towns full of shops and cafes, lots of historical sites to explore and plenty of other activities such as canoeing to try.

7. Even if it's just once, do give the bike a try

France on two wheels is a wonderful enriching experience. Once tried, most are hooked. So, by all means adapt your cycling holiday to accommodate both your preferences but don't give up the bike completely - your partner may decide it's the best thing they've ever done. 

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