How we did it

Cyclist - - France -


The near­est air­port is Nice. From there it’s just over an hour’s drive to Ro­que­bil­lière. If you’re stay­ing in Nice, an al­ter­na­tive is to take the 40-minute train ride to L’es­carène and pick up the route from there.


We stayed at the Ho­tel Saint Sébastien on the out­skirts of Ro­que­bil­lière. Housed in a beau­ti­ful, ivy-clad build­ing, it’s a sim­ple but charm­ing, fam­ily-run af­fair. There’s a great out­door pool and din­ing ter­race. The steaks we had for din­ner (Gav had let­tuce and chips) were sen­sa­tional. Bed and break­fast in a dou­ble room costs around €90 (£83) in high sea­son. More de­tails at ho­tel­saintse­


We hired our bike from Café du Cy­cliste in Nice. It of­fers a choice of premium car­bon Of­ficine Mat­tio or hand-built steel Cy­cles Vic­toire bikes, cost­ing from €60-€95 (£55£87) a day. It also has an ex­ten­sive data­base of in­for­ma­tion and maps about routes and climbs through­out the re­gion, and it or­gan­ises reg­u­lar group rides from the cafe. Find out more at cafe­ducy­


A big thank you to Mar­mot Tours for all its help. My co-rider, Gav Sav­age, and our sup­port van driver, Tim My­ers, are two of the com­pany’s most ex­pe­ri­enced guides, so their in­put was in­valu­able. Mar­mot of­fers fully sup­ported cycling tours in all of Europe’s great moun­tain ranges. Go to mar­

Thanks also to Florence Le­coin­tre of the lo­cal tourism of­fice for help­ing us out with ac­com­mo­da­tion. There’s loads of use­ful in­for­ma­tion and ideas for rid­ers at Fi­nally, thanks to Ali Mckee at Café du Cy­cliste for sup­ply­ing our bike, kit and handy de­tails about our route.

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