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Trip Report Biking Near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France

We arrived in France a few days ahead of our Backroads hiking trip and wanted to do some biking near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence where we were staying. We had found Telecycles (http://www.telecycles-location.fr/index2.html) on the Internet and they were responsive to our inquiries. We arranged for bikes to be delivered to our hotel and Daniel from Telecycles was right on time and delivered two Gitane aluminum-framed bikes along with helmets, a bike lock, flat tire repair kit and a map with a couple of suggested routes. We let him know that, being Midwesterners, we are not highly experienced on hills and he advised us that either route was not particularly hilly but did say that on section near Les Baux did have a 200 meter ascent. With a typically Gallic shrug he said, "But it is a sport, no?" He happily provided us with his mobile phone number in case we had problems.

We elected to take the 46 kilometer route and, after a bit of trouble finding the way out of Saint Rémy, we found ourselves on little-used country roads that were in pretty good condition. We proceeded east toward Mollégès then south toward Le Deslet before turning west to Maussane-les-Alpilles and finally back north toward Saint Rémy. Some of the ascents were a bit challenging but it was a spectacular ride and we truly enjoyed it. The Alpilles are limestone formations that seem to soar out of the earth and riding among them is not to be missed. Biking here is like cycling through a Van Gogh painting. Thinking back on the ride, we would have been wise to stop in Maussane-les-Alpilles for lunch at one of the cafes but we pushed on through.

We locked the bikes and helmets to a bike rack at our hotel and he picked them up the next morning. We felt that the bikes, other equipment and the service was well worth the €19 per bike we paid.

With our various side trips and our occasional wrong turn, we logged almost 60 kilometers. This was a highlight of our wonderful trip.

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