anyone ridden the Canal du Midi?
i'm planning to ride it (the tow-path) in september with my good lady, from about Toulouse to the Med.
wandering what the surface is like - tarmac mostly or something rougher, and any recommendations for accomodation or just generally would be great
Canal du Midi
anyone ridden the Canal du Midi?
My Mum & Dad did it a few years ago. It's mostly compacted gravel from what they said. Not rough, I wouldn't do it on a road bike but a mountain bike was more than what was required.
Mum used a Marin that was my wife's bike. When having a quick go to check the bars and seat were in the right position, on our quiet road, Dad commented that she should probably wear a life jacket!
They didn't organise accommodation in advance, but the need for that would depend on when the French are on holiday.
We did it on a boat. Mostly compact gravel and Tarmac.
I'd stick to MTB tyres. Tis lovely. You'll enjoy it.
Thanks for that info.
thanks from me too
was considering old steel road bike but i guess rigid mtbs with road-ish tyres will be better then.
It'll be fine on biggish road tyres or MTB slicks.
Mrs GDRS and I did it a few years ago. From Toulouse to the Med over a week.
We did it on rigid mountain bikes - Mrs with Paniers and I towed a bobyak. we camped. We got to near Toulouse on the 'bike bus'.
I would actually say don't underestimate it if you have not done any cycle touring before. There are no shops between towns - camping involves leaving the canal path for extra KMs at the end of the day (unless you can find a spot to camp 'au savage').
Take good lights as finding shops and places to eat often involved a bit of cycling after you pitched tent etc.
Campsite in the centre of Carcauson is great (location and value). And Time your depart from Touluse for a morning. We went in the afternoon and got a bit stumped for a place to camp at dusk (truck stop next to autoroute - not ideal).
It was great fun - the cycling was relatively easy - it was not at all congested - the bit at the end near the med is the worst section (path, people and camping options near Sette and Cap d'Agde have lots of rules - and can involve nudism.......)
thanks GDRS, i've toured before but my mrs hasn't. that's why we're starting there. we won't be camping tho. she won't be having that!
anyway, sounds ideal. not too easy.
While we're on the subject of canals.
Any good routes in the Netherlands?
I got bought a book about the Canal du Midi for Christmas a few years ago from an Uncle of my Wife's....It's gone down as a bit of a ongoing joke between us as it was a bit of a swerve ball present...
I guess it might not sound that strange as he's French...but trust me it was.
For all those that have toured along it, I've often thought about it. Maybe not in its entirety, but maybe a section...but tell me...is it not a bit...well dull? canal on the left all day kind of thing? I'm open, I really am so tell me. Photos would be even better.
I've ridden part of it, Toulouse to Carcassonne. Really lovely countryside, idyllic if you have the time to take it easy, but I was in a hurry and had to ride into a mother of a headwind.
Sometimes the canal is on your right!
Speaking of left and right, that reminds me that I had a head on collision with a French roadie on the tow path. He was shouting "droite droite!"
Never was that good at French
We did the Canal du Midi a couple of years ago. It's tarmac for the first few miles out of Toulouse then hard packed for much of the rest. You could easily do it on and cyclocross bike. There was one, weird, 100m long section of claggy mud but that was all.
mugsys_m8 - Member
...For all those that have toured along it, I've often thought about it. Maybe not in its entirety, but maybe a section...but tell me...is it not a bit...well dull? canal on the left all day kind of thing?
I'm interested because I've just got my wife back on a bike. I'm not going to take her near a hill for a while yet.
on the way out of Toulouse there is a park with a BMX park and a row of dirt jumps
The Missus and I rode the Canal du Midi on our 'Lune de Miele'
After a very nice couple of days in Toulouse ( eat at 'Le May's) we left on a leisurely pedal out of the city, we passed a delightful lockside cafe at about 11:30 but thought it a little early for refreshments so carried on - we didn't see another person until after dark!!
There are more than a few diversions into some pretty interesting scenery if you want to vist some vinyards and pretty spectacular villages.
We went in November and the the leaves were off the trees at Toulouse but still green at Agde it was like a weird seasonal reversal. Watch out for the Mistral at that time of the year - vicious headwinds with no shelter makes for a very hard few days pedaling along to Aix en Provence (where we finished our tour with a day in the spa). For a treat you have to go to Lou Pescadou's in Agde for the set menu, we never ate so much for so little - it is legendary and amazing, the courses just kept coming...
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