Dégagnac our local village

March 30, 2014 by · Comments Off on Dégagnac our local village
Filed under: France 

Our Cycling Holiday Base is in the commune of Dégagnac

Degagnac is a small village in the south-west of France, located in the Lot department  and the region Midi-Pyrenees.

The current population is 606 but in  1800 it had 2632, like all small villages people have moved to larger towns for work etc. There used to be lots of shops and 7 bars, now just one of each.

It’s quite a quiet place especially in the winter, but in the summer there a few occaisions when it can be quite busy.

There is the fête du village in August over three days where most of the locals go to along with the surrounding villages. There is a small funfare and dodgems, which we have been on every year so far!

There is also an Occitan dance and music festival but I have to say I don’t find the music or the dance to my taste, it reminds me of medieval dancing but then I suppose it is?

The vide grenier (empty atic) which is the equivelent of a boot sale or garage sale, though I have to say in my experience bargains are rare as the French seem to have an inflated value to second hand junk.

The main attraction to us is the local restaurant L’auberge sans frontiere run by our friends Patricia and Jean Christophe. They are open each evening in the summer but mostly just lunchtimes in the winter. Well worth a visit especially for the fantastic value midday meal at 12€ for 4 courses including wine.

Dégagnac Auberge













We also have a local shop which sells most things and is a depot du pain for bread and cakes, they also run a small bar above the shop though this is not very busy. I once went for an English night, there was me, Gerry an Irishman and Egbert a Dutchman, still we all spoke Englsh except of course when speaking to the French owner Alain who speaks no English.

Dégagnac local shop and bar













The commune helps staff the post office whiuch opens weekday mornings as does the local marie. We’ve just voted and Madame Blanc has again won office for another six years.

There is also a spice shop in the village, Aromatiques Tropicales which opens most weekdays. Here is their website in English http://www.aromatiques.com/en/contact-us.

Dégagnac our local village

Are Lot Cycling Holiday’s tours Self Guided or Guided?

March 20, 2014 by · Comments Off on Are Lot Cycling Holiday’s tours Self Guided or Guided?
Filed under: France 

What is a self guided bike tour?

We have pre-prepared maps that fit in our bike front bar bags. They are all attached together and turn over in order. Included are suggested stops for refreshments and places of interest and also an overall large map for that very rare occasion when someone goes off our guided maps! Before we set off there is an explanation of the days route and instructions on how to follow the route from the start to the destination.

The advantage of this system is that cyclists can go at their own pace and can choose whether to be on their own or with others.

John self guided?

John self Guided?

What is a guided bike tour?

The cycling group travels together accompanied at all times by at least one tour guide on a bike with them. Everybody moves at the same pace and there is no need to look at a map. The group is usually followed by a support minibus so that if you don’t want to cycle anymore you can hop into the bus.
The big disadvantage of this system is that the more able have to wait for the slowest maybe at the tops of hills, or perhaps someone might want to spend longer at a particular attraction but have to move on with the others.

Our cycling tours are mainly self guided but we do make sure that at least on the first morning we cycle with you. This is to ensure that the bike is the correct fit and that you are comfortable with the map instructions etc.

However sometimes during the week we again accompany guests, it just depends on how much you need us!

However at all times our back up minibus is never further than thirty minutes away and is only a phone call away.

Happy cycling…..

Guided or Self Guided?

Restaurants near us in Degagnac

March 11, 2014 by · Comments Off on Restaurants near us in Degagnac
Filed under: France, Gastronomy of south west France 

Where to eat in restaurants near Degagnac

Well the obvious place to start is our local Auberge sans Frontiere in Dégagnac village just 2kms from Mas de Flory. This serves lunch time meals most of the year and open evenings in the summer. The best value is their “ouvriers repas” which is a workmans meal, four courses soup followed by a choice of starter, then a main course followed by cheese or dessert. Wine is included and all for 12€, fantastic value, but please be aware that the portion sizes are on the generous side. Patricia the owner speaks some English.

Gourdon has quite a few restaurants and is only 12kms from us, most of them are only open in the season but one The Orange Tree is open all year round. This serves specials during lunchtimes with an a la carte menu in the evenings. I would recommend the “Burger Gourdandise” a quite complicated cheeseburger priced at 15€.


The Orange Tree Restaurant

The Orange Tree Restaurant









My favourite restaurant for special occasions is the Hostelerie de la Bouriane an hotel with a fantastic restaurant. This is an old fashioned place with silver service and very attentive waiters, there is a wide choice of food but the price is not cheap, but well worth it.


Another restaurant in the town is the  The Bar Central which serves generous sized salads and if the “lat de jour” takes your fancy is good value for money.

However my favourite of all the local restaurants is The Diabolo Fraise in Nabirat. The owner and chef are very friendly and all their food is sourced locally. Lunchtimes are again the “ouvriers repas” but this time five courses including coffee and wine included all at 16€. In the evenings you have to book ahead as they only open if they have reservations, they will ask you if there is anything you don’t like and say what type of meal they are planning, this is the best meal locally, not for presentation but purely on taste and freshness of all the ingredients, some from their own vegetable garden. Whilst you eat you can peruse the quite large paintings adorning the walls some of which it took the artist (the chef) months to complete. Some have hundreds of figures in, they would not look out of place in a London art gallery.

Time for lunch……

Restaurants near us in Degagnac

Eco friendly Center Based Cycling?

March 4, 2014 by · Comments Off on Eco friendly Center Based Cycling?
Filed under: France 

What is Eco Friendly?

We’ve been asked a few times “what are our Green Policies” or are we eco friendly? Sustainable Transport and Tourism, Responsible travel?

We find it very difficult to quantify exactly what these terms mean and whether we meet any of the standards required to claim any.

I suppose our main business involves bicycle touring – you can’t be more environmentally friendly than that. But we sometimes pick up or drop off using our minibus.
Guests arrive by train at our local train station where we meet them and drive back to our center base, but they could have flown first to Paris or Toulouse, is that green?

We try to source most of our food and wine locally normally using our local butcher where nothing travels further than 15kms from his shop. Our baker bakes on site using mostly local ingredients. We have our own chickens and ducks so are self sufficient with eggs.

Eco friendly Eggs?

Barry the cat relaxing with our chickens








We try to grow as much of our own vegetables as possible and usually our tomatoes and courgettes are enough for all our needs, although the strawberries never last long. Delicious with cream!
We also have seven plum trees and two fig trees this supplies enough fruit to Aileen to make various jam and lots of chutney. Also in the season we buy local fruit to make more varieties of jam.

Our water is supplied by an underground river from the forest that backs on to our property and is then only treated if absolutely necessary and no fluoride is ever used. The water treatment is run by a local cooperative of our hamlet and where we all takes turns doing various jobs when required.

So I don’t know are we enviromentally friendly?

More details of what this means at:

Eco friendly Center Based Cycling

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