Maps on our self-guided bike tours

November 30, 2014 by · Comments Off on Maps on our self-guided bike tours
Filed under: Cycling Holidays in France, France 

Our maps for our self-guided bike tours

The maps on our self-guided bike tours maps fit in the top of the supplied handlebar bag inside a clear plastic wallet. They are numbered and attached together so you can flip them over in order, there is also a larger overall map of the total route with distance marker points.

Our first map was an A4 paper based folded in two to fit inside the bar bag. Great, except our first day of our first tour it was raining and the maps got wet and the colour of the marked routes ran over the rest of the map and then gradually disintegrated. I spent the first morning waiting in the minibus at each turn giving directions. Smaller maps, laminating and waterproofing soon followed.

Over the eight years of running our tours we have changed and developed them, continually learning where guests took wrong turns and adjusting to make sure this cannot happen?

Personally I now think we have come to an impasse, I don’t think we can improve anymore without going totally digital and providing a Satnav for all our self-guided tours. I believe that gradually our biking guests are losing their ability to read a map! Our earliest guests had few problems, but now with the continual use of a Satnav in their cars they are losing their map reading skills. On top of this some guests start to use their own GPS map via their smartphone, this to me is a dangerous precedent. We have often seen cars driving down the wide footpath near our house that is marked via Google maps as a road!
I’ve tried Garmin, TomTom and Google maps to provide extra help and details for our self-guided tour maps but there is always something wrong or not quite right.

Self-guided bike tour map

Self-guided bike tour map











Richard over the winter is taking a fresh look at our maps and maybe we’ll combine the two systems?

We are open to suggestions?

Our maps for our self-guided French bike tours

Our cyclists earned their dinner last night!

May 4, 2013 by · Comments Off on Our cyclists earned their dinner last night!
Filed under: Cycling Holidays in France, Gastronomy of south west France 

Yesterday our cyclists earned their dinner riding down the valley road to the River Lot at Douelle (actually not very taxing!) and then on to a visit to our favourite Cahors wine chateau at Chantelle for a tasting and to buy a few bottles to take back home.

When they got home to Mas de Flory a chilled glass of rose was waiting for them, followed by dinner:

4th May menu

















Charcuterie from our local butcher and duck producer plus some interesting accompaniments


















Fabulous new season’s asparagus…

Fresh asparagus

















The shell fish reduction took quite a bit of time and effort, but it was well worth it –recipe from my cooking hero, Rick Stein (who else?!)

Salmon and prawns












The cheese board













With the Lemon Tart they all enjoyed a digestif of delicious home-made Limoncello – made by my sister Marilyn, on her visit here last Autumn!

Lemon tart






































The cycling holiday season begins…

May 3, 2013 by · Comments Off on The cycling holiday season begins…
Filed under: Cycling Holidays in France, Gastronomy of south west France 

Yesterday was the first day of the first cycling holiday of the year!

We have a full complement of guests – 4 of who have been before (2 of them twice!)

It’s a long 5- night weekend over the bank holiday – a bit of a change from our usual 6-night Sunday to Saturday holidays – the first of those starts on Sunday 12th.

Here’s the dinner menu for last night:

2nd May menu cycling holiday

















Veloute  of asparagus and sorrel goes into a tureen, to be served with a swirl of cream and snipped chives plus parmesan croutons

Veloute of asparagus













Orange panna cotta and spiced rhubarb with pomegranate seeds, toasted pistachio nuts and orange and pomegranate syrup


An entertaining email from one of our recent cycling guests

September 17, 2012 by · Comments Off on An entertaining email from one of our recent cycling guests
Filed under: Cycling Holidays in France 

Dear Aileen & Desparate John,

Just beginning to settle back to the mad world of the working for a living again.

As you know I can not speak too highly of your splendid establishment but I thought I’d let you know ‘what happened next’ after you left me in Bergerac.

I poodled about doing the tourist bit and about 2.30 landed in the Riverside Restaurant and had a most beautiful Entrecote Steak & a carafe of Rose. Superb !
As I paid the very reasonable bill of 22 euros I asked the proprietor if he could recommend a bar to watch the tour at which point he went and got a 40 inch flat screen and plonked it down on the table
in front of me, plugged it in and we were on count down for the last 10 – job done another carafe !  I was then surrounded by half a dozen young men in giant pink baby grows and big ears – the
local boxing fraternity on a stag doo – so I had to join in with the festivities ( and the Vodka & Red Bull ) and another carafe – by which time Wiggo was 2 mins up and I was decidedly damaged.

Stage over Wiggo is set for the promenade to Paris a cognac is required ! – a seriously impaired but joyous englishman is accosting all and sundry in what is now a quite full restaurant with shouts of
‘c’est magnifique’ vive la France – vive les anglais en France ‘ – I then realised I needed a flight and it was 7pm – back up that hill to the Hotel Bordeaux pick up my bag and a no show from the taxi but the receptionist at the hotel understood my predicament ( which was a surprise cos I could not have made any sense in English but maybe that’s the solution when I am full of fluid I am fluent in french ! )

So job done back in blighty and immediately bought myself a new bike !

So thank you so much – it was splendid I have resurrected my love of cycling and now go looking for Malbec – found 2 bottles of Cahors to teke to my connoiseur brother in Yorkshire and he liked it and he does not like much !

Thanks again


Le Tour de France Visits the Lot

July 21, 2012 by · Comments Off on Le Tour de France Visits the Lot
Filed under: Cycling Holidays in France, Tour de France & Pro Cycling 

Fantastic day out at Souillac Friday watching le Tour de France go through. First the Caravan comes through with all the publicity vehicles and they throw lots of freebies out which you have to jump and catch and fight your neighbours for (actually the children next to us got most of it!). 15 minutes later all the sponsor vehicles come through and you know the cyclists are just a few minutes away. Then the breakaway group arrives closely followed by the peloton, with Bradley Wiiggins (in yellow jersy, obviously) and Mark Cavendish right behind. 20 seconds and it’s all over – but very exciting, especially as Cav went on to win the stage in a fantastic sprint finish. Can’t wait for  final day Sunday in Paris!

Bradley Wiggins at Souillac in the Lot

Wiggo at Souillac in the Lot with Cav behind him










The peleton behind Wiggins

The peleton behind Wiggins










The rest of the peleton behind Bradley Wiggins

140 cyclists passes by in about 20 seconds!

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