7 Quick and dirty tips for your ultra-light bikepacking trip in France

1. Information on climbs:

Website that states what Cols are open: http://www.sport-passion.fr/parcours/etat-cols.php  (The German http://www.alpenpaesse.co is not always correct!)

The German website: http://www.quaeldich.dehas all information possible about a pass. Even as a non-German speaker, coloring and numbers tell more than any word. Just click on “Pässe” (meaning pass) and search for a specific pass or explore by region. Once you click on a pass and scroll down, you can see the elevation gain, profile and much more in detail.

2. Accommodation

For bike tourists on a budget, try www.warmshowers.org, a free “coachsurfing” website specifically for touring cyclists. I have used that site in New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii and Switzerland and I had always fantastic experiences!

Otherwise, if you stay in a remote ski resort for a week+, they might have a great offer. I stayed in a 3 Star studio apartment in Modane, for 140 Euro/week. (In other places, I paid 50-70 Euro/night for a one person private bed and bathroom)

3. Maps:
I always navigated via paper maps (they never run out of battery) of at least 150000:1. I would not get anything bigger (like 200000:1) as the less-travelled cycling roads might not be on the map anymore.

Download the maps.me app. From there you can download maps for specific regions.

You can also make specific regions offline in Google maps.

4. Weather
The meteo earth app is fantastic as you can follow every single cloud and rain drop.
5.Phone
Always switch your wifi off while on the road, the battery lasts sooooo much longer.
6. Language
If you don’t speak French, I would get an offline French dictionary app. Otherwise smiling does most of the job.
7. Bike
Some stuff to know in regards to the bike might come handy like assembling your bike out of your bike bag and changing a tube.
Enjoy your trip!

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