A Helping Hand
As many cyclists know, local knowledge helps to get you through poor infrastructure, long diversions or busy roads. Getting in and out of nearby villages and shops is made a lot easier if you know the little lanes and tracks used by local cyclists.
The provisional state of EV8 here in la Provence Verte makes it essential for travelling cyclists to pass on tips to those who follow. Apps like komoot and ridewithgps (our favourite) can help. But often it is only local knowledge on the ground that can really deliver. And of course it is also useful to know where to get an emergency bike repair or catch a bite to eat without a major diversion.
There are four problems with the EV8 in our region at the moment:
- Getting here with your bicycle by train can be a complicated process. But planned improvements are in the pipeline.
- Sections of the planned EV8 that have been partially completed, or indeed not been upgraded at all, are not yet officially open. Therefore there is no signage to guide cyclists, even though there are many stretches that are very useable.The picture above shows just such a stretch between Rians and Varages.
- Where signage has been put in place, some have already been lost, some mark the route wrongly, and in some sections signs exist for cyclists travelling in one direction but not the other.
- Where the old railway line has long been converted into main roads, the signed route sometimes takes cyclists on a quiet yet very hilly alternative. The worst of these is on the stretch from Flayosc to Draguignan. Despite this, there are times when the signed route simply uses the main departmental road.
Developing the EV8 is a great step forward. But it is being carried out in areas that have long prioritised motor traffic. And the geographical possibilities are limited not by geography but by political and financial priorities. One day, the EV8 will be a continuous and safe cycleway that anyone can use. Meanwhile, we’ll try to help you through our area with these little tips.
OUR GETTING ABOUT ARTICLES
If you follow the official signposted route from from Meyrargues to Rians, you are taken off the main D561 at the Chemin de Mallevielle, and don't rejoin it until you come into Jouques. In fact, the signed route, though exactly the same...
Since much of the EV8 in Provence Verte is rural, there are few opportunities to get your bike repaired if you have a serious problem. Here we give you the rundown on workshops within reasonable distance of the cycleway.If you arrive in...