Damien riding an e-bike on the Ardèche routes

On the way to the office, I meet more and more cyclists, nothing very surprising, it is a trendy activity around Saint Félicien, the Ardéchoise, famous amateur cycle race, is really soon. It's not always easy to motivate yourself, not knowing which way to go in the Ardèche Hermitage region. Do not panic, I have the solution. The tourist office offers the rental of electric bikes with road books, let’s discover the Ardèche Routes.

Let’s start on my bike, helped by an electric motor. The battery life (70 km) allows a nice stroll. I drive into the Ardeche Routes with the first pass, the pass of Buisson, where 15000 bikes ride every month of June. I begin with a small slope, it helps me to warm-up. Then I go on left side and throw the Fonfreyde pass. A little harder but thanks to the motor I can enjoy its wild landscapes. I throw the Stonebridge on the Daronne river and begin the first hill. To help me I push the button to engage the motor, it’s like magic.

 

That is the revolution of the electric bike : be able to pedal on the steep hills whitout sweating.  I can even whistle in the country, I go on the kilometres as a racing cyclist, on the Ardeche routes. Without realising it I’m near the Marchand pass, named in honor of Robert  Marchand, famous cycling racer of the region. I have gasped, not because of the difficult of the may but by the breathtaking  landscapes. On my right side, the village of Pailharès and on my left side the nice view on the Doux valley, we could nearly hear the whistling of the famous steam train named  “the Train de l’Ardèche” and in front of me the rolling landscape. The slope softens, I enter a pine forest, a bit of coolness before arriving in the nice village of Nozières.

 

I take time to fill my flask and I continue my journey in the direction to the Buisson pass. A wonderful road with a nice view on the “Massif Central”moutains. The ruins of the Rochebloine castle, perched on its rocky promontory, testify the past of the area. The kilometres before the Buisson pass are in a beech forest. I take time at the pass to visit the miniature Ardéchois village.

 

Now, we are going down. It is always a good time to be dragged by the slope, even if the climb becomes as pleasant with the assistance. The valley curves follow one another, bringing a lot of fun to the ride. We finally arrived to the village of Pailharès  seen from the top a few kilometers earlier. I remember then that a traditional bakery occupies the center. Everything is cooked over a wood fire, with quality and dietetic products. I let myself be tempted by the cereal bar. It does not look like at all that I used to get out of my bag. , that help me to finish the last few kilometers on the Ardèche routes and enjoy a new pass.

 

There is no need to say, the Ardèche is really an ideal land for cycling. Roads without traffic, passes in all directions always offering a different point of view, turns constantly to let monotony settle, picturesque villages; I understand why thousands of cyclists come every June to come to participate to the famous Ardéchoise “cycling race”. With the support of electric assistance, it’s happiness and indeed the best way to discover this region that does not lack assets. Thousands of kilometers of small roads will surprise you in every detour.

 

Practical information:

  • Rent a e-bike at the tourist office Ardèche Hermitage - Office of Saint Félicien
  • Topo-guide on the Ardèche roads on sale in our offices of Home 19.95 €
  • GPX trails "On the roads of Ardéchoise" free download, on our website, energise / bike tourism / Cycle touring.
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