Calais to Dijon, or not ...

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Calais to Dijon, or not ...

Postby nirakaro » Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:54 pm

I’m contemplating a ride from the Channel to, roughly, Geneva, and recollect somebody once remarking on this forum that you really can’t go wrong in France unless you choose the bit between Calais and Dijon; and from my limited experience, I tend to agree.
Calais to Paris is easily dealt with: I like the ride from le Havre or from Dieppe; and I imagine the bit beyond Dijon will be nice, but the middle bit …
Can anyone convince me that Paris-Dijon is really one of the nicest, most interesting bits of France, or suggest ways of making it a nice, interesting route anyway? (Other than jumping on a train of course, which is always an option.)
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Re: Calais to Dijon, or not ...

Postby Sweep » Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:46 pm

I'm somewhat interested in this post as I'm planning a longer route which starts Calais to Dijon.

And hoping to freecamp a bit.

So I'd also be interested in the chances of doing that on this stretch.
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Re: Calais to Dijon, or not ...

Postby tatanab » Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:58 pm

I do not know why that part would be a problem. I've crossed the area roughly bounded by Sens/Clamecy/Langres a couple of times and do not recall anything particularly unpleasant. One year I cut south of Paris though Avalon and Beaune almost to Geneva before cutting north to Basle and then home via Langres and Joigny before keeping south of Paris and back to the coast at Caen. No particular problems.
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Re: Calais to Dijon, or not ...

Postby jimt » Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:20 pm

4 years ago I cycled from Calais to Perugia and the route I chose through France was to follow the Canal network to the Med (inspired by Rick Steins culinary TV journey by canal barge). Inevitably there wasn't towpath all the way but when not on tow path, I was largely on country lanes and D (B) roads. The route to Dijon was broadly Calais - St Omer - Douai- Cambrai - St Quentin- Blerancourt - Reims - Chalons-en-Champagne - Vitry-Le Francois - St Dizier - Joinville - Chaumont - Langres - Dijon. Much of the stretch from Champagne to Burgundy (roughly from Reims to Dijon) followed a cycle way between the two areas which followed the canal through the Haut Marne where the scenery was stunning. The track for much of the way was a metalled track a cars-width wide, but forbidden to motors except maintenance vehicles (about 1 a day!). Having driven through Northern France many times before I was expecting to have to endure miles of empty, featureless farm land but in fact there was very little like this on my route. I planned the route using viamichelin.com which allowed me to choose the quietest roads. I kept detailed maps and notes of my route if you want more info.
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Re: Calais to Dijon, or not ...

Postby Benward1009 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:21 am

I planned the route using viamichelin.com which allowed me to choose the quietest roads. I kept detailed maps and notes of my route if you want more info.


Hi jimt, I would be keen to get some info on your route between Calais and Dijon if that's ok? I'm riding from Calais down to roughly Dijon area starting next Tuesday, the others are then continuing to Croatia but I'm heading to the Alps before making my way to the Pyrenees. I haven't done ridden in northern France before so any tips on the best route from Calais to Dijon would be much appreciated. Thanks
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Re: Calais to Dijon, or not ...

Postby Sweep » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:01 pm

HI Bernard

I've worked out a GPX track Calais to Dijon.

It's point-to-point for direct navigation - ie: points are just placed where there is a significant turn - with a few extra ones for reassurance en route.

I stress that I haven't ridden the route with this and also it hasn't been "tech-tested" to see if there are any glitches with my Etrex 20 running it. (it is possible with wonky editing to induce Etrex wobbles I know though shouldn't be anything that effects the basic system).

If you want it, with the caution above, by all means get in touch
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Re: Calais to Dijon, or not ...

Postby Sweep » Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:39 am

Five files sent to Ben (NOT Bernard)

If they are used await postings on this thread as to how they go.

You can be my guinea pig Ben

(all legal disclaimers apply :) )
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Re: Calais to Dijon, or not ...

Postby jimt » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:21 am

Ben (?), I've sent you a message with my email address. If you send me a mail i'll reply with copies of the maps I used. They are quite detailed and trimmed up fit the map case of my bar bag perfectly.
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Re: Calais to Dijon, or not ...

Postby Sweep » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:24 am

Could I have those as well jim if I PM you an email address?
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