A fairly gentle first day of this tour. After leaving the towns behind you're then cycling through vineyards on quiet country lanes as you make the ascent to Vaison la Romaine.
Before leaving L'Isle sur la Sorgue you may want to enjoy have a quick exploration of the town if you haven't done so already. There are markets each Thursday and Sunday, plus this town is well known for its antiques and art collections. Heading north you will soon reach Pernes Fontaines where more than 40 ancient fountains can be found in the village.
Just over halfway you will reach the vineyards of Vacqueyras. These excellent-value wines are like turbo-charged Côtes du Rhônes: dark and rich with the classic herbs and warm peppery spice of the Southern Rhône. Compared to neighbouring Gigondas, they are slightly more restrained and rustic and slightly cheaper. They are made from a minimum 50 percent Grenache. Maybe stop off for a coffee or spot of lunch as many have restaurants alongside the wine shop!
If time permits, before setting off on your first day, a wander around L'Isle sur la Sorgue is highly recommended. It's a beautiful town.
Before starting your ride it’s always worth inspecting your bike for any damage.
Check for any damage to the frame, components or wheels. Ensure there are no loose cables and that the tyres are inflated and the brakes are working. Always wear a helmet when cycling.
If you are doubtful of the condition of your hire bike please call the office or the local bike hire on the number provided in your information pack.
Always be prepared to cycle through a change of weather conditions and do check for any local weather warnings before cycling.
Do remember to ride on the right hand side of the road and whilst drivers in France are respectful of the 'velo', please do be mindful of other road users at all times, obeying local road signs. The road does narrow in parts so please take on bends and when descending, do so with caution.
There are some fairly busy roads, in the first half of the ride through the towns, so stay in the cycle lane where you can.
Besides cycling in the kit you are used too, we'd also suggest taking the essentials of water bottle(s), nutrition, an extra layer, cash/credit cards and mobile together with emergency telephone numbers.
Always wear a helmet and pack a spare tube, puncture repair kit, tyre levers and handpump. You may also like to take a multi-tool.
There is a fairly large store in the centre of L’Isle sur la Sorgue to stock up on water and fresh breads and cheeses before your first day’s cycle. Further out of the centre of L’Isle sur la Sorgue there are a couple of larger supermarkets. During the second half of the ride it's mainly vineyards that you'll pass so maybe you could be tempted by the wonderful aromas from the boulangeries that you'll pass, on the road to Carpentas, and pick up something for the road!
This ride is available on: SGRCMVP