From 11 – 16 September 2016 a 300km cycle ride alongside the Canal de Garonne has been organised to raise funds and awareness for Cancer Support France (CSF).
Over a beautiful 300km of cycle ways that run alongside the Canal des Deux Mers, the Cycle for Life (CSF)- Canal de Garonne Charity Bike Ride 2016 route starts in the impressive UNESCO heritage site of Bordeaux ending in the pink city of Toulouse.
Setting off on Sunday, 11th September the ride crosses the magnificent Garonne river via the St Jean Bridge leading the intrepid riders into the welcoming Entre Deux Mers vineyards.
The route is protected from the lovely French sunshine by the shade of the mighty Plane trees that edge the route towards Agen. Passing by converted railway stations and railway crossing houses and by the beautiful bastide town of Sauveterre de Guyenne nearby.
The highlights of the mid section of the weeks ride sees the riders welcomed into the beautiful Le Mas d’Agenais with its architectural Jewel of the church of St Vincent and its works of art. Day 3 winds into Agen by crossing the 600m of canal bridge, one of the longest in France.
The second half of the ride is entirely on green ways and allows excellent views of the beautiful French countryside passing very closely to excellent vineyards which offer end of day circuits for some degustation…always a bonus! The route passes pink brick towns like the 13th century bastide town of Valance d’Agen with its covered market, dovecotes, wash houses and port. Onward to Moissac at the end of penultimate day and another UNESCO heritage site with the Benedictine Abbey and covered cloisters.
The final evening before the end of the 250km ride is a delightful evenings rest in the pretty village of Grissoles with its excellent museum and contemporary art collection.
The last push sees the riders and their new found cycling friends in the amazing pink city of Toulouse and a big party with all the organisers, entrants, local Girl Guide group, friends and family’s to reunite at a noisy and fun celebration.
One of last year’s riders on the popular CSF Canal du Midi bike ride, and a member of CSF Gascony has already signed up for this year’s ride. She loved it so much.
“The ride along the Canal du Midi was notable for the wonderful views but it was the spirit of camaraderie and the kindness offered along the way which made it a truly memorable experience”
I am very excited to be doing the Bordeaux to Toulouse ride this year and look forward to forming new friendships, biking super cycle paths, tasting some wonderful wines and tucking into some fabulous feasts at the end of the day.” Gwen Western.
Last year’s lead organisers have taken on the mantel again, Tony and Jayne Ray, avid cyclists and walkers, with their logistic skills, experience and understanding of the broad needs and abilities of riders, they are the perfect partnership to lead this year’s excited riders.
Cycle for Life is a fun event and not a race. Our hope is that this will be a personally rewarding and very social occasion with plenty of laughs at the lunch spots and bicycle banter along the way!