How To Get Your Potato Off The Couch and Into The Saddle On A France Bike Tour

You love to cycle.   Your significant other, on the other hand… not so much.  What could be better to activate your sedentary partner than a bike tour of the French countryside?  At dinner you decide to broach the subject, and you steer the conversation toward your upcoming summer vacation.  You throw out the idea of maybe taking a cycling vacation.  At first you think your partner is having a seizure.  His eyes role back in his head, he waives his arms as if oxygen flow to his brain has stopped, and he begins to cough as if a wishbone is stuck in his throat.  Don’t panic, the first thing to do is to make sure your partner’s reaction is not a medical emergency.  Once you realize that he is just dreading spending his vacation on a bike, it’s time to go to work.  Below are five ways to convince your sedentary partner to get off the couch and join you on a France bike tour.


1.     Don’t talk about biking.   Concentrate on all that France has to offer.  France is a great destination: the food, the wine and the bucolic French countryside.  It just happens that a cycling tour is the best way to enjoy it.  Talk about where you will go, what you will see and what you will do.   Biking is simply your mode of transportation between amazing sights.  The difference is that instead of being stuck in a car, paying European prices for gas and stressing about directions, you will be enjoying the fresh air, sights and sounds of the French countryside.  Not to mention how good lunch is going to taste after an invigorating morning ride!

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2.     Let him pick where to go.  OK, you’re going to France, let him pick where to go and what to see.  He will be so emotionally committed by this point that he won’t be able to turn back.  Use his preferences for destinations as intelligence.  Does he want to visit the battlefields of Normandy in the north?  Perhaps he dreams of traveling through the wine country of Bordeaux?  Once you know where he wants to go, you can secretly build a biking vacation that visits his favorite spots.

3.     Hire a professional.  You are going to get one shot at this.  If you convince him to spend his precious vacation time biking, he better enjoy it, or you’ll never get another chance at a biking vacation.  Look for a reputable adventure travel company with experience in planning trips where you want to go.  Many use experienced local guides who possess an intimate knowledge of the area.  They will take care of all the logistics leaving you and your partner to truly enjoy your time together.  A reputable adventure travel company will have experience with beginning riders.  They will all but assure your novice partner will enjoy himself.

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4.     Pick a reasonable distance for each day’s ride, then cut it by 1/3.   Once your partner relents to a France bike tour holiday, cut him some slack.  Your partner has made a major concession by indulging your love of cycling.  Return the favor by giving him reasonable mileage options.  He may be sore after the first day.  Keep this in mind for your next day’s itinerary.  Make sure to spend plenty of time out of the saddle as well.   Remember, it’s a vacation, not a time trial.

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5.     Ride together as much as you can before you leave.  You want to get him accustomed to riding.  You are an avid rider, and the challenges of cycling are second nature to you.  Try to remember what it was like to be a beginner.  Make his first rides as light and enjoyable as possible.  The point is to learn to cycle together so that you both enjoy it.  While you are a finely tuned cycling machine, your partner is not.  Keep it fun – the workout will come with time.

While we have encouraged deception in the negotiation of your biking adventure, it is all for the greater good.  If you apply these strategies before your France bike tour, you just might find your couch potato partner planning your next cycling vacation!

Austin Lehman Adventure Travel is a travel tour company with a 38 year legacy in creating amazing adventures packed with cultural and artistic encounters, with expert guides and hand selected adventures to guarantee you the vacation of a lifetime, without any of the grunt work.  Book your travel adventure tour today!


The Best Crêpes (and Galettes) in Paris

Crêpes and galettes originated in Brittany, a northwest region of France. Once they caught on, consumption became widespread throughout the country. Galettes are similar to crêpes in nature, but are made with buckwheat flour and usually contain savory fillings. Crêpes on the other hand have sweet fillings and are made from wheat flour. Here are five places to feast on dizzyingly delicious crêpes and galettes.


Breizh Café
109 Rue Vielle du Temple

An emerging international superstar, Japanese cooks masterfully whip up an assortment of crêpes and galettes at the Breizh Café. A dessert crêpe I’d take a France ferry for is the La Carrément Caramel, which is a crêpe topped with salted butter and caramel, with a scoop of salted butter caramel ice cream. The. Best. Ever. If you’re feeling more unusual fare, try their yuzu butter or ginger caramel.


67 Rue due Montparnasse

Walking into Josselin you feel like you’ve been transported to your grandma’s house with its lace, dark wood paneling and bric-a-brac décor. The crêpes here are buttery, authentic, traditional, and delicious. No fancy fillings here, only the classics. I’d recommend the Crêpe Bertine with tomatoes, cheese, egg, a little ham, onions and red wine. Instead of cider, try a glass of Lait Ribot, slightly fermented buttermilk. Trust me on this.


West Country Girl
6 Passage Saint-Ambroise

The minimal façade doesn’t allude to the goodness (and hip clientele) you find within. Inside the stylish retro shop you can select from a variety of sweet and savory crêpes and wash it down with one of the Breton ciders naturally on hand. The delicate buckwheat parcels are filled with fresh ingredients like eggs, goat cheese, spinach, brie, and bacon. You’ll feel like you’re in Brittany.


Le Pot O’Lait
41 Rue Censier

A cheerful place to hang out, it’s clearly a neighborhood favorite. It has beach-blue walls, friendly servers, and a view of the nearby medieval church. Tune out the lively French chatter and feast on the La Fermiere, with roasted red peppers and cheese, topped with a mixed green salad and herbs. Mmm. Pair with one of the artisanal ciders they’ve got on deck.