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France

Your Linesman

Benoit Farré

I studied geology at university for 4 years. I’ve been fire-fighter for 10 years and I’m now working as a civil servant involved with the environment.

I’ve been trained to drive offroad forest fire trucks, in mountain rescue and coast guard duties.

For the last 10 years, I’ve been travelling on my bike as often as I can with my friends.

I’ve ridden a KTM 640 Adventure and a 990 Adventure through Morocco, Tunisia, Corsica, Sardinia, Italy, Spain,Sicilia and through French Alps. I’ve also trekked with my wife in Chile, Nepal and I’ve travelling in Iceland, England, Scotland, Slovenia in a van.

I also write for a french motorcycle magazine: Road Trip which is specialises in covering travel around the world!

DOWNLOAD THE GPX TRACK

The trail has been put up by country based volunteers. The accuracy of the trail is not guaranteed, nor are the GPS co-ordinates. We do not represent or warrant that materials in the site or the services are accurate, complete, reliable, current or error-free. We cannot represent or warrant that the site or its servers are free of viruses or other harmful components. If you stray onto private land, apologise and get back onto the byway or trail. These trails can be shut or permanently closed at short notice under local law. Do not ride trails beyond your capability. If unsure, get off your bike and walk the trail first. Trail riding alone, especially on trails you do not know is really unwise. Wear the proper safety kit. Many country trails are rarely maintained. You will find ruts, holes, floods, treacherous surfaces and the occasional booby trap hazard deliberately placed by people who do not like motorcycles using trails. When you use the trails, you are on your own. You exercise your judgement in your own skills and your own navigation. All we can do is show you where some of the trails are, but this can change at a moment’s notice.

Practical tips for trails you do not know;

  1.  Ride in at least a pair. If you fall with a motorcycle pinning you down to cold and damp earth, in the Europe we do not have to worry about being eaten by exotic carnivores (usually!) but exposure, hypothermia and shock can do a very effective job of killing you. Do not rely on the trails having a regular through flow of users to come to your aid
  2. If your riding companion cannot pick your bike up off you then get a lighter bike, a stronger riding companion or ride in a bigger group
  3. Trails can vary immensely. A vehicular right of way can be a rocky or muddy scramble
  4. Adventure bikes – especially on adventure tyres – can struggle with some trails. Do not just bowl into trails because they are on a map – they can be horribly technical and totally unsuitable for even fairly competent riders on light machines or experienced riders on bigger machines
  5. Stop for horses and kill your engines to let equestrians pass. A horse spooking at a bike revving will be likely to result in criminal charges if the police get involved and a motorcycle is a lot easier to control than a horse
  6. On the trails there will be free running dogs. Do your best to be nice to them
  7. Mobile phone coverage can be patchy on the trails. Do not rely on calling an ambulance – if you’ve got stuck, the emergency services are going to get just as stuck trying to retrieve you. That is if you can raise them by telephone
  8. Finally, obey the golden rule, which is don’t be a dick by unnecessarily annoying other country side users or letting ego outstrip talent.

ROUTE INFO

All year round except the sections which cross the Massif Central and the Alps. The best months for the Alps are from July to the end of october and for the Massif Central you can start at the end of April.
18 in countryside, 15 in town, 112
National and Regional Parks have their own laws with regard to wild camping, so check their rules. Otherwise try to be sure that you're not on a private land, stay only one night with a light tent, don't make a fire (in particular in the south of France) and leave your bivoauc area as you found it and you should not face problems.
Respect sign posts, red and white circle with a barrier and private property!

If trail is wide enough and drivable for a normal car and you've no sign post you can ride it.

Avoid single tracks as most of them are forbiden.

Be careful when you are in the south of France in the Departments of Aude, Pyrénées-orientales, Gard, Vaucluse and Corsica. During the summer, these departments may have restrictions due to forest fire risks. Most of the TET's tracks in Corsica are forbidden to ride from the 15th of June to 15th of September.
You can check information on these official websites:
Ardeche
Aude
Gard
Herault
Pyrenees-Orientales
Vaucluse
Corse du Sud
Haute Corse

ROUTE OVERVIEW

You will cross France from the north to the south and from the west to the east. You could cross the Méditerranée with a ferry and visit Corsica from north to south.

You may reach Italy through the Alps and Spain through the Pyrenees.

If you start in Calais you will ride through an agricultural landscape and perhaps stop at Amiens with its beautiful Gothic Cathedral. Then you will head on past Paris. If you want to have a break here you will have to be patient with the traffic jams and the Parisian attitude!

You will then cross the Seine River and ride to Chartres with its famous perfumes and stained glass.

The landscape is still agricultural but more forests will appear. After Orleans where you cross the Loire you will travel through increasing amounts of woodland and the hills will begin.

You will see the Massif Central, a 300 000 year old volcanic range, before heading to the south and its Mediterranean climate and vegetation. The fortified city of Carcassone is a highlight of this area.

Throughout my country you will find different types of trail - limestone, granite and mud, different landscapes - wide agricultural fields, forests, mountains and Mediterranean hillsides and if you get lost you will always find someone who will help you! I guarantee it!

WHAT NOT TO MISS

There is such a variety of landscapes, food and architecture that you will always be surprised.

Just take your time to have a break, enjoy the view, have a coffee break or lunch in a little restaurant and chill.