Between Rivers: From the Ardèche to the Tarn, Mont Ventoux and some other day trips.
After a week of day tripping with Patrick and Peter in the Ardèche region, we moved to the river Tarn for another week. Rather then going by car, I chose to bike the 226 kilometer stretch. A heat wave was hitting Europe, so instead of the planned 2 days, I slowed down a bit and made a 3-day trip of it.
Leaving Saint-Martin-d’Ardèche, I stopped after a few kilometer at the other side of the river in Alguèze. Looking at the map, there are a whole bunch of small roads in the Cevennes region which I was looking forward to ride. I tried to include a few gorges (canyons) as well.
First up was the Gorges de la Cèze, from where I took the very quiet D167 road to Méjannes-Le-Clap, which lies on a little plateau. The heat was almost unbearable. Via Vendras and Navacelles I cycled towards the only bigger place on this route, Alès, un uninteresting place but good for shopping some groceries.
After crossing the river Gardon d’Alès, I headed a bit north again towards Cendras where I took the tiny D160, climbing towards ‘Col d’Uglas where I pitched the tent.
After a quiet night, well I had to chase a bunch of wild boar away twice, I descended towards Saint-Jean-du-Gard. Best to buy food here, because it’ll be a long way before the next opportunity. Temperatures rise to the high 30’s in the shadow today.
I now turned on the small D907, then the D20 and D193 towards the Col du Pas.
The 27 km climb towards Mont Aigoual starts in Valleraugue.
I arrived in the ski village L’Espérou at 18:34 hrs. The only épicerie closed at 18:30 hrs. I rode on a bit towards the Col de Faubel and pitched my tent. I’ll have to content myself with rice and canned sardines for diner. Mont Aigoual, only 300 meter further up will have to wait for cooler days.
Last day was mostly descending towards Millau. But not without going to the only shop in the next ski village Saint-Saveur-Camprieu. A long downhill over the D157 along the Gorges du Trèvezel followed until I joined the D991 from where I cycled through the Canyon de la Dourbie towards the Tarn river and our next bungalow at La Cresse.
The gps-track can as always be downloaded from Wikiloc.
Pictures of some other day trips in the Ardèche region:
Climbing Mont Ventoux
The three of us looked forward to climbing Mont Ventoux.
We drove by car to Malaucène, then cycled to Bédoin from where to so-called hardest, but also most beautiful climb of Mont Ventoux starts. A 21 kilometer climb.
Day trips in the Tarn region: