Tag Archives: bric-a-brac

A cycling holiday in the Loire Valley

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This post was going to be about safety and cycling, but there are so many excellent websites dealing with this that my mind switched to options for a cycling holiday in the Loire.  The different nationalities, ages, abilities and ways guests have enjoyed cycling from Les Mortiers is interesting too.

There is a link to a cycling safety website is given below. The site has many other useful links on the subject and worth looking at if you are considering cycling on holiday.

A well seasoned and keen cyclist might look for a specialist offer, where everything is provided,  at a price. However, the region is so well provided for cyclists that, unless you want to spend  every day on the saddle, then being free to pedal as you wish, when you wish and as the weather suits you is a good option.  If your partner or the family do  not share your enthusiasm for a daily ride, then self-catering with cycles provided, or bringing your own, is a good option.

The wide spectrum of people who cycle for instance from our own property is interesting.  Here are a few examples:

  • Keen cyclists from the USA, one family brought their bikes in their suitcases.
  • A father who cycled each morning for the bread with both his children on one bike, one at the front and one at the rear.
  • A family who brought a tag along bike with them, the first we had seen but very popular now.
  • A lady from the Netherlands with a bike with hydraulic brakes.  Mike was in awe!
  • An Estate Agent  from Canada who was privileged to visit Cyfac, a local and highly renowned company making high end cycles and frames for many of the bikes in international races. He was awestruck by the bike he was given to road test
  • A New Zealand girl traveller sponsored on a cycle trip around the world and currently in South America. Her bike was wrapped with inner tubes to mask its value against theft.
  • Guests who have pushed themselves to the limit, not having ridden since childhood and not walking far the next day!
  • An amateur cyclist from the USA who rides like a professional and even helped us put the roof on the new extension to our house!
  • And a family who experienced an exploding tyre whilst they had stopped at Lac Rillé for a picnic! It happened during the excessively hot summer.
  • And, of course, like many of our guests a short cycle in the morning for fresh bread and croissants or  a coffee in the bar.

The countryside, quiet roads and forest routes in Anjou and Touraine are perfect for cycling, whatever your style. The slide show link below has some views from cycle rides around where we live. For the less adventurous a ride to Lac Pincemaille is a pleasant outing with well marked trails through the forests, whereas the more experienced venture to Bourgueil, along the banks of the Loire or as far as Chinon. Information is readily available for the many routes marked around the region. The most famous being the Loire a Velo. We have a library of local cycle routes for our guests including maps for the local area and further afield for the more intrepid or those who carry bikes on their car wishing to cycle a particular route.We have cycles available for your use and a rescue service, if required.

Just for interest, below are some Solex bikes which were for sale at a recent Vide Grenier (car boot sale).


Cycling around Les Mortiers

A site with some useful guidance about cycling and keeping children safe.




Vide-Grenier – Spring is in the Air

Car boot a la francais

Vide Grenier, translates to empty your attic and that certainly was the case in Parcay Les Pins today as the folks of Parcay Les Pins start their Spring Cleaning! French houses certainly need the huge, solid oak beams they are built with, as the amount of forgotten treasures that were turned out from attics and displayed on the stalls was amazing.

There’s nothing posh about a Vide Grenier, anything goes as it would seem from the wide range of ‘goods’ on display, but there were a few treasures to be found.

Bric-a-brac at Vide Grenier

The attraction of the Vide Grenier is really this huge mass of items which would normally be destined for the décheterie (rubbish tip). In rural villages like ours, they still have a value and demonstrate the make do and mend culture of country folk.

Parcay Les Pins has a Vide Grenier every year in March.  It’s more than a Vide Grenier, it is a time for folk to meet, exchange local gossip and catch up on local news. A fun day out and  for the young it is an opportunity to parade their wares, strut their stuff after the long winter. Spring is definitely in the air.

Place d'Eglise, 49390 Parcay Les Pins - Vide Grenier

The Vide Grenier is an important part of the village community and perhaps something which has been lost elsewhere in the very commercial nature of Car Boot Sales.  Find out more about Vide Greniers, Brocantes and French Markets