Monthly Archives: April 2015

Get on your bike

The Tour de France is coming to Rodez, near Château de Laumière, this summer
The Tour de France is coming to Rodez, near Château de Laumière, this summer

Put the words “cycling” and “France” together in a sentence – and the mind’s eye almost inevitably focuses on the Tour de France.

With good reason. The world’s best-known long-distance multi-stage cycle race is, according to organisers, the third biggest sporting event in the world behind the Olympic Games and football’s World Cup. Whether that’s true or not – the Rugby World Cup makes a similar claim, after all – doesn’t really matter. In France, Le Tour is a big deal.

And this year, it is coming to our little corner of southwest France.

Stage 13 finishes at Rodez, the ancient capital of the Gaulish Ruteni tribe, and is not far from Château de Laumière on Friday, July 17. Stage 14 gets under way in the beautiful city the following day.

The beautiful cathedral at Rodez
The beautiful cathedral at Rodez

That weekend, the area will be packed with cycling fans basking in the unique glory of one of the world’s greatest sporting events.

Even without the added attraction of Le Tour, cycling is a wonderful way to discover our picture-perfect part of the world. And it is perfect for non-horseriders who want to make the most of a holiday at the Château.

Like horseriding guests, cyclists can escape from hustle and bustle of the 21st century into a tranquil tapestry of peaceful car-free trails, known as ‘voie verts’ and meander through shady woods where warming sunlight plays through the gentle green canopy under a cornflower-blue sky.

Breath-taking views will greet cyclists around almost every corner
Breath-taking views will greet cyclists around almost every corner

Meanwhile, sports cyclists – who may be want something a little more taxing than a gentle ride out along quiet country lanes – will be delighted to learn that we have our fair share of testing stretches and hills as steep as you want them around here. If it’s good enough for Le Tour…

And, if you do take to two wheels on the roads of France, you’ll be delighted to know that cyclists are well looked-after here. Bike-riding guests at the Château have often commented on the fact that cars and lorries here will give you plenty of space – unlike the UK, where you’re always battling inconsiderate drivers for a tiny bit of space on the road.

Fans of off-road biking are well catered-for, too. All the wild terrain you could possibly wish for is within easy reach.

And it’s easy to hire everything you need. There is an excellent cycle shop in Limogne-en-Quercy, about 4.5km from Château de Laumière, which rents out new and well-serviced road bikes, touring bikes and mountain bikes. We believe his rates are very reasonable.

Even better, the owner will deliver and collect your bikes from the Château, so that all you have to do is turn up with your cycling shorts and helmet. Click here for the shop’s website.

Photos: Akial, Geert Schneider, Denis

First Team Laumiere Dressage Competition

We had a GREAT day on Sunday 22 March at the first dressage competition at which we fielded a full team with – Karen, Caroline R, Caroline L, Laura and Tanya entered over 3 classes. It was a very long day arriving 8.30 am and not finally leaving until almost 6.00 pm BUT coming home with a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th between us certainly made it worth it. Sorry, but can’t post photos at present as we are waiting to see what, if anything. comes from the official photographer as with transporting, organizing and last minute coaching we didn’t get any ourselves. Very remiss I know so next time we will take along a photographer as well! Will keep you posted about this.