Each June for several years now, Saumur has hosted an annual bike event, where the roads are closed alongside the river and cyclists can truly enjoy the freedom of the road. In 2011, a new side event was added to this already wonderful festival - Anjou Vélo Vintage.
This year's event takes place on Sunday 23rd June. Rides start from just 38km and this route takes you along the Loire and through troglodyte caves and villages. It passes the chateaux of Saumur and Montsoreau as well as the artists village of Turqant. For participants, there are refreshment points along the way; highlights are at the renowned red wine makers Chateau de Parnay and the sparkling wine house Bouvet Ladubay. The circular route ends back in the centre of Saumur at the event 'village' where there will be stands showcasing cycling memorabilia, local products and souvenirs of the event.
So this year, we are taking part in the Vintage ride proper - we will be hiring bikes, dressing up (Max still needs to be persuaded of this part) and starting the ride at 10.30am in Saumur. Our guests staying with us at that time will be welcome to join us - and we can arrange transport to the start and finish points for anyone who needs it. If we have enough interest, we may enter a company team, and each member of the team will get a retro cycling jersey with Loire Valley Breaks printed on it!
There is a small entry fee to pay, but this includes a souvenir drinks bottle, official entry pack etc. and there is a cost to hire the required old bike. Of course, it is also possible to ride the public festival route instead - free of charge - and we have a route ready for guests who choose this option.
There are lots of great official photos of the event here http://www.flickr.com/photos/anjou-velo-vintage/collections/72157630417856242/
We still have some availability for a stay around 23rd June, so if this event appeals to you, let us know as soon as possible and we'll book you in.