France - Bordeaux by Bike and Barge ****
Another Rad & Reisen tour, this time on the MV Bordeaux, a barge with 51 cabins and junior suites offering guided and unguided tours. We opted for a junior suite and rented 21 speed step through bikes. Most of the cabins were occupied and the majority of riders had opted for self guided touring. Our guide, Scott, was excellent and had a local affinity with the area. There were only four Aussies that had opted for the guided tour and Scott really looked after us very well. All the 30 plus self guided riders would get a briefing every night from Scott on the next days ride options and this in turn meant that they saw him as a free resource and each day he spent long periods of time dealing with on the ride queries about directions or to assist with flats or mechanical problems. Our ride started in Castets-en-Dorthe, which necessitated a bus transfer from Bordeaux and finished in Fronsac and another bus trip back to Bordeaux. The highlights included visiting a Sauternes vineyard, visiting a market in Cadillac, a night moored in Bordeaux and a visit to a vineyard in the Medoc region. The riding was quite pleasant and the bikes were easily able to cope with the roads and paths we used.