Most of our example routes are based around road bikes but watch this space, Availles-Limouzine also offers amazing Mountain Bike tracks as well (piste de VTT).
We have a workshop equipped with the major tools that you can use to maintain your bike during your stay and a wash station to keep it looking great. Bike storage is provided within the gites using the amazing products from Cycloc.
Hire bikes can be arranged through our links with www.bikehiredirect.com The bikes are generally mountain bikes (vélo tout terrain) and can be delivered to VéloGîtes ready for your adventures!
The Confolens mini loop is an ideal route to get those legs going at the start of your holiday at VéloGîtes. A 35km route with a total elevation of 504m takes you from VéloGîtes HQ down in to Availles-Limouzine (AL) and heading towards Confolens.
Just after the Mairie at Availles-Limouzine, turn left on to the D8 and ride towards Confolens along gorgeous rolling hills. It is possible to pick up some speed on the descents so please be careful! The D8 changes to the D71 and you will head through the small village of Lessac. Form here you will arrive at a junction where you follow the road around to the left (turning right will take you towards Confolens), stay on the D71 and head towards Bellac / Mézières. At about 10kms you will arrive at a mini-roundabout and a signpost towards Saint Germain de Confolens, turn left here and you will see the amazing ruins of Châteaux de Saint Germain ahead of you (D71).
Heading over the bridge, turn right and then after about 800ms turn left up towards the hardest climb on the route, Strava segment Châteaux Saint Germain loop – VéloGîtes. The max gradient is actually 25% but only for a few meters, the length of the segment is 700 meters and an average gradient of 8%. At the end of the segment you will be rewarded with a stunning view over the river Vienne and its valley.
At the end of this small road take a right at the “T” junction and head along the D80 towards Confolens. Warning, this road is quite steep and you can pick up some speed and there are some speed control measures (road narrows) on your descent!
As you enter Confolens you ride over a small bridge, take a right here and you will head around the market buildings with the river Vienne on your right hand side. Keep heading straight through the town with its cobbled sections:
At the “T” junction, take a right and head over the main Confolens bridge on the D948 (signposted “Niort / Angoulême”).
Heading along the D948 you will be exiting Confolens, at the end of this road at a mini roundabout, take a left, heading towards Niort / Angoulême (D948). Turning left after about 200 meters on to Avenue Gambetta (D71) and you will be heading back in the direction of Vélogîtes “HQ”. Riding about 4kms along this beautiful sweeping road and you will arrive back in Saint Germain de Confolens. Turning right at the bridge, head over the river.
Turn left at the end of the bridge and you will be on the D952 heading towards Strava segment “St Germain a D951”. This is an 800m segment with an average gradient of 4% but does hit 10% in places. At the end of the D952 you will get to a large crossroads (D952/D951). The D951 is a fairly busy road so take care when crossing over, heading towards Abzac / L’isle Jourdain (D729).
The D729 is another series of beautiful sweeping corners and rolling hills, taking you towards Abzac. Again, please take care on your descents, you can easily click off 60kmh! At Abzac, turn left on to the D99, signposted Availles-Limouzine. Staying on this road, it will eventually change to the D100 and you will be following the path of the River Vienne. Time to practice your aero position? This section is about 3kms long and will take you to the bottom of “VéloGîtes hill” in Availles-Limouzine.
Turing right here and a quick blast up the hill and you will have finished the Confolens mini loop. Time for a coffee and a slice of cake (or beer)!
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