Cycling is pretty much a national sport in France, thanks to the popularity of the world's most famous bike race, the Tour de France. In the Vendee, you will find some amazing cycling routes, including the Poitevin Marshes circuit, a meaty 150km route that takes in stunning scenery and travels through the second largest area of marshland in France after the Camargue, an area also known as the 'Green Venice'. If you're thinking about a cycling holiday, then the best bet is to travel by car and ferry or train. Alternatively hire cycles once you're in the Vendee for even more peace of mind. However, there are a few other things that you should keep in mind before heading off. Insurance Firstly, if you're taking your own bicycle abroad then you'll need to see if your travel insurance policy covers the cost of the bike. Usually there is a limit on the maximum that can be claimed for any one item, so make sure that you have enough room to breath, should the bike be damaged or stolen. More importantly, you'll need to make sure that your travel insurance covers cycling as an activity. Otherwise, if you have an accident, you may find that you're not covered for any medical costs that you, or other people involved, require. Lastly, make sure to check if you will need a special type of lock when securing your cycle abroad. Failure to do so could result in a voided policy. If you're not happy with the extent of the cover offered by your provider, why not consider a specialist cycle insurance policy? These should provide peace of mind for any eventuality on two wheels, in France and across the rest of Europe as well. Observing the rules of the road Next, if you're to be cycling anywhere near roads, it is of the utmost importance that you are familiar with the basics of the rules of the road in France. Beyond cycling on the other side of the road to the UK, France's highway code includes the following stipulations: - Cycles must be equipped with a bell and fully functioning brakes to be deemed road-worthy, as well as reflectors and front and rear lights for after dark. - Wearing a helmet is not compulsory but it is advised. Cyclists are required to wear high-visibility clothing if travelling at night outside of urban areas. - In urban areas, cyclists must stick to marked cycled lanes where they are present and must obey traffic signs and signals along with all other road users. - Cyclists are prohibited from driving under the influence of alcohol, just like other road users. Flaunting this rule could result in heavy fines and an impounded cycle.
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