Cycle: France’s Loire Valley

Every few years, Robin and I and my sister and her husband do a vacation together. In the past, we’ve visited Switzerland and Italy together and this time we agreed that France should be our destination. And we all agreed that we should do a more active holiday this time around. So Robin and I suggested a self-guided cycling tour of the Loire Valley. The Loire is a great place to cycle, especially for people who don’t regularly cycle much; there are only a few significant grades to worry about.

We booked with Randonnee Tours, out of Vancouver. This was our third self-guided tour with Randonnee and once again we were very pleased with the tour.  The accommodations were great, the bikes solid performers and the routes took us through many picturesque places. The only downside and one Randonnee could not control was the weather: the week of our tour France (in fact all of Europe) experienced a heatwave and we were cycling in 35-38 degree C temperatures.  On one day, the temperature in the central square of Amboise was 44 degrees C.

I took a different approach to photography on this trip by only taking my small Sony DSC-RX100 as my main camera. But I also added something new: a GoPro Hero 5 Black. I attached the Hero 5 to my bicycle in a number of different positions and captured video of us throughout the day.  I also purchased a GoPro Karma Grip which I used when we were walking around Paris and Chinon. The Karma Grip does a good job of stabilization for handheld shots as well as providing extra battery length which is always a good thing for GoPro’s. I made a short video from the various footage using the basic GoPro Studio tools:

Given that I focused on the GoPro while cycling, the Sony only came out when we were visiting a château or walking around in the evening. The title photo was from our visit to the Château de Chenonceau, the prettiest château we visited on our trip. It took some time to find a position that gave a good view of the château and the gardens while minimizing the visual clutter of the visitors.

Camera: Sony DSC-RX100
Lens: Zeiss 18-100mm f/1.8-4.9
Focal Length: 10.4 mm
Exposure: 1/200 sec at f/10.0
ISO Speed Rating: ISO 125

Barry Cott Written by:

Barry is one of the two driving forces behind Station Studios. An avid photographer and outdoor enthusiast, when he's not traveling, he calls Port Stanley, Ontario home.