Cycling along the path
The canal offers you a bike route and for much of it it is a good flat path, however there are areas where the path suffers from tree root damage and clutter. Each year this gets better but in 2012, you would still be wise not to take a fantastic road bike for the whole route. You also need to keep an eye out for fishermen's lines and any canal boat's mooring lines.
For your self-guided tour you may need a bike hire shop. Bike hire is available in larger towns and cities. In Toulouse they have their own "Boris Bikes" (city bikes for rent by the half hour). Where rental companies' websites exist we have shown them. Depending on bicycle quality you should expect to pay €10 per day although competition may reduce this. There are some national bike companies who offer very high class bikes and charge accordingly. You can expect to pay up to €35 per day, for this you should expect the very best bike, home delivery and a well set up bike for your body.
Before you approach a hire shop have a look at the advice in our Bike Guide. Remember that the area is mostly flat so you won't need too many gears. It is not a legal requirement to wear a helmet but you will see roughly 25% of riders wearing them. Good quality electric bikes and charging points are appearing now. Electric bikes are allowed on French trains like ordinary bikes.
- 2RouesVertes 13 Avenue de Fronton, 31200 Toulouse
- Veloloco David Sewell, Rue Principale, 09140 Aulus-les-Bains,+33 05 61 04 42 97
- Recycles 28 Avenue de Muret, 31300 Toulouse, +33 05 62 48 60 40
- Le Vélo d'Occasion 80 Avenue Fronton, 31200 Toulouse,+33 05 61 57 98 36
- Evasion2Roues 85 Allée d'Iéna, 11000 Carcassonne,+33 04 68 11 90 40
- Locavelo 3 Rue Plo d'Orbiel, 11800 Trèbes, +33 06 88 06 54 26
We couldn't find a rental company here, if you know one please let us know.
Béziers and environs
- Localex 6 Rue du 8 Mai 45, 34410 Sérignan,+33 4 86 68 57 03
- Relax Bikes 70 Allées Paul Riquet 34450 +33 6 38 12 32 82
- CyrilCycles 49 ter Boulevard Gambetta, 34450 Vias, +33 9 61 22 29 09
- MellowVelos 3 Place de l'Église, 11200 Paraza, +33 4 68 43 38 21
- Veloz 11 Impasse des Sablettes,34110 Frontignan,+33 6 43 70 69 76
Getting the bike back to the rental company may require a trip on a train or a payment to the supplier.
During your tour we hope you will not need this, but if you do the bike retailers in each large town will provide a maintenance service (at a fee) and following the canal and down on the Med. there are a good number of bike shops about. Check our puncture repair video at MyBikeGuide before you go. We also recommend a couple of guides on how to repair a bike, one of which is light enough to take with you.
Major French stations have left luggage lockers.
Train and bike
The SNCF website is a little difficult to use but the company has developed a separate regional train mini-site under the brand TER SNCF. The two regions that cover our trip are Midi-Pyrenees and Languedoc-Roussillon.
TER's rules on bikes are to be found at Tourisme velo though they are in French. They offer a number of options and will carry bikes on regional trains. They even offer to ship your bike ahead for you.