Dietmar and I retired from corporate life in 2009 and spend our time between our homes in South Africa and South West France. Our home in France is close to a beautiful medieval village called Plaisance, situated between the Tarn and the Aveyron in the midi-Pyrenees, where we own a boutique 22 bedroom hotel, Les Magnolias. Plaisance is surrounded by gentle mountains, indigenous oak and chestnut forests, streams and the magnificent river Tarn. As a passionate cyclist I assure you that Plaisance and its surroundings represent one of the greatest cycling playgrounds on earth!
The roads of the area are quiet and in excellent condition and offer hundreds of kilometers of perfect cycling territory between ancient villages and towns. The rich and diverse local produce make for tasty gourmet eating and the Tour de France passes close by the area each year.
Cycling Magnolias was established to encourage individuals cyclists from different parts of the world to visit us and share the special cycling environment we live in. Our clients vary from individuals, groups and families who wish to combine gentle and fun outdoor cycling with the experience of the area, to serious cyclists looking for an opportunity to train for long distance racing. We offer both guided and self-guided programs.
Our role is to support our clients in planning one of the most special cycling trips of their lives! Over 20 cycling routes, ranging from 20 kms to 150 kms and marked with GPS co-ordinates, refreshment stops, gourmet restaurants and historic attractions have been prepared. The routes cover over 1000 kms! Cycling Magnolias also assists cyclists with recovery and following vehicles.
Cyclists are based at Plaisance throughout the duration of their trip, with all routes leaving and returning to Les Magnolias each day. Cycling can therefore be combined with Day Trips to various nearby historic towns and villages, such as the World Heritage Site town of Albi, Cordes, Roquefort, Millau and the Tarn Gorge.
As we are based in Tour de France territory (its gentler routes!), we also organize guided 8 Night Tour de France programs each year taking our clients to watch various arrivals, departures or passings of the tour.