I just finished riding my bike through France—an early morning ride in Paris, a leisurely clip past Mont Saint-Michel, a climb up some mountains in the Midi-Pyrénées, and a refreshing spin along the Côte d’Azur. And the scenery was spectacular. How did I do this? By taking in some Peloton scenic rides!
March 21, 2022 Update
Peloton continues to do updates on the Scenic Rides in France, adding some rides and taking some away. In April, 2021, there were 25 but the number keeps changing. While there appears to only be 4 rides in France, I am actually able to see 9 when I look at rides taken, so perhaps those 5 are “hidden” somewhere. Peloton has categorized the rides into “Guided”, “Distance”, and “Time”.
You’ve probably heard about the stationary bike that’s become the hit of Covid as we’ve been confined to our homes for long periods of time. As people can’t go to gyms or attend spin classes, they are stuck at home. So what can one do? Set up a home gym that includes a Peloton bike. What makes this more than just a stationary bike, where you stare into space, is that there is a monitor that streams recorded and live classes lead by Peloton instructors. It’s motivational and you DO get a good workout.
But Peloton also has what are called “scenic rides” and this is where I rediscovered France. It’s as if I’m in France biking along a country road….or up to a mountain’s summit.
If you have a Peloton bike AND you love France, you’ll definitely love the Peloton scenic rides.
Table of contents
- 1.What Are The Peloton Scenic Rides Through France Like?
- 2. What You’ll Hear During Your Ride
- 3. What You’ll See During Your Ride
- 4. No Peloton Instructor On Scenic Rides—It’s All Up To You
- 5. There Is A Peloton Leaderboard
- 6. Where Is The “Peloton Scenic Rides” Setting On The Bike Monitor?
1.What Are The Peloton Scenic Rides Through France Like?
Peloton has many scenic rides through countries such as Canada, the United States, Italy, Germany, Spain, China, and New Zealand. The duration of each ride varies from 10 minutes to 60 minutes. But of course, the rides in France are my favourites. Most take place in “perfect” weather—sunny and clear.
The other notable changes Peloton made to the Scenic Rides are:
- no leaderboard
- many more songs with vocals
- no scenic rides in the featured section on the digital app
- no access to past scenic rides even using the tag #scenicrides (see below)
As mentioned, so far these are the rides for France and they can be found in the Time Category:
1. Avignon (Provence)-20 minutes
This scenic route goes around the medieval town of Avignon with the famous Saint-Bénézet bridge and Palace des Paper. It ends at the magnificent Pont du Gard. Music is by Fleetwood Mac, Prince, Madonna, INXS, and Duran Duran.
2. French Pyrénées- 30 minutes
This is my favourite scenic ride in France because the landscape changes so much. You begin your journey in the valley, through the countryside and then slowly gain altitude, climbing the mountains until you get near the top. At times you’re actually following a rider. Music is by David Guetta, Due Lipa, Prince, Clean Bandit, Cher, and Little Boots.
3. Provence-20 minutes
There are lavender fields that you’ll pass half-way through the ride. Sadly, there are no rides up into the hilltop villages that Provence is known for. The music is pop with music by Fleetwood Mac, Madonna, and others.
4. Corsica-10 minutes
This is a short ride with music by the Joy Corporation. The scenery is similar to that found on the Côte d’Azur—with lots of views of the Mediterranean Sea.
5. Medoc-30 minutes
The Medoc is wine country! It’s a flat route and you travel through vineyards. Unfortunately, you don’t go by any of the famous wine houses and their châteaux. Music is by Cher, Due Lipa, Prince, and more.
6. Normandy-60 minutes
This 1 hour ride takes through farmland, passing many cows and riding on flat terrain and rolling hills. Music is by America, New Order, Madonna, the Monkees, and more.
7. Côte d’Or Vineyards (Beaune)-45 minutes
I was most disappointed with this ride because most of it was through the vineyards of Burgundy. Understandably, the terrain is flat; however, there was little if any travelling through the quaint villages of the Côte d’Or region. Music is by David Guetta, Clean Bandit, Prince, Jason Derulo, and Due Lipa.
8. South of France Forest Ride-10 minutes
Have to be honest, this is a boring ride (scenery-wise) because it’s all in a forest. At times it’s also dark. But for a 10-minute cool-down, it might be fine. Music is by David Guetta, Dua Lipa, Clean Bandit, Jason Derulo, Prince, and others.
9. Midi-Pyrénées- 30 minutes
This Midi-Pyrénées ride is very similar to the French Pyrénées ride above; however, with a mix of flat roads, high elevations and the odd bit of snow with lots of greenery. Too bad that the music seems to be the exact same as in the South of France ride with tunes by Prince, Due Lipa, and David Guetta.
2. What You’ll Hear During Your Ride
As you glide along the “road”, you’ll hear the sounds of nature, birds chirping, and cars whizzing by. There is music, vocal and instrumental pop, rock, new age, and techno or electro music.
3. What You’ll See During Your Ride
It appears that the scenes from some routes have been combined or spliced together to make a new “ride”. I suppose they’ve taken their best “clips” and put them together into one ride. So your scenery can change constantly. You might start out in a forested area, move to a mountain climb, through a small town, and then back into the mountains. This can be a good thing as 30 minutes passing cow pastures can get boring quite quickly!
Some routes are entirely flat and others have you climbing a mountain. The “difficulty” of the ride is all dependent on you increasing the cadence and resistance—that is, how difficult it is to turn your peddles. The higher the resistance (0-100), the harder it is to turn the wheel, much like climbing a hill.
I also believe most of the rides—at least the ones I’ve taken so far— have been filmed in a car, not on a bike.
4. No Peloton Instructor On Scenic Rides—It’s All Up To You
In addition to no music accompanied by vocals, you also don’t have an instructor, telling you to increase your cadence or resistance. You also don’t have an instructor to motivate you, so it’s up to you to make your ride just a leisurely journey or a hard workout (aka burning calories!).
I’ll be honest and say I could have worked harder (to get a higher output). I think I was enjoying the scenery so much I forgot to increase the resistance.
5. There Is A Peloton Leaderboard
When you take a Peloton class with an instructor (live or recorded) you can see how you rank on the leaderboard. The scenic rides also have this option so I can see who else might be riding when I am and I can see how I rank. That part can be motivational. Guess I am a bit competitive as I don’t like being at the back of the pack!
6. Where Is The “Peloton Scenic Rides” Setting On The Bike Monitor?
If you have a Peloton bike and you’re wondering where you can find these scenic rides on your monitor, go to the bottom menu on your screen and click “More”. The next screen will show you two options: Just Ride and Scenic Ride. That second one will open up into a list of many scenic rides from around the world. I bookmarked all the France rides.
Can You Do Scenic Rides On the Peloton App?
Sadly no. At one time you could find them in “Featured” but they aren’t there anymore. But keep checking as they might reappear.
If you’re interested in doing some biking IN FRANCE and not just on a Peloton bike, check out the tours I’ve taken:
- What it’s like to take a bicycle tour in France
- Riding a bicycle in France
- Cycling on Ile de Ré
- Biking along the Canal du Midi
- Cycling La Voie Verte (Sarlat)
- Biking to Dune du Pilat (Europe’s tallest sand dune)
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