2 In Active Experiences

Peloton Scenic Rides Through France (2021)

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! 

November 3, 2021 Update

Soon after the original post was published, Peloton did some major updates which affected the Scenic rides! The 25 rides through France are gone and now, there are now only 7. 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.

1.What Are The Peloton Scenic Rides Through France Like?

Selection of Peloton rides in France

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

Pont du Gard at the end of the Avignon Peloton scenic ride
Pont du Gard at the end of the Avignon scenic ride

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

French Pyrenees scenic ride

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

Lavender in Provence during the scenic ride

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

Corsica scenic ride

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

Medoc scenic ride

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

Normandy scenic ride

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

Cote d'Or Vineyards scenic ride

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.

Here’s what Peloton HAD offered previously for rides through France. It’s a shame they’re gone because many of them were very picturesque. I’ll update the list once there are more rides. 

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?

Where to find the scenic rides on your Peloton bike

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: 

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Peloton Scenic Rides Through France

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    April 27, 2021 at 9:52 am

    You can do Peloton scenic rides on the digital app without a Peloton bike. All you need is the link to the ride. There’s some listed on the iPad version, but it’s also easy to find scenic rides if you look through other Peloton riders that have the #scenicrider hashtag in their profile.
    eg. 15 min Wellington, New Zealand

    60 minute New Zealand National Parks

    I was hoping that this article would have links to the rides that are described.

    • Reply
      Jan
      April 27, 2021 at 1:33 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      It is incredibly difficult to find the scenic rides on the app. There were a few “featured” at the bottom of the app, but, as you said, one could check out #scenicride and find people and the rides they’ve taken. There is also a work-around that involves opening a web browser and NOT using the Peloton app. Once I figure it out I’ll edit my post.

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