My husband and I would like to spend a week biking in the Loire Valley this September. We don't want to take a tour. We want to travel with our panniers. I'd like to know if it is safe (enough) to cable our panniers to our bikes in the parking lots while we are touring the chateaux along the way. I know we could hire a luggage transfer company but that is not our first choices. Any thoughts?
I sincerely doubt it. Rental cars get broken into( not often. but it happens) .. a panier would be easy pickings. Sorry. Some Chateaus may have cloak rooms you could check them in though perhaps.. look it up , each chateau has a website.
A friend of mine took a cycling trip in the Loire last fall. He only visited chateaux and other sights as day trips, so he was not carrying panniers, but he said he saw were lots of bikes with same locked up.
On the one hand, he says, he saw many bike racks in highly visible areas. On the other hand, he points out, it's pretty easy to make off with a pannier.
In my own experience cycling (with paniers) in Burgundy, I did not have any problem or feel any axiety. But it was the off season with hardly anyone at the places I stopped. Restaurants in more urban settings, usually affiliated with hotels, had secure areas for the bikes.
Two summers ago my husband and I biked from Saumur to Blois. We stopped at chateaux daily and parked our pannier-loaded bikes along side all the other bikes. We "bungie-corded" our fanny packs over the back wheel with our wallets, camera, smartphone so it was quick/easy to load/unload from the bikes. We had a great time-no hiccoughs the entire trip.