When you’re on the road in Languedoc you will rarely go far without seeing a sign of some sort. At virtually every crossroads there will be something telling you at least one of the following useful bits of information:
1. Where a route goes (and possibly how far it is).
2. The number of the route.
3. What type of route it is.
Take the photo below:
This route is the D982, which, if you follow it, will take you to Nîmes and Uzès, but also Cardet and Lédignan. You can be sure that the last two will be different roads from the D982, since they are separated from the top two, i.e. you will reach a turnoff at some point down the road. For Nîmes and Uzès it isn’t clear, but this is my backyard and I can tell you that the D982 only goes into Uzès.
The color of the sign (white) tells you that this road, plus the routes that go to the two separated villages, are on départementales, either ‘white’ roads or ‘yellow’ roads on your Michelin map – usually good roads to ride on.
This next one is not so friendly. The red number above indicates a nationale; a large, fast trunk road, usually loaded with trucks and with a speed limit of 90 km/h. The green also tells you that the road that goes to the two cities indicated is also a nationale, in this case the same one (N106). There are advantages of these fast and furious roads (they are straight, for one), but I would say avoid them at all costs when traveling, unless you need to make up time fast.
This next one is just to demonstrate the mix you will see often. In this case, going to Mirande might be nice (once it turns off the N21), but Tarbes could be 54 km of traffic-filled stress.
The maps below are all you’ll need for riding in Languedoc-Roussillon. The 3 yellow maps cover smaller areas and are scale 1:150,000. Every road that you want to take a bike on will be there. The orange map (scale 1:200,000) is the whole region and might be better used for planning, since some smaller roads might be missing.
Back to ‘on the road’.