I would refute that tour operators know and use all the best routes. They know - and use - routes which are convenient for them. Not to say they use bad routes, but they have to stick to mostly tourist areas because they need tourist facilities like hotels and eateries - and the baggage train must be able to deliver the suitcases and be around for worst case pick-up. I have been visiting France on the bike (same one) since 1982 - certain very scenic parts of it in particular - and rarely see another motorcycle, never a group, either "a tour" or just a bunch of mates. Around 2000, tourbuses from Czech Republic started arriving. Disgorging lots of avid cyclists (you can tell by the tan lines) they would be out everyday making full use of the little roads. For those that like the exertion and exhilaration, the back roads are as great for cycling as they are for the powered variety. A lone bike from Italy did arrive and quiz us about the locality. Notes taken. Another rarity, a smart new BMW GS with all the trimmings - hardly ever see those. The following year Italian registered campervans started arriving. Coincidence?