True or False? Eh??
There's a lot to the whole equation. I'll just keep it simple for now.
That's an essay question!
There's certainly some truth in what you quote, but it's (of course) not the whole story. Culturally, the French are a pragmatic bunch, and while a British family might buy a crumbling provençal mas
to restore, a French family would be more likely to let it crumble and put up a practical, modern breezeblock home next door.
There is a culture of bike touring in France [ see http://www.ffct.org/
for example ] but it tends to be overshadowed by the competitive fervour that surrounds the Tour and the classics. It's also true that most of the tourists you meet on French roads are British, German or Dutch, and very few French bike shops sell anything resembling a traditional touring bike.
There's a growing appreciation for the great contructeurs
of the classic period, but very few of these bikes appear on the market, and they tend to end up in the hands of collectors in Japan and the States. Sarkozy owns an Alex Singer, but nearly all of Singer's current production is exported.
Calmes dans le demi-jour
Que les branches hautes font,
Pénétrons bien notre amour
De ce silence profond.