Biking in Burgundy!

 

This might have to be two separate posts…..just so much to share and so many pictures that I could post.

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Our quaint little hotel in Beaune to start! Two nights, which also gave us time to explore Beaune one afternoon.

 

All the “stuff” we had in our package.  All the info on the Beaune – Macon wine route, maps with the daily routes and directions (which left a bit to ones imagination sometimes!!) to follow etc. The one that shows the ups and downs of the routes made me drink!!

 

It was really quite a lot of fun….overall a very good experience and one I wouldn’t mind doing again with a few adjustments to the itinerary (less hills, shorter daily routes for more time to spend tasting along the routes).  A couple things came up that we weren’t prepared for:  1. the hilliness of the route and 2. the weather.

This was a “Level 1” bike trip.  http://burgundybiketour.com/multi-days-bike-tours/self-guided-6-days-bike-wine-tour-beaune-to-macon/  No where on this site does it show the varying degrees of the terrain you’ll be biking on….there were more hills than we expected.  Some places it was a gradual uphill for quite a distance, which we could deal with, other places it was pretty steep and we had to walk our bikes up the hill, even using all the gears it was virtually impossible to ride up.  Brenda was in much better shape than me and faired better on the hills but even she struggled (the heat didn’t help!).  There was also downhills, of course, which I thoroughly enjoyed!!  One full day, the longest ride day, was along the canals the entire route, so nice and flat!  I had gone bike riding for a few months ahead of our trip as well as going to the gym to get my legs strengthened, and I’m sure it helped, however I would not call this tour a “casual bike ride thru vineyards”…..so not something I would recommend for someone that only bikes once or twice a year.

Some of beautiful Burgundy!

 

All that said we also had to deal with a heat wave!  Daytime temps were well up into the mid-high 30’sC (100F)…..the worst June heat they said in 10 years!!   Because of that and the limited amount of shade on the route, we set out early each morning with the goal of getting to our next hotel by lunch time or before it got unbearable in the heat.  As a result it was not the leisurely ride we’d planned on so we didn’t stop at many of the places that we’d have liked for wine tastings and nice two hour lunches.   We left our hotels each morning with 6 or 8 frozen bottles of water, all of which were gone in no time….it was pretty brutal in that heat.  Often we’d ride for miles before seeing anyone else out and about on the bike routes….I wonder why???

France has an incredible network of bike routes along canals, greenways, thru vineyards, small towns and villages and beautiful scenery….the best part of which there is no regular road traffic.  These trails are bike and pedestrian only, which makes them very safe, even for a novice biker.  We did come across various types of farm/vineyard vehicles/machines but had no issues with them.

More along the route….trees with balls of mistletoe and the Bois Clair tunnel (1.6KM or .99M) 

I really did get to push myself to the limit on this trip (a good thing….I think!)  I was more than ready to throw the towel in one day but Brenda convinced me to keep going….that taxi in the town looked pretty damn tempting when the temps had hit 37 at 10AM!  Luckily I did persevere because the rest of that day turned out to be one of the best rides we had.  After the very hot and hilly start it leveled out and carried on along a canal, on the shady side, for the rest of that leg.

And of course there was food!!  And wine….lots of both and all excellent.  I tried to remember to take pictures of the food…..the presentation of everything, even the simple croissant at a café, is done so well.   That will be my next post!

L.

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