If yesterday was a spinning class of a ride, today was a spinning class with that knob below the handlebars cranked up several notches. If your route passes the ‘highest point in north-west France’ you can probably guess you’re in for an up and down day and, at gradients that a train could cope with when they plodded up and down these valleys many decades ago, that’s what happened. More disused railways – the area must once have been a maze of lines – with a handful of pencil-straight-Roman roads. More satisfying that yesterday and a much more welcoming end at a municipal campsite that breaks records. Keep reading…
Today was the equivalent of a cycle touring spinning class. Well, mostly. Almost the entire route from Nogent-le-Rotrou to Alençon was off road and along a very long disused railway line. I almost felt guilty for having made all of those men work so hard 100? 200? years ago in building the railway line in the first. Now it’s ‘just’ being used by cyclists and walkers. But hey! At least it’s still in use…
To answer Joe Stafford’s question (that he posted to YouTube a few moments ago) immediately; yes, it’s hot but if you take the necessary measures to protect yourself then I think you’ll be fine. Joe is coming to France soon but as long as he does what we are told to do; cover up (I’m on my second hat of the trip…), plaster yourself in factor 50 (I’m still looking very pale compared to the French), drink lots of water (my two Cycle Touring Festival bottles are drained at least three times a day) and keep eating (no problem there if you are burning lots of calories), you’ll be fine.
Back to the writing. I’m currently on a busy train that’s about to set off for Le Mans. I’ll be getting off at Chartres, one step along the Veloscenie cycle route from Paris. Busy in terms of people, busy in terms of bicycles; the current count is six of which three are laden touring bikes. It’s a sight that would leave your average Trans Pennine Express train guard seeking counselling. There are people clambering over the bikes as they make their way down the carriages to find their seat. Now far be for me to say but if people actually worked out which carriage to get on when they are on the platform, like would be somewhat easier. Anyway, I digress… and we are off. Six bicycles it is.
CURRENT LOCATION: La Tartine, Rue de Rivoli, Paris Today the words are in the video… LATEST CYCLING EUROPE POSTS: Subscribe to the Cycling Europe YouTube Channel Since 2009, CyclingEurope.org has established itself as a valued, FREE cycle touring resource. There’s now even a podcast, The Cycling Europe Podcast. […]
If yesterday was tick, tick, tick, today was hot, hot, hot. Yet with factor 50, a hat and plenty of fluids, I’m surviving. It’s not quite as hot as it was back in 2013 as I cycled along the Mediterranean – that will takes some beating – but it can be energy-sapping and I’m glad that, for the moment at least, the terrain is forgiving.
Tick, tick, tick… Basically that’s what I’ve spent today doing. Ticking off all the things that you might, in an ideal world, want a disused railway line, converted into a walking-cycling greenway – voie verte here in France – to have. If the département of Seine-Maritime set out to build what I consider to be an unbeatable bit of cycle-touring infrastructure, they succeeded.
CURRENT LOCATION: Dieppe If you missed anything, here’s the first week in video. Enjoy! LATEST CYCLING EUROPE POSTS: Subscribe to the Cycling Europe YouTube Channel Since 2009, CyclingEurope.org has established itself as a valued, FREE cycle touring resource. There’s now even a podcast, The Cycling Europe Podcast. If […]