Tag: Eurovelo 1

Le Grand Tour: Day 49 – Aigle To Sierre (81km)

On one level – the cycling level – it has been a pretty standard day. Dare I say boring? A flat ride, 90% off road on a good quality path beside the Rhône following the route of the EuroVelo 17 or, as it is known locally, national route 1. Sticking to just the cycling for a moment, I say ‘flat ride’… I knew I was heading uphill but couldn’t help feel that I was heading downhill. After the turn to cycle east following my brief pause in Martigny, the wind was behind me so this may have added to the sensation of cycling down a very gentle gradient but I think of more significance is the valley itself. I’ve experienced this before (although not that dubious ‘Electric Bray’ place on the west coast of Scotland where I was singularly unimpressed…) in northern Spain in 2019. There too I was cycling through a valley, knew I was cycling uphill beside a river heading in the opposite direction, but had a distinct feeling of going downhill all day. It’s the brain seeing something – the narrow valley with steep slopes on either side – and convincing the body that it is indeed what the brain sees, despite conclusive evidence to the contrary.

Le Grand Tour: Day 48 – Aigle

As I thought I would, I have spent the day in Aigle. It rained heavily overnight, continued raining this morning and this afternoon and only decided to stop at around 3pm. It remains very overcast with the clouds hanging around the mountains that surround the town on three sides and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if we are in for more rain later today. Tomorrow morning there is a chance of rain but things are looking much brighter for the afternoon and continuing into the weekend and next week. Back to you Huw…

Le Grand Tour: Day 45 – Sault-Brénaz To Seyssel (112km)

Running a bit late tonight. It was a long day of cycling (although not the longest) but thoroughly enjoyable. I hesitate before I say this (as I would need to think more carefully about all the others) but today was up there with one of the best days so far; not just on the Via Rhôna but on the entire cycle so far. Another celebration of bridges as you will discover if you choose to watch the video. I hold back on the Hans Zimmer score but today’s video merited it…

Le Grand Tour: Day 44 – Lyon To Sault-Brénaz (81km)

I don’t like Mondays… Someone has beaten me to the song. I really don’t like Mondays in France as most places are closed. There is a special corner in hell for bank holidays that happen to be on a Monday in France. Today was one of the latter. Nothing open whatsoever this morning. We are celebrating the ‘Assumption of Mary’. Not being a man of religion I don’t know what Mary was assuming but perhaps it was that there might be something, somewhere that was open to buy lunch on a Monday bank holiday in France. There isn’t. Even the French are exasperated; one couple who were cycling in the opposite direction stopped me in desperation at around midday asking if I’d passed an épicerie that was open. I hadn’t. They broke down and sobbed beside the cycle path in desperation. I told them my plan was to survive on my box of peanuts until I could cook something in the evening. I scarpered as quickly as I could lest they use force in getting hold of the cacahuètes. When I did I turn to look, I could see them chasing after me using surprisingly fluent Chaucerian language vowing to prise the peanuts from my hands. The entente cordiale only goes so far… They were my peanuts. I digress.

Le Grand Tour: Day 43 – Tain L’Hermitage To Lyon (By Train)

Caught the train to Lyon this morning. After all the heat it’s perhaps not surprising that when the rain decided to fall it put on quite an impressive thunder and lightening show. The downpour was, at times, torrential but as I stand here looking over the Rhône in the centre of Lyon, the rain has stopped, the clouds are breaking and perhaps we are in for a better afternoon.