August 16, Saint Leger des Vignes, France

Today marked the end of the Velo la Loire, what I called the Ultimate Bike Path. I have really enjoyed cycling on this, these past 10 days. I am still following a planned route that is part of a trans-European bike trail, but I don’t have the helpful signs anymore, and the route is not as good. Someone went to a lot of trouble to string together about a million little paths, trails and small country roads. My complaint, however, is that it will ignore perfectly rideable motorways, just to get you away from the traffic. The way can go up and down hills unnecessarily, and the paths are not always very good. As such, I need to plan the route each day now, taking a mixture of the canned route and rideable highways. Before leaving the route, I saw this creative adaption of the tag-along concept:

Creative Tandem

Creative Tandem


The interesting thing is that the kid can ride his/her bike independently when appropriate. I need to say just one more time how incredible this path has been. On the first section of the Tour (Alaska) I met only a handful of cycle tourists. But along this river, I met fully-loaded long distance cycle tourists at the rate of about 1 every 2 minutes. Each one of them would greet me with a “bonjour.”

Part of my most recent ride was along a series of canals, complete with locks for raising and lowering boats over the land. These really are quite impressive! I imagine that these were originally used for transportation and commerce, but seem to be used now just for recreation. I find it very interesting when the canals run over an actual river.
A canal over a river

A canal over a river

I passed the 1000 km mark on the Europe tour! A couple of days ago, my odometer did the nice reset thing again, but somehow I didn’t lose the total distance. I was able to recover the numbers by just not messing with it. I threw it in my pannier, and it was working again when I looked at it.
The weather really has become quite hot, but I am taking it well. At the end of today’s ride, I found a campground run by an incredible staff. They hosted a barbeque for all of the guests–bring your own food, with wine provided. I showed up with my usual can of something and was approach by a woman and her husband who had some extra meat. I tried to talk to them using Google Translate in French, only to find out that they were German! It was really nice to have a conversation in another language where I could actually say a few things. Between their English, my German and Google translate we had a really good time.
At the barbecue, I brought an ear of corn that was so generously donated to my ride by one of the dozens of corn fields that I passed the day before. I resisted taking one of those for nearly a week, but finally gave in. I am pretty sure the corn is used for animal feed, but mine tasted great with a bit of olive oil.



Tomorrow I am taking the entire day off to do detailed route planning. Here’s one more picture just for fun:

2 Responses to “August 16, Saint Leger des Vignes, France

  • Hey Scott from Mark W. Enjoying reading your reports.
    You mention recharging issues. It would add weight but how about an external battery? I have a small battery “brick” that can charge my phone 3 times on a charge.

  • Hi Mark! As I ride out of Geneva tomorrow, I am going to try to pick one up. I’d prefer a 10X charger though, if one existed.

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