August 5, 2014

How to leave a city?

Its a bit of an odd thing, starting up a blog after a 4-month hiatus, with momentum gone and readers also. But it was time for a break, as I found myself with little to write. Absolutely at the top of my list now is to send out a big thank you to several readers who checked in with me via email. It is a lovely thing to have a public, "virtual" reality become a more personal, specific (for want of a better word) reality.

So what brought on a post now? There's been no change in my day-to-day world, which consists of: sleep, eat, work, ride, eat. Repeat. Take out the work on weekends, increase the ride, and (sometimes) throw in a bit of gardening. Try to learn a language. You know which one.

What has changed is that now I have a plan, a ticket, a departure date, maps, and reservations. The plan is to ride from Paris to Nice, inspired by the annual race to the sun. This New England summer has been so grey, so wet and chilly, that riding to the sun sounds brilliant.

Much of a route from Paris follows the Seine.

I love the idea of riding directly from Paris. Leave my hotel, apply foot to pedal and head to the southeast. The alternative is to use a train to exit the city. But doesn't it sound somehow more satisfying, complete, fun, to ride from the city? Riding door to door has a big appeal.

But knowing me, that appeal may be an intellectual construct and probably a romantic one. Is riding directly from the city likely to end in confusion, wrong turns, missed turns ...  and so turn a 45-mile ride into an all-day affair? To be simply a nuisance of a way to start a tour?

Up until 1962, the Paris-Nice race actually began in Paris, finishing in Nice. Since then, the annual  race does not leave from the city itself; the start line is from a city on the southern outskirts. In 1963 and 1964 Fontainebleau was the departure city.

Fontainebleau Castle. 

I've found one route on the internet, which is here, in May q's site. It is very detailed, complicated even. Yes, I have put the route on my Garmin, but I have extremely poor Garmin skills. My version is not one of those modern wonders that talks to you in whatever language you choose. I continue to prefer and rely on paper maps.

I'm wondering if any of you have ridden out of Paris to the southeast, specifically to or near Fontainebleau? Any thoughts or ideas?


So, leave directly from Paris and ride to Nice? Or take the train through the Parisian exurbia, and ride from Fontainebleau?

How do you start tours?

Thanks ... and it's good to be back in the virtual world. P.S. None of these photos are mine ... all are picked up from Wikitravel.