September 3, 2014

Cluny to Bagnols

Photos!! Up until now this year mine have been fuzzy, though I hope you can no longer see it, they have been fixed. Hahaha, I have to laugh. Otherwise I'd be annoyed and that is unnecesary and not much fun. Super internet sleuth Roy discovered that Blogger (the platform that I continue to use) has changed their default and is now posting pictures, however they are sent by the site's writer, in a lousy, miserable resolution. Nothing to do with the camera. Nothing to do with the photographer. Nothing to do with the settings on the individual blog. Everything to do with the platform blogger. Ha ha ha ha

Luckily, they can be fixed in the html, but that's a minor nuisance. Last year I told Gerry I planned to switch to Word Press during the winter. I didn't. You know why, I spent all my free time either working on Coach Rob's training program, or learning a language not my own. This is reason enough to do it this year.

Photos!! Ha ha ha. So, after getting that fuzzy gremlin under some kind of control, today I turned my camera on to discover that ... with no warning its viewfinder, the screen, what is it actually called?? is dead. Gone. Absolument disparu. Nada. For the record, it is a Canon SX260 HS. This happened 13 or 14 months ago, I sent it in for repair, Canon sent me a different rebuilt model. Now it has happened again. Ha ha ha ha. Steve-not-my-brother has the same camera, I wonder if he has had this issue?

So we have a new adventure. I point the camera in the general direction of something I think would be beautiful, fun, memorable, informative to have an image of, and with no idea of what is actually in the viewfinder, I push the button. Ha haha ha. It still takes images of the same quality, I just don't know what they will be... hahahaha.

The roads are small, smooth, with little traffic. I am pleased to see warnings of a rough road surface, yet ... this would be a smooth surface at home. A different culture.

I am now in the Rhone Alps. Every day the wind blows a llittle longer, a little stronger.

As soon as I crossed into the Rhone Alps there were vineyards everywhere. Before that I had seen almost none. It was vegetable and pasture land for the famous white charentolais cattle. But this  is Burgundy, where were the vines?

Paris-Nice has been here, but the far better known Tour de France was here this year. Some road writing, from Stage 12. I loved, loved, loved watching last years Tour de France. That's because the French riders did so very well, and were so engaging. Here are some names.

Today's 90K took me from Cluny to Bagnols, and generally the route was beautiful, and super cycling! Very hilly, up down, up down, and again the entire 90K. It became tiring for me by the end, where happily I met two French women cyclists from Bagnols. I don't often see women cycling on road bikes in France (though I see them very very often in towns, and on voie verts) and we chatted for a bit. They led me on a shortcut to Bagnols, on little roads that I never would have found on my own. I thank them.

Tonight I am staying at Domaine des Vignes, a chambres d'hotes / gites on a 26 hectare vineyard that has won many awards. The lodging is fabulous: located on a working vineyard with (probably a former barn) turned into rooms, a kitchen, and a big dining room, for guests. There are two Canadian couples staying here, French speakers from the Quebec area. Our host, Jean Paul, gave us all a tour of the cave, and tastings of his wines. They were delicious, and it was so much fun!

The town's small store, and its one small bistro, were closed on Wednesday. With nowhere to buy food, I arrived with some bread and a small piece of goat cheese. Hélène, the owner gave me a bowlful of tomatos and plums from the garden and I was set. Then the Canadians gave me some of the chicken they had grilled, and I had a complete meal. After a day of steep riding it was quite an enjoyable evening, good company, good food and a very interesting place.I asked if there are many Canadian expats in France, and everyone said "Non!" at the same moment. Apparently I know both of them.

Time, again, to sleep.



  1. Photos: much better now. Your positioning is great, too, even without your screen-thingy! I like the fact you are getting closer, too, even though I'm not sure we'll be able to meet up this time (I'm working on it!). I remember the first trip we did through France, and the change of scenery/crops/climate was one of the most memorable experiences...especially as you head south.

    And yeah, get on Wordpress!

    1. Thanks ... and then there is the magic of editing.

      It would be fun if we could meet up somewhere along the way, if your schedule allows. Those changes of pays, I guess you would say, are a big part of what makes France so fun.

      Indeed wordpress is in my future. We use it at work.

  2. You take great photos even without the screen thingy...must be some kine of muscle memory. Gorgeous. Bring me one of those long-eared sweet-faced donkeys.

    1. You know, your beautiful barn will get crowded with the beautiful creatures I bring you ... so I'll keep them virtual. Oh boy, I could have used your route finding skills a few times!

  3. Les vaches, charolaises, proviennent de la Charente...
    Love that "hahaha" as you give us more elements of challenges.
    Astounded to think you have traveled from Paris to Rhone-Alpes in such short time! But then, you are La Cycliste Heroïque. Got to hand it to you!

    1. Merci ..les vaches sont charolaises ... j'ai oublié de chercher leur vrai nom!

      Thanks ... I am pleased with my daily progress thus far.

  4. Loving your stories and your blind-eye photography shots.I can show you a box of broken "jersey cameras" one of those Canons is in the box. If you ever get another camera for the jersey pocket and any travel photography - I highly recommend Sony point and shoot cameras -- amazing zoom, picture quality, differing price points and features depending on your budget. Thanks for taking me on a journey through France!

  5. Hi Karen,

    Glad you're here with me at least in the web world in France. Soon I will go look again at your reports of the Alps.

    It was fun riding that section of road this year's tour used. I think I get another section near Tallard.

    Can't blame the broken camera on a sweaty hot jersey pocket, though. It travels in my handlebar bag. Apparently there is some common malfunction, because I see cpnversation on the web, butt yet any do it yourself fixes.

  6. Pictures and the colour commentary are great. Hope all the training is making for a more enjoyable cycling experience. Enjoy the Ride....Rob

    PS. How about asking someone to take a few pictures of you? We'll even settle for a couple "selfies".

    1. Hi Rob,
      Yes, all the training is definitely helping. I planned a considerably harder route (more long days one after another, with measurable amounts of training each day.) Tried to say that in one post but was probably too subtle. This route is hard enough for me now, it would have been toooooo hard last year.

      Selfies. Ugh. I always think I look freshly arrived from another planet, and perhaps 30 years older than I actually am. Several people have told me I need to put more people in my pictures...will try to remember, it is good advice.

  7. Your photos are fine. Ignore siren calls for people or selfies. Scenery that illustrates your route is what is needed. Continuous up and down and freshening breezes eh? What fun.

    1. That's welcome advice, especially given that I am pointing and shooting without a viewfinder screen. The odds are best with a landscape.


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