March 17, 2018

Mediterranean rides

There are many reasons I could offer up as to why it suits me so well to discover the landscape around me by bike. That can wait.

During the past six weeks I have ridden to the Mediterranean many times, sometimes directly to the south, sometimes riding first west, then turning south to the sea before returning to Montpellier.







The Mediterranean draws me, pulls me. It is a romantic notion, born of ancient history, epic stories, art and architecture, theatre, then overlaid with modern images founded in novels, movies, journals, mysteries and cookbooks. That too is overlaid with darker stories of flight, war, disaster and sadness. The sea links the lands around  it into a complicated, ever-changing, modern whole.

The photos from recent rides tell only of the sea visited from the seat of a bicycle, during some pleasurable rides.





























6 comments:

  1. As the snow comes down here, that all looks most agreeable.

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    1. Indeed. There is a meter of snow on the ground at home, with another big storm forecast for Tuesday. I am very happy to be here. You may embellish that very however you like!

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  2. Hi Susan...I've been thinking of you often, hoping to make the trip to Montpellier myself soon. I hope your trip has been all that you've imagined. So far, it looks amazing.

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    1. Hi Nancy, Thanks for your note. The city, and the trip, are fabulous! I'll bring stories and descriptions with me when I next see youc... are you there in May?

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  3. Hi Suze,

    I've been reading your comments on your cycling adventures in France and must say I enjoy them a lot. I've cycled there a lot over the years though always in a group. I live in London and cycle regularly in the lovely countryside in the SE of England , often in very hilly terrain. I'm now 71 yrs and am seriously considering cycling/camping the Velodyssee cycle route (alone!). I believe I'm very capable of doing it, did you encounter many over 70s when you cycled the route? Where did you get the ferry across The Loire as you obviously did not attempt to cycle over the monster bridge at St Naziere ? Regards Brian

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    1. Hello Brian,

      I tried to reply earlier today, but it disappeared. If you saw that one somehow, this is essentially a duplicate.

      Thanks for your comment... I rarely have new readers, and it is always fun when someone new comments. I am sure sure sure that you can ride the Vélodysée, so long as you can balance the time you have with the distance you want to cover. That is what made my Paris-Nice ride hard for me, and why the others were not so hard.

      For specific questions: No, I did not cross the bridge at St. Nazaire. From Nantes, at the suggestion of my b&b hostess, a cyclist, I used the Loire à Vélo route, not Vélodysée. I think the ferry was at Indre, but am not 100% sure. There is a useful book in French published by Routard, called La Vélodyssée. There is also a website, available in English. GPS directions can be downloaded. And if you look at La Loire à Vélo you may find the name of the city with the ferry listed there.

      One thing that I never became totally accustomed to was that I never really felt like I knew where I was. I have been accustomed to route finding with a Michelin map, and while following a marked route was fabulous in many ways, I was always somewhat disoriented about the big picture.


      I met many people between 65 and 75, though I am not sure of any specific ages. I was 68 and solo when I rode it. It was fabulous! I particularly liked meeting so many enthusiastic people, without ego about who climbed which sand dune (almost the only hills) or who rode how far in the heat. It was a different group than I have met on other road touring rides. Both are great, and now at my age I am way enjoying the more relaxed Vélodyssée type.

      Passage du Gois was a hoot to ride, very fun. One needs to time the crossing with the tides, I did not realize that ahead of time, and was very helped by other riders I met enroute.


      Have you ever ridden the Euro Vélo 6? I am hoping to ride it from Basel to the sea, maybe next fall.

      If you would like to continue a discussion, cycling routes in France, or specific questions, I am at snmcycling@gmail.com

      Happy pedaling!

      Suze

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