The big trip? - France again - this time Alsace - CycleBlaze

The big trip?

What's up with the big summer trip? Well maybe it won't be a big trip. Maybe there won't be any more big trips. It looks like it's a thing of the past when we were on the road for a month or more, when we didn't have to book ahead and didn't worry about health issues interfering. Now we book everything in advance, and only accommodations that can be canceled. Hotels are almost twice as expensive as ten years ago and we are also fussier and aren't happy with "simple" quarters. I can accept that we want more comfort at our age and we can take the higher prices in our stride. But I have become more cautious. Or to look at it another way, we are being sensible and realistic.

Two months on the road in 2009, just 13 years ago!
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That was on our tour through Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

We have now booked two weeks in Alsace, with three stops where we will ride day loops. We'll take the car to Saverne. We have planned a few rides from Saverne as our home base, then we pedal or drive to Molsheim about 20 km to the west of Strassburg for some more loops. After a couple of days in Molsheim we cycle on to Colmar for some more day trips. Janos will then fetch the car wherever it is and we drive home.

There will be no bikes on trains or one-night stands and then moving on. The problem I encountered with moving on to a new destination every day was the planning itself, not the cycling. The effort to coordinate a route with available lodgings at the right distances in between was giving me a big headache. The routing compromises I would have to make either to find a place to sleep or to book a suitable hotel were exasperating. It probably would have been easier if the trip were planned further in advance and not so many hotels were already full. That is our problem I guess, not wanting to commit ourselves too far in advance. Which was perhaps a good idea in this case. There were health issues that had to be taken care of.

We have done a few excellent trips this year, not the epic rides as in the old days, but these aren't the old days. Bicycle travel has changed and so have we. We did a short season opening tour in March, had a wonderful two weeks in Burgundy and an enjoyable four days in the Bavarian Forest.

Now we can look forward to two weeks of Alsace at the end of July and beginning of August. It's booked and there are no health issues on the horizon, hurrah! And who  knows what other trips might be on the horizon before the year is out.

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Jacquie GaudetI am looking forward to being able to go somewhere without booking everything in advance but that wasn't this year and I don't think will be an option next year. It only worked last year because we went in November. I'm still okay with camping (in France, anyway) but Al isn't, and I'm not unhappy to carry less gear, even though we pay more.
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1 week ago
Nancy GrahamYou have adjusted and adapted bike touring to your current needs and desires, That is simply awesome and fantastic that you keep keeping on. I am always envious of your bike tours as I really get none! And will probably continue that course. So I adapt my own riding to day stuff and hope I will get in some riding in a few new places as well.
Stay well my friend, and enjoy every pedal stroke ;’-).
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1 week ago
Rachael AndersonGlad to see your doing another trip! You’ve got the right idea of stops where you can do day rides. I really enjoyed doing that. You get a chance to get to know a place.
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1 week ago
Suzanne GibsonTo Jacquie GaudetI always loved camping, but not carrying the gear! And in the course of years I didn't always have the energy at the end of the day to cook sitting on the ground. I enjoy restaurants and sitting on chairs now. :)
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1 week ago
Suzanne GibsonTo Nancy GrahamThank you, so kind, Nancy! I try to take things in my stride and not feel apologetic for being old. :) And of course the point is that I am still enjoying cycling.
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1 week ago
Suzanne GibsonTo Rachael AndersonCredit goes to you and Scott for seeting a good example doing day rides. It really does give you more of a feel for where you are than just whizzing through. Aside from the benefit of riding without panniers.
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1 week ago
Keith KleinHi,
« The great affair is to move » R.L. Stevenson. Bravo for finding a method that works for you.
Alsace is one of my favorite destinations. Before Covid we went every year to taste the wine and enjoy the food. The scenery is great, too. Janos stands a good chance of being understood in German. Elsasser Deutsch is close to the Stuttgart accent, with some French words thrown in for good measure. If you are thinking of buying some wine, may I suggest Domaine Gruss in Eguisheim? It’s six kilometers from Colmar and there’s a bike path between the two.
Have a great tour!
Cheers,
Keith
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1 week ago
Suzanne GibsonTo Keith KleinHi Keith,
We are looking forward to the scenery, food and wine. Hope the approaching heat wave doesn't knock us out first. Thanks for the wine tip! We will be sure to have empty panniers on the day we ride through Eguisheim.
My best to you and Susan,
Suzanne
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1 week ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Suzanne GibsonWhen we first toured in Europe after a 23-year hiatus, we decided to do what I call "camping light". We left our stove and fuel bottle at home and committed to eating out. It was a good decision and I haven't taken a stove to Europe since. It's different here in BC, though, because campgrounds are never close to anywhere to get a meal.
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1 week ago