Blocked, and a way out.: Montelimar to home - South from Burgundy - CycleBlaze

June 16, 2016

Blocked, and a way out.: Montelimar to home

During the night, it poured. There was rain, and thunder, and even hail I am told. But did I even hear it? Not a chance. I woke up once with the TV still on, turned the set off and promptly went back to sleep. It wasn't until half past breakfast that I got my carcass vertical and went off in search of coffee, and by then the sun was beginning to shine through the clouds. After packing up and paying the bill, I made my way down Ito the center of Montelimar, and went to the railway station. I wasn't the only cyclist to do so, either. There were five long-haulers, all told, four of us French, and one German who spoke excellent French. We did the usual, chatting about our travels and where to go next. It was from my fellow cyclos that I learned that the Via Rhona was blocked between Montelimar and Valence, and probably higher up the valley as well. We made a collective decision to see if there was a train running, and miracles be, there was. I bought a ticket for Lyon from the machine, struggled down one staircase with my loaded bike and up another to reach the north-bound platform, where we regrouped. The train was due to arrive at 11:05 so I bought a paper and sat reading it while we waited.

The train arrived fashionably late, and it was a disappointed crowd who saw it. Only two cars long and just enough room for everybody to squeeze on. Those of us with bikes were loaded last, and we ended up standing on the platforms for the entire ride. To allow other passengers to alight or board, we had to move the bikes around, a task complicated by the fact that one station would have the quay on the left, while the next would have it on the right. And two ladys with their fully loaded cycles who had boarded in Avignon, and hence had their bikes near the bottom of the pile, wanted to get off in Peage de Rousillon, well before the rest of us in Lyon. We managed it with good humor, though. One of the hazards of travel on the SNCF. No such good humor prevailed for the poor souls wishing to use the toilet, of which there was only one on the train. They had to crawl over the bikes to reach it, usually to find it occupied. Finally we arrived in Lyon in Part Dieu station, which is graced with long ramps that connect the waiting hall to the quays.

The station was packed, as usual, but I managed to get a sandwich and a coke. It looked like there was a train to Beaune leaving in a half hour, so rather than ride all the way home, I decided to take that one, so another ticket and up the ramp to the quay. The train arrived late, but not too late, and we were off. Two of the cyclists I had seen on the previous train were on board, and I learned from them that they had ascertained that the Saone velo route was also under water in places. We were able to verify this for ourselves a short while later as the velo route is quite close to the tracks, although obviously lower and closer to the river. Then we were in Beaune. By retracing my route from the first day, I was home in less than two hours. Then it started to rain......

Rate this entry's writing Heart 0
Comment on this entry Comment 0