No trains today, but no rain, either.: Avignon to Montelimar - South from Burgundy - CycleBlaze

June 15, 2016

No trains today, but no rain, either.: Avignon to Montelimar

Today I discovered the reason there were no signs for the via Rhona south of Bourg St. Andéol. There is NO Via Rhona south of Bourg. In fact, It only picks up again south of Avignon, and I wasn't going in that direction. A quick perusal of Google maps showed that I could avoid most of the busy highways by following a route that went through Vedenne, Sorgues, and Chateauneuf Du Pape. As it turned out, there is a bicycle lane on the road to Vedenne, which is a suburb of Avignon, and a fairly decent shoulder on the route to Sorgues. After Sorgues, the route to Chateauneuf is rural, and easy, except for the climb to the chateau itself.

I expected a much grander chateau, since the pope lived here. But this is all there is.
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The shadow of Mount Ventoux dominantes the country around Orange, and for many kilometers. I didn't climb it on this trip.
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From Chateauneuf, the road is almost all downhill to Orange. I skirted the centreville on the periferique, which is also the old National Route 7, and kept heading north on the N7 until I could branch off onto the D976 and shortly after, the D11. Once again, riding bliss, with a nice tail wind.

The Arc de Triomph in Orange. Erected by Agrippa in honor of Augustus (probably), it sits squarely in the middle of the N7.
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I have no idea what these red flowers were, and no, they are NOT poppies.
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The rest of the ride was uneventful. Up and over a small rise to get to Bollene, where I could rejoin the Via Rhona (provisional), and onward to Montelimar. Lunch from a bakery in Bollene, and a room in the Hotel le Cremailliere, a place I'd stayed in three years before on my way south. The only tricky part was finding the bike route into Montelimar. (Turn left IMMEDIATELY after crossing the old bridge across the Rhone canal).

The morning forcast had been for rain, but the forcaters got the timing wrong. It started to cloud over as I was looking for supper, and by the time I was back in my room, after a rather ordinary meal, it had started to drizzle. I turned on the game on the TV, but fell asleep rather quickly.

Today's ride: 116 km (72 miles)
Total: 867 km (538 miles)

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