Long Day in the Saddle: Day 9 - Lyon to Tournon sur Rhone - Hey Buddy, You're Going the Rhone Way - Rhone Source to Sea 2018 - CycleBlaze

October 12, 2018

Long Day in the Saddle: Day 9 - Lyon to Tournon sur Rhone

Leaving Lyon to the south turned out to be a little more complicated than entering from the North. While the entrance was a piece of cake on dedicated bike paths, the exit took a bit of route finding in and amongst the autoroutes and busier highways. It was all quite doable, and the route was clearly identified as EV17 on our Pocket Earth GPS (highly recommended for bike travel in Europe .... WAY belter than Google for identifying and following bike routes), but you needed to keep the GPS down to the finest resolution to see where you needed to cross rail tracks, or take specific highway crossing etc, or you would end up on the wrong bike route heading in (obviously) the wrong direction. This happened to us a few times. Never more than a minute or two to discover and correct, but without a GPS it would have been much more taxing.

The EV17 website recommends that some folks actually take the train to Givors, about 30 km south of Lyon to avoid 'the busy narrow highway'. Once again we think this is written for the pool noodle crowd. Once out of Lyon (all on bike paths or good shoulder designated as bike path) we were on good D roads with a good shoulder and moderate traffic, nothing that any moderately experienced biker would be worried about. Givors wasn't that pleasent to get through, late morning, lots of traffic and no dedicated bike lanes, but again, no worse than maneuvering through any other city.

Once past Givors however, it was dedicated paved bike path along the Rhone for the rest of the day. Nice. It was full on sun, verging on hot with a noticeably drier landscape (start of the Mediterranean climate?), perfect cycling weather bar the wind. It was straight into our faces and quite strong all day. Suck it up and pedal is all you could do.

We also started to see a few other cycle tourers. A pair of (Italian?) ladies about our age, going slower than us, two much younger French guys going way faster than us, and an English couple about our age, doing the same thing that we often do. Bicker.

We were just pulling out of a Carrefour (grocery store) parking lot when we saw these two other bikers approaching the round about (English - you can immediately tell some nationalities by the bikes, bags and riding attire). The lead rider, male, face down looking at map, starts to slow down, the tail rider, woman, drafting close, looking somewhere else, does not slow down and crashes into back of man. 'Conversation' starts immediately .... “Nigel, you need to signal when you are going to stop ...”  “Bec's, you shouldn't be so close behind and it's obvious we are approaching......” and on, and on...

Kirsten immediately turns to me and asks, smile on her face ... “Did you see that?” Me "Nope, nothing happening there" as I pedaled off, thinking about my next quick stop.

Not a lot of pictures today, nice countryside but not as dramatic as the last few days.

Very nice and newer hotel, Les Amandiers, in Tournon sur Rhone, a very nice little village. Also another great dinner accompanied by the local wine - we are across the river from the little village of Tain-l'Hermitage, they're known for making some pretty good stuff, and then a great nights sleep. We'll continue on south tomorrow and try to get about 1/2 way to Avignon.

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SOTD
How Do you Like Me Now by The Heavy

Listened to tunes this aft (but it was like having a scratchy AM radio in a car with the windows rolled down with the wind noise) and this came on when we had about 15 km left to go. It got the legs pumping against the wind. Just seeing their video for the first time and the setting is very much like where we were when this song was playing.

Leaving the lovely Hotel Fourviere in Lyon
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From the folks who brought you the Pompidou Center, and Daft Punk, here's another architectural wonder. It does look pretty cool, but the French are still into the 70's thing. I was just waiting to see a bunch of folks wearing pastel colored once piece jump suits come streaming out of this building.
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... and if you don't like orange, here's a version in green! Both of these buildings were in south Lyon at 'The Confluence" - where the Rhone and Soane rivers meet. And although we didn't get the jumpsuit people, we did pass an autonomous 'vehicle' just outside here. It looked like a large ice cube, carrying one very patient passenger, as two geezers with loaded touring bikes passed it with ease! It may be the way of the future, but in this case, the future is not now! We only saw these because we were going the wrong way ..again! The title of this journal is not just a cheesy play on the river's name, it's a real life occurrence that happens to me several times a day. Sometimes it works in our favor, like this, but most of the time it just gets me a scowling look from my riding companion.
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Near Condrieu (of white wine fame - have to say I'm not a big fan). Looking much more arid than just a few KM's to the north
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Not many picture today. This one is just outside Tournon sur Rhone, our stop for the night. Beautiful blue sky all day, and it was warm verging on hot ... if you were out of the wind. It blew at a constant 20 - 30 km directly from the south. Guess which way we were travelling?
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A rare shot of me just north of Tournon sue Rhone. Lovley composition K!
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Tournon is a very picturesque village, across the river from Tain l'Hermitage (home of Valrhonna Chocolate and of course Hermitage wine (an exquisite Syrah, some say this is the spiritual home of Syrah) Given this, there are several very good restaurants in town. We went to Le Cerisier and were amply rewarded ... this is K's starter, shrimp dumplings with pickles radish. it was great
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... and of course a bottle of the local stuff... it too was exqusiite
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K's main ... looks like the rib that Freddie Flintstone gets served in the opening credits of his show ... but is was much better than a Brontosaurus rib ... perfectly cooked veal chop with a demi glace. FYI Kirsten did NOT eat it all, she had some help!
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and I had a Black pig tenderloin with roasted squash and pumpkin - very autumn, and very very good
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... a little out of synch ... post ride Blondes to help wash away all the dust and grit the wind threw at us
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Today's ride: 114 km (71 miles)
Total: 666 km (414 miles)

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