Nice to meet you. Next please. - Kiwis fly - CycleBlaze

September 9, 2019 to September 10, 2019

Nice to meet you. Next please.

Two days rolled together: Nevers to Saint-Thibault / Saint-Thibault to Sully-sur-Loire

We continue to cruise EuroVelo 6, the expressway of a cycle trail that swoops across mainland Europe from St-Brevin-Les-Pins on France's Atlantic coast to Budapest and beyond. 

At some point yesterday morning, though, we  notice a change in signage to the Loire à Velo route, the pathway of the Loire. We are still on EV6 but the Loire now takes precedence . . . and fair enough.

It has been two days of pedalling through huge landscapes - very rural and on a variety of paths. Waterways have come and gone; the Loire herself has teased us with occasional appearances, generally when we need to cross a massively long bridge to take us to her other side.

Today's close encounter with a nuclear power plant. Shortly after I took this pic a No Photos sign appeared on the pathway.
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Today in particular has been notable for the variety of paths or tracks that we are  traversing. It's as if we are given just a taste before being shunted on to the next one.

Fortunately, I was well off the shelf by the time someone thought up the idea of speed-dating. But I amuse myself today by coming up with an analogy.  Humour me, please. 

First, there is the lime chip path, which bedazzles us with brightness, literally,  but covers us in dust. Very much a short-term fling. Then we move on to a silky smooth new blacktop who seduces us with promises of even more speed. And it's true. For our brief time with this contender, we hum along at nearly 30 km an hour. But it proves to be totally unreliable, gone in a flash. 

For a while, I have to admit, it's exciting to be jiggled and jolted by a cobblestone surface. But we have lost our panniers a few times to the likes of this surface. And the same goes for rooty, dusty and often narrow unsealed paths. Just too much excitement for a long term commitment.

In the end, we're happy riding established sealed paths. They're a bit bumpy in places thanks to energetic tree roots but we know what to expect from them and they last the distance.

Our lunch stop, looking at Gien across the Loire.
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We play tag with a German couple on ebikes late this morning. We sidle past them with a greeting but then stop for a photo, so it's bonjour once more as we apologetically overtake again.  I'm a great fan of the ebike - I love the way it allows experienced cyclists to travel further and for longer, as well as encouraging non-cyclists to join this wonderful club of ours.  One day, I know, I will be happily touring European pathways on my own ebike. But there was a little frisson of excitement at today's passing manoeuvre, I have to admit.

We pull over at a scenic riverbank stop for a late lunchbreak, rummaging through our pannier bags to find the sandwich (filled baguette) and pastries we'd bought earlier. A few minutes later, the German couple stop at a neighbouring table. Out of their bags and baskets come, in this order, a tablecloth, bottle of red wine, two wine glasses, an assortment of plastic food containers, a stack of plastic plates and, finally, two seat cushions.

Style wins over speed any day.

Our day ends at Sully-sur-Loire. And the local Château is well worth a visit.
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Today's ride: 171 km (106 miles)
Total: 1,025 km (637 miles)

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Dawn HunterOur morning dose of clever writing and laughs. Missed yesterday! Safe travels.
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2 years ago
Robyn RichardsTo Dawn HunterAnd I love getting your comments! Thanks, Hunters.
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2 years ago