Semur Out and Back - Skipping About the Continent - CycleBlaze

May 24, 2022

Semur Out and Back

We a free day in Semur-en-Auxois, so Scott sent out an email before dinner last night asking for takers on a ride he’d planned. I was game, so I took a look at the RWGPS profile – 41 miles; three categorized climbs of 1.7 to 3.2 miles, gradients over 16%. A little too much for me and, as it turns out, for all of us as Scott admitted a bit sheepishly at dinner. So, a new route was planned – an out and back that included some nice terrain through the countryside and a few stretches along the Burgundy Canal.

 We agreed to meet at the Collégiale Notre-Dame church at ten. Suzanne and Janos and I rendezvoused in our hotel courtyard a little before ten – both Suzanne and I were cycling while Janos had decided to stay in town to look around and catch up on some things he needed to do. The weather had gotten quite a bit chilly and the skies also looked threatening, so after reconsidering what I’d brought, I dashed upstairs for a rain jacket and we headed to the church, almost on time. Once assembled, we followed Scott out of town and within a few minutes were rolling through outskirts of Semur, looking a bit nervously at the dark clouds to the north. But to patches of sunlight were visible towards the southeast, so we carried on and hoped for the best.

Scott leads us past the Collégiale Notre-Dame church and out of Semur-en-Auxois
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Nice hair, but keep the tongue in
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Through the rolling countryside on the outskirts of Semur-en=Auxois
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Layers of clouds at the start of the day
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It looks a bit threatening to the north
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But there is sun shining on the far hill
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Rachael is happy for sunshine
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We reached our friend the Burgundy Canal a little more than seven miles into the ride, and followed it north until our turn-around point in Courcelles-lès-Montbard, sometimes along the canal path, sometimes through small towns and countryside. The threat of rain had dissipated, and the day had warmed to about the mid-6os. Layers of clouds filled the sky, but sunlight shone through the ever increasing patches of blue, casting swaths of light across the surrounding field. The pace was leisurely, and though we each continued at our own pace, there was time for extended stretches of side-by-side cycling and chatting along the canal.

Rachael is a bit concerned we all might miss the tricky turn-off to the canal - not a problem for Suzanne
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Do you think Scott will miss the turn? I would think not - he designed the route.
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Rachael AndersonGreat photo of us. We’re even color coordinated.
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2 months ago
Here he comes now
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Along the Burgundy Canal
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Suzanne, a blue dot along the Burgundy Canal
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Scott, along the Burgundy Canal
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How much is that doggie in the window?
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One of the scores of the refurbished canal houses we've passed in the last couple of days
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Patches of blue sky on a stretch off the canal cycle path
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A church with a flock?
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Rachael AndersonGreat caption!
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2 months ago
Blue sky, fluffy clouds and Vivien George along the Burgundy Canal
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Rolling farmlands
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Joie de Vivre
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Along the road to Courcelles-lès-Montbard
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We gathered for lunch in the small commune of Courcelles-lès-Montbard, finding a grassy spot near the town fountain that seemed a perfect spot for our picnic. And it was – we spread out under a tree with our bread, cheese, ham, raisins and other food treats, sharing stories and laughter. We’d been there quite a while when a young girl of about ten years approached us, expressing great concern. I couldn’t understand what she was saying, but she was clearly distressed and seemed to want us to follow her.  I thought maybe the cat that had passed by earlier was injured, but when she pointed to the source of her concern it turned out to be a sign indicating that we should stay off the grass. So much for our picnic! Her father, we presume, emerged from across the street, waving her off and telling us it was okay to stay where we were. Obviously, it was time to head back to Semur-en-Auxois. The return ride passed quickly, as out and backs often do. We had just left the canal for the final stretch back to Semur when Janos appeared! Great smiles and high five ensued, as the group of five was re-united for the ride back into town.

Courcelles-lès-Montbard
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Before we could eat, Rachael insisted we ride up to the church and take in the views
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Vivien George finds a friend in Courcelles-lès-Montbard
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Our nice picnic spot on the grass
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Heading back to Semur-en-Auxois
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More blue sky and white clouds on the way back
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Roadside shrine to Mary
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Warning, canal ahead
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A short stretch of gravel getting back to the canal
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Surprise and smiles
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A small herd of curious cows
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Hello, I'm 0298
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Back at the church in Semur-en-Auxois
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Fridays at rest
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Finding an open restaurant on a Monday in France can be a challenge, but we managed to secure a reservation at a nearby spot for what turned out to be a quite enjoyable meal - the food was great and the company exceptional –a fitting end to the day.

Advanced math required to sort out the bill
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Lingering after dinner before saying good-night
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Today's ride: 38 miles (61 km)
Total: 1,151 miles (1,852 km)

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