Fleeing the fog: Home to Cremieu via Lyon. - The Last of the Summer Wine - CycleBlaze

October 14, 2014

Fleeing the fog: Home to Cremieu via Lyon.

I live near Dijon in sight of, but not in the hills that make up the "Cote" or hillside that gives the Côte d'Or it's name. It's not really golden as the name would have it, but this time of year as the vines that grow there begin to get ready for winter, there is a certain golden glow in their leaves. In the right light the hillsides are "golden" in the fall. A romantic would name the area for that glow. A cynic, on the other hand, might point out the price of good Burgundy wine certainly adds the gold to an otherwise ordinary hill. Either way, in the summer the region is flush with tourists wanting to see the famous vines and, for many, to cycle on the peaceful country roads that run through and near them. But it's fall now, the tourists have mostly disappeared, and the season of fog is upon us. I woke up this morning to what Sue and I refer to as a "cat 4" fog: the vineyard behind the house was shrouded up to the neighbor's house four doors down. When I had packed my bike in a leisurely way, and gone to catch the eleven o'clock train for Beaune, it still hadn't lifted. Loading the bike on the train for the fifteen minute ride to Beaune, I hoped that the situation would improve by the time I got to Lyon. Actually, after a brief stop in Beaune to change trains, the fog had gone, and a beautiful sunny afternoon was in store. I grabbed a sandwich in a bakery near the gare in Beaune and boarded the train for Lyon Part-Dieu, arriving just before two.

I usually get lost trying to leave a big city. In Lyon, however, I found my way easily what with the marvelous network of cycle lanes the city has installed just about everywhere, and the easily defined goal of the Rhone cycle path to guide me. Just turn left out the back door of the railway station and head more or less north 'til the Rhone appears in front of you. And there I was, on the Via Rhona, a cycle path that follows the Rhone from Geneva in Switzerland to Marseille. There are some gaps in the path, and some places where it isn't paved, but it's mostly complete. Turning right to go upstream, I raced along the path with a light tail wind. Paths along water are flat, and the going was easy. I wanted to turn off near Jons to follow the route departmental to Cremieu. Just before I got to Jons, I hit a mudslide. It wasn't too wide, but the mud was of a particularly viscous kind and the fenders quickly became packed with the stuff. I slid out of the mud and stopped so I could find a stick to clean off as much mud as I could. My cleaning wasn't very successful but at least the wheels turned without protest. I came to the end of the path only to find three flights of stairs between me and the road I wanted to be on. Lugging my dirty bike up the stairs, I broke into a sweat for the first time today. Then remounting my bike, I climbed to the top,of a small but steep hill into Jons. On the far side of the village there was a quick descent to the route I wanted. More downhill to a roundabout and wow! A car wash with high pressure hoses! A couple of tokens later, and I had a mud-free bike again. Then it was a short ride on a moderately busy road to Cremieu, where I checked into a small hotel for the evening.

Cremieu is a beautiful old town with castles and ramparts and an old market hall. I got showered and into clean clothes before setting out to see the sights. Walking around these medieval sites is always a delight, even with the addition of automobiles. Usually, the streets of the oldest parts of the town are too narrow for two-way traffic, so the major roads tend to avoid them. Cremieu is no exception. I snapped a few photos before getting a beer in the only bar that was open. Then back to the hotel for dinner.

Dinner was home made cheese and onion tart as the entrée followed by andouillette, of course! I rate this one a 9/10. It was prepared in mustard sauce with wild mushrooms and potatoes gratin with cheese for dessert. Wine was a half bottle of a rather nice Pessac Leognan '01. Sated, I climbed up to my room for bed.

Waiting for the train to Beaune in the fog.
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On the Via Rhona in Lyon
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SAilboats on the Rhone
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Hotel doorstop in Cremieu
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Chateau in Cremieu
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Abbey in Cremieu
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Market Hall in Cremieu
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The Clock Tower of Cremieu. This is the last remnant of the forteress that one occupied the entire hill top.
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Today's ride: 51 km (32 miles)
Total: 51 km (32 miles)

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