Prostate Pedallers Blog
Riding the Rhone Valley
Some Pedallers joined friends and flew off to Geneva to take on the road bike Rhone Valley challenge consisting of 350 odd miles. Setting off in September the group of eight (seven cyclists and one driver) made the 20 minute journey by car from Geneva to Seyssel in France. A chance to discuss the upcoming trip and if we were going to reach the final target of Avignon then circa 70 miles per day in the saddle would be required! The logistics of this were mulled over slowly with a few large beers imbibed outside a small bar in the glorious sunshine!
The bikes and luggage had been driven over the day before so luggage was collected and bikes were put together and tested. Andy was placed in charge of navigation so maps were downloaded and a breakfast meeting was in order with Charles to ensure we had the details of our first destination and then added in all the way points to komoot. All looked good and pretty much 70 miles spot on for the first day so the crew cracked on and got going.
After 40 miles in 40 degrees heat the team were ready for lunch. One thing the French are well know for is their food and lunch was no exception. We were re-fueled and ready for the next 30 miles and looking forward to putting our feet up in Lagnieu. The temperature reduced to a cool 35 degrees (!) as we reached the 50 mile point so we ensured we were getting through plenty of energy bars and litres of water - with electrolytes of course!
The last stretch home to Lagnieu was uphill but all swept up it in style, jumped off our bikes and ordered what has to be the best tasting beer known to humanity.
Back to the hotel to shower, out for dinner, a few hours sleep - ready for another breakfast route planning catch up and then back on the bike for a further 66 miles! The destination this time was Vienne, a town 22 miles south of Lyons. Vienne was a major centre of the Roman empire and we enjoyed a bit of sight seeing as we ventured out after the day's ride.
The next day's route was planned at 8am over a coffee and off to Valence we went. A similar distance to previous days at 65 miles - the crew were getting into a bit of a rhythm. Cycle 30 - 40 miles, a quick stop for lunch and then knock the remaining 30-40 miles off. No problem eh!?!
It was time to leave Valence and head onto our next port of call, Pont-Saint-Esprit. Another 68 miles lay ahead but the weather and the beautiful views making each leg of the journey very enjoyable. Another great lunch, another great dinner and a fair few belly laughs were had as we relaxed with some beers, gin and tonics and wine...just trying to rehydrate of course!
The final day's cycling had us cycling to Arles, at least on paper. A turn in the weather meant we cycled to and stopped at Avignon, rather than cycling through it as had been planned. What a beautiful city with an ancient centre surrounded by medieval walls. So much to see including the famous bridge or what is left of it.
Following a lovely breakfast in a most beautiful hotel, we all headed out to do some final sight seeing before we headed to Avignon airport for our return trip to Cranfield. A final stop for lunch had us waxing lyrical about the week - so much to talk about and so many miles covered - including one of the crew taking a tumble and needing an ambulance crew to patch them up and another individual getting a touch of food poisoning but nothing was going to stop this tough bunch of cyclists completing the trip.
What an experience, what a trip, what a fantastic crew.