since we live in Belgium, getting to the start of our tour involves a drop-off in Lille Europe (France) at seven thirty, a TGV to the Paris Nord train station, a bicycle trip through Paris to the Bercy train station and then a big hour to Laroche-Migennes. I know it sounds convoluted but everything goes smoothly.
the one complication is that though the TGV for which we reserved the seats is supposed to have a separate compartment for bicycles, the TGV that actually arrives is a different model with two decks without bike compartment, so we get permission to stack them in the little tiny entrance foyer. additionally the seat allocation is no longer correct so everybody just takes a seat wherever there is some room left. we manage to park ourselves and our eight pieces of bike bags in a comfortable seat and spend the trip to Paris reading.
we arrive in Laroche-Migennes around noon so have a quick lunch, before setting off to Auxerre. this involves dragging the bikes up and down steps to get to the other side of the train tracks but after that we find quiet car-free roads in a landscape of green fields along the canal. most of the track isn’t even on the road, but on narrow tracks along grassy canal bank, sometimes with a bit of gravel, but sometimes just basically grass. we meet a few other people, but mainly we are accompagnied by birds and lots of insects. the trick is to keep your mouth closed, to avoid unplanned protein intake!
- total distance: 32,8 km
- distance today: 32.8 km
- cycling hours today: 2 h
- average speed: 12,2 km/h