Bikepacking

Mission accomplie!

21 days

6 countries

2000.59km

17565m of elevation gain

93 hours 19 minutes

3 flat tires

21 croissants

Too much chocolate

Plenty of coffee and wine

The first plan was to follow Eurovelo route 5 and get To Florence, but plans change. The Eurovelo route is not easy to follow and I got to the mountains at the same time as the snow. I explored Switzerland and France instead and had a great time! I discovered so many cities, saw so many ruines, monuments and castles from different eras and met some very nice humans.

The las few days of my adventure were flat and short, so I was happy to see mountains yesterday. I noticed the Pyrenees as I was approaching my last French lodging, but soon after, the clouds rolled in and swallowed them. The worse rainfall they had seen fell that day, lucky for me, I got there just before all hell broke loose.

My last day was another short one. It was a great day! I had another great french breakfast (yogourt and croissant) and left for Girona.

As soon as I left France, a heavy rainfall started and stayed on me for a good 45min, enough to create pools in my shoes. I really didn’t mind, I wasn’t going to stop to put shoe covers on, rubber globes or leg warmers, I think I even smiled! I wasn’t going to get off my bike today.

I was a girl on a mission. I ate my croissant while I was riding through Figueres, only stopped for 2 pictures and had no choice but to stop and lube my chain (every pedal stroke sounded like pure torture).

My bike is getting a well deserved tune up before I get to take it out for the world renowned riding Girona has to offer.

Time to leave the nomadic lifestyle behind and enjoy some greatly anticipated company, as well as more good food and coffee.

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Bikepacking, Europe adventure

Follow the path

Euro velo routes are…..very different from one to another, from a region to another, sometimes marked, sometimes paved, sometimes inexistant,…

Today was a fun one, I am quite happy, because I actually thought it was going to be a boring day. The plan was take it easy, follow another canal, try to avoid the rain and get to my second to last hotel before the final destination.

Everything went according to plan, the canal was there, the rain was blown away by that insane wind and I made it to destination.

The canal du midi is a well known popular touristic destination, a huge project that was created over 300 years ago. I was actually excited to see it, until I saw it… I am pretty sure it is impressive somewhere, but not the section I rode. The bike path that follows it is also mediocre, but I liked it a lot 🙂  A pavement bike path along a canal is pretty uneventful, but a wet and muddy path is pretty awesome and challenging to navigate with a loaded bike.

Maybe they read my blog or it’s just to prove me wrong, but I met some nice cyclotourers today. Nice couple of teachers who quit their jobs and tour Europe. I was envious of their situation, but he was envious of my lightweight setup 🙂 They did not enjoy the mud/rock bike path at all!

A stop in Narbonne for a quick tourist tour and an awesome coffee/lunch break before heading to my hotel in a kinda abandoned off season beach town. The 20km of gravel and dirt to get to the hotel was just awesome, music on, no one in sight, it was awesome! Quite happy I didn’t take the road bike on this adventure.

I’ve enjoyed finishing my days early and visiting the cities, but Narbonne may have been my last city visit before Girona. The pedestrian areas and the patio dinning will have to wait until I reach my final destination.

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Bikepacking, Europe adventure

I lost it!

I lost a jacket

I lost the nail clipper

I lost a hair band

I lost my way (a few times)

I lost my mind!

Bike paths are easy, safe and enjoyable! After many 100km of following canals and rivers, they get boring! I did what I thought I would never do, turned the music on on my phone… You know these annoying people riding with their speaker on their bike, the ones sharing their music while you are having a peaceful ride, I became that person today! If you know me, you may know that my music selection is less than desirable 🙂 and I shared it with the few french humans I passes today 🙂

I am following the Euro Velo route 17 right now. It is mostly well marked, but for whatever sanity I have left, I take different roads every once in a while to change it up. This way I get to climbs some hills, ride through villages, drink more coffees and eat more pastries!

I am amazed at all the beauty and all the history. Wherever I look, there is a castle, a sculpture, rampart, … Some are abandoned, some are museums, some are part of a working farm, factory or a house.

I have been riding for 2 weeks now and road more than 1500km. I found that music keeps me focused and make me forget about the many solo hours to come.

The music and my little bell way also have scared a scary stray dog while on a remote section of the route

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