Bikes & Burgundy by Exodus' Diane Knight
Fancy a bit of cycling with your wine tour..??
I got my first taste of cycling in France a couple of years ago when I cycled the Loire Valley. It was then that I discovered how exhilarating it felt exercising with stunning scenery to keep my mind occupied whilst enjoying the freedom and achievement of exploring somewhere new.
My colleagues mocked me when they saw me unpack my very well padded bike saddle. I also kitted myself out with padded lycra shorts and matching gilet. Well I had to look the part and I take comfort very seriously. The bikes come kitted out with panniers, water holder and a handy attachment to secure the route notes and map to the front handlebars.
The Eurostar from Kings Cross is such a convenient way to travel. We were doing our bit for the environment and it’s much more exciting stepping onto a train straight out of central London, and disembarking into the heart of France. One change in Paris, two stops on the underground and we got to Dijon in time to enjoy some al fresco dining and my first glass of local wine, while the sun was still shining.
As we set off the next morning, we negotiated our way along the noisy main roads in Dijon to the more tranquil and scenic routes alongside the vineyards taking in the strong aroma of red wine.
Freewheeling through the medieval sleepy villages, I enjoyed the cacophony of the church bells ringing around the village combined with the tranquillity of empty streets. It’s certainly a stark contrast to Balham High Road!
The undulating hills makes life interesting, I have to confess I did have to get off the bike to walk some of the hills but I certainly burnt off some calories during the whole experience and didn’t hesitate about having dessert after every meal. When in France …
Beaune, the capital of Burgundy is an exciting medieval city with plenty to see and do but Chateauneuf is an impressive site as it is a quaint village with a very impressive castle set up on a hill (which was challenging).
I hope Exodus sends me on another cycling trip soon as for me this is definitely the best way to combine my need for exploration and exercise at the same time!