Cycling in France
Cycling from Châtenay-Malabry, France to Beaugency, France
Had to wait to leave at dawn, skipping breakfast at the
hostel for some coffee and a croissant at a bakery in Antony, hoping not to get hassled
for no lights. To escape the Paris environs fast, jumped on the N20
for about 25 km for a fast ride to Torfou, where I made the big turn and rode the
D99 and D17
along the Juine to Étampes. A most pleasant ride to the source of the
at Autrey-sur Juine along the C1. Along the way, I stopped at a bike shop in Méréville to get my rear wheel straightened. It seems that my $50 didn't
get me too much care from Martinair. Also picked up some cool shades, since I'd lost mine
already, and boy was that sun getting high. It was getting hot and the shade of
valley was ending.
After Autrey-sur Juine, along the D110
is what I consider to be 30km of some of the bleakest riding in France. You are completely
exposed among the flatly rolling plains, said to be the breadbasket of France. Here you
get to see first hand and close up the source of those delicious baguettes. Places with forboding names
like Outarville give some idea of the strakness of this route. Stopped in Erceville for
some soup and coffee.
It just got hotter and hotter until, after turning on to the D97
at Aschères-le-Marche, I reached the Forêt d'Orleans with still
35km to go. It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon in Orleans and the center was bursting
with energy. Not me as I was close to passing out from dehydration, fatigue or something.
A brioche didn't help much, but an hour break did and continued on the N152 along
the Loire as it began its big bend toward the Atlantic. This was a busy route
through Meung-sur-Loire and the traffic helped keep me conscious until reaching Beaugency
The hostel at Beaugency is up the hill on the D925 about
2km. On arrival there was just enough time for a shower before a sumptuous dinner al
fresco. There's much more to say about this place, one of the best hostels in France. You
will not find another where the hospitality, food and accommodations are so first class. It
is really too bad that this is one of the first stops on a southbound tour because the
life is so good there you won't want to leave!
Beaugency, a charming medieval city. The 15th C castle
at Dunois houses the Musée des Arts et Traditions de l'Orléanais (Orleans Museum of Arts
and Traditions). The Town Hall (with its 16th C facade) has an exceptional collection of
17th C embroidered wall-hangings. The Tour César in the town is an 11th Century keep.