Not necessarily in that order. Minnesotans will laugh, but its gotten cold here in Burgundy. The temperature this morning was a chilly 4°C. Yes, I know that’s well above freezing, but with a ferocious north wind coming down from the North Sea, it seems that our prolonged fall is finally over. With the sun out despite the cold, I thought I could go for a ride anyway, and needing one more coffeeneuring ride to qualify (for what? Who cares!) I decided to go with the wind and ride south, catching the train back.
There was still a bit of color in the trees as I rode through Ladoix, but the vines on the hillsides above town have mostly lost their leaves. Getting to Beaune where I planned to stop, I suddenly remembered that this weekend is the annual wine auction, which will set the prices for this years vintage, and the town was packed. Most of the streets were blocked off in the center and oenophiles were cruising from cellar to cellar tasting as they went. The streets leading out of town to the south were also blocked off for the 10K and half-marathon running races that accompany the event, but I could pass on my bike as the race had just finished when I got to the course. Not wanting to compete with the crown for a place in one of the local cafés, I continued to Meursault where the Hotel des Arts was serving lunch. On the menu today was soup (a creamy velouté de butternut) which I ordered to ward off the chill. Still feeling a bit peckish, I got a small bowl of fromage blanc avec coulis des fruits rouge for dessert.
I followed this with the mandatory coffee, paid the bill and rode on. The day had turned cloudy, and the temperature had not risen above seven degrees. The wind was as strong as ever, so I continued to the south, deciding to get the train in Chagny and avoid pedaling into the wind to get home. I must have gotten soft after all these years in France. Sometimes its hard to believe that we are actually on the same latitude as Duluth, Minnesota. Anyway, I stopped to admire the work on the church in Meursault as I left the town.
A multi-year cleaning has begun on the church, restoring the original color to the stone. Any stones found to be sufficiently decayed will be replaced, but so far the building seems to be in excellent shape. There were a lot of riders on the bike route to Santenay, mostly family groups dawdling along through the vines. I turned off near Remigny and got back onto the country roads which were almost free of traffic. Today was a national day of protest against high gas prices, and many roads had been blocked by the protesters, but here there was no sign of them. Maybe if more people rode bikes gas wouldn’t be in such high demand? I’m preaching to the choir, I know.
In Chagny I discovered that I was half an hour early for the train, so I did a short loop of the town while waiting.
Another sign that winter is approaching is the boats being hauled out of the canal. A few with live aboard owners will remain in the water, but most have been berthed ashore for maintenance. Looping back to the station, I had some time to wipe the dust off the bike as I waited for the train.
Someday it won’t be new, but for now I’m still thrilled with my machine. Reflectie in the station window!
Before you ask: “Composteur” does NOT refer to the making of compost. Its a term the French railways employ for a machine that validates tickets, which one must do before boarding the train. Because we also use the composteur in our garden I have been tempted to hand the ticket controller a bag of real compost made from ticket paper when she asks for my ticket.
Date: Nov. 17, 2018
Kilometers ridden: 56
Coffees consumed: 1