Coffee, soup, and cold weather……..

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

Old fogy from France. Rides bikes and eats.

10 response to "Coffee, soup, and cold weather…….."

  1. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: November 18, 2018

    Hello fellow old fogy, always wondered why Americans call it gas when it’s clearly a liquid, great to hear from France.

    • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: November 18, 2018

      Because we are too lazy to add the ‘oline’ part as far as I know. I agree, gas is for natural gas, not fuel for engines.

  2. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: November 18, 2018

    Good ride, albeit cold, its a matter of what we are used to — Ive seen people in California in parkas and gloves at 50F.
    Great you can train back home, best of both worlds!

  3. By: NancyG Posted: November 18, 2018

    Loved seeing about your riding day. Love the coffee cup and saucer. Love that they are refurbishing the church and not letting it go to total ruin. I guess I am feeling a lot of love today.
    About to go out for a short ride, which is all I have time to do today, in almost freezing temps this morning. Right now it is 33 degrees and I will wait another half hour with hopes of it rising at least a little!!!

    • By: Bikerdockeith Posted: November 20, 2018

      Hi Nancy,
      The church is over 900 years old, so it’s probably not in any danger. The grey streaks on the outside are due to algae and fungi and not really harmful, just not as pretty as bare stone, or so goes the conventional wisdom.
      It’s snowing right now, but nothing is sticking to the ground yet. My morning ride to the bakery was cold, but not unbearable.
      Cheers,
      Keith

  4. By: Tony Cullimore Posted: November 18, 2018

    The bike shines well – nice looking ride.

    We had a Toyota Conquest a while back. The way Conquest was written on the back looked like Compost and that’s what that model was known as.

  5. By: The Navigator Posted: November 18, 2018

    Interesting that the annual pricing is set by auction. It would be nice to have the option of riding with the wind and getting the train back. Certainly not an option here, but I will pay that price for the low population density I guess 🙂

    • By: Bikerdockeith Posted: November 20, 2018

      Hi Em,
      Well I would probably prefer lower population density, truth be told, but I’ll take the amenities where I find them!
      Cheers,
      Keith

  6. By: Lah Posted: November 19, 2018

    I, too, sometimes wish I had the option of returning without engaging a rental. Getting on and off trains when I was in France wasn’t always easy because I was carrying six bags of gear plus a tent. I was always grateful when someone would offer to lift the back to keep me from having to unload. Some people pray for their safety. I prayed I’d be able to roll on. I enjoy pictures of and reading about French areas I haven’t visited, so keep posting!

    • By: Bikerdockeith Posted: November 20, 2018

      Hi Laura,
      Roll on trains are much more numerous now than even a year ago. A lot of money has been spent on higher platforms and low floor trains. In the Loire valley it’s particularly easy and the new inter-Loire trains can carry over 30 bicycles in roll on roll off racks.
      Cheers,
      Keith

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