CLC18.6 Can’t Get Any Better Than This

Holy wow, when it stops raining this is a beautiful place to cycle! Today was perfect, light winds, sun, warm enough that I could ride in shorts, etc. So I set out for a ride up the Burgundy canal. The first hotel boats of the season are arriving. While seeing the world go by at four kilometers an hour might sound sweet to some, I prefer the “fast lane” on the towpath. This boat has been a-building for the seventeen years that I’ve lived in Burgundy and probably for a good while before that. Will it ever be finished? Time alone will tell.

Bar headed geese are not native to France, but somehow three of them took up residence in the port du canal in Dijon. They too have been here for at least seventeen years and with the constant feeding they get from passers-by, show no inclination of leaving. They are getting old, though and one day I will miss them.

The port is getting busy with the start of tourist season.  I’m headed farther up the canal as it heads into the valley of the Ouche river.

This is to show Bill that not all meals are haute cuisine. I stopped in a bakery in Velars sur Ouche to get a sandwich and a Coke. This is a pain bagnat, a specialty of Nice. It is made in around bun that is sliced in two with lettuce, tuna, tomatoes, and home-made mayonnaise. Its probably my favorite type of sandwich.

Living as close as I do to the mustard capital of the world, its only fitting that I pass by a mustard factory. There are actually four of them in the area, although the last of the plants in Dijon closed a few years ago for lack of space to expand. This one is in Fleurey sur Ouche makes all the mustard for European McDonald’s as well as their own brands. Most of the mustard seed used comes from Canada because there is simply not enough produce locally to fill the demand.

I leave the canal path at Barbirey sur Ouche to climb into the hills that separate the Ouche valley from the plain of the Saone, where I live. This is the view from a spot above St. Victor. The spruces visible on the horizon mark the ruins of a medieval chateau.

After cresting the hills near the highest point in the Cote D’Or, I coast down through one of my favorite village, Arcenant. The valley will lead me to Nuits St. Georges and the vineyards of the cote and thence home. Its days like this that make living here so great, wouldn’t you agree?

Old fogy from France. Rides bikes and eats.

8 response to "CLC18.6 Can’t Get Any Better Than This"

  1. By: gregblood Posted: April 18, 2018

    Thanks for showing me what a nice spring day looks like and what a nice sandwich looks like too. More snow is forecast for Minnesota today. And probably a bologna sandwich for me.

    • By: Bikerdockeith Posted: April 19, 2018

      Hi Greg,
      I remember one April 17th, back in the 70’s when I was living in Minneapolis, when it snowed 17 inches. I had to ski to the store for beer. I probably had a bologna sandwich for lunch, too.

  2. By: Seasidejanet Posted: April 18, 2018

    I would agree…a very nice place to live and ride! We have “Canidian Geese” here but they decided not only to stay but reproduce. In some places they are fed birth control as a means to control the population ( I heard this somewhere not sure if it’s true). However, we do see a few new little families this time of year. They mate for life they say so your couple might just be a in the waning years of their life.

    • By: Bikerdockeith Posted: April 19, 2018

      Hi Janet,
      I was out your way sometime back in the late 80’s for a conference and I brought my bike. I’m glad I did as the Monterrey peninsula provides some fantastic riding. Canada geese were a plague in Minnesota. Because of their “waste products” the lake in Waseca was essentially a Salmonella soup. I don’t think the bar heads are mated. There have never been any little ones in the years they have been on the canal.

  3. By: The Navigator Posted: April 19, 2018

    Beautiful ride and perfect blue skies. I did get a chuckle that some of the mustard seed comes from Canada – to the area with the most famous mustard name in the world. Never would have thought that.

    • By: Bikerdockeith Posted: April 19, 2018

      Hi Em,
      Hope this finds you well. Yes, I thought it strange that mustard seed needed to be imported. What I have since discovered is that mustard is grown here as a cover crop when more profitable species like wheat, barley or Canola need to be rotated off the field. It has the advantage of being lethal to a lot of disease fungi in the soil and really helps limit the use of fungicides. Lately a lot more farmers are including it in their rotation schemes, so maybe we will import less in the future.

  4. By: Bill Stone Posted: April 24, 2018

    Hi Keith,

    Lovely day! And an enticing pain bagnat. Wait until you see what I was eating in the desert for a few days. 😉

    • By: Bikerdockeith Posted: April 24, 2018

      Hi Bill,
      I go to your latest post expecting food, and what do I see but a beautiful French woman! Heck, I can see one of those any time I want. But what about the food, man?
      You are right about the water she was (not) carrying. I wonder if she found out the hard way about how dry it really is out there?

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