Reflections …

Back home in Auchterarder, and time to reflect on what was an incredible holiday, and an even more amazing sense of achievement in completing the route.

Although it was hectic, and very full-on, the “old git” and the “old gal” are already missing their days  of togetherness in the saddle while on the road in beautiful Burgundy. The scenery was fabulously eye-catching and a real joy to experience.

Before we set out we always said that “the journey” was going to be the holiday, and sticking to that agenda we enjoyed long sunny days on the road giving us a fantastic in-depth experience of the Villages and Vineyards of Burgundy – and its friendly people.

That journey was so much more satisfying for us being self-propelled at the slow pace of a tandem. Every view (and every hill!) lasted so much longer.

Travelling in the relatively fragile mode of transport that a tandem is certainly exposed us not only to the warm sunshine, but to the physically demanding exertions of progressing from place to place.

It also brought us into close interaction with the local people, many of whom tooted their support and issued friendly “bonjours” as they passed Team Tandem Ecosse in their vehicles. And of course the other cyclists we met along the way – with whom we shared a special bond.

But perhaps the most important thing is that the “old gal” (aka Diane) and the “old git” (aka Colin) did it as a team – through thick and thin, up (yet another) hill and down dale, and reversing our pedalling to the last junction to take the “correct” turning.

They resolutely supported each other every pedal of the way – and emerged from the experience even more together, and in love!

And even after nearly 200 gruelling miles they tell me it really was a fantastic adventure – and they wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

Now where is that brochure to start planning next year’s trip …..

Sat - vineyards just grapes

Finally, here is the review we posted with the holiday company Exodus.

Fantastic experience – even with a few unexpected hills!

5 Stars
Overview:
We cycled The Vineyards and Villages of Burgundy trip with our classic tandem – which really did prove to be double the fun on a bicycle made for two! The scenery was spectacular – switching from pedalling through some of the most famous vineyards in the world to scenic villages where each one was prettier than the previous one, to beautiful canal paths and magnificent chateaux. It was made all the more spectacular by the warmth of the sunshine – and the friendliness of the locals we met en route, many of whom enjoyed the spectacle of our tandeming efforts! With most of the route along designated cycling paths, it felt very safe and the area is perfectly set up for cyclists – with the paths mainly being of a much higher quality than experienced in the UK. The organisation was brilliant – particularly the ease of the luggage transfer – which allowed us to enjoy the cycling and the quaint individual hotels which all offered a warm welcome and were fully geared up for cyclists.
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Several:
Cycling through the vineyard paths – with the grapes ready for harvest literally a few paces away;
The caves in the villages eager to offer wine tastings – with the wine in each village seemingly better than the one before!;
The spectacular chateau at the medieval village of Chateauneuf en Auxois – even if it required a huge effort to get up the hill to it!;
The beautiful tree-lined canal paths and the scenic lock-keeper’s houses along the way;
Thur - canal to chataneuf
The historic architecture of the two main towns of Dijon and Beaune;
and the feeling of personal satisfaction and achievement of reaching journey’s end!!!
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
The route notes contained several good suggestions for lunch and picnic stops – follow these and you will have wonderful venues for picnics. Suggest stopping at a local boulangerie en route before lunch (as most close at lunchtime) for baguette and local shops for cheese, cold meats, fruit, and of course a bottle of Cremant fizz to wash it all down! The suggested lunch stop at the small bridge at Lusigny-sur-Ouche on the trip from Nolay to Chateauneuf is truly halcyon.
We would recommend a thorough read-over of the day’s route before leaving – including double checking it on the provided large scale map – as some of the directions can be open to interpretation … and result in “discussions” between couples!
Sat - Vineyards Tig mapr cropped
Beware the “surprise” hills. This was billed as an ‘easy to moderate’ trip across ‘mildly undulating’ countryside. To the most part it is – but there are a few killer hills and long steep gradients which we felt it would have been fairer to be warned about. The fact that they cropped up without warning sapped energy and threw the planned timings of the schedule out of kilter.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Doing a trip like this really is a fantastic experience and will provide a well of great memories!
You owe it to yourself to do it!
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2 thoughts on “Reflections …

  1. Hey Matty, you have a warm heart after all. So glad you enjoyed all the effort your old dears put into the holiday.
    I would def worry about the next challenge though. Make good use of all your quiet time to recharge your batteries.
    Did sound a wonderful trip though and I do believe the old dears were concerned about the really steep hills in case they were too much for you. Sweet !

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  2. Well done to the three of you! It was clearly a wonderful experience. No more wineries for a while…but you can always work in some distillery stops if you get thirsty on your next outings! Cheers!

    Like

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