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First Day of Biking

    We took a taxi this morning from our hotel in Saulieu to Dijon where we met up with our bicycle group at the Hotel de la Cloche at 9 a.m. From there, we all rode in a bus about 20 minutes to the outskirts of Dijon to the Chateau de Saulon-La-Rue, a vast 17th century chateau where we met up with our bicycles. Our luggage stayed on the bus and appeared in our rooms at the end of the day. The great thing about biking trips with Butterfield and Robinson is that luggage, bicycles, water bottles and meals are all handled for you, perfectly. After getting seats and pedals and everything else adjusted and getting a map and detailed instructions for the day, we headed out for our first day of 44 kilometers, 26 miles of pedaling.

Lillee 033.jpgThe route took us along the Saone River through fields, rustic farms and villages to the Auberge des Canards, a duck farm, where we stopped for lunch after travelling 19.6 kilometers. The lunch was a salad with duck meat on top followed by a full serving of duck with vegetables. The lovely Laura Lee was feeling indisposed and skipped most of the lunch, but she rallied to complete the day’s ride after lunch.The afternoon ride was slightly longer than the morning at about 26.4 kilometers.

I was feeling good at lunch that none of this had been too difficult so I made the mistake of enjoying several glasses of wine. With the longer ride after lunch and a slight uphill run for the final few miles, I was feeling pretty weak when we finally arrived at our hotel at around 3:45 this afternoon. However, I can say to you with certainty that this trip is far better and easier than dogsledding. I took a quick nap at the hotel and by 6 p.m. I was ready for the evening.

Tonight and tomorrow night we are staying at the Chateau Andre Ziltener in Chambolle-Musigny, a tiny little village just south of Gevrey Chambertin. We will do a loop trip tomorrow through Gevrey Chambertin and around the area (35 kilometers, 21 miles), shorter than today’s ride but far more hilly. Tuesday, we will head south through Nuits-St.-Georges and on to Beaune.

Tonight, we gathered for a wine tasting in a cave beneath a local restaurant where we heard a talk by a local wine professional explaining the history and the strange classification of wines from this area. Suffice it to say that Bordeaux is far simpler to understand than Burgundy. This was followed by a traditional Burgundian dinner with escargot or eggs poached in red wine followed by Coq Au Vin or a filet of sole. The meal was accompanied by outstanding local wines.

I’ll let you know how I do tomorrow. My plan is to have less wine at lunch, but much will power will be required. 


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Reader Comments (2)

Nice shorts.... Only in Europe..Dad
October 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel
I suggest you drink more wine and use less shorts. Maybe a nice sheepskin cover for the bike seat instead.....
October 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDan

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