The Best Day Of The Bikepacking Trip So Far - Reaching The Loire Valley
I'm riding the Eurovelo 3 from Paris to Bordeaux and after a couple of rough days battling the heat I'm finally looking forward to reaching the highlight of the whole trip. The Loire Valley. The Loire By Bike Trail offers some spectacular and varied stretches along the Loire River. With everything from single track sections to easy flat gravel sections. It also goes through some beautiful small towns as well as remarkable architectural wonders. This might be the best day of the whole trip. Here we go!
[Music] Good morning and welcome to the third day of my bike tour here in France. Today's plan is to make it to the start of the Loire Valley. And that's in a town called Briare and I think we have about 60 kilm left until I'm in Briare. I was actually contemplating last night about taking a bit of a shortcut and joining the Loire Valley route down in Orleans. But I figured the Loire Valley was sort
of the highlight of this whole trip. So if I had taken that shortcut I would miss out on on a big chunk of the Loire Valley. So I'm going down to Briare instead. I'm a bit behind schedule seems like I'm about 35 km short of what I'm planning to do. But the good thing about this
bikepacking trip is that there are plenty of fast forward options all along the route In fact they even encourage people to use this option. And all along the road yesterday I saw signs leading to the nearest train station. So you are able to get on a train and maybe make up some time if you're lacking behind like I am right now. So I figured I would go and do the Loire Valley
In its entirety and then maybe take a fast forward during the later days of this bikepacking trip It's so nice in the morning I can't even be begin to explain. Last night we had about 35° C or just below 100° fahit. I believe now in the morning it's it's around just about 20°. So it's super nice riding now in the morning. Let's make the best of this time [Music] Well this is a very popular route, the Eurovelo 3 or La Scandiberique. And you meet people cycling all along the route every day. Not that many as I would have expected, but still maybe 10-20 people per day or so. The guys that I just passed here were from Stutgart in
Germany and they were also on their way to Bordeaux as their end destination, just as I m [Applause] [Music] The cycling in the morning here has been totally fantastic. The road surface is newly paved asphalt and it's decent temperature so far. So I'm really able to make some progress without getting too exhausted. And there are basically no hills either. I think I've climbed like 40 m
since I left Montargis, but it's very kindly sloping upward. And the only small uphills that you have to climb are when you're going over or pass a lock. Otherwise it's pretty even surface all the way [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] Well it's just after noon and I've just reached the town of Briare. And I've stopped here at a supermarket to buy some lunch. And just coming out of the air conditioned Supermarket you get met
with this wall with super hot air outside. We're just entering the hot period of the day between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. and it's going to be ugh. But I'm happy that I've been able to make about 60 km now in the morning here so I'm pretty good time wise. And I'm just going to go and see if I can find a park to eat my lunch in and then continue on on this super hot afternoon here in France I've enjoyed the lunch now and throwing myself out in this terrible heat again. But I start with a sort of unusual thing here we have one of France's longest aqueducts. Where they're actually leading a canal of water over another body of water here by the lake... No the the river Loire I mean.
The weather is taking a toll on me. Here is the aqueduct and we have the river down below it [Music] [Music] [Music] The Loire By Bike Trail is a 900 km long bike trail. Starting in Nevers and ending out by the Atlantic in Saint Brevin les Pins. I'm doing a small section of the bike trail. About 250 km from Briare to
Tours. By crossing the Briare Aqueduct we're officially now in the Loire valley. And you can see right away that the numbers of bike tourists and bikepackers are increasing. This is a very popular bike touring destination here in France. If not the most popular. And I'm expecting we're going to see a lot of more bike tourists than I've seen during the first couple of days on this bike packing trip. And I'm also super happy that I got to ride this well shaded bike path here. Now it's 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon and it's pretty much the warmest period of the day
It's a it's a bit cooler here in the shade than if I would would be out in the blazing sun [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] Looks like there's a nuclear power plant way off in the Horizon over [Music] [Music] Sometimes it's the small things that makes you go on for another 30 or 40 kilm. Just being able to find a nice bench like this in sort of the semi-shade. And then you take up your phone and see if there's any drinking water around and it shows that there's drinking water within 10 or 15 M away from here. And you start to look around and you see the water faucet over there. And you're just oh thank God, cold water! I fill this up every like hour at least. But after about a half hour it gets lukewarm. So finding cold fresh water is such a relief
[Music] [Music] Pretty impressive bridge! I'm guessing this is an Old Railway Bridge that theyve turned into a bridge for cyclists and pedestrians [Music] Finally shaded by the trees again. I've gone about 105 km so far this day. I'm going to start looking for campgrounds when I make a stop up here. I'm aiming to do about 120 today so make up some distance that I lost in the first couple of days. It's now
about 5:00 p.m. so I should have plenty of time before the campground starts to close for the evening If you think I'm over exaggerating about it being hot today you can take a look at this chocolate bar that I brought along from a home in Sweden. It's pretty hot today! This day has by far been the best of the whole trip so far It's really varied. You go through not only cycling along the canal. There's also small singletrack sections through the woods. And then you go to small picturesque villages, like the one I'm passing right now. And you also get to see a bit of the countryside. The second day I mainly just saw the canal and the woods surrounding it. So this has been a super day here in France
[Music] [Music] And now a very welcome shower. Okay here we we go! Woo woohoo! Oh that was so refreshing and nice I have just located my Campground for the evening. And it's about 8 km left until I'm there. The time now is is 6:00 p.m. so should be there in pretty decent time. I think this is the campground right over here so I'll check it out
Well that was quick. €10 for the campground for one night for me and the bike. And the good thing about this Campground also is that it was located right on the Eurovelo or La Scandiberique route So I didn't have to deviate any any large stretch of of road to get to it. And it's also pretty close to the city center here. I actually think I'm going to going to walk in and see if I can find some some restaurant or maybe a supermarket to buy some food. And I'm just about to head in now and look for a nice spot. There's supposed to be a couple of spots in the
shade over here. I'm heading in. Well all of the shores are done I've taken a shower I've pitched my tent and I've even rinsed off my jersey and my my biking shorts. It doesn't look very promising that they're going to be dry for tomorrow. I was was hoping that the sun would do its job but it just went down here, so they're kind of damp still. But I have a another shirt that I can use tomorrow. I also went over to the supermarket. I was actually thinking about eating
at a restaurant, but it got so late so I figured it would take me forever to to get ready. And I still had to make a supermarket run. So I just bought some some food over here. I was also able to find a half bottle of wine. And this fits me a lot better yesterday when I when I bought that white wine. I think I only had one glass of it and it feels like kind of a waste to throw 3/4 of it away So Cheers! Like I told you earlier this day turned out to be a fantastic day here in France. I've been kind of going on rants for the first two days. But that's usually what bikepacking life is
It takes a couple of days to get into the mood and especially with this heat wave that they're having here. And I've just come from cold Sweden, where we're basically going into the fall right now. It took me a couple of days to acclimatize to this weather. I also liked with this day that it was really varied. You had everything from cycling along the canal, which I've done now for the past two days to riding a singletrack trail inside of a forest. And then out in a rural landscape. And a lot of things to see along the road. Finally it feels like the the
France that I remember from a couple of years ago. When you're passing through these nice small towns but you still get to make up some distance in the countryside. The first two or at least the first day was pretty horrible. It seemed like Paris never ended. It was just suburb after suburb and that's not my kind of bikepacking. So I'm hoping this will continue in the next couple
of days. Which I think it will, we're in the Loire Valley after all. I'm very much looking forward to tomorrow. And in the meantime while you wait for that video you can watch this video up here from my last tour here in France a couple of years ago. And until next time, have a good one!