We got a late start out of Vesoul and so suffered more than we liked under an intense sun. This was especially the case when we climbed two steep hills used in this year’s Tour de France. On the streets painted in the French red white and blue were encouraging words for cyclist Thibeau Pinot, a strong climber and France’s current hope for Tour glory.
We had another pleasant ride through the French countryside, with small roads through farm villages. I now understand why the French are so in love with cycling. Their country with its dense network of well paved roads through beautiful landscapes that are blessed with some of the best weather on the planet are ideal for bicycle travel.
We arrived in the outskirts of the lovely city of Besançon by way of a cycle path. Before landing at our campground we just needed to grab some food at a supermarket. While descending a rather steep driveway into the parking lot I decided to have some fun and take a turn at a good clip. Before I knew it my front wheel washed out and I was sliding across the asphalt as if I were a hockey puck on ice. After a curb halted my bike and me, I got up to inspect the damage. My palms stung a bit, my elbow lost a little skin, and my shorts and right leg were dirty. Not bad really. I guess the slickness of the road kept friction to a minimum. My right pannier however suffered two quarter sized holes. Oh poor Ortlieb, after 14 years of full time service you are finally not waterproof anymore.
That evening we decided to take the tram into the city to have a walk and to perhaps see a movie. Besançon is a handsome city. It’s heart is nearly car free, so the narrow roads and squares are full of people enjoying a summer evening outside without the drone of automobiles. Why can’t all cities be this way? It’s lovely.
We bought tickets to see the latest Jason Bourne thriller after asking the girl in a mix of bad French and English if the movie was in English with French subtitles. We were excited when she said yes. The movie that started playing however was most definitely dubbed in French, unless I’m losing my English, so we had to request a refund. No big deal. They were happy to oblige.