After a week and a half of rolling hills, we finally got our first taste of the mountains on our way to Saint Claude. These weren’t the cols and monts that make France a good place for a challenging bike race. We were merely sampling a mountain apéritif.
From Clairvoux-les-Lacs we hopped onto some back roads toward Saint Claude. We climbed steadily up mild grades through forest in various stages of being harvested. After probably 20km of climbing we had a nice descent for dessert, which featured smooth paving and flowing curves.
Then we entered Saint Claude and experienced the worst roads we’ve seen on our trip. There were pot holes the size of coffins. The patched pot holes looked like burnt muffin tops. And the edge of the road was more jagged than the most scenic coastline.
The roads were so bad that I’m officially blaming them for ruining Carrie’s rear wheel. Since I’m writing this post about four days after the events described, I can reveal that upon leaving Saint Claude Carrie noticed a strange clunking coming from her rear wheel. I believe either the bearings gave up or the axle snapped.
Aside from the roads Saint Claude happens to be a lovely little town. Most of the buildings hang from one of the many steep limestone hills, while far below a river goes about its business carving further into the limestone.