Loire by bike

I’m currently on spring break, which is a mixed blessing. It should be wonderful to have two weeks of vacation with all of Europe at my fingertips. Oh but wait. I ran out of money last month, so I couldn’t book tickets anywhere, and the places I’m most excited to visit are all (a) prohibitively expensive during vacation periods and/or (b) no fun to visit alone, and my friends in France are dropping like flies (that is, leaving).

I realize that someday (with any luck, soon), I will wish I could have two weeks of vacation in France with absolutely no responsibilities. On that day, EJ, please remind yourself that vacation is no fun when you’re alone in Angry Town with an extremely limited budget. First World Problems, right?

Trying to make the best of a bittersweet situation—and battle my pastry belly, you know, two birds, one stone style—I made a resolution to avail myself of the extensive Loire by Bike path that runs from the Atlantic all the way to Germany.

Like most things in this country and life, my opinion of it vacillates rapidly from high to low.

I’ve passed through some scenery lovely enough to inspire me to become an Impressionist painter, if only I had paints and a canvas and knew how to paint.

A village dripping in wisteria, for instance,

the convergence of the Maine and Loire rivers,

and this lovely lane that made me gush like Anne of Green Gables.

As wonderful as it is of France to provide such an extensive bike path, however, I’m afraid I must look a gift horse in the mouth for a moment. What kind of bike path has stairs? Only a slick, squillion-dollar mountain bike could charge up and down them safely. I have to climb off my clunky three-speed and drag it up and down steps and sharp bumps. (If I do that section of the path again, I’ll get a picture of it.)

Even more frustrating, most of the path isn’t easily accessible to me, and in addition to the ridiculous stairs, the closest segment is, frankly, not that interesting. Technically, I’m not supposed to take my municipal-issue bike out of Angers. I think it’s fair for me to take the bike as far as I can ride it, but my dear bike is kind of a fattie. She’s just not cut out for a very long trip. I like her as a friend and all, but I get irritated because she just can’t move very fast.

But she does look pretty cute against the backdrop of the Loire, doesn't she?

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4 responses to “Loire by bike

  1. Maddie Calhoon

    I love your blog. I love your blog so much. It makes me blush like Anne of Green Gables. P.s. she’s my hero. Write a book so that I may read it. TALENT!

  2. Please, please please can we someday bike the Loire trail from the Atlantic to Germany? I’ll even carry your bike up (or down) any stairs.

  3. Fun page! We would love to follow your adventures in Angers (one of my very favorite towns, by the way!) We are “collecting” people who do just that, the LAV! We have an infant forum based on the Loire a Velo only, and that would be fun to have some of your comments on it. We have pages in French and inEnglish(you may have understood that I speak it relatively well, for a Frenchie.. )
    Where are the stairs? I would love to know. We have clients around Angers all the time, so if they knew ahead of time, they might not choose to carry their kitchen sink..
    Hoping to hear from you soon,
    Christine

  4. Hi there! Thanks for reading. Sadly, I’m about to leave Angers to go back to the U.S. but I’ll check into your forum in the mean time. The stairs are on at the bit of the Loire just east of Bouchemaine.

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