And so the journey begins…

I slept crap, again! Quite annoying waking 4 times a night whilst my body still has not adjusted.

Packing took a while as Tony needed to rig an alternative fastening system for one of our rear luggage bags, as the correct straps were left at home. A series of cable ties did the trick.

Tony working on his bike – nearly ready.
Mine is ready, sort of 😊
Each morning I have looked at this cat on the roof of the house across the road. It’s a black cat, let’s hope it is lucky.

Bidding Ben farewell we descended into Stein and crossed the Rhine into Germany.

It was a nice river path, with a variety of surfaces. The water was calm and peaceful.

Looking to the west, the direction we were heading.
Who captured my image on a broomstick without my permission?

We had decided to deviate from Germany and head back to Switzerland to a town we’d visited before en route London to Venice. Rheinfelden is a town in both countries, with a bridge joining.

Rheinfelden (Switzerland) to the left.
Looking across to Switzerland

The village was just waking up but we found a cafe to sit and have a coffee in the street below.

We had only done 20 km of what was to be a longer day so we needed to keep moving.

Back on a river track we had about 15 km to do to reach the outskirts of Basel. We rode through a series of buildings owned by Roche, which is where Ben works.

This stolen photo shows their twin towers. it was too hard to get a decent photo with this particular angle.

Looking towards the southern bank of Basel.
Looking to the north and Germany. Many barges go up and down the river.

We rode over the walkway connecting Switzerland to France at Port Louis and headed to Huningue and followed the canal, on and on and on.

The next canal was the south branch of the Rhone and Rhine canal, followed by L’Allan. One waterway seemed to become another seamlessly

Following canals can get a bit tedious. There are a variety of surfaces to contend with, plus more locks than I could count. There are also no shops meaning a lack of food options.

As we closed in around Mulhouse we departed the track to search for food, and lo and behold Paul’s boulangerie magically appeared. The food was horrid, just horrid…🤩🤪 No photos were taken as we were starving.

The building below was one of the few close to the waterways. This is a relatively modern building by European standards having been constructed in 1869. it is a seminary.

One final peaceful waterway pic.

We were pleased to arrive in Montbeliard as we were weary having ridden 139 km and adjusting to riding with the extra weight of our luggage.

Whilst it was relatively flat, we had had issues in a few busy city centres with road works, and needed to re navigate quite a few times

We were both pretty thirsty and hungry too. We had run out of water about 20 km short of our destination, so veered off the track and headed into a village. No shops. The school gates were locked but I could hear voices. I saw a lady outside her house so approached her and she kindly filled up our bidons.

We have showered and wandered around the town. Surprisingly most food places are closed tonight so made do with some basic food.

Breakfast in the hotel is at 6.30 am. We will be there promptly and will devour heaps.

Walkabouts in Montbeliard
Chateau de Montbeliard

The Chateau de Montbeliard is built on a rocky outcrop overlooking the town. There has been a fortress on this site since Gallo-Roman times.

In the 1300s the castle was privately owned until 1793 when it became part of Revolutionary France. It has since been transformed into a history museum.

Todays route is below. A three country day with 5 border crossings.

The bike survived its first full day. The Trek Checkpoint SL7 certainly handles the gravel and uneven surfaces well. it is slower on bitumen for sure, but you would expect that given the tyre size.

I am getting used to the gear change differences. Multiple times I tapped the right shifter to only make it harder lol. Etap uses shifters on both sides. I will get there.

I am hoping I get a decent sleep tonight and my tweaky back improves.

Thanks all,

Ooroo and smile on 😊

3 thoughts on “And so the journey begins…

  1. Alain Breillatt

    Sounds like an auspicious start Sharron. Used to live in Mulhouse and think often of the sweltering Summer days out on the bike. Hope the weather treats you well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aldo Lombardo

    Go Sharron! We will miss you on Zwift while you are cycling around Europe…

    How many countries and how many days and how many kilometers are you going for this time? And what is the destination you are most looking forward to?

    Wishing you fair winds and good luck on your trip and safe travels, good health and happy return!

    Liked by 1 person

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