My goal was to look at the route from Dijon to Lyon via Cluny and see the great ruins of the Monastery of Cluny. That was achieved ahead of time but I had it in the back of my mind to try and push on past Lyon in the direction of Chambery.
Now Chambery was simply too far in the time allotted as I would have to back track to Lyon to catch my return flight to Dublin.
I always like to trust in local knowledge and if I were to get out of Lyon on my bike I would need a route that was safe. The solution was staring me in the face – a local suggested a bike path along the Rhone! I was a bit sceptical as this would mean heading north when I really wanted to go east but knowing the river looped south later that it might be worth exploring for future trips.
The Saone and mighty Rhone meet in Lyon, the city is defined by these two great rivers and the advice was to get onto the east bank of the Rhone, follow it to the Pont (Bridge) Winston Churchill and cross back to the west bank where I was assured there was a bike path.
Now there is a renowned bike path from Geneva to the Med, along the Rhone, but unfortunately it was on the eastern side and I was on the wrong bank!
Nonetheless I was following a rough path and was pleased with my progress. But for future reference, the path to follow is on the eastern bank.
For cyclists this can be a good way to get from Lyon to relatively close to Chambery. Worth investigating further.
There is a good website where you can download gps tracks – the ViaRhona.
It wasn’t a wasted day, it actually turned into a significant one with a visit to the beautifully restored village of Perouges, adjacent to Meximeux. Bit of a climb into the village but well worth it.
Reluctantly I could go no further than Peruges/Meximeux and headed back by train (French trains are so bike friendly).
Heading back to Lyon though was a great way to finish this little bike journey. I didn’t appreciate in September how much I actually got done or how enjoyable it was.
There’s something about making a journey under your own steam, whether by bike or walking that makes it more meaningful. It’s a great way to really see the country in which you are travelling and lets you empty your head and just be in the moment. Add in the sights, sounds and history and it’s a pretty good way to go!