Dijon revisited

There has been a bit of a break in the posting of articles for this blog as other things have claimed my attention. However, this is about to be remedied and many more posts added about cyclo-touring and bike riding in general. It is also my intention to refresh the look of this blog site at some stage.

It seems in my posts on the tour we did in France, I skimmed over the beauty and rider friendliness of the lovely city of Dijon. This lovely city gave us such a welcome to France, even the weather was perfect. We were able to prepare for our first cyclo-tour in a non stressful, and easy environment.

One of the many cycle friendly parks in the city. Beautifully located on the side of the canal port.

One of the many cycle friendly parks in the city. Set on the side of the canal, it made for a cool and calm setting.

As such, if anyone was new to cyclo-touring and wished to ride in France, I would suggest this city as the perfect starting place.

However, a few things did happen to us that were more by good luck than good management! Probably the most significant ‘lucky break’ we had, was to decide to stay at the Formula 1 hotel for the few nights before we left. This establishment was exceptionally clean and convenient, as well as being very reasonably priced. What we did not realise until we had been there for a day or so, was that we were literally next door to a huge shopping Mall. Because we had had so many issues with weight restrictions on our flight to France, we needed to stock up on some basics, like cups, teaspoons and a thermos. This Mall also had a free Wifi service which was very useful too!

The large mall which provided us with lots of essentials and a free Wifi link.

The large Mall which provided us with lots of essentials and a free Wifi link. Those are our bikes parked near the balloon image.

So if you are new to the cyclo-touring game and had not thought about last-minute shopping, it may well pay you to find accommodation near to a suitable shopping precinct.

View from a hilltop overlooking a valley which would be our route out of the city when we left.

View from a hilltop overlooking a valley which would be our route out of the city when we started our tour.

The other thing that we found very good was the easy access around the city. Most French drivers are quite considerate of cyclists, which we enjoyed immensely. But we also learnt a few things about riding in general while we were touring. For example, we do not hesitate to take control of the lane when required, effectively ‘controlling’ the non cyclist traffic. I will post more about this in a later article, as I think it is quite important, and is something I was very hesitant about at the start.

The main canal which traverses the centre of the city. Once its main highway, now used mainly by pleasure craft.

The main canal which traverses the centre of the city. Once its main highway, now used mainly by pleasure craft.

However, this post was to show you a bit more of Dijon, which was very pretty at the time we were there (it was mid autumn). We were hoping that the sunny weather would stay with us all through the tour, but this unfortunately did not happen! 😆

We rode all through the Dijon suburbs and at one stage came across this well kept, but deserted park.

We rode all through the Dijon suburbs and at one stage came across this well kept, but deserted park.

This lock-keeper's house was in Dijon. It had been destroyed by fire and was being rebuilt.

This lock-keeper’s house was in Dijon. It had been destroyed by fire and was being rebuilt. Note the cycling path – there are many of these in Dijon.

One of many hundreds of locks. We had not seen them working before and were quite fascinated!

One of many hundreds of locks. We had not seen them working before and were quite fascinated! The cycle path we had arrived on is in the distance on the left of the image.

I have very fond memories of this city and may return to start another tour from there. This time I would head in a different direction to explore another section of this lovely district.

(Follow this link for the itinerary and details for our Tour of France)

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