Biking in France: the Wine Road

Alsace is my favorite region in France for a lot of reasons; it’s going to be a bit difficult for me to focus this post on our two-wheeled adventures without first enthusing just a leeeetle bit about this under-explored region. To set the scene: here’s Dottie and me in Strasbourg, along the canal overlooking La Petite France. A bit worse for the wear after our 7-hour plane ride and 2.5-hour train ride, but definitely happy to be there.

The entire city center of Strasbourg is a UNESCO heritage site and is full of beautiful timbered houses. Since it is home to a large university, there is a large number of cyclists.



The next two photos were taken with my camera by Dottie, and I just noticed that I am in the background of the first one.

The countryside looks like this.

Exploring it by bike on a beautiful fall day was an amazing way to spend a lazy afternoon. I had big plans for renting bikes in Colmar and embarking on a 40km ride through several villages. Between the advice of the bike rental guy and the condition of the bikes we were renting, it seemed prudent to change our itinerary, and instead we took an easy, 18km ride to the village of Eguisheim. Less time on the bike, but more time to wander, eat and taste wines like this one.

and eat tarte flambée (this one came from Dottie’s camera)

and take pictures like this one (yup, Dottie taking a picture of me, taking a picture of her — we’re cool like that)

and this one (of one of our rental bikes in Wittelsheim, taken by Dottie with her Polaroid SX-70 and expired 600 film.)

Here are some snaps of us along the way!


Eguisheim

By the time we rolled back into Colmar, it was late afternoon.

Just enough time before our train for un apéro.

beer goggles?

All in all, a good day’s adventure.

  • Nicolas

    Excellent! How much time did you guys spend in Alsace altogether?

    Strasbourg does have lots of students, but that’s no guarantee for having lots of bikes: they also did the right things in terms of urban planning. I love how the city centre is blanketed with old Peugeot mixtes (Peugeot is based in the region).

    • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

      Yes, it is definitely more than just students who bike there — though my friends in the area seemed to think it was the larger demand from students that nudged the city into creating the infrastructure. Hard to tell from a 5-day visit; all I know is there are definitely more bikes and bike lanes and ped areas there now than when I lived in the region 8 years ago.

      And yes, so many Peugeots of all sorts! I kept looking for Le Peug’s twin but no dice. They probably made diff’t models for the American market.

    • http://www.unebricoleuse.blogspot.com Susan

      Ah, how delightful to see this. I went to the university when I was 17. I just saved my babysitting money, took out a small loan & went. Ah ouais. I’m always so pleased to see Strasbourg love (Paris is grand but man, has it been overdone. Poor Paris.)

      Have a fabulous time. Bike through the forest surrounding the area around Robertsau (on the way towards the Rhine…near parc de Château de Pourtalès. Well, it’s not an order or anything. But wow, if you take photos near there, I’d love to know about it. Cheers.

  • elena

    did you guys fly your bikes over? Have you posted about the technicalities of flying bikes overseas?

    • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

      We didn’t fly our bikes over; just rented them from Colmar. IMO it is *way* too much trouble to fly with a bike, unless you have a Brompton or Bike Friday.

  • http://knittinglemonade.blogspot.com Kara

    Umm…can I got next time?! This looks like perfection.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

      Consider yourself invited. :)

  • http://www.unebricoleuse.blogspot.com Susan

    Oof. I see that you have been & are probably back…sorry for that. I pride myself on actually reading what people write before commenting. Hanging head in shame. Hope you went along the Rhine, though.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

      Pas de probleme! Wish we’d seen your suggestions before we left.

  • http://nuresmacorner.blogspot.com/ Nuresma

    What a wonderful trip!
    I went to Alsace 4 years ago and I agree with you: it’s a very nice region. And the food?! It’s fantastic (I think I got 3 kilos fat)!
    Your photos are transporting me back there…thank you girls!

  • http://lovelybike.blogspot.com Lovely Bicycle!

    I have never been to Alsace, thanks for this beautiful post!

    • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

      Definitely worth checking out, LB. I think you’d like it!

  • philippe

    Yay ! A post about your time in France ! (it was about time…)
    Great pics and writing.
    But, come on, your favorite region ? Have you ever been in the Basque country and in Béarn ?

    • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

      Yup, I’ve visited the Pyrenees a bit, not as extensively as Alsace. My opinion still stands. :)

  • http://girlsandbicycles.blogspot.com Miss Sarah

    Tres tres bien, mes belles!

    S*

  • http://www.cyclinmissy.com Cyclin’ Missy

    Thanks for sharing your France adventures! Brings back memories!

  • http://www.inspiredcyclist.wordpress.com maureen

    I love the homes/buildings, and it looks like you had perfect cycling weather1 Where else would you like to visit on a cycling trip?

  • http://anjeme.blogspot.com Anni

    I know this is a Trisha post, but Dottie, that picture of you & Greg (& the camera… & the camel handbag) is fabulous! Also, Trisha, Dottie has informed me that you’re a Gossip Girl fan… which leads me to believe you and I should be friends.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

      Ha. Maybe we’ll meet up this weekend! Though I haven’t watched the latest episode yet.

      • http://anjeme.blogspot.com Anni

        Ahhh, I missed the birthday shindig! Hope it was a fabulous time! I’d definitely recommend you watch the most recent episode… things are about to get a lot more interesting. :)

  • http://elietc.blogspot.com eli

    Trisha!
    Just saw this come across from the Urban Velo feed…check out the awesome picture on the flyer! :)

    http://urbanvelo.org/pittsburgh-bridesmaid-dress-ride/

    btw, this event sounds totally awesome.

  • Jeff

    That’s a really nice part of the world. My biking last month was near there, but along the German side of the Rhine and into the black forest around Baden-Baden. One nice little memory I have of Strasbourg from a few years ago is eating freshly made Grand Marnier crepes from a street vendor…yum!

  • http://www.simplybike.wordpress.com Simply Bike

    Beautiful! And it looks like you lucked out with wonderful weather too! I was in Strasbourg back in 2005 and I loved it. It also combined two of my favorite cultures and languages so I was a big fan :)

    Can I also add that the three of you looked mighty chic on this trip ;)

    S.

  • Larry Powers

    There is an older out of print book on bicycle touring in France: France by Bike: 14 Tours Geared for Discovery. We used this book 3 years ago to tour Normandy. It has a very interesting tour from Strasburg to Orleans that is high on our list of future tours. If you ever plan to do an extended tour check out this book.

  • http://sparrowandurchin.blogspot.com Lauren

    Hey I love this post so much and I featured it on my fav. fridays. It makes me so jealous, I wish I could be riding my bike through france :) Thanks!

    http://sparrowandurchin.blogspot.com/2010/10/fav-friday-clydes-rebirth_15.html

  • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

    Thanks for featuring us!

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