Day 15, 5 6 2013, Baume-les-Dames to Dole

Some seven or eight years ago I remember doing a search for bicycle routes in France, or books that provided this information.  As I sat down to write this I did the same sort of search and the Euro Velo 6 route comes near the top of the list.  The route is superb, but much of it is very new, the part coming into Dole this evening is so new that I could smell the uncured hot mix.  A vast amount of money has been spent on this track.  Roz and I believe that we saw more touring cyclists today than in weeks of touring in the west of France a few years ago.

This route is very special. As one end of it is in Strasbourg, it links to the major German cycle routes, such as the Rhine and, indirectly, the Danube. While we have so far only ridden around 350Km of the route and can’t speak to the quality of the rest, information on the internet shows that it links to the west coast.

So far, there is little specific bike touring infrastructure but the local services are quite sufficient. 

There is more work to be done to complete the route.  About 10% is on road, and this includes a few very steep sections of up to a kilometer and in excess of 9% in slope.

However, it is quite obvious that over the next few years there will be an increasing amount of bike specific infrastructure developed, and the route will be all the better for it.  It is stunningly good, and rapidly getting better.



We left this morning in perfect weather for the first time on this trip, into extraordinarily pretty scenery as the Doub River valley wound through a series of narrow gorges, before flowing out onto a more open plain around the pretty city of Besancon.  The bike path was more or less flat for the day, and all but about 10% was on the dedicated Euro Velo 6 paths alongside the river and associated canals.

Finally we came to a beautiful section of bike path lined with enormous plane trees as we entered the town of Dole.

It is difficult not to gush about days like this, again, but with a beautiful route through gorgeous country on a perfect day, there is no choice.

106 easy kilometers for the day.

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On to Day 16