Browsing 2018 Burgundy Bike Tour

Burgundy Bike Tour Summary :)


Sho how far did I end up going?

I went a little over 660 miles in ~52 hours over 16 days (~1062km). So an average of 41 miles per day. I was lucky that most of this route was super flat. It was during the last few days I realized how much inclines can slow you down, especially with a rental bike :). Over the entire route, I only ascended about 9,150 feet… to put that into perspective in June when I was training in Colorado on flat roads I ascended 13,000 feet over 318 miles.

To map this I had to use Bing as Google maps is disappointing in that it restricts you to 10 waypoints.

How did packing go?

I wish I packed less stuff :). The only thing I forgot was some oil for the chain. It squeaks like a little mouse. This trip was more about sport first and then exploring some history, so here is how I would redo it to lighten the load:

Only 1 pair of cycling underwear, shorts, and shirt. It was easy to wash them nightly.
Only 1 pair of after cycling shorts.
Only 2 cotton shirts.
Only 3 pairs of socks.
Only 2 pairs of normal underwear, easy to wash those nightly in the sink too.
No micro-fiber towel, and maybe no bivy if I felt confident about hotels being available.

It was probably a good idea to bring a 3/4th zip for warmth. I didn’t end up using it but it could also double as a spare shirt too. And, I was lucky that I didn’t have to sleep outside in the bivy.

There were a few other things I could have cut, but not the end of the world with them either. The spare battery probably wasn’t needed, and a few small things like that.

When you added food and spare water in my bags they were both pretty full and heavy. When I do a ride through Switzerland or something with a bit more incline I’d like to lose some of the weight. The bike was pretty damn heavy given it was a rental and had fenders, lights, and other silly stuff. Of course, if I am camping that means adding in a small tent, sleeping bag, and probably a stove.


It was gorgeous every day! The only rainy day was day 1, and I was very glad to have my rain jacket.

Next trip?

I am looking at doing one of the eurovelo routes next, or maybe a homemade route where I follow the band of brothers through Europe or maybe Napoleon’s drive to Moscow or something like that. I think it would be fun to put together something like that and do more research prior to the ride. This time it was more about sport and a quiet ride through the woods. Although I did tie it into some of what happened with Ceaser’s first campaign in Gaul.

Other takeaways?
– It is a great feeling to deplete yourself physically and mentally at the same time. I feel like usually, one or the other happens. I did one day where I pushed and did a 73-mile ride and it was a really nice feeling to be so physically spent. Doing 15 days in a row was great and when you combine that with the utter quiet and isolation of the woods it is like a hard reset. I think it helps you get some new perspective, and take a hard look at where you are in life.
– It was a good feeling to know I could get back into something without Crohn’s disease preventing it. Hopefully, that keeps holding up as that can cause a bit of anxiety for me. I miss endurance sports…
– I’ve already read 30 books in July… I forgot how much reading I can do when traveling alone!

Quick Daily Breakdown

    Day 1 – 60km – 3 Hours
    Day 2 – 59km – 2 Hours 47 Minutes
    Day 3 – 56km – 2 Hours 35 Minutes
    Day 4 – 72km – 3 Hours 34 Minutes
    Day 5 – 65km – 3 Hours 3 Minutes
    Day 6 – 117km – 5 Hours 28 Minutes
    Day 7 – 60km – 2 Hours 54 Minutes
    Day 8 – 75km – 3 Hours 29 Minutes
    Day 9 – 64km – 3 Hours 14 Minutes
    Day 10 – 89km – 4 Hours 22 Minutes
    Day 11 – 60km – 2 Hours 53 Minutes
    Day 12 – 85km – 4 Hours 13 Minutes
    Day 13 – 47km – 2 Hours 7 Minutes
    Day 14 – 58km – 2 Hours 43 Minutes
    Day 15 – 49km – 2 Hours 36 Minutes
    Day 16 – Break
    Day 17 – Break
    Day 18 – 45km – 2 Hours 47 Minutes
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Day 18: Beaune to Dijon… the end :)


Today was a hard ride. My GPS kept taking me on dirt roads and it was super muddy. Like the kind of mud that you sink a foot down in and it sticks to everything like glue. I had to stop multiple times to clean the mud out from where it jammed between the fender and wheel. It was a bit like spinning a flywheel exercise bike that kept getting harder and harder…. I gave up after 20 miles and made a new route on asphalt. If it wasn’t the last day I probably would have wallowed in it a bit more :). The ride was beautiful and through wine fields and small towns.

Summary coming shortly…

Ride stats?

28 miles / 45 km
Time: 2 hours 47 minutes
Avg MPH: 10.1
Average heart rate: 113
Elevation gain: 896 feet
Elevation drop: 751 feet
Average temp: 82F

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Day 16, 17: A break and a birthday in Beaune…


I took a few days off in Beaune to relax and let my body take a break. 15 days of cycling was intense and I am slightly amazed I didn’t come away with anything worse than a sore butt. I really wanted to cook my own food so I was happy to have an apartment through Airbnb. I get tired of eating out so much and eating so much bread/sausage/cheese. I think the night before this I sat on my hotel floor and ate three cans of sardines, 5 carrots, and a bag of spinach because I missed my diet so much. My diet feels a bit like Stockholm syndrome sometimes…

What did I do for my birthday? I ate some delicious vanilla flan, read 3 books, cooked a healthy dinner of dijon mustard duck, and walked around a bit. I missed my family a lot too :). Just one more day and they arrive!!!!! It is nice to remember how lonely the world can be without them :).

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Day 15: Montchanin to Beaune


I made it! Now I get to rest for a few days :).

In the last 15 days, I’ve done about ~630 miles in 49 hours. I’ve got one last pedal back to Dijon and after that, the bike trip is done. I plan to post a longer summary then!

I had a small crash today, totally my fault… I hit some gravel and hit my breaks while turning too sharply and laid the bike down (got distracted as the sign said left and my GPS said straight). Beyond giving the wine vines some of my blood and having a scraped up knee and elbow it was nothing. In mountain biking, I think it is called a hard left.

Today’s ride was a challenge when it came to navigation. I ended up just making my own route and figuring it out as I went. For 10 miles it was through farmland full of cows, bunnies, and sheep. Then it turned into wine country and there were vineyards as far as the eye could see. The eurovelo 6 signs disappeared, and then I switched off it on a vineyard bike route.

Ride stats?

31 miles / 49 km
Time: 2 hours 36 minutes
Avg MPH: 11.9
Average heart rate: 117
Elevation gain: 1122 feet
Elevation drop: 1473 feet
Average temp: 84F

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Day 14: Paray-le-Monial to Montchanin


The ride was beautiful today and I am very thankful that only the first day had rain. There were a lot of racers out today, I love getting passed by old men on racing bikes. A nice guy named Jeffrey road with me for a bit, he is training for a triathlon and teaches at a school for the blind. I think he actually lapped me a few times :). Some crazy nice chateaus along the route too.

It has been two weeks of biking every day… and tomorrow I am biking up to Beaune to stay there for a few days and take a break. After that I have one more ride up to Dijon, I stay there for a night and then go meet my family at the train station! I can’t wait to see them :)

Ride stats?

36 miles / 58 km
Time: 2 hours 43 minutes
Avg MPH: 13.4
Average heart rate: 117
Elevation gain: 768 feet
Elevation drop: 545 feet
Average temp:79F

No pics today as was in a groove and didn’t stop.

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Day 13: Bourbon-Lancy to Paray-le-Monial


A beautiful ride today, and a little easier than most days. Just two more days and I take a break which I am looking forward too (my body needs it). I am especially looking forward to cooking my own food as I have grown a bit tired of eating out or basic meals from the grocery store. I have definitely learned a lot about how I would do this next time in terms of packing changes and food changes.

Ride stats?

29 miles / 47 km
Time: 2 hours 7 minutes
Avg MPH: 13.8
Average heart rate: 112
Elevation gain: 335 feet
Elevation drop: 315 feet
Average temp:76F

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Day 12: Nevers to Bourbon-Lancy


From Nevers, it was about 20 miles on a path I’ve already seen… after I got to Decize everything was new though. The path switched from the canal to rolling hills and beautiful farmland. Weird enough they were growing a lot of corn?

Ride stats?

53 miles / 85 km
Time: 4 hours 13 minutes
Avg MPH: 12.4
Average heart rate: 113
Elevation gain: 984 feet
Elevation drop: 837 feet
Average temp:86F

And, I forgot to take pictures today :). Beautiful farming countryside, followed by an old hotel that is really cool in a small town. Like the type of hotel that maybe 60 years ago was the nicest thing in the world and has fallen into a little disrepair :).

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Day 11: Sancerre to Nevers


I left Sancerre at 6.30am to avoid the head. I am really glad it is Sunday as pulling into Nevers I went through the city instead of the longer path around the city… I could use the break as my body is a little tired (back feels great though!).

Fantastic World Cup game :)

Ride stats?

37 miles / 60 km
Time: 2 hours 53 minutes
Avg MPH: 12.8
Average heart rate: 102
Elevation gain: 207 feet
Elevation drop: 581 feet
Average temp:77F

Today was back through the path I’ve been on so I did not take many pictures. There are some pictures of Nevers below though! Cool city :)

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Day 10: Sully-sur-Loire to Sancerre


I made it to Sancerre, it is a medieval hilltop town with some cool Gaulic history :). I had to walk the last half mile as it was a 45% grade path and I was tired… Later I wandered around and drank a half bottle of amazing Sancerre white wine while reading a detective novel and eating a great lunch.

Ride stats?

55 miles / 89 km
Time: 4 hours 22 minutes
Avg MPH: 12.5
Average heart rate: 116
Elevation gain: 1033 feet
Elevation drop: 623 feet
Average temp:87F

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Guedelon! Building a 13th century castle using only the tools of that time.


This morning I got a taxi driver to take me to Guedelon about 30 minutes from where I was last night. What is Guedelon you might ask?

It is a project to build a 13th-century castle using the tools and methods of that time. It is amazeballs!!!! More specifically they are building a castle as if they were living in 1128 under the reign of Louis IX. They started in 1997 and it is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Part of me wants to move here and work on this. Check out the progression over time (click to enlarge)…

They work with archaeologists to figure out how to build things using the data they have from the time. It is an impressive setup. They do all their own quarry work, maintain their own animals, build all the supporting buildings, build all the roofing tile, all the blacksmithing, all the pigment creation, etc etc etc. It is just so cool!

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Day 9: Belleville-sur-Loire to Sully-sur-Loire


The heat made the ride feel a lot harder than normal so today was tough… I did not get started until 1.30pm today (went to see a castle!). The ride was also around 8 miles longer than I thought. The ride had some beautiful scenery though. This is my last day heading north, tomorrow I turn around and head back toward Dijon. I like the eurovelo 6 and I am looking forward to coming back and doing the full thing one day.

I had an absolutely amazing dinner, I love snails so much! I think the lady was impressed with how much I ate :).

Ride stats?

40 miles / 64 km
Time: 3 hours 14 minutes
Avg MPH: 12.3
Average heart rate: 118
Elevation gain: 591 feet
Elevation drop: 659 feet
Average temp:93F

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Day 8: Fourchambault to Belleville-sur-Loire


A bit of a longer ride today after a simple breakfast at the B&B. Eurovelo 6 is a great ride so far with 95% of it being dedicated bike path and the other 5% small country roads. It seems a little harder in a few spots to find hotels, but otherwise pretty easy, especially if I can divert 1 to 3 miles off the trail either direction. My plan is to head north one more day, and then turn back around and start heading back to Dijon. In the morning I am going to see Guedelon which I am very excited about!

Ride stats?

47 miles / 75 km
Time: 3 hours 29 minutes
Avg MPH: 13.4
Average heart rate: 117
Elevation gain: 236 feet
Elevation drop: 335 feet
Average temp:75F

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Day 7: Decize to Fourchambault


I was a bit worn out after the 73 miles from yesterday, so today just an easy 37 miles. From Decize I jumped on the Eurovelo 6 route, and my plan is to wander down it for a bit and then loop back to Dijon. Eurovelo 6 is one I’d like to come back and do another time (it would be amazing to do it from the Atlantic all the way to the black sea).

Ride stats?

37 miles / 60 km
Time: 2 hours 54 minutes
Avg MPH: 12.8
Average heart rate: 113
Elevation gain: 246 feet
Elevation drop: 236 feet
Average temp: 73F

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Day 6: Clamecy to Decize


Wow, today was longer than I estimated… I thought it would be around 65 miles and it was 73 miles. That beats my old record and is now my longest bike ride. It is nice to know where uncomfortable is :), life is too full of comfort sometimes. I think I could do 100 miles apart from how sore my butt is from the bike seat.

And, I have now done the entire Canal Du Nivernais! I did it fast, in two days and it was beautiful :). There were a lot more bikers on this path, it is awesome to see all the retired folks doing it with all the bags, as well as families, I am impressed.

I watched the World Cup semi final at a bar in Decize! It was a blast and an utterly great game :).

Ride stats?

73 miles / 117 km
Time: 5 hours 28 minutes
Avg MPH: 13.4
Average heart rate: 117
Elevation gain: 719 feet
Elevation drop: 600 feet
Average temp: 81F

Not many pictures today, just wanted to keep riding. Lots of beautiful houses and chateaus at parts.

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Day 5: Auxerre to Clamecy


I am now on the Canal du Nivernais!

Getting out of Auxerre was a little hairy this morning, and I think my GPS device made it 10x harder but I ended up in the right place. I waited till the grocery store was open to restock on some food (I really needed some greens). So I got a late start which made for a longer and hotter day. The route was beautiful with large limestone canyons here and there, a beautiful river, and lots of cool houses and chateaus along the route. Tomorrow will be interesting as I decided to do a longer push and I am aiming for around 60 miles.

Today was the first time my cell phone lost signal. It seemed like a fluke as I wasn’t too far from a town. Orange has been great so far, and the 4g is pretty fast.

Ride stats?

40.67 miles / 65 km
Time: 3 hours 3 minutes
Avg MPH: 13.3
Average heart rate: 113
Elevation gain: 479 feet
Elevation drop: 472 feet
Average temp: 85F

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This is bwb’s personal blog, so he can share his thoughts with the world, however scary or silly they might be. Plus family and friends can track what I am up to, and where I am in the world.

I am pretty simple. I love Mangos. I love the ocean (although mostly at sunset, as I’m a ginger). I love to travel, eat exotic food, do long bike rides, read, and use my imagination. At some point, I decided it was better to be a pirate captain than an admiral. I am a globalist and see the entire world as my responsibility and playground. And I am married to an amazing woman who makes life even more fun :)! And we are now the proud parents of Calico Jack :).