August 31 – Sept 4

August 31

We left Paris today. I spent my morning cleaning the Airbnb while Henry and Sara yelled at me telling me I didn’t have to because it wasn’t my job, then at 10:45 we met with the Airbnb hosts and returned our keys. By 10:55 we were on the road heading towards Ollainville, where our first campsite back on the road was.

Biking out of Paris was very busy, obviously. The first 25 km out of the city was just heavily trafficked roads with small bike lanes. I was riding out of Paris and finally appreciating the bike trails in and out of Amsterdam.

After 15 km or so we started biking on smaller streets of Paris and went past a whole part of the city we hadn’t seen in the 1.5 weeks we had been there. We went past the professional soccer stadium and everything.

We eventually made it into the countryside, with long fields of grass and little towns at our side as opposed to fast cars and semis. A big step up.

We rode on this dirt path through the countryside and listened to music on my speaker for the last 20km between the suburbs of Paris and the campsite.

At camp we made “paninis” for dinner and went to bed. It was a good first day back on the road. Well, the second half at least.


September 1

I found out yesterday that Sara has the same schedule as Henry – stay up late, sleep till 11, bike slow. So I biked by myself today so I could get up early and let them sleep in. I picked a campsite in Viabon France as the place we would sleep tonight.

It was a beautiful day riding through the countryside with rolling hills and farm fields all around. A lot like riding across Montana but without military Jeeps driving around. There’s not much to report for the riding part of the day. Just some photos. It was lots of farmland and small towns.

When I got to camp the owner offered to run to the store and pick up grocery’s for me, so I gave him a list and some cash and he grabbed stuff for my dinner. Since I was alone and Henry had the tent on his bike, I just hung out at camp on my sleeping pad in the grass and waited for the guy to come back with my grocery’s.

In the waiting period I mostly just napped, but for about 15 minutes there was a hen and 10 chicks walking all over me and my bike so that was my form of entertainment.

The food got back around the same time Henry and Sara arrived at camp, so I cooked up a nice egg dish while they showered and set up tents.


Sept 2

Sara’s legs were tired when we woke up so we decided to do a short day to a little town that had a campground and a pool.

We left camp around 10:45 this morning and got back on the small quite roads that took us through the farmlands.

We actually didn’t know where we were going in the morning because no one had good enough service to do campsite research, so we went to the closest McDonald’s on the route to get wifi. We decided from there that we’d go to Freteval for camping. Today was another day with not too much to report. More farmlands and small towns. But even though there’s nothing to report it was still really pretty the whole way. Some of the best scenery so far.

We got to camp around 5 and they had a nice cold pool, showers, bathrooms, mini golf, table tennis and more for €20 a night.

We decided we would take a rest day here tomorrow so we could sleep in.


Sept 3

I ended up sleeping until 6:30 and I was bored because I knew Henry and Sara wouldn’t be up for another five hours, so I biked around going to various stores for breakfast. With ~3 hours of biking I ended up getting salami and yogurt. Very tasty.

Our rest day consisted of lots of swimming, mini golf and laying in the hammocks.

In the evening Sara and Henry made Tortilla and then we watched henrys favorite movie – EuroTrip.


Sept 4

Today is the one month mark!

We rode to Tours France today.

I’m currently in another McDonald’s for WiFi that’s close to our campsite. The bike ride here was terrifying. Dogs running from the woods and human feces and TP on the bike trail. I’m going to have to find a new way back to camp.

Anyways

I biked alone today, not on purpose. I biked up a hill 2 km into the ride and was already pretty far ahead so I told myself I’d wait for them at 10km. Turns out they were using a different map program and when I told them where I was waiting they had gone completely off course.

So today I did an easy ride through the flat French country for 80 km. I stopped in Selommes Fr for my first break and got a tomato and a baguette from a bakery. I met a guy who flew his own plane into town to do a 20 km bike trip to a meeting. He was carrying a massive tank of water. Funny dude.

Then I spent some more time riding through farm lands and small towns while listening and singing along to old albums I’d forgotten about.

These towns don’t really have grocery stores or restaurants, usually just a big church or castle and some houses. So when I saw a restaurant today I had to stop. I ordered a beer and sat at a table surrounded by people with gray hair. Can’t complain though, it was a nice quiet environment and cold drink to rest my tired legs for an hour or so.

After that I was back on the road with 30 km to go. There was this guy in those 30 km who passed me two times. I don’t know how he managed that when I never passed him but whatever.

Tours is a big city so I was riding through suburbs for the last 20km or so. A lot of the towns were built into the cliff walls and some of them had huge castles.

Then I got to camp at 4 and showered and then I biked past human poop and loud dogs to McDonald’s.

Another great day in the French farmlands

Happy one month!!!


I’d also like to give a shoutout to the 5th graders at Groveland Elementary back home in St. Paul who will be following along with the blog!

They start school on the 8th and will be using our trip as part of their geography courses.

Henry and I both went to Groveland for elementary school so it’s exciting for us to be working with them.

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