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Beaune to Barcelona by bike

Since I was enjoying the recumbent so much I decided that cycling to Spain would be a good idea. I didn't have time to cycle all the way from England and so started at Beaune, just south of Dijon, in France. For two reasons: It was just over 1000km so I could do it in two weeks, and European Bike Express could take me and the bike there.

date of event:5th July 2009

Setting off

Pip's fancied a photo with me ready to go, but, being ready to go I was more focussed on that than on keeping the smile going until she pressed the button. Still, at least the bike looks good - two panniers and a rack-pack, containing clothes and camping stuff, plus the usual tools and extras. As light as I could manage but it still felt heavy going up those French hills!



The first step was to get to the pickup point for Bike Express, which was in Stokesley just south of Middlesborough. So, a bike ride into Newcastle and then a train to Middlesborough was the plan. I guess I could have cycled all the way there but didn't, and, in fact, since it was absolutely tanking it down when I got to Middlesborough I waited and then took a train down to Great Ayton, only about 10km from Stokesley.
The picture, by the way, is the bike on the train to Middlesborough, just as I was passing over the Tyne.


Roseberry Topping

Since I had to be there at 04:30 on Saturday morning for the Bike Express I stayed overnight in a B&B in Kirby on Friday night - this was the view from my bedroom window.

I've walked up that hill with my walking buddy Larry, though some time ago.


Rocks is my pillow, cold ground my bed

I was dropped off at the peaje on the outskirts of Beaune at about 1.00am on Sunday morning, after about 20 hours on the coach and the ferry - not having slept much on Friday night in the B&B nor on the coach I was a bit tired. I cycled for an hour or so (it was too late for a camp site) but, since I couldn't see much in spite of my excellent B&Q Ikon light, I decided to rest until dawn.

No place to camp though, so this comfortable stretch of pavement was my bed for a few hours. Eeh, it took me back to hitching through Europe when I was 17, and, as I'm sure you know, the "Rocks is my pillow" bit is an old blues song, which I sang to the night:

Rocks is my pillow
Cold ground my bed
Blue sky's my blanket
Moonlight my spread
I'm not ashamed, ain't that news
I've been livin' with the blues