Day 7: Solo motorbike tour of France (Belfort - Reims)
For an overview of my 8 day tour of France through the Alsace region and the Vosges Mountains, click here.
Route: click here for the interactive map (229.2 miles): Belfort - Chaumont - Brienne-le-Château - Vitry-le-François - Reims.
I started early as there was a lot of mileage to cover. Having become very adept at asking (and pointing) for breakfast delicacies in the local boulangerie, I ate my almond pastry gains in a small church garden in the morning sun.
I arrived at Chaumont around 11am but Saki was making unhappy clunking noises at this point. It had been approximately 1300 miles since I left my trusty bike shop in west London so I was a bit anxious. I played the biker chick in distress and, lo and behold, I was soon surrounded by 4 French bikers who rushed to help me with la chaine.
My French is passable for bakeries and restaurants but I was at a loss for how to describe bike parts so we ended up playing noisy charades. Eventually, they (unhelpfully) suggested I visit a garage. In France it seems that shops are always shut due to a strike, a festival or because it is lunch time; today, it was the Day of Ascension so the French bikers put poor Saki on her stand while I gave her a good oiling to ease her aches.
After this, I headed off to my last hotel through some beautiful D-roads to Brienne-le-Chateau, on to Chalons-en-champagne, finally riding through the Reims Mountains National Park and arriving at Reims city centre.
As usual, the eateries were all fully booked for dinner so I accidentally found myself in the most expensive restaurant in town as this was the only place with tables free. You can read more here about ‘Why you should pre-book your evening meal in France’ and drool over my ‘pear of beef’.