Departure day

I’ve a fairly good routine now on the day I leave: do the washing and get it out to dry first thing, go out for a shortish ride, lunch, tidy house, and then shut everything down and head to Valence for the night, ready for an early start the next morning.

All went to plan, including the weather: bright and breezy, good for both washing and cycling. A brisk northerly ruled out Vercors again (you’ll see its cloud cap in the photos), so I headed to col de Pennes via the Roanne valley and Aucelon, returning via Jansac and St Roman.

The Aucelon road is a hidden gem, and is worth cycling either way, as it hugs the contours, ascending when it can: it saves the steeper gradients to the end! There’s  a view around every corner, so it’s worth taking your time.

Interestingly, the floral display in evidence last June on the higher dry slopes was entirely missing: I guess delicate plant life there waits until warmth is more certain. The flowers photographed here were at lower, damper levels.

Anyway, a splendid little ride, nudging me just over 400 miles for the eight days, despite the less than ideal weather. And I’ve yet to visit Vercors this year: that will have to wait until my return in late July. I think it should be warmer then.

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4 thoughts on “Departure day

  1. Do the folk living there think that spring was late this year? You will enjoy getting back to the UK for some warmer weather!


  2. Hi Brian,

    Just a little message to get in contact (sorry if this comment appears twice, I’m not good with wordpress) I’m a cycling musician who also regularly goes down to the Diois. My grandparents bought a place in Marignac about 35 years ago which i visited throughout childhood and it truly feels like home. Being a skint twenty-something for the last 10 years meant that there was a big gap in visiting the region and I hardly went down there for years, but now being an ever-so-slightly less skint thirty-something, and having discovered relatively recently how wonderful the cycling is around there I’m now going down there as much as possible. Your blog is a wonderful resource for route ideas so thanks so much.

    I was just in Marignac last week and will be going back again in a week and half’s time with some friends who from the sounds of it live right by you in Devon! The Haytor loop is our standard pre-breakfast ride whenever I’m visiting them!

    Anyway, do drop me an email if you’d be interested in talking more, or popping over for a glass of Clairette if we coincide.

    All the best,



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