At the SIS 2016 i made a deal with Toby that we ride to Paris in 2017. In fact of private stuff and holidays he couldn’t take part on the desired date. I asked before Jon (part owner of Kombüse in Mannheim and a cook) if we will join us. And because Toby was not with us i planned to ride it the opposite way. Back home. Dedicated to Toby 🙂 Toby and i will make it maybe later this year…

First day: Paris – Villiers-Saint-Denis (99k)

Our train to Appenweier left Karlsruhe at 8 a.m. From there it was a 23k ride to Strassbourg train station. We made it 10 min before the train left. Sharp. The TGV took us in 1:40hours to Paris. Flash… Landed in Paris our first goal was the Steel Cyclewear & Coffeeshop for a coffee. I also wanted to surprise Marc, but unfortunately he was at his family in fact of a new kid. So i got surprised 🙂 The coffee was delicious, the guy working there super nice. We talked a bit about touring bike setups.

Jon and me started then to the canal to take us outside Paris. I was starting 500 meters beside the shop. Super easy escaping the big city without traffic. Just beside a canal. The Rhine-Marne-canal starts in Paris and goes till Strassbourg. This canal was kind of a route for us. Sometimes we switched inside the backcountry when the canal way got to bad to ride. The canals were build in the 18th/19th century and are several hundreds kilometers long. Imposing! The goal for today was a campsite located in Villiers-Saint-Denis round about 100k away of Paris. We had a lovely ride beside the canal, shortened sometimes more directly. In the end we had a 13% uphill to the camp site. But there a fresh beer in the sun. The restaurant had only snacks, like Entrecote 😉 They offered us a wine (375ml) for 16,50 Eur… This dinner was expensive 😉 But Jon found a new friend.

Second day: Villiers-Saint-Denis – Vitry-le-François (145k)

We got up in the sun, made coffee and packed the stuff. We went on a bit till we got breakfast in Château-Thierry which was the perfect spot for it. Some fresh french bakery stuff, another coffee, located at the Marne.

This day we took more roads straight instead of following the canal. Around lunch we reached the canal again a found a lovely so called “Snack Bar” for lunch. They had several iron pots with different food in it. If it was empty, it was gone. Jon got some chicken stuff and i got jambon. We both got a lot of potatoes with it. Lovely located beside the Marne. Later we had a nice break in a park in Châlons-en-Champagne. Still in the Champagne area. Much vineries. Sorry. Chamagneries?! 😉

for tonight we figured out a campsite, before we had rocky downhill which caused the first flat for Jon. The bad thing was that the campsite was closed. We went to a gas station to grab some beers and went then to asian restaurant for dinner. All you can eat 😉 During dinner we looked on google maps for a sleeping spot. The Marne was near and we went to find a spot. It got dark, we went in the woods, the grass got higher, no way… We went back to the street and figured out another spot. Gravel ways, closed with chains, we rode beside and someone we reached a glade and that was our spot. We placed the tent and had an awesome sky with stars. We drank the beers and felt asleep with the stars above.

Third day: Vitry-le-François -Villey-le-Sec (128k)

Waking up. Snakes. making coffeee. Soon the sun reached us when it came above the trees.

We left the backcountry style, not at the canel. But soon we headed on it again. I was ready for a breakfast.

We switched again to roads instead of the canal. Up and down. Small villages, only agriculture… Lovely. Jon got another flat. We wanted to get some food for lunch, but the desired shop at google wasn’t there that we had to use our reserves.

This evening we reached the Mosel river, we got a new got. Get something to eat around 7 p.m. then find a sleeping spot. Near our restaurant was a campsite. The restaurant Chatel Beaurivage was delicious!

We headed to the campsite, already closed… We met an older couple which told us to stay and pay to morning and also they gave us some beers. Perfect! Jon felt asleep after one sentence in the tent. I tried to sleep, but i heard some jets in deep flight. Relaxing 😉 I was also so tired that i felt asleep…

Fourth day: Villey-le-Sec – Saverne (135k)

We went to the next village to grab some bakery stuff for breakfast, ate it direct before the shop. Went on. For lunch we stopped to get some salty stuff which we ate at a river and made a break. We kept on cycling… Through the backcountry of France. Later we stopped at the canal for another break and some food, i tried to dry my cycling clothes i washed the second setup the day before… But the sun was hiding behind some clouds. 😉

This day was an up and down, also the streets. We got nearer the Vosges, the canal was sometimes 20 meters below us, the it crossed as a bridge a smaller river. The point we crossed the Vosges seems to be the lowest way. That’s why they built the canal there. And finally we reached Lutzelbourg, we crossed the Vosges. Starting there we had like 10k’s of slightly downhill. Fine! Arriving in Saverne we started to search for a restaurant. We found one (delicious one!) beside the canal. You could see some sluice and the country from there…

After we finished our meal the next stop was a supermarket for the camp. We figured out a spot at the canal where we could sleep. So we had another 10k’s and finally found the spot which was a nice one! Beside the canal, a bit of grass to sleep. The sun went down and we could enjoy a beer.

Fifth day: Saverne – Home (115k)

We woke up, the first cyclists passed our spot. We made coffee and started to pack. Breakfast we got in the next village. We orientated us on the canal which goes up to Strassbourg.

A bit before we switched our route to Haguenau where we had lunch. France is awesome with it’s bakery’s! After Haguenau i started to know the way because it’s a regular way for road cycling. In Beinheim we had a second lunch because Jon wanted to eat snails. So we did 😉 In Lauterbourg our ways switched because he was going straight to Mannheim. So a big ‘Ciao, Ciao!’. For me the rest was an easy coming home. Jon hat a bit more k’s to go, i think about 60? 😉

Thank you Jon for such an amazing trip and get more connected! Nice travel buddy!

The route: