Smooth and wide, Saint-Rémy’s brand-spanking-new bicycle path is a winner!
On a whim, Ralph and I recently tested out the section that runs east from Saint-Rémy between a canal and the D99 highway, dipping inland here and there to the cut-off to the sweet village of Mollégès, a little over ten kilometers.
This portion of the piste cyclable called Le Méditerranée en vélo, The Meditarranean by Bike, is completely flat with a few sweeping turns, so it was easy to go mindless and take in the scenery. Surprisingly, on a sunny day without a whiff of breeze, we had it mostly to ourselves. We sailed along at a good clip, stopping along the way to investigate new perspectives. At first we came to a pen of very shaggy brown cows, which, I imagine, are going to be the stars of many an Instagram post, once the spring cyclists arrive. At a gardening center, we saw sturdy century-old olive trees on offer and, on a side trail, we found snails for sale. Signs to some prestigious wineries like Domaine Romanin and Terres Blances tempted us. Maybe next time, we’ll pop in for a tasting!
Much to our dismay, the path stopped abruptly about two hundred meters before the round-about, where we planned to take a left and ride the two kilometers on the road to Mollégès. We tried to continue on the bumpy undeveloped terrain, but we soon lost interest with the bobble-head action. So we ducked onto the busy D99 and peddled like mad because there is little room for cars to pass. Luckily, no auto, or worse yet, a transport truck, tried to overtake us before we reached our turn-off—whew!
Conveniently, there is a boulangerie right there, so we picked up a tasty sandwich de poulet made from a baguette de graines for our déjeuner before continuing on. But not before popping into one of my very favorite consignment shops across the street.
No treasures did I find, but was fun to browse for a few minutes. (I could have returned in the car for pick-up!) And I was happy to learn from one of the owners that the path would, indeed, be continued—yay!
Then it was back in the saddle to continue the two kilometers to Mollégès. In a small park by the post office, we sat on a stone wall and munched our lunch, watching Redstarts flit between the grass and trees. Then we cycled through the charming village and onward to Saint-Rémy via some back roads through the fields. Guessing where to make a left to return to the cycle path, we moseyed along until eventually we got it in our sights. We cruised into our driveway two and a half hours after we began our spontaneous mini adventure–a mere warm-up ride for serious cyclists–thoroughly delighted with our discoveries so close to home. Mille fois merci, Départment Bouches de Rhône!
If you should take a peek at The Birdwatcher’s Wife–available from booksellers, including Amazon–I’d love to hear your comments or read them on Amazon or Goodreads!