I have just spent a couple of days in France with Janet. She wanted to investigate an option for a press trip and I wanted to get away with her for a break. With Sea France we headed off to Reims to explore the vineyards. I have been admiring Les Montagnes de Reims from the Autoroute for over 20 years en route to the Alps. At last I could get a closer look.
We were going to use hire bikes and have a guide. My advice to Janet was that for 7.5 km cycling shorts would not be necessary. How wrong I was? Pierre, our guide and the Cycling trails development officer for Champagne and the Ardennes region, suggested that we ride out and back adding another 14 km. OK not far but just take a look at the bike and saddle add to that the 34 degree temperatures and I wish I have gone for the mountain bike. I got so sore that riding back I had to stand up but on these bikes that meant the handlebars touching my stomach. It did me good to realise some of the issues that less experienced riders can have.
We started by riding up the Avenue de Champagne, Epernay and then out to the vineyards. This road took us past some of the most famous names on the world of Champagne. Of course every village had countless lesser known brands and every bar served up the bubbly nectar. One of the most exciting bits of the trip was seeing the names of the world famous brands on stones (like milestones) marking the different fields of vines. Only a short trip but nice to get away.
For more information on what Pierre was telling us about click here.