It’s official — what I’ve been calling the “back road” from Daglan to Castelnaud, and which I’ve recommended for cycling — is now part of the Parcours Cyclable de la Vallée du Céou. In other words, the Céou Valley Bicycle Route.
I wrote about this stretch of road as recently as June 5, a post with the incredibly clever title of “Biking the back road.” (Where do I get these ideas?) At the time, I was clearly unaware that this was becoming part of France’s impressive system of biking routes, and that the inauguration would take place on the morning of Saturday, June 11, starting in Castelnaud, continuing past Daglan, and winding up in Bouzic. All told, about 15 kilometres of pleasant riding.
Now that it’s official, the bike route is well marked with a series of signs. Here’s the sign you’d see if you were leaving Daglan and heading north to St Cybranet, seven kilometres away, and the only village between Daglan and Castelnaud:
Once we learned about the inaugural bike ride, my wife and I debated whether to take part. In the end, we chose not to, partly because we’ve done the route so often, and partly because we had already booked a fitness class on Saturday morning. However, we were back in Daglan in time to watch the riders arrive. It turns out that about 150 riders took part, including 40 elected officials. The riders travelled as a pack until they reached Daglan’s Bunny Meadows (although most were probably unaware that Bunny Meadows is my name for the field), which seemed to serve as a staging area. Here they are, stopped on the road:
While they were waiting to take off again, they were entertained by a nice, loud band with drums and horns. These guys:
And then, finally, the leader gave the signal, and the riders started up again, heading for Bouzic. Here’s the start of the peleton, and you’ll see the red, white and blue of France on sashes worn by several of the riders — those are the elected officials.
As they left the “back road,” the cyclists turned left and climbed a relatively easy hill out of Daglan, passing by this sign — showing that there’s just another 3.3 kilometres to go before they reach Bouzic:
So what are you waiting for? Get on your bike!