When I feel like taking an easy, relatively short bike ride, or I’m pressed for time, I often get on my road bike and head out of Daglan to the little hamlet of Gaumier (also known, for some reason, as Gaumiers, with an “s”). There I can take a short break and have a coffee at a lovely little book-binding shop, before heading home.
So in my series of postings on bike rides “with a destination,” let’s call this short, sweet ride — it’s just 18 kilometres, round-trip — Bike Route No. 3.
Route No. 3 starts at an intersection at the south end of Daglan, as does Bike Route No. 2, which I described on August 1. Here’s our starting point:
At this point in Bike Route No. 2, we turned right in order to head to St. Pompon. But for this new trip, we’ll go left, as if we were headed for Cénac, on the D 60.
After a short straight section, the road starts curving to the right, just as you pass Daglan’s tea shop, Le Thé Vert. Now you’re at the Pont Neuf, the bridge crossing the Céou River. Keep going over the little bridge:
Just after the bridge you face a decision: You could go left onto the bike path and head north to St. Cybranet and then Castelnaud (a very nice choice of course), or you could follow the curving road to the right. In this case, you should bear to the right:
Now you’ll find yourself climbing a small hill, as you leave the Céou Valley. At the top of the hill, you’ll see some signs on your right, including one that invites you to take a right turn and join the parcours cyclable — or bike path — to the hamlet of Bouzic. I recommend that you don’t, because the path is not terribly well paved, and is full of ups and downs and twists and turns. I prefer to stay on the main road, so just keep cycling.
Now, having travelled just one and a half kilometres from our starting point back in Daglan, you’ll come to this intersection. Turn right here, and head for the hamlet of Bouzic.
After a few kilometres of curving road that cuts through forested land, you’ll find yourself in Bouzic, where the road takes a sharp left through a narrow pass between two buildings.
After you pass Bouzic, you’ll simply travel along a winding road through a series of fields and forested hills. At 8.7 kilometres from our first turn in Daglan, we arrive at the junction that leads to the two hamlets of Gaumier(s), which is at river level, and Florimont (high up on a hill). Here’s the turn:
Now we just cross a little bridge, and we’re at another decision point: Turn right and go to Florimont, or go left and visit Gaumier(s). For Route No. 3, we’ll turn left. On this past weekend, when I took most of these photos, the folks of Gaumiers were having their summer festival, and had installed this lovely sign:
At this point, having crossed the little bridge over the Céou River, you’ll see a sign on your left that refers again to the parcours cyclable — or bike path — that runs to the hamlet of Pont Carral. (See the photo below.) The last time I tried the path, it was pretty rocky and somewhat uncomfortable, so if you want to add more distance to your trip, I recommend that you just go back out to the main road (the D 52) and follow it to Pont Carral.
But now we want to head to our destination. So continue into Gaumier, climbing slightly as you wind your way through the hamlet, to reach your destination at exactly nine kilometres from Daglan — it’s La Grange aux Livres. And here it is:
Here is the plaque on the shop’s stone wall, explaining that La Grange aux Livres (the Book Barn) is an atelier de reliure (book-binder’s workshop), a librairie (bookstore) and a salon de thé (tea room):
Beside the shop are a number of tables on a gravel terrace, shaded by umbrellas, where you can have a coffee, tea or a cold drink:
And that’s that. If you want to keep your ride short and sweet, just return to Daglan by following the same route that brought you here. If you want to add distance, and feel like climbing, continue on to Florimont; if you want distance but don’t feel like hill-work, go back to the main road and then follow it to Pont Carral. They’re all good choices.