Biking Beautiful Burgundy, France / by JD Andrews

'Would you like to stay in France longer and go on a bike trip through Burgundy?' asked the France Tourism Development Agency.

Um, let me think....Biking through the beautiful Burgundy region, stopping to see the sights AND a few wine tastings along the way?

...one second later...

YES! Wow, of course, let's go!

The adventure started in Lyon France


Originally I was invited to eXplore the Loire Valley in France but after receiving an e-mail about this opportunity, I jumped on the chance to join the Burgundy bike trip!

I was more than happy to extend my adventure in France and so excited to ride with the award winning tour operator - VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations

A quick little video from my VBT bike trip in Burgundy France Shot on iPhone5

The first stop was Cluny. I've never heard of Cluny and was very surprised how much history this little town is a part of.  Around 910AD the city was the home of the largest Abbey in the world, larger than St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, and the home of the Pope.

Another stop was Tournus, one of the oldest and most important Monastic centers in Burgundy. It includes the 10th Century, St. Philibert Abbey.

In Tournus, the trip leaders conducted a safety and bike fitting session, then we all went for a warm up ride along the Saone River.

Is it possible? I have gone this long on a post about France and there has been no mention of food? Time to remedy that!

The food on this trip was (insert favorite adjective here) I'll choose...incredible!

Thank goodness you can ride each day to (hopefully) get rid of those extra delicious calories! Not only is the food amazing but with VBT, you'll be staying in some of the nicest hotels in the region.

When I was younger, I rode my bike everyday. The key word in that sentence was younger, I haven't been on a long bike ride for some time now and I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to keep up with the group. So when I found out that during each ride there are three separate levels to choose from, I knew I had nothing to worry about.

If you ever get tired or just don't want to ride anymore - there's a van that is always with the group that you can jump in and take a break.

And indulge in the big basket of goodies that are available at each stop.

The adventure continued from one beautiful village to the next. I don't think there are any 'ugly' places in this region, if there is, we missed them.

All along the trip we learned a little history of each place, ate more wonderful food and of course sampled the WINE! (in some cases, sampled then re-sampled...ok, ok, we enjoyed a few bottles, hey, we're in Burgundy!

 

 

The last night of the trip, we took over a cooking school for the evening and helped prepare a wonderful dinner with a local chef

I've been on many, many, many tours and have meet some good and bad tour leaders. But the trip leaders on this Burgundy tour were the best I've ever traveled with. They were always there to help with anything! From bike repairs, to making sure we all had enough food, wine and water to making suggestions of what to see in each town. Providing history, information and whatever was asked of them and always with a smile.

 

Tour Leaders: Sophie and Dedie

VBT have local scouts who travel all over each town and area finding the best ‘bike friendly’ routes making each trip more safe and enjoyable.

There were a few rainy days but on each on, we all saddled up and rode! (I did enjoy more than a few van rides after the morning segment, did you see that basket of goodies?)  And the sunny days wouldn't be special, if it wasn't for rain ones.

It's always the people that make or break a trip and the entire group on the Burgundy adventure was great!!!

Thanks so much to VBT for letting me join in and reminding me how much I love riding!

For the VBT 2014 Burgundy route click HERE.