France 2018: Three weeks of the month of June were spent cycling the backroads of beautiful France. Half was in Burgundy and half in Normandy. In Burgundy there was a mix of canal-side riding, vineyards, and hillside villages. In Normandy the focus was on the D-Day landing beaches and sites of importance in the Battle of Normandy.
While in the Green Bay area we met up with Peter and Tracy Flucke, experienced tandem tourists and authors. They have written a book about their cross-country tandem experience. Also, they own a consulting business that helps municipalities to deal with bicycle and pedestrian issues.
The D-Day sites are readily accessible by bicycle and traffic was light. Our routes and accomodations were chosen for us and our luggage was transferred between our hotels each day. For this trip we contracted with Detours in France, a small cycle touring company based in Beaune, France. They were excellent! Our contact there was Sarah Bird - she went out of her way to make sure everything was perfect.
The scenery along the canal is beautiful. The setting is idyllic.
The riding along the lakeshore is scenic.
Normandy has its share of hills, with much of the riding through quiet farm land. Dairy cattle are numerous. The area is famous for its cheeses, apples, cider, and apple brandy (Calvados). We focused on WWII history.
Days riding: 15
Distance ridden: 561.7 miles
Total elevation gain: 24,954'
On our only day of rain, riding the TART Trail out of Traverse City toward the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Lake Michigan (Wisconsin and Michigan) 2018:
With one other couple we rode a 10-day, 570 mile tour around the northern half of Lake Michigan. Our rig was a Co-Motion Equator, towing a Bob trailer. In terms of comfort, reliability, and durability, the Equator is, in our opinion, the best tandem available.
And in the Lower Peninsula includes the incomparable Tunnel of Trees.
Burgundy has plenty of hills, but the flat riding along the canal is perfect for tandems.
In the Tunnel of Trees.
And there are plenty of vineyards, with opportunities for tasting!
Essentially all the canal path riding in Burgundy was along the Burgundy Canal. The path is mostly paved, the surface is good, and traffic was light.
The SS Badger provided transportation across Lake Michigan from Ludington, back to our vehicle in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
Days riding: 10
Distance ridden: 569.2 miles
Elevation gained: 14,921'