Last weekend I went out on the bike to check out some of the countryside around Grenoble. Grenoble’s got two big rivers – the Drac and the Isère – and on Saturday I went up the Drac for a while (only getting lost three times).
To start with I followed the cycle path from by the Intermarché at Seyssins, which runs along the banks of the river and then ends up in a retail park (Comboire, a big park of shed like shops, coincidentally where I bought my bike from). This path is really rather beautiful – river, mountains, no traffic…
Then there was a stretch of suburbia, with a range of cycle paths both marked, unmarked, and hidden… The cycle map seems to be usually right (if it says there’s a path, there is one somewhere), but the paths often change sides of the road without warning, or disappear down a parallel street for a few blocks. There wasn’t much traffic though so it didn’t matter. Next photo is the old bridge at Le Pont-de-Claix, a fine structure.
Further on I came across some ferocious wild animals.
And a bit later I stopped for a cold beer and some chipsters next to a field of hay, read Libération, and gazed at the Chartreuse mountains. Note my unfashionable pink bike in foreground.
Heading back by a different route, I did consider taking note of the signage and turning back … but decided to carry on and play the stupid foreigner card if anyone stopped me. Nobody did, and it was a great path through some nice shady woodland, and I didn’t see any chutes of pierres so I guess I made the right decision
Sunday was the turn of the Isère. It was a longer ride, but for some reason I didn’t take as many photos. Still got a bit lost though. The Isère is a slightly bigger river than the Drac (and the Drac is fairly bloody big).
In the farground of the next picture you can see another cyclist – we were going at about the same speed and he kept overtaking me and then I’d overtake him back. After about half an hour of this on the rough path (the one in the picture below) he stopped me and asked me where we were. I got out the map and showed him how we’d left the proper cycle path about 25 minutes ago but that I thought we’d pick it up again soon… at which point, he told me he’d been following me as he thought I knew where I was going. Ooops. He turned back. I was right. Ho ho ho.