Via Rhona Day 3
St Vulbas - Vienne

Day 3 and another scorcher. I didn't even look at Meteo de France this morning, the day had blue sky only written all over it. We are on the opposite side of the river to the Via Rhona and the first bridge is 8 miles away at Loyettes. We had a nice ride down a quiet lane and saw a train taking spent nuclear fuel away from the power station on the banks of the Rhone (I wonder if the fish are safe to eat). We met up with the Via Rhona once we crossed the bridge, but this was an 8 mile section on the road which had a fair bit of traffic, but we did climb a col - the mighty 230m Col du Raymond. I didn't bother taking a photo. We started above 200m!

When we finally met the river, we had a delightful traffic free section, though hard-packed gravel rather than tarmac all the way through the very impressive Grand Parc Minbel Jonage. There were plenty of people out enjoying this huge area of countryside on the edge of Lyon and there were some great signposts for the Via Rhona - you don't often see distances like "Geneva 232km" or "La Mer (the sea) 366km" on a cycle path. The entry to Lyon took a slight down turn as we followed a motorway but we soon ended up the glorious embankment with great views of the modern and old cities of Lyon. We stopped for lunch, took a wrong turn through another nice park and then had the south exit from Lyon to contend with. This was not a particularly good stretch with some poor signposting and very little segregated cycle path, mainly just cycle lane on a fairly busy road with a couple of complex junctions to navigate.

Eventually we crossed the river again at Vernais and things were looking better until Jane had tumble on a gravel stretch. We were on a section a couple of miles long running adjacent to some freight depots on rough surface, though there was a road parallel to us the other side of the yards, but it may have been busy with lorries. But still an odd choice of route. Jane's bike looked like it was damaged; the gears and brakes were working OK but the right shifter was at a horrible angle so we abandoned the next stretch of Via Rhona and followed the road in the hope of finding a bike shop. We passed a huge shopping centre and popped into Decathlon. You will be pleased to know that all was well, the mechanic sorted it. I was getting worried about how I might find a 9-speed Tiagra shifter in Vienne on a Monday night. So the bike is OK for the next 3 days but how is Jane? She is fine, a small bruise and a fear of gravel - let's hope it is tarmac all the way.

Vienne was just 5 miles down the road from the Decathlon store and we had a pleasant evening wandering around taking in the sights of the ancient city and the sounds of the Jazz festival. And some recovery drinks.

On to Day 4
Back to Day 2
Full Photo Gallery

My favourite sign - even better than the all roads lead to Palma at the top of Sa Calobra
Most of Lyon was on the opposite river bank
One of Lyon's important buildings over on the other river bank

On to Day 4


Press Releases