Friday, July 20, 2012

Bay Area vs Dordogne Bicycling Comparison

While riding this week, I mused on cycling in California vs the Dordogne region in France this morning.  Here are a few thoughts:

Skinny little roads with low traffic can be found in both locations, though you have to look harder in California.  A bit browner in CA in the summer too.

The D46E up to Domme, France                                         Welch Creek Road this morning in CA.                              

Big houses on hilltops in California lack the medieval defensive fortifications seen in France.

          CA                                                                          Chateau de Castelnaud, France

Cows common in both locations, but are bigger in France.  Way bigger.  Trust us on this.

Both locations have interesting things to look at in the middle of grassy fields; those in France are just much older.

Random stone tower in France                                            Random solar panel in CA

Bigger terrain here at home!  Big climbs over the ridge here; gently rolling terrain up and down from the river to the land above along the Dordogne and Vezere Rivers.

Typical 70+ mile ride in Bay Area: >7000 ft climbing

75 mile tandem loop from Les Eyzies, France: < 4000 feet climbing (note that the top marker on the scale here is less than half that of the profile above; these lumps are about as tall as the little second lump above)

Cute little towns in France.  Major metropolitan area here.

View looking down toward the Vezere River in France

 Typical view looking down the hill at the southern edge of the Bay Area

Buildings up in the cliffs.  You just don't see these around here.  Lots of them along the Vezere.

Stone roofs.  Also not seen at home.

Flying buttresses also present only in France.  Nimue thinks the word buttress is funny.

Bike paths are found in both locations.

As are poppies


And minor patch 'o dirt detours.  We can't help ourselves...
France                                                                                              CA

Easier access to picnic supplies in France.  Mmm...sausage, cheese, baguette, and nougat, oh my!  Way better than the smashed peanut butter sandwiches I eat at home.
Sadly, no foie gras in CA any more.  Lots in France.  We rode through a region known for it and ate to our best advantage.  Yum!

Joy!  Present when riding in CA, but also definitely in France.

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