We spent about a month bicycling touring in France from mid-June 2012. The weather was terrible! It rained almost every day. As I put together this page, however, the memories of poor weather have faded and I'm pleasantly reminded of all the other parts of our trip.

We biked from Paris to Orleans (never again!), then down the Loire Valley to the Atlantic. We took a train to Britanny and bicycled around for about a week, then took a train to Normandy and bicycled there for a week before taking another train to Paris.



     It warmed my heart whenever Zoë played with the French children she encountered. I think it was a growth experience for her to be the kid in the group who couldn't understand others.
Building the "Blue Bullet" in Paris at a playground.   "Jonie on the Ponie" (Joan of Arc) in Orleans. My parents lived less than one block from there in 1959.
I love European friendly infrastructure for bicycles!   My favorite thing about bike touring is how easy it is to get off the beaten path, even in the Loire Valley. We cut short our our day's ride at this small village in the Loire Valley so we could attend their "Fet". We were the only foreigners there and enjoyed the small town atmosphere as well as the bbq, wine, dancing, bands and concluding bonfire.
One of the many beautiful chateau in the Loire.   This chateau was famous for it's opulent horse stables.
Visiting Leonardo da Vinci's last home in Ambois. Leonardo was my childhood hero, and I had fun discussing the mockups of all his futuristic inventions with Zoë.   For some reason Zoë reveled in taking photos of Robyn and I in humiliating setups.
    We stopped periodically to let Zoë sketch animals that she spotted. Very cute!
This fortress like chateau was one of our favorites.   We splurged by staying in this small chateau one night. It was tough to extract the girls the next day! We were so smoked we didn't want to go out for dinner and made a social goof when we attempted to order pizza to the castle! (Turns out you can't do that!)
The chateau looked less elegant when we returned from dinner and found that our central bay window had swung open to reveal Robyn's drying bra and underwear!   We often ran across these signs near the river. We thought it was funny that they put up these signs to warn you but made no effort to put up a railing or something that would make the drop offs safer.
Of course the food was a highlight!   Robyn's really enjoyed her new Brook's saddle!
On a ferry in Brittany.   We enjoyed cycling along this canal for a day in Brittany.
We only had two entirely dry days the entire trip! Yuk!   The approach to Mont St Michelle was very exciting!
Inside the fortress/castle at Mont St Michelle.   Visiting Omaha beach was a sobering experience.
The American cemetery above Omaha beach, final resting place of close to 10,000 soldiers.   Another rainy, tent bound day.
Visiting the German "Atlantic Wall" in Normandy. I had last visited this at Zoë's age 35 years ago.   I love the cafe's and coffee in France.
We took a few trains to get between the good spots. Sometimes it took some creative problem solving to get our bike on the trains.   Completing our Tour de France. It was fun to end up in Paris for a couple days.
We didn't make it to the bell towers of Notre Dame because the lines were two hours long! We found similar lines at most of the big attractions.   We had fun watching the street performers at the Pompedeau center.
Back in Madison, Zoë and my mom celebrate a combined birthday together.