Today was our longest day, which ended up at about 76 miles for me and close to 80 miles for Tim. We rode on nice PA back roads and on the Saucon Rail Trail as well as the Perkiomen Trail, the Skippack Trail, and the Schuylkill River Trail. I am honestly impressed by how bike friendly Pennsylvania is and much more so than I realized! People were generally very courteous as they drove by us on our bikes.

Here are today’s photos, again courtesy of Tim.

Brian on the Saucon Trail near Bethlehem, PA.
Tim on the Saucon Trail also near Bethlehem.
We met Louise, Scott, and their dog Lea, not too far from the end of the Saucon Trail.
Brian at lunch just outside of Quakertown, PA.

After passing through Quakertown, we made it onto the Perkiomen Trail about 6 miles from one of its end points. Here I am pointing to where we started riding on the Perkiomen Trail.

The Perkiomen Trail is 20 miles long and we rode on 14 miles of it today.
Tim took this photo of me at the front of Perkiomen Bikes, on the Perkiomen Trail in Schwenksville, PA.
Not to far from the end of the Perkiomen Trail, we saw folks in Kayaks boating on the Perkiomen Creek. It looked like a lot of fun!

After biking to the end of the Perkiomen Trail and then doing 2 miles on the Schuylkill River Trail, followed by another 2 miles on the bike path through Valley Forge National Historic Park, we headed out of Wayne, PA by riding up Valley Forge Road and Devon State Road. Google maps wanted us to ride south up PA 252, but we thought that would be too dangerous. We eventually got onto 252 at Episcopal Academy and then went onto Bishop Hollow Road in Newtown Square.

Tim and I parted at the intersection of Bishop Hollow and Providence Road and Tim took this photo of me.
Here is Tim at the same intersection.
Nancy took this photo of me in our kitchen right after I came home.
Marcia took this picture of Tim, right after he made it home.
Nancy and I watched Mass on TV as soon as I came in the door.

We’ll be working out the rest of the Atlantic Coast Route and how to complete it in the coming months.

Today’s ride was 67 miles, mostly on PA state routes, including 209 and 512 and I think 211 also, all of which were mostly fine. As we got close to Easton we also rode on the Plainfield Township and Palmer Township bike trails, both of which were nice, and we took some good pictures while biking on the Plainfield Township trail, which I have included below. The only other notable comment is that we climbed almost 2400 feet, which I wasn’t expecting. Google maps told us there would be a steep hill, but it wasn’t until we had left Bangor and were making our way to the Plainfield Township trail that we turned onto Mill Road, and that was the one steep hill. We stayed on our bikes and made it all the way up, tacking to the top since there were no cars coming either way. Here are today’s photos, all courtesy of Tim.

I’m pretty sure this was after getting to the top of the Mill Road hill. Out of breath!
At our first rest stop, about 12 miles out of Matamoros. Aren’t you glad I changed my shirt?
Tim at our first rest stop on 211 South. Not too much later, the road was milled, making the surface really rough!
This was at lunch, not too far from Delaware River Gap. The stream is a tributary of the Delaware River.
This was also at our lunch stop, a very pretty place to stop.
Riding on the Plainfield Township trail.
Tim at our last rest stop of the day, on the Plainfield Township trail.
Brian on the same final rest stop on the Plainfield Township trail.
Brian biking down the Plainfield Township trail.

Tomorrow our plan is to make it all the way home from our Hampton Inn in Easton, a distance of more than 70 miles. Hopefully we will make it and escape the rain again!

I would be very remiss if I didn’t thank Beth, who really helped me a lot with these posts, all done on my phone and challenging because of that. So thanks Beth 😊!

Today’s ride was pretty good! We still climbed about 2000 feet, but none of the hills were so steep that I would need to get off my bike and walk it up the hill. So I count that as a big victory since today was the first day I didn’t have to do that at all. In fact, it was a pretty uneventful ride which was about 53 miles and took us about 5.5 hours of riding, very close to what Google maps predicted. We did not use the Adventure Cycling Association maps at all today. I used my phone to navigate and Tim took all of today’s photos. Speaking of which, here they are.

This is Brian with Nate, who we met at breakfast in the morning. Nate works for Specialized and told us all about the electric assist bikes that the 76 and 80 year old guys had yesterday.
This is Tim on the Wallkill trail we took this morning. About the first 8 miles were crushed stone and not maintained at all. But the last 3 miles were paved asphalt and were really nice!
Here is Tim at one of our few rest stops today. This was not too far from Port Jarvis, NY.
This was just before we crossed the Delaware River while in Port Jarvis, NY.
This is Brian just over the Delaware River in Matamoros, PA. We were about 2 miles from our next hotel at this point.
This is coming into Matamoros, PA after crossing over the Delaware River.
This picture was actually from yesterday taken by Fred Schaeffer on the Walkway over the Hudson. Fred put it up on Facebook, Nancy friended Fred and then texted me the photo.
This was our first photo of the trip, which Steph took and texted us. So this is actually from 2 days ago!

Tomorrow we head to Easton, PA, about 67 miles from Matamoros. We didn’t get rained on today and probably won’t tomorrow either. Hope not, anyway.

Even though we still climbed almost 3000 feet and today traveled 63 miles, it was a much easier ride, even though it took us almost 7 hours to finish. We met some really interesting people and had some nice conversations, as well as visited Rhinebeck, NY, whose architecture reminded me of downtown Media. We were on NY Route 9 for a good stretch, riding past the FDR museum and library, the Vanderbilt mansion, and the Culinary Institute, all of which are really neat places. It all made me want to come back up here soon with Nancy, even though we have been here before (more than once). Here are some of the day’s photos.

We finished the day with 8+ miles of riding from the Walkway onto the Empire State Trail, which took us right to our hotel, a Hampton Inn. Our rooms are nice but our dinners did not compare to last night’s, but that was OK. Tomorrow we ride to another Hampton Inn in Matamoros, PA. We might get rained on, but hopefully not.

Read Brian’s blog for what we did today.  Here are my pics from today.

Our first view of the Seine.

A barge coming down the Seine.  Da

Inside Saints-Chappel. The first of three churches we visited today.

One of the stain glass windows in Notre Dame.

Lunch on our last day.

Our final church, St. Severin. It is right behind Notre Dame.

It was a bright sunny day but not too hot.

The Arc de Triumph. A French monument to its soldiers from many wars.

Just finished our last dinner in France.  Au Renoir.

Since Brian already posted his blog with the itinerary, I will share my pictures for the day.

Riding east along the Loire this morning.

This bridge was the turnaround point.

Mark’s idea for a neat picture on the way back.

Turning in our trustee steeds, Almost 450 K. No flats. Good thing because they didn’t provide any equipment to change a flat. Nada.

A couple shots outside the cathedral in Chartre. I loved the organ music that was played as we walked around and the stained glass in every window of the cathedral.

I have no idea what this represents but this is the ground below the wall in the previous pic.

Walking around Versailles

Not sure what Mark wanted this photograph.

The golden gates of Versailles. Last pic in Versailles.

This was our busiest day yet, with bike riding, site seeing, and traveling. We rode in Orleans and along the Loire for about 90 minutes in the early morning, returned the bikes, walked back to our hotel and had a second breakfast, checked out and then drove to Chartes for a visit to the really impressive Cathedral there. Afterward we drove to Versailles to visit the gardens and the grounds, and then drove to Charles de Gaulle airport to return the rental car. After that, we took a taxi to our hotel in Paris, checked in, and then went to dinner.  And now I will share the pictures of the day.

Stopping for a photo at a church on the Loire outside of Orleans.

Mark standing by our rental bikes as we returned them back in Orleans.

The front face of Cathedral de Chartres, built in its current image in 1194 A.D.

Stained glass windows at Cathedral de Chartres. All of the stained glass were removed in both world wars to protect them from bombing damage.

The altar with more stained glass windows at Cathedral de Chartres.

View of the vaulted ceilings in the Cathedral de Chartres. The organist played ecclesiastical music for most of our visit.

After a very pleasant and tasty lunch in an outdoor cafe right outside of the Cathedral de Chartres, we made the hour long drive to Versailles.

Standing outside the gilded gate at the entrance to Versailles.

View of the reflecting pool in the rear of Versailles.

Tomorrow we plan to do normal tourist activities in the Louvre section of Paris, which is where we are staying.



We were supposed to start this trip in Cholet but since we rented our bikes and there is no pick up in Cholet, we adapted and started in Nantes.  We decided to do an out and back ride to familiarize ourselves with the bikes and the road signage.  Picked up the bikes and off we went.

Brian and Mark having lunch along the Loire at the turn around

We were trying to use maps written in French.  That didn’t go too well.  Our route that Beth was plotting looked like a lot of points on a star.  But we figured out the bike route signage which was a collective effort.  They tried their best to put the bike route signs in the most inconspicuous places.  Sometimes all three of us had a hard time seeing the next sign to turn.  Mostly macadam but sometimes gravel paths.

We rode 58 K today.  We all felt pretty good and liked our bikes.

The view of our street outside the hotel.

The opposite view.

Our restaurant of choice that night. Half of our foursome.  The cute ones.

The other duo on this trip. Who is the younger brother? I need more sleep.

We found him!!!

We saw a lot of fields of sunflowers like this one.

Flight was a typical Europe red eye. Paris airport (CDG) is huge. It seems you can’t walk from one terminal to another. Beth rented a car in Terminal 1 but we arrived in Terminal 2. It took about an hour to make that connection. We always seem to struggle with the rendezvous.

The whole drive was rainy. Thank goodness we weren’t riding.

Mark and I were sleeping most of the ride to Nantes (pronounced Nohnts – sort of).  I know I butcher most of my French pronunciations – big surprise.

Hard time finding the hotel.  Not as bad as Luxembourg City.  Beautiful hotel- friendly barmaid.  Don’t worry Mar.  Bed was rock hard and we all had a wonderful sleep.

Great trip.

Highlights:   No flats;  no dog chases;  Mark following my blog;  planning the next trip and pushing for more family to join us; incredibly flat Netherlands and Flanders section of Belgium; great hotels especially Martins Klooster in Leuven, BE and Hotel La Malle Poste in Rochefort, Be;   The miles and miles of bike paths;  the French dinner in Rochefort and the bread everywhere.

Lowlights:   The hills into and out of Rochefort and the rain everyday but our last.  It was so nice having Sag Lady along so the clothes we weren’t wearing didn’t get soaked.  We always had dry clothes to change into.

Luxembourg City is a blend of new and old.   Construction cranes were all over the parts of Europe we traveled thru, especially Luxembourg City.  The roads today were the best we were on this trip.   Reminded me of the difference in roads in Florida compared to the rest of our trip cross country.  We had another nice bike path along a river into Trier.   Supposedly the oldest city in Germany and an old Roman city.

Departure from Luxembourg. Who said we haven’t had any flats yet?  You just jinxed us.

Street scene in the old part of Luxembourg City. This area sits in a valley (more like a gorge) with very steep cliffs up to the new part of the city

Another view. We came down that cobble stone street. On a bike, it looks much steeper.

The bridge in the background spans the valley in which the old city sits. Sorry about the electrical boxes in the pic.

Some of the scenery we rode thru in Luxembourg and Germany.

Morning break along the road. Many cyclists in groups passed us this morning along this route. Same with yesterday between Rochefort and St. Hubert. When I got my camera out to take a picture of them for the blog, they stopped coming. Go figure.

Welcome to Deutschland. If you zoom in, you can see the sign on the wall. They really go in for “Welcome to …………..”, signage over here.

The bridge between Luxemboarg and Germany. The ducks are in Luxemboarg.

We have entered Germany, our 4th country this trip and the sun came out.  Thanks Chris.

The bike path we took almost from the border all the way into Trier, our final destination.

Taking the bikes apart and packing them up for the flight home.

Yes, we are in a parking lot. The rendezvous selected was City Hall. Beth pulled into the parking lot as we were pulling in. Perfect timing Sag Lady!!!

The ride back to Amsterdam for our flights tomorrow morning.

The most unusual hotel room I have ever stayed in. View from the door.

View from the bed looking back at the door. I’ll give you a hint: the closest circle on the floor is the shower which doesn’t work unless the glass doors are closed. You can figure out the second circle. You don’t have to close those glass doors for the toilet to work. Yes they are clear glass doors. Pretty intiment.

That’s it for this trip’s blog.  Already looking forward to next year.   Marcia, Nancy, Mark and Holly are coming.  We’re gonna have a blast. I’m not sure if this is me or the beer talking.