Toulouse to Narbonne – Day One

I was supposed to be taking the opportunity of a wife-less month and do a 4-day ride from Toulouse back to Montpellier last weekend, but the god of crappy weather had other plans. I did do at least part of the trip before bonking after two days. Here is day one. I started early and took the train up to Toulouse. Here is a dedicated bike compartment on my Corail Teoz.

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I guess I did have luck in Toulouse. The sun was out at least, and my route – the Canal du Midi – was literally steps from the train station.

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Toulouse is yet another French city with an excellent system of bike rentals. This one is totally automated.

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The cycling path along the canal goes for a good 50 km, and I more than once thanked the guy who built it for planting those trees on either side…the wind was really ripping up the valley.

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Yes, that’s snow.

The Canal du Midi is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for its engineering as well at its artistic value. I didn’t really understand that 2nd part till I rode it. The designer really could have made the thing go in a straight line all the way down the valley, but instead it is a lovely, meandering waterway, much like a slow-moving river. It’s a real pleasure to ride, even when it’s 4 degrees. Here are a few random shots along the way.

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Then all too soon it was over, and the paved cycling path turned into this.

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Which might have been OK, but it was a little muddy in places and I’m a wuss. So, I headed out to the road and past this ominous sign.

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Those blades were really turning…pointed the wrong direction! Luckily it was only another 15 km to Castelnaudary, with its protein-overdose-inducing dish called ‘cassoulet’, and hopefully hot bath.

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