Sommières to Nîmes Along the Voie Verte/De Sommières à Nîmes par la Voie Verte

Firstly, thanks to Peter from the Languedoc Page for reminding me that I had to get off my butt and check this thing out. I’d been sort of meaning to ride this 20-km long cycling path for over a year, but since it starts over 35km from home I guess I just never had the juice to go out and do it. But thanks to 19 degree weather and a busted PC that kept me inside all weekend (yes, it’s a Windows…need you ask?), I had lots of aggression to get out of my system. So, after lunch today I packed up a pannier and took off.

Premierement, merci à Peter du Languedoc Page, pour m’avoir rappelé que je devais essayer cette voie. Cette piste cyclable commence à 35 km de chez moi et jusqu’à maintentant, je n’avais pas la motivation.  Toutefois, grâce au beau temps et à mon ordinateur fichu qui m’a emprisonné tout le weekend dernier, j’avais plein d’agressivité à évacuer aujourd’hui !

The ride to Sommieres took in mostly well-rolled terrain, which you can find here and here, but starting from there until Nimes it was all fresh. This shot was taken from the still-functioning Roman bridge you can see the first link above.

J’ai pris cette photo sur le pont romain qui est, après presque 2000 ans, toujours utilisé par les voitures…et les vélos.

Here is the beginning of the voie verte, or greenway, that the department of Gard has built, right next to the hotel we stayed at a year ago, incidentally. Well, it’s not that incidental, actually. You see, this cycling path is built where a railway used to be (that hotel is a converted train station) – an eminently excellent idea that has been implemented in many countries.

Voici le départ de la voie verte qui a été construite par les autorités du Gard il y a quelques années. La voie commence à côté d’une ancienne gare et, comme beaucoup de telles pistes, elle suit une ancienne ligne de chemin de fer.

The path was surprisingly well populated, especially near Sommieres. This pictures handily shows the multi-purpose nature of these things, with bladers, runners and the (unseen in this photo but there) ever-unpredictable kids on bikes (what prevents kids from travelling in a straight line anyhow?).

A ma grande surprise, la voie était assez bondée, surtout pres de Sommières. Ok…relativement bondée (cétait un lundi) !

A nice economic bonus to building cycling paths over train lines is that you don’t need to worry about drilling through rock or making bridges and tunnels…it’s already been done for you!

Un des bienfaits économiques de la construction des pistes cyclables sur des chemins de fer, c’est qu’on a déjà les ponts, les tunnels, etc.  On ajoute du bitume…tout simplement!

Next, a couple of random pictures of the Nimeois countryside in Winter.

Puis, quelques photos aléatoires du paysage Nîmois en hiver.

Another nice thing about this voie verte (and other former railway lines I suppose) is that it winds through some villages along its way. Here are some locals in Cavisson playing petanque, a game somewhere between shuffleboard and curling, and about as exciting to watch.

Un autre bon aspect de cette voie verte, c’est qu’elle traverse les petits villages qui étaient sur l’ancienne ligne de trains.

Here’s the map, as usual. The cycling path is between Sommieres and Caveirac. I’ll include it in my cycling paths entry as well.

Voici la carte, comme d’habitude. La piste est entre Sommières et Caveirac. Je l’ajouterai dans mon article “pistes cyclables” aussi.

If you need to rent a bicycle, Vaunage Passion Vélos has a good selection and they are right on the voie verte, in Calvisson.

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