Roschwirr on D35bis, the Route des Vins

I had a good, but wet, day of riding today, as the weather continues to get worse. I rode about half of the day in light to moderate rain, include an exciting stretch of half a dozen miles on an expressway that connects two autoroutes. The traffic was heavy and those folks were still driving as if they were on an autoroute. I rode more of that dangerous mess than was necessary, but the worst part of it - the part where it intersects the norther autroute just before Molesheim, is the only way to get there without going well to the west. Having done it in the rain, I recomend taking the long way round!

The Alasace Wine Route, in light rain

Eguishem is one of the southern towns on the Alsace Wine Route. I rode north, mostly along that route, until I was east and a bit north of Strasbourg. That included the really nasty stretch on the expressway, but was usually very nice, if a bit wet, riding through French wine producing towns and through the vineyards that separate the towns. Beautiful hills covered with vineyards, neat small medieval towns with Wineries and hiily curvy roads with light traffic. Not a bad combination. I first rode from Eguishem to Colmar, in order to find an internet cafe which I was told was near the railroad station. It wasn't, and, as far as I could determine, there is no internet cafe in Colmar. So I rode out of Colmar heading northwest and found the wine route again. Colmar wasn't bad, and I only wasted a few miles on yet another fultile quest for internet access in France.

A typical town on the Aslace Wine Route

I saw a lot of bike tourists today, despite the not so great riding conditions. Many of them were riding the bike paths through the vineyards, but a lot were on the roads as well. Most of them were in groups, but I did see several solo, self supported types, including one woman. The solo riders and the groups of two or three were friendly. I did see what looked like a supported group, but they were heading down a vineyard path so I didn't get a good look at them.

Vineyard on a hill

Looking east into the Rhine valley through a vineyard

The rain was intermittent, so I did get some images with my digital camera, but it increased during the day, so I have no images of the last part of the ride. I needed to use my computer in the rain to figure out my routing during that part, so it got very wet, but the camera stayed dry. Since the rain also reduced visibility, images of distant things were grayed out even early in the day, but the clouds and wisps of fog in the valleys and on the hills enhanced the scenery during the dryer times.

A church/fortress ruin high above the valley

A town near the north end of the wine route

Looking west from the wine route

The route is well signed and easy to follow. It is moderately hilly, but there are few steep hills. Many of the tourists riding this route looked inexperienced, but they were, mostly, managing to ride the hills. There are lots of wineries and a reasonable number of fancy restaurants and bars along the route. I stopped at a few restaurants to check their menus, but they were too rich for me duirng a ride, so I just pulled over and snacked several times along the way. There are some picnic benched and other good places to stop alongside the roads.

My last image from today, D35 south of Barr
it is blurred by rain drops on the filter

I left the wine route south of Barr, heading north when it headed east, to make my way towards Strasbourg. It wasn't too bad except for the expressway, D500, and after that, the roads I used, D30 - great bike path - and D45 worked well. I worried about riidng into Strasbourg in the rain, but it wasn't a problem. When I got to the central area, I found a hotel, cleaned up, and with notvery good directions from the clerk at the hotel, went searching, in the rain, for an internet cafe. I found it after half an hour of looking and paid for two hours (cheap at 5 Euros) before discovering that it offered only browser access and the floppy drive on my system didn't work. So it goes with internet access in France!
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