On the 130th anniversary, I recreated part of the journey of the first person to cycle around the world on a bicycle. Taking it one day at a time. View the archive.

Bar-le-duc to Nancy

By Stuart Lowe on

Leaving Bar-le-duc I followed the canal. At the tiny village of Tannois I tried to find a shop to buy bread for breakfast but all I could find was a hair dressers. It doesn't cease to amaze me how many hair dressers there are in the world yet so few shops selling food. In this strange little village devoid of food, a lady clapped aggressively in her car at me. I don't know why.

On to Tronville-en-Barrois where Stevens had been unlucky for breakfast. Today the shop is better stocked but I bought some bonbons (what I'd have called a "10p mix" when I was a kid) in his memory.

Up and over the hills on small roads and farm tracks my route went to avoid the autoroute. I got some lovely views of fields of wheat which seem so much more pleasant compared to the thousand miles of corn belt last year.

panorama
Hills from Tronville

photo
A field of wheat near the autoroute

Through Void-Vacon and Foug I reached Toul. I didn't like being back amongst heavier traffic but the cathedral was nice to admire as I hit the canal cycle path. I took the northern canal, rather than the southern canal although they seemed about the same distance. Both did curves to Nancy whereas the autoroute took the direct line.

photo
Toul cathedral

photo
Cycle path

photo
View from the canal cycle path

photo
Amorous French ladybirds

photo
Still following the canal

In Nancy I was staying with Francine and Michel. They'd cycled parts of the west coast of the US themselves and knew I'd need a shower straight away! Francine is learning Chinese and was planning a trip to cycle in China. Michel prepared Francines's adapted French-Chinese tarte and we had a scrumptious dinner with wine whilst sharing stories of the road.

photo
The wonderful Francine and Michel