The Juicy Fruit Ride

After 2 glorious weeks at our villa near Vaison-La-Romaine it’s time to move on. We pack up the minivan (Clampett-style) and head about 50 miles southwest. We are in Comps, near the intersection of the Rhone and Gard Rivers. The first thing that stands out is that it’s flat here. The landscape is completely different. We have left the hilly, lush and abundant vineyards and caveaux of the Cotes du Rhone wine region.  Now we are smack-dab in the middle of a region filled with fruit orchards.
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Our 39-mile ride today crosses the Rhone River.
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It goes through acres and acres of peaches, nectarines, apricots, apples, pears.
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These naked trees used to have cherries before they were all harvested this earlier month.

no more cherries!
no more cherries!

This area also seems to grow a bit more wheat, which is a good thing because we have consumed half of a field’s worth of French bread.
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We ride on many roads that are barely bigger than a driveway.  Luckily they are minimally travelled on by cars, almost making it feel like we are on bike paths. My own personal expert route planner has worked hard to keep us on secondary roads as often as possible, and he does not disappoint.

We even get a visitor.
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The cheval (horse) comes over to pose for photos while we are taking pictures of the peaches.  We reward it by feeding it a cut-up peach.

We don’t climb today, and we are not rewarded with any spectacular views.  We do see one of the wonders of Provence. It’s sunflower season!
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The fields are big, beautiful and very yellow! You have seen the professional cyclists ride through them during the Tour de France, and they are a sight to behold.
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Talk about your sun salutations, these guys face east waiting to greet the sunrise every morning!
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To me, they appear to turn and track the sun, but apparently that’s just a nice story and a common misconception.

Coming up, a look at delectable Provencal dishes served canal-side in Beaucaire!

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