Past Ride

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Sat Sep 30th 2017
France Tour day 1 3*
Richard Pethybridge
Start Time:
8:00 am
Start Location:
St Malo
The club will be organising a repeat of last year's very successful weekend trip to France at the end of September/beginning of October, taking the Friday evening ferry across from Portsmouth to St Malo, arriving early on Saturday morning. An outline route follows the coast eastbound before turning inland and heading up for an overnight stay in Vire. On the Sunday the route goes via Caen down to the coast and the return ferry from Ouistreham. Full details are as follows:
Fri 29 Sep Depart Portsmouth 2015. Cost £80 for 2 people, plus £55 for a twin berth cabin. Free parking will be available in Portsmouth courtesy of the Royal Navy!
Sat 30 Sep Arrive St Malo 0815. Ride to Vire. Distance approx 120km, with approx 1,000m of climbing. Stay overnight in Vire. Potential hotel accommodation in the Hotel Saint-Pierre at approx ¬68 for a twin/double room
Sun 1 Oct Cycle to the coast via Caen (and hopefully the Cafe Gondree at Pegasus Bridge, for D-Day aficionados). Distance 80km, with approx 750m of climbing. Catch the 1630 ferry to Portsmouth, arriving 2115. Again about £80 for 2 people, cabins £21.
Anyone interested in going is requested to contact Richard Pethybridge (07875 456521 or as soon as possible so that he can make an assessment of feasibility. Travel and accommodation is the responsibility of individuals, and early booking is recommended as it will be cheaper. Accommodation is limited, and early responses would be much appreciated.
Outline routes are as follows for those interested:
After a pleasant night on the ferry that was bouncy for some but calm for others the group arrived in St Malo as the sun was rising. French immigration was a little chaotic but the group was soon making its way across town and heading for the coast on the other side of the peninsular. As we followed the coast we enjoyed a light wind from behind, clearing clouds and increasing sunshine, and occasional glimpses of Mont St Michel to keep us motivated. Timing proved perfect at the coffee stop, with us arriving just as the cafe owner was opening up. Refreshed by delicious cafe creme and some lovely patisserie from the blue laundry next door, we made our way towards the first of the "Voies Vertes" green routes. Crossing the Couesnon river we turned north towards the Mont. Unlike last year the causeway to the island was closed to cycles and so we had to put up with a more distant but no less impressive view. Heading east again we followed the coast before turning inland for lunch. That turned out to be something of an adventure, as the planned restaurant was closed and we had to find an alternative. That involves an extra hill but "Les Martinaises" proved to be an excellent alternative with a very tasty and good value Plat du Jour. The afternoon saw more voies vertes following some old railway lines, and much more climbing. Some slippery mud and some narrow gaps interacting with wide panniers caused a couple of tumbles, but luckily no injuries. John T takes the prize for the best roll from a falling bicycle. With the weather becoming greyer we were all pleased to see Vire when we finally arrived. The hotel was as welcoming as last year and with excellent bike parking. The day finished with a most convivial and highly tasty meal at "Le Robbery" restaurant.
123.92 km (77.00 mi)
Ride Details:
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Start Locations
Wantage Market Place
Old Mill Hall, Grove
1* - Suitable for irregular, social, beginner or family riders, pace will match the slower riders. Not hilly or long. Expect rides up to 3 hours. Gentle exercise.
2* - Suitable for regular riders who prefer to cover some distance but at a more relaxed pace. Likely to be half-day rides. Solid exercise.
3* - Suitable for experienced riders, may be hilly, long, quick, or any combination! Likely to be half or full-day rides. Challenging exercise.
4* - Suitable for athletic riders who can ride safely above the 3* standard. Quick rides for the fit.
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