Past Ride

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Sun Oct 1st 2017
France Tour day 2 3*
Richard Pethybridge
Start Time:
8:00 am
Start Location:
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 Hôtel Saint-Pierre at approx €68 for a twin/double room
Sun 1 Oct – Cycle to the coast via Caen (and hopefully the Café 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 some overnight rain we woke to great skies and drizzle. After a decent breakfast we got underway hoping for the best, and soon completed the first climb of the day. With the weather holding the updated route proved to be popular, and after a couple of hours of roller-coaster riding up and down hills we arrived at Thury-Harcour to pick up the velo route into Caen. This proved to be a fantastic trail, with smooth and wide tarmac following the route of an old railway including through a tunnel. Accompanied for a while by some garrulous French touring cyclists we arrived in Caen ready for a well-earned lunch. Again a change of plan resulted in a great alternative, with some colossal salads and excellent burgers consumed to replenish calories burned. The last section from Caen to Ouistreham went very smoothly with a decent tail wind, interrupted only by a quick history lesson at Pegasus Bridge. Long queues at the port immigration meant that we did finally get caught by the impending rain, but as it was during the ride towards the ferry ramp no-one was really complaining. Triumphant spirits were redoubled when the group won the ship's quiz, narrowly pipping the Portsmouth Audax Club to the trophy. After a very tasty dinner the boat arrived on time and disembarkation was swift. A short final pedal to Whale Island and our (very) secure parking followed, and everyone was on their way towards home in good time.

Overall this was an excellent weekend. My thanks go to everyone who came along and for making my job as a leader so easy. I very much look forward to running the trip again next year.
82.08 km (51.00 mi)
Ride Details:
Comment on this ride


Written by : Karen T

Posted on : October 4, 2017 at 3:07 PM

Thanks for all your hard work on logistics and route planning Richard; it was a great weekend.

Ride Filter
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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