Category Archives: Europe

Day 8 St Malo FI Hotel to Rennes on my 25,256 day

Wheres the bikes owner?
Wheres the bikes owner?

I had a really great sleep, rock hard beds suit me I think, Should modify the bed at home with a sheet of plywood as a topper 🙂

At brekkie two English cyclists were complaining at the hills between Rennes and St Malo they didn’t seem to happy when I said they was a canal side path and a old railway line. How nice to be smug sometimes 🙂

I set of to on a route suggested by maps.me that avoided the dual carriageway. However when I reached the Parc de la Briantais its gates were firmly locked 🙁 🙁 I followed the track around the humungous wall and slid down to eventually reach the dual carriageway fortunately they drive on the right so I didn’t have to attempt a perilous crossing of one high speed traffic lane.

I was quickly onto the Barage de la Rance and just to see the sheer power of the rising tide going through the turbines was amazing. To think the Severn Estuary barrage could generate 8% or so of UK electricity and we can’t be bothered to build it 🙁 After a bit of side roads I was soon on the old railway line at Pleurtuit and the V2 cycle trail. Excellent riding and at Taden smoothly dropping onto a riverside path. Dinan is truly incredible not only for its ancient buildings but its patisseries 🙂

Canal and path
Canal and path

The route then carried on the Canal d’Ille et Rance. I dropped of at Tinteniac for a bite to eat and started chatting to the young couple next to me. Turns out that they are friends with Paul & Diana in Jersey and he is a pilot too! small world.

Eventually I reached Rennes  a bit parched & hungry as I couldn’t find any shops after Dinan – must try and stock up tomorrow. The Hotel Lorient is OK although it only opens at 5.30pm.

Strava says todays ride was 72 miles with 1,579 feet of climbing. So not quite flat 🙂

The photos should be here

Day 7 – I make it to France with my bike, 25,255 days old.

St Malo lido
St Malo lido

I arrived in St Malo with 15 Belgium Harley Davidsons just before midday, Condor had bought the start time forward by 2 hours because one of the boats engines had failed, apparently they needed to make sure it would catch the  tide to dock in St Malo.

I couldn’t  easily change my booking at the F1 Hotel so I had a whole afternoon to do some sightseeing and checking out a route to get to Spain.

Whilst on the net in my rather dismal room, sans WC (Well for €35 what else do you expect) I happened upon the Cycling Brittany website which described the R2 route from St Malo to Arzal with a convenient gpx file for the first 110km to Rennes, so a decent day’s biking along the canals & rivers. It was quickly added to my Gaia app 🙂

The next find was La Vélodyssée, the 1200km Atlantic cycling route from Roscoff to Hendaye on the Spanish border. My route from St Malo should hit  it at Redon which is only 75km from Rennes. So hopefully, should be a decent route all the way to Spain.

First task tomorrow is working out a route across The Rance Barrage to get across to meet the R2. A task made really easy with the maps.me app, although it has a bug which wants you to go around rounabouts the wrong way 🙁

Oldest house
Oldest house

St Malo is well worth a visit. a historic walled town with lovely sands and a busy port importing timber from Russia

The very feeble Strava of 16 miles and 626 feet is here

The pictures are in Dropbox here

 

Day 6 – A days holiday in a holiday in retirement and 25,254 days old

Perfect cycling road
Perfect cycling road

Due to the vagaries of the monopoly supplier of ferries to Jersey, Condor Ferries, there was no ferry to St Malo today 🙁 So an official holiday was declared by me.

With the unexpected day here I decided to revisit the North coast, this time dropping down into the coves and also practising the Boulay bay hill climb unfortunately I had a laden saddle bag etc so the heart rate went out through the roof on the 24% gradient:stretch -(   It still brought back many fond memories of the Bolsover hill climb, which was 33%, that I used to do as a kid.

Amazing views on the North coast
Amazing views on the North coast

Jersey with it’s so called “Green Lanes” is a bit of a cycling paradise. Quiet, well surfaced roads are ideal plus you can choose to do some pretty good hill climbing short and sharp! A lovely prevalence of reasonable cafes means you are never far from a cuppa or cake.

It’s easily accessible by bike from England (Condor Ferries willing) using Portsmouth, bikes are carried free and compared to flying totally hassle free. So I’m sure I will be back for a long weekend with Sally 🙂

After the ride I took a 10 minute dip in The Sea Lido, apparently the oldest in the UK even more astonishing is that at high water the pool is 40feet under water 🙂 as usual I was perished when I got out and after chatting to the oldie regulars :-), fortunately The Runnymede Hotel , where I’m staying, is literally 100 yards up the road so a hot shower did the usual thawing out trick.

All in all a very relaxing day for me, at this rate will I make it to Ibiza? even more does it matter 🙂

The Strava says I cycled 16 miles and 1132 ft of climbing. Meanwhile my son, Nick RAN nearly 41 miles and over 5,500 feet of climbing 🙂 shurely shome mishtake….

The pictures will be found here at some point.

Day 5 a whirlWINDY tour of Jersey on my 25,253 day.

Corbiere Lighthouse
Corbiere Lighthouse

What a wet and wild night that was, thank goodness it was only my bike outside. After a much better nights sleep, on a firmer bed I had a gorgeous scrambled egg breakfast and left The Village b&b to a windy but dry morning.

I freewheeled down the hill and biked to St Aubin to meet up with snowboarder Peter, my guide for the morning. When he arrived on a uber lightweight carbon bike, I knew I was in for a struggle especially when he started talking about 8min running miles 🙁 in ParkRuns

We shot off up the old railroad track to the lighthouse at Corbiere Point and met the full force of the huge westerly wind 🙁  It was really stunning scenery and I was glad of a breather :-). At the bottom of the hill Peter suggested a rough track around the hill although it meant carrying my heavyish bike up a flight of  steps..

Once down at sea level again and along the bay we stopped at the Jersey Pearl shop for a much needed cream tea. 🙂

Red squirrel
Red squirrel

Then it was of again up a very steep hill appropriately named Mont du Vallette , after a rest at the top to admire the view and Peter”s old childhood haunts we biked on, a bit inland of the coast, to our next tea break at the Durrell Wildlife Park. Then it was time for Peter to do his domestic duties so he flew off. I continued at a more leisurely pace, even spotting my first red squirrel, around the island. It really is beautiful with well maintained roads and on the whole courteous drivers. With the ferry from Portsmouth it probably makes a decent long weekend trip from the UK.

Once in St Helier I make a quick recce of the seawater lido, looks promising for a dip! Instead of returning back to the b&b I started the circuit again this time dropping down to St. Brelade’s gorgeous sandy bay. However, The Crab Shack had closed for an afternoon nap so I discovered the Wayside Cafe for my crab salad instead.

Once back at the b&b I confidently started to book a ferry to St Malo for tomorrow. However, to continue a theme, no ferries run that way on Saturday 🙁 so it’s another night on Jersey for me! I’ve moved myself to a place in St Helier so I can use the lido etc.

Hellooooooo!
Hellooooooo!

A good day and it was great to have Peter, a local, to show me around. The Strava shows  I did 44.7 miles and 2094 feet of climbing

My pictures of the day should be here on Dropbox:-