Adventure

Le Grand Tour: Day 16 – Roz-Sur-Couesnon / Forward Planning

CURRENT LOCATION: Camping les Couesnons, Roz-sur-Couesnons

Last night on the campsite there were at least seven cyclists and another four walkers in the cycling-walking section. All except me have now left and I have been joined, so far, by just two cyclists. It will be interesting to see if people are, like me, staying put for the day and not travelling in light of the extreme temperature. That said, it clearly didn’t dissuade any of my fellow campers last night. Perhaps it was something I said…

That aside, a day off the cycling has allowed me to catch up on things. First and foremost has been the latest episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast which some of you may have already noticed has now been published. At the suggestion of the woman who runs the campsite, I climbed the short hill behind the campsite as she said I would find a small shop there. I did. But I also found a wonderful park behind the mairie of Roz-sur-Cousenon which had an amazing panoramic view of the plain that I cycled across yesterday afternoon from the Mont-Saint-Michel. The view of the mount in the distance – some 8km away – was superb and the perfect backdrop for me to finish recording, edit and then upload the podcast. For most of the time I was the only person in the park. Goodness knows what anyone staring out of the windows of the town hall thought I was doing, standing typing things on what would have appeared, from a distance, to be my Brooks saddle.

Anyway, you know the answer and you can now listen to part 3 of the ‘Grand Tour’ podcast by navigating over to the podcast page of CyclingEurope.org:

One thing I failed miserably to do today was find a shop that was open. Yes, the small shop in the village was open but I did think that I would be able to stock up better on supplies (food, sun protection cream, soap…) if I went to a shop that was a proper shop rather than a bar-tabac with a few shelves of overpriced essentials next to the Gauloises Blonds. The shop I did find was closed – it’s Monday of course – and I didn’t fancy a 10km trek to an Intermarché in the next town or a climb back up the hill to the village so I did the next best thing and booked myself in for a meal at the campsite restaurant at 7:30pm. This basically means that I have now three hours to do some route planning… I’m writing what you will see below more for my benefit rather than anything else. You may, or may not, find it of much interest. Here goes.

Tomorrow I’m back on the EuroVelo 4 / Vélomaritime. In fact I already rejoined it (see yesterday’s video). The route will take me to Saint-Malo, Dinard, Saint-Brieuc, Perros-Guirec and Morlaix at which point the EuroVelo 1 / Vélodyssée can be joined. Unless someone starts screaming that there is a good reason to visit Roscoff, I don’t actually see the point in deviating to the port only for me to retrace my steps back to Morlaix. That said it would only be a matter of perhaps 5km, a round trip of 10km. Mmm… Someone give me a reason!

Between Mont-Saint-Michel and Saint-Brieuc, the official Vélomaritime website tells me it is 180km. From Saint-Brieuc to Morlaix it rather strangely sends me on a different route altogether!! However to Perros-Guirec it is 108km and from there to Morlaix another 90km (estimated as the route finder still isn’t keen on me sticking to the EuroVelo 4 route…). So in total around 380km. That’s about the same distance as from Chartres to where I am now so it seems reasonable to say four to five days of cycling? Obviously the terrain will be very different so I may struggle to maintain my 80km per day average. Let’s be ambitious however and stick to four days:

  1. Mont-Saint-Michel to Dinard(ish)
  2. Dinard(ish) to Saint-Brieuc(ish)
  3. Saint Brieuc(ish) to Perros-Gueric(very ish)
  4. Perros-Gueric to Morlaix.

Worth noting that there is a train between Saint-Brieuc and Morlaix that will be under 100km (so it doesn’t break my rules) and that’s an option. Coastal cycling in Brittany, however, would be a shame to miss.

The coast is dotted with campsites so finding one each night shouldn’t be an issue. That said, finding cheaper ones might. Any suggestions would be welcome. Perhaps it’s time for me to start using my ’Home Camper’ app that was suggested to me earlier in the trip. I had a look earlier and there is one person offering camping spaces in a big field near Dinard for only €13. I might bite the bullet and book there later. It will be interesting to try this as an alternative to formal campsites or WarmShowers. I’ll have a look at that too. In fact I’ve just attempted to send a request for a Home Camper place just to the west of Dinard. We’ll see what happens there… And BREAKING NEWS: I’ve already been accepted! So that’s tomorrow sorted…

One other mission I have tomorrow is to visit the FNAC store just outside Dinard. According to their website, they have a GoPro Hero 10 in stock. My ‘discussion’ with the GoPro organisation continues. I have told them I will send back the faulty camera I purchased in May in the UK and told them to give me a refund. This they have refused to do and say the only way to manage the situation is for me to send them the faulty camera and then, three weeks later, for them to send me a new one. To where? I’ve tried to explain but to no avail… The solution would seem to be to send the faulty camera back home and buy a replacement here. I will sort out the return of the problematic camera when I return. (The camera shuts down a few seconds after having been turned on even when the battery is fully charged. I purchased a new battery in Paris and that didn’t solve the problem. It must be the camera. And it’s not the heat; this is an issue that started back in Belgium…)

So thats the plan, ish. My life is full of ishes. Thats the nature of making it up as you go along. Fear not! There is a video coming up for day 16 (that’s today) but it’s more an advert for the new episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast. Don’t forget – episode 054 – part 3 of the ’Grand Tour’ series.

The biggest struggle I’ve had today is not the heat; it’s been trying to get a decent data signal. Why oh why does any campsite bother installing shite WiFi? Is it an option do you think? As for the mobile signal, it’s been like living back in Britain…

LATE: Interesting chat with one of the cyclists on the site tonight. She’s from Morlaix and gave me a few insights into the routes. EuroVelo 1 from Morlaix to Nantes is another railway track and then the canal. By the time I get there, I may be desperate for some flattish riding…

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7 replies »

  1. I can’t wait to listen to the latest Podcast. I just completed the Hebridean Way followed by the John Muir Way and some of the Pennine / Rievers Way yo Newcastle. Cycling in 24C was perfect, but I’d not liked to be out in higher temperatures.

    I hope you get the camera sorted. Shiite WiFi at campsites seems to be a universal constant.

What do you think?