Category: Adventure

Le Grand Tour: Day 20 – Saint-Quay To Louannec (72km)

The omens were not good at 8am. The campsite at Saint-Quay certainly lived up to its name by having a ‘belle vue’. Indeed my pitch – as with many others – was facing north-east and if there were no clouds, we were in for a cracking sunrise. I happened to be awake at 5am so I clamped the GoPro to its tripod and set in motion a time lapse video. Alas it was cloudy and the resulting video merely showed black clouds become grey ones. Nothing too spectacular there. However, by 8am the sun had risen and was beginning to poke through the clouds. Perhaps an opportunity to get the drone in action to capture the magic. And it did. You can see that shot at the start of today’s video.

Le Grand Tour: Day 19 – Hillion To Saint-Quay (50km)

A shorter day – just 50km – but it helps me out when it comes to getting to Morlaix by the end of Saturday. Where I am now – a place called Saint-Quay – is about half way between Mont-Saint-Michel and Morlaix and this makes the two planned long days of cycling to Morlaix a bit shorter and hence more manageable. My average has now dipped below 80km per day but I’m sure that will be rectified as I speed along the flat(ish) lands of the Velodyssée next week.

Le Grand Tour: Day 18 – Saint-Briac-Sur-Mer To Hillion (80km)

You are not reading this on Wednesday 20th as, yesterday evening, my 25GB of data ran out. I was expecting this to happen at some point and also expected to be able to easily purchase more data. But that’s when it got problematic. A phone call to Vodafone is on the cards when their call centre opens on Thursday morning. I suppose if all else fails I can buy a French SIM card. There’s also the matter of me having had to change my mobile number (could that be complicating things?) but that sorry tale is for another day (and probably another website…)

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

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…

Episode 054: Le Grand Tour, Part 3 – La Véloscénie From Paris To Mont-Saint-Michel

The Cycling Europe Podcast continues to follow Andrew Sykes as he cycles on his ‘Grand Tour’ of Europe. In this third part of the ’Grand Tour’ series, Andrew sets off along the Veloscenie cycle route from the historic city of Chartres to its fellow UNESCO World Heritage site at Mont-Saint-Michel. It’s a journey of four days with overnight stops at a dystopian municipal campsite at Nogent-le-Rotrou, Alençon and Domfront-en-Poiraie before his arrival on the north coast. He also takes time to pay a visit to the Musée du Vélo at Villeneuve-en-Perseigne. The music is by Rob Ainsley.

Le Grand Tour: Day 15 – Domfront To Mont-Saint-Michel (83km)

If cycling along disused railways for fun (and why else would you do it?), then the Veloscenie is for you. Prior to embarking upon my Chartres to Mont-Saint -Michel section of the route (which is about 80%) I’d read that the Veloscenie connected the capital with the north coast by linking up defunct railway lines but I wasn’t expecting them to be such a dominant part of the route. It must be at least two-thirds of the total length and, in temperatures such as those provoked by this current heatwave, you couldn’t wish for a better place to cycle, the sun been screened for much of the time by the surrounding vegetation.

Le Grand Tour: Day 14 – Alençon To Domfront (73km)

If yesterday was a spinning class of a ride, today was a spinning class with that knob below the handlebars cranked up several notches. If your route passes the ‘highest point in north-west France’ you can probably guess you’re in for an up and down day and, at gradients that a train could cope with when they plodded up and down these valleys many decades ago, that’s what happened. More disused railways – the area must once have been a maze of lines – with a handful of pencil-straight-Roman roads. More satisfying that yesterday and a much more welcoming end at a municipal campsite that breaks records. Keep reading…