Category: Travel

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

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…

Le Grand Tour: Day 13 – Nogent-Le-Rotrou To Alençon (93km)

Today was the equivalent of a cycle touring spinning class. Well, mostly. Almost the entire route from Nogent-le-Rotrou to Alençon was off road and along a very long disused railway line. I almost felt guilty for having made all of those men work so hard 100? 200? years ago in building the railway line in the first. Now it’s ‘just’ being used by cyclists and walkers. But hey! At least it’s still in use…