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Sat Sep 22nd 2018
FranceTrip 3*
Leader:
Richard Pethybridge
Start Time:
6:00 am
Start Location:
St Malo, France
Description:
First day in France. We arrive early (having lost an hour on the boat) but will quickly make time across flat ground after leaving St Malo. We will take coffee in Cherrueix, followed by lunch in Ducey (a new restaurant this year). After lunch the climbing starts, along a mix of roads and old railway lines. We should arrive in Vire around 1700, with plenty of time for a rest, a spruce up, and a beer before dinner.
Report:
Only 9 riders for this trip, after Nicole sadly had to pull out at the last minute due to illness.

We emerged from the ferry nice and quickly to be met with a rain shower. This had been predicted, but was nonetheless a little disappointing. John Tranter kindly decided to fit waterproof covers to his panniers, which caused the rain to stop and hold off for a decent period. The route out of St Malo proved to be a little challenging due to a couple of '"D�ᅵ�©viations" caused by roadworks and a closed lock bridge. But we were soon on our way along the Baie de la Seine coast road, aided by a brisk westerly wind. With perfect timing (Luck or judgement? Your call...) we arrived at our regular caf�ᅵ�© stop in Cherrueix just as Monsieur le Patron was opening up. A very efficient delivery of coffee, and an equally efficient provision of patisserie from the shop next door fortified us in preparation for the next stage past Mont St Michel.

Following the "Voies Verte" through fields we crossed the river Cousenon to head north towards the Mont. En route Richard suffered the first (and thankfully only) puncture of the weekend. Leaving the Mont in our rear view mirror (well, Karen's anyway) we headed towards a potential lunch stop. Booking had proven impossible, with every restaurant apparently closed. In the end we dipped in (naval slang for "got lucky";) )with a most accommodating boulangerie in Pontorson and with the rain holding off (we'd had showers all morning) we ate on picnic benches by the river.

More Voies Verte followed, before we ground our way up the first big climb to Reffuveille. The wind was now much more southerly, and the rain becoming heavier. A long road section to Juvigny-le-Tertre was a rollercoaster, with strong side winds almost causing the peloton to break into echelon formation. Luckily we dropped back onto the Voie Verte for the run up towards Vire, although by now the rain was getting more torrential. The final run down into Vire was completed in heavy rain with roads awash - a shame because it's a glorious quiet downhill road with great sight lines. The most kamikaze of us still made almost 60kmh on it though...

After a last tricky drag up into the town centre, accompanied by the slightly bizarre piped music that plays on Vire's streets, the somewhat bedraggled group arrived at the hotel, tired, wet, but thoroughly chuffed with ourselves. Not long after, and fortified by hot showers and Grimbergen, we enjoyed another excellent post-ride meal at our favourite Vire restaurant, Le Robbery.
Distance:
125.05 km (77.70 mi)
Ride Details:
https://www.strava.com/activities/1862254906
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Sat Sep 22nd 2018
2* Saturday Half Day Ride 2*
Leader:
Des Higgs
Start Time:
9:30 am
Start Location:
OMH
Description:
Half day ride (45-55km / 30-40 miles), with a tea stop, at a riding pace of 18-20km/h (11-13mph). Not likely to be very hilly. Might be a struggle for new or irregular riders in winter months.
Bit more hilly than usual. Quite flat through the Vale and then uphill at Ashbury and lovely downhill stretch to Lambourn. Down the Lambourn valley to Great Shefford and then uphill northwards towards Wantage with a coffee stop at Sadddleback Café after approx. 30 miles. Down Chain Hill and back to Grove.
Report:
The forecast was not looking good, but it was dry as we assembled more in hope than expectation for our Saturday 2* outing. Nevertheless it was disappointing to feel the first few spots as we passed the Bay Tree and by Denchworth all of us had donned our cags...
Des had kindly picked up the ride lead in place of Suzy, but it was clear fairly quickly that he was out of sorts and at Baulking he decided to head back with Lorna (who had only been planning to ride this far in any case). So I took over the ride leading and we continued following Suzy's route through Uffington and on to Knighton where the short climb up to the B-road exercised our lungs. On to Ashbury and the first main climb of the ride up the eponymous hill. We regrouped by the Ridgeway at the top. By now the rain had set in steadily and the suggestion to stop in the caf�© in Lambourn rather than continue to Saddleback, rejoined by "and back over Hackpen?" was unanimously agreed.
So after a damp descent into Lambourn, we welcomed the warmth of the caf�© and hot drinks.
The ride back was just plain wet! The rain stung our faces on the fast descent of Hackpen hill and after the Letcombes we split to go our various ways.
One of those days when it felt good to have been out but even better to get home again! We missed your company on the rest of the ride, Des. Best wishes.

Steve S.
Distance:
48.28 km (30.00 mi)
 
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Ride Filter
Start Locations
WMP
Wantage Market Place
OMH
Old Mill Hall, Grove
Categories
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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