After deciding that we wouldn’t do a long Brittany trip this year, Adrian suggested a return to the old format of Friday night out of Plymouth and Saturday night back, doing a day long ride. The last weekend that the ferry would be running the Saturday return was Sat 23rd March, so that was a plan.
Around Dec and January ferry bookings were made. A route was planned, transport arranged and then it was Friday 22nd March, and we all met at Plymouth ferry port. Lots of newbies on this trip, all excited at the prospect of a good trip. We totalled 16, the youngest being Rhys, Adrian’s grandson. As per usual we gathered in a cosy corner of the bar and talked of the route and planned stops whilst sampling various offerings from the bar. Adrian and Rhys were heading out on their own so that Rhys could see the delights that Morlaix had to offer, these included Decathlon and Patisserie Martin, a longstanding favourite with the Wheelers.
Several other groups of cyclists were also on the ferry, at least 40 I should think, all doing the same day trip.
Saturday morning, the alarm went off, we were all up, scoffing croissants, pain au raisin or pain au chocolat, fuel for the journey ahead. I had planned a gentle route out of Roscoff, around the back of the town (to avoid the other ferry traffic) and then the coastal route to Santec (Clare remembered she was in this area on holiday, back in the summer, when she was told that she was going to be a granny, and that the baby was now due in the next week or so.) Following the Green route, EV5, which hugs the coast all the way to Plouescat, on route to Plouescat, Clare’s phone beeped, her message was that ‘the waters had broken’ how weird was that, perfect timing! (Would we have Champagne by the end of the day?) We arrived at Plouescat where we had our coffee stop at 10.30, (several riders remembered that we had been here before), sitting in the sunshine, people watching.
It was soon time to get moving again onto Brignogan Plage, this was a long flat straight road, for about 4 miles, then up to Plouneour-Trez where we spotted a lovely looking creperie in the village centre, but lunch was planned for Brignogan, so on we went, to find that the Creperie there was closed!! I asked in the local bar if there was anywhere else in town open for lunch, to be told ‘non’, but that there was a nice creperie in Plouneour-Trez, we would be going back that anyway, so that was decided. Just as the front riders were turning into the village, a shout came from the back to say the P Fairy had visited, the front seven carried onto the village to make lunch arrangements, whilst the second group fixed Barbara’s puncture. The chap in the creperie Roud an Avel, seemed surprised to see us, and was unsure if he could fit us in, luckily for us seven, we were seated in the conservatory and then the second group had a couple of tables in the main dining area. A really, lovely creperie with good service and great crepes. Paula had a slight issue with locating the toilet out in the courtyard, but that’s another story, and as we always say ‘what goes on, on tour, stays on tour. As we left, we had our photo taken outside by the chap from the creperie, he must have been pleased we came in after all, good lunchtime trade.
I warned everyone that the route back would not be quite as flat, they all seemed happy to go with it, and not take the flat route back the way we had come. We headed slightly inland and onto rolling roads, passing through small towns and villages, slightly unsure of the exact route I had planned as my Monsieur Garmin was having a siesta after lunch, (battery died) and the road signs were non existent. We were mostly on the right roads, heading in the right direction, unfortunately we also had a strong headwind, which was making the pedalling even harder, and making us quite chilly. We arrived back in Roscoff and gathered in a bar, where several of the group decided to head back to the ferry for early boarding, to have a hot shower, change and dinner onboard. Leaving just seven (our lucky number?) to eat in Roscoff, at least it meant finding somewhere easier with a smaller group. We all opted for a lovely fish restaurant and had a great dinner.
The time came for us to head back onboard, where Mike was told he needed to pay £126, which he was surprised about as the trip cost around £80, after several staff getting involved and the computer being adjusted, he was allowed through to join us, still not sure what it had all been about. After showers and change, we joined up with the others in the bar, for the prize giving.
Riders, Denise, Barbara, Clare, Margaret, Teresa, Jo, Vanessa, Paula, Caroline, Trevor C, Adrian, Rhys, Martin, Mike, Steve and Victor.
Another great trip with main group riding 60 miles, and Adrian and Rhys riding just under 50 miles.
So well done to everyone.
PS Baby girl arrived on Sunday, Eva.
When I came up with the idea I thought no one will want to do it, we’re to old now and who’ll go in March but Caroline picked up on the idea and it flew and turned into a great trip. I originally was not going as we were going over with the car a few weeks before but then had the idea of taking Rhys.
There were some keen cyclists from Plymouth doing the same trip as us, they did just over 70 miles so our team doing 60 didn’t do bad.
Caroline didn’t say that Barbara’s battery went flat as they got back to Roscoff and Denise only had a couple of miles left, so even with a lot of flat riding the Batteries did a lot of work especially riding into the wind.
There were a lot of firsts on the trip, for some it was there longest ride ever and for some of us the longest ride for several years, including Vanessa who was named rider of the tour.