This trip was undertaken by me, Brian Frith, two mates who did the Vietnam ride; Tony Hillsden and Chris Le Marquand and the father of a young lady who also went to Vietnam, Richard Le Sueur. Following Vietnam, we had ridden together most weeks in Jersey, invariably ending up at Big Vern’s cafe in the wonderful bay of St Ouens, a 5-mile stretch of pristine beach, famous for its surfing and open to the Atlantic.
Unlike Vietnam, we did the trip without a support vehicle and carried all our own luggage. However (& quite unlike Vietnam) we did stay in decent hotels en route and also enjoyed some great French food. The route & hotels are shown below and it took us via the wonderful Mont St Michel, the incredibly moving experience of the Landing Beaches, the challenging hills of ‘Suisse Normande‘ and ultimately the thrill of riding down the Champs Elysees and across six lanes of traffic at the roundabout entrance to the Arc de Triomphe. Only at that point did it really rain and did we get wet for the first time on the trip. The following day as we travelled back to St Malo by road, the weather was appalling and we felt well blessed! Paul, the owner of Big Vern’s cafe gave a generous donation to Cancerbackup Jersey and the teams photograph, at the Arc de Triomphe, is now displayed at the Cafe.
There are photographs of the trip on the ‘Photos’ page of this site & also a link to a DVD that Richard took. All in all it was a great trip & there were lots of laughs.
Soon after this trip, talk started about the next and we are currently planning a trip across France from St Malo to Nice in the Spring of 2009.
Big Vern’s cycling club Paris expedition
Thursday 17th April
- Presentation of the official tour Jerseys at Big Vern’s and check final travel details.
Wednesday 23rd April
- 7.15 Jersey to St Malo (check in 6.15)
- 9.15 arrive in St Malo and start cycling
- Cycle 40 miles to Le Mont St Michel where we will be staying at Le Mere Poulard, Chris will be able to eat one of their world famous omelette
Thursday 24th April
Friday 25th April
- Not much cycling today, 3 hr tour of the landing beaches and cemeteries.
- The tour group will also give us breakdown cover while in Normandy.
Saturday 26th April
- Cycle 49 miles to Honfleur, passing through the grand town of Deauville, we stay in the Hotel Mercure which is in the port area.
- The Pont de Normandie stretches across the Seine estuary from Le Havre, making the ‘Norman Riviera’ almost too accessible and contributing to the devaluation of towns such as Trouville, Deauville and Honfleur.
- There will not be a shortage of Restaurants to choose from in this town!
Sunday 27th April
- Cycle 63 miles to Louvier, we follow the Seine going close to Rouen, we stay in the hotel Manoir de la Haye Le Comte
Monday 28th April
- Cycle 75 miles to Arc de Triomphe, we follow the Seine again to Paris, and stay in the Hôtel Paris Bastille that Brian has arranged.
- On the way we pass the famous gardens and house of Claude Monet.
- We can stop for a coffee break here and a look around the garden.
Tuesday 29th April
- Chris will arrange for a van to pick us up in Paris and take us to St Malo to catch our ferry to Jersey.