Picture credit: Jimmy Walker
THE WESSEX NEWSLETTER Edited independently in three of the CTC Wessex member group areas and published quarterly. Please contact your nearest member group or access the club website for information on any events www.wessexctc.org for all CTC Wessex activities
CTC WESSEX SECRETARY Peter Loakes, Church Cottage, West Stafford, DT2 8AB (01305) 263272 CTC BOURNEMOUTH Cheryl Owen, 1 Bond Road, Poole BH15 3RT (01202) 738428 Margaret Phillpotts, Onair, 9 Bucklers Way, Bournemouth BH8 0EW CTC SALISBURY Alan Clarke, “Hill House”, Kelsey Road, Salisbury SP1 1JR (01722) 322188 CTC WEST DORSET Angela Price, 41 Garfield Avenue, Dorchester, DT1 2EY CTC BLACKMORE VALE Richard Gow, Wildfell, Crown Rd, Marnhull, DT10 1LN (01258) 821391
Main Calendar Dates For 2011 April 10th
Dorset Coastlet 100km
Dorset Coast 200km
New Forest Spring Challenge 50km
New Forest Day Out 100km
New Forest 150km
New Forest Excursion 200km
CTC NATIONAL AGM & DINNER AT WEYMOUTH
CTC Wessex Centenary Celebration Rides at Weymouth 01305772654
Dorset Downs 100km
Dorset Downs “Jake the Peg” 150km Justin Oakley
New Forest Autumn Challenge 50km John Ward
New Forest & Coast 100km
New Forest 150km
New Forest On & Off Shore 200km
Dorset Dirt 50km Off-Road
Bournemouth Square 200km
GRAND CTC meet at the last 2011 Breamore Steam Up
This is a sad time. As we hear of the death of Peter Robinson of Dorchester Cycles, we hear also of the death Peter Dulieu. Before those events, as the last issue of this Newsletter rolled from the printer complete with the notice of the Certificate of Merit for Richard and Margaret Nicholl, we were hit with the devastating news that Margaret had fallen from her bicycle having hit a pothole. She was on the way to the Blackmore Vale club run and she died a week later. Vale - Margaret Rose Nicholl 1943 - 2011 So, we are a charity now, or rather we will be as soon as Kevin and team at CTC get the new Constitution and application together. The postal vote was overwhelmingly in favour, although left to the actual AGM attendance it would not have gone through. It seems that this might take about a year. We must abide by a democratic decision and I hope that we will all not regret it in future. Our cover picture shows our Wessex President Malcolm Howell â€œBadgerâ€? at the National Dinner at Portland. Fully reported on page 14. Regular contributor Big Bob is joined in this issue by tales of the exploits of Paul Turner and David Chesworth.
Keith Matthews - Editor 3
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CTC Blackmore Vale Rides These take place every week alternating between Saturday & Sunday Meet 10am, set off at 10.30am. Lunches: CafĂŠs in Winter; Picnics during BST 01258 821391 - Richard Gow
Go to the Blackmore Vale website for the full Runs List: www.wessexctc/bvr.htm
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Cups and Trophies
By Keith Matthews
I have been asked by the committee to tell you about the very few cups and trophies that we award each year in CTC Bournemouth. I think they would like a higher level of awareness and also to ask for your help in awarding them. The Tourist Shield This is awarded to the highest placed CTC Bournemouth member who records points in the CTC National Tourist Competition. If you take part in qualifying events up and down the country then points will be added up and we scan down the final list in October to pick out the highest placed local rider. The award of the shield often comes as a complete surprise to the recipient! The Riders Cup This cup is awarded for the most impressive feat of cycling through the year. This year the committee chose a rider who had undertaken a number and variety of rides throughout the year rather than just one, but last year it was awarded for a single cross-European expedition. The committee decide on this, but its always difficult and maybe they don’t always hear of everybody’s effort, so if you know of a worthy recipient, let Terry or Mike or any committee member know.
The Sartain Trophy We regard this as our most prestigious trophy, awarded for special work for the club over the year. The committee decide this based on their knowledge but they would still appreciate any input if you feel that there is a worthy recipient that they have not thought of.
Freewheel Trophy This is for winning the freewheeling competition, straightforward really. The committee don’t need any help with this one!
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Right to Ride Network
By Paul M. Turner
BOURNEMOUTH - JP Morgan have signed up 1200 to bike to work scheme (2% of staff), - 28 showers 560 lockers, secure cycle lock up. Funding for schools. Bournemouth has been voted the best in the South West for cycling for Schools. There are now cycling links to school - Woodland Walk, signs produced by school children. Hand drawn artwork signs to be installed by mid March. The Project won “Scheme of the Month” on Cycling England website. Other schools are Porchester/Avonbourne/Bicknell- links to schools from Petersfield Road, Glenmoor, Winton, St. Mark’s. New footway/cycle paths also are completed across Slades Farm parkland to help access to school & cycle track and recreational facilities and Pelican crossings. I have used it. It’s great! Slade’s Farm cycling track is progressing well. Bikeability training now well underway in local schools. Courses also being offered at Everyone Active - Rossmore Leisure Centre. POOLE - Pedal Again in Poole continues to be popular with the next course taking place on Saturday 21 and 28 May. 14 Riders turned up in May to take part in the Poole Leisure Cycling ride. This ride takes place every 1st Saturday in the month during British Summer time – meet front of Upton House at 2pm. Big Green Fortnight is taking place between 20 May and 5 June – lot of green events for cycling nuts. Cycling Celebration on the Quay on Thursday 23 June. Set up at 4pm with event start at 5pm and finishing 8/9pm. Organisers will provide a Risk Assessment and public liability insurance. So far 19 organisations registered to attend including second hand bikes, bike bits, cycle clothing, cycle lights, electric bike try-out/children bikes try-out, “bling your bike” competition etc. Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) bid submitted for Poole town centre/Hamworthy co-ordinating a Community Cycle Scheme in partnership with the CTC to encourage cycling in the local community. In LSTF - Bournemouth cycling has bid for driver-cycle awareness - notification on both schemes will be announced at the end of June.
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By Rob Garnett
You will all be aware I have not been able to take an active part in the alternatives Thursday rides for some time due to the deterioration in my health. I have however continued to organise the runs sheet and joined some of the rides for coffee/lunch, making my own way by an easier route. However I am increasingly aware that this doesn’t keep my hand on the pulse of the group and it is important to have a person who is able to ride more regularly. For this reason I would like someone to take over from me as soon as possible please. The work entailed isn’t arduous, doesn’t take a lot of time and the use of a computer isn’t essential. It only entails some liaison when the runs list is prepared to ensure the meets and coffee stops don’t coincide with other groups. Also requesting persons to lead the rides. The Christmas lunch has also been provisionally booked for this year and I will of course give as much help as needed to ensure a smooth take over. I have always found taking an active part in all the organisations I have belonged to has enhanced my enjoyment and have been doing this intermittently with the CTC since shortly after I joined the North Birmingham DA in 1948. Sadly I feel its time to hand over the to a more active person. Of course many of you who read this are active members of other Thursday groups, don’t ride as much now or are heavily involve with other organisations. This is therefore just for your information. Lastly I would like to thank everyone, most sincerely, for the help they have given me since I first took over the Potterers from Joan Courtney and latterly with the formation of the Alternatives. With your help it has been a great pleasure for me to be involved. Both groups have continued to flourish and attract both old and new riders who enjoy this wonderful pastime.
By Janet Matthews
To get this Newsletter and the Runs List in hard copy sent by post costs currently the trivial sum of £2.50, just to cover the postage and envelopes. This sends you four issues for the year. We are happy to receive your renewals by post or hand delivered, but all renewals must enclose the proper form which will be sent to you at renewal time, or which can be downloaded from our website at http://www.bournemouthctc.org/ If hand delivering your renewal, particularly, please put the form and cheque or cash in an envelope – we are not always able to answer the doorbell – and please always have the correct amount of cash as we cannot give change.
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A Day I Crossed the Sahara by Bike By Paul M. Turner aka madcyclist5! From Foreign Legion Fort to Foreign Legion Fort (retired) in Morocco south of the Atlas Mountains. It was cold in the morning, almost freezing point in a cloudless sky. The forts are built of mud & straw and very substantial. Thick walls and very hard and now are Auberges or
Kasbahs. There are basically cool sheltered courtyards with beautiful accommodation and restaurants. Mary & I were on a motorhome tour from Ceuta on the tip of North Africa. Ceuta is an enclave to Spain like Gibraltar it to UK. I do not know why the Spanish are complaining about Gibraltar! We have a comfortable camping car (as the French say) with a garage under the fixed beds so I can cycle in my spare time. Two Andrews, Trevor, a family of Aussies (originally from South Africa) Bobby & Sandy Toscha & Nirvana are 10 & 9 years old, and of course me, madcyclist5, cycled out! The CTC has caught them young! Picture credits: Paul Turner & Margaret Phillpotts
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We set out at about 10 oâ€™clock when the temperature was 10oC with my thick Christchurch Bicycle Club jersey. I was amazed that the sand was hard with thin crust almost grey tarmac quality. Where cars and trucks had been it was soft sand! We cycled on a piste with difficulty because small rocks. The forts are on old caravan routes as staging posts for the trans-Saharan trade of up to
20,000 camels. The camels were able to transport salt from remote mines on to Niger and Ghana where a pound of Saharan salt was traded for an ounce of African gold. It took almost an hour and half to cycle eight miles, with rocks, crust, sand and sweat! At midday I was hot, I took off my CBC jersey with a temperature 22oC. Coffee was welcome at The Kasbah Sable dâ€™Or. In the courtyard were three sets of skis for sand skiing! They do sand-surfing as well! Going back was easier but hotter!
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Bad Weather Blues
By Big Bob
Come on, admit it, we have all been there. The bike ready, tyres pumped the night before. Sandwich in the fridge, bidon ready, cycling clobber laid out, starting venue ascertained, and then, upon awakening the splutter of rain on the bedroom window. Dilemma, do you:a Turn over and think about it b Go back to sleep. c Attempt to initiate unseemly activity. d Leap out of bed with a wild cry of joy at the thought of your bike patiently waiting. Dear friends, may I strongly recommend from the advantage of my advancing years the latter course. Any of the former choices have often only led me to guilt and lethargy for the rest of the day. Out on the bike, adequately rainproofed, in rough weather our polite manicured countryside becomes a wild land of boisterous winds and splashing raindrops, full of strange sounds and challenging adventures. Old Celtic and Saxon Gods roam free and Pan’s haunting cry echoes across the landscape The friends who do make it to the start become extra special friends. The café and pub lunch stops become extra special stops and when stood under a hot shower at the day’s end, what memories, what larks, what a thrill to be alive!
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Now a complete change of tone in the print space available and it is at this stage I must, with regret, ask the ladies of our large cycling family to cease reading this article. The following is not for their delicate eyes and it is the male half of our far flung club who must be galvanised into curing the latest affront to our harmless activity and protect the sensitive natures of our female participants. I refer of course to that shadowy organisation the BBBC or more properly the “Bournemouth Bare Bottomed Cycling club.” I first became aware of their existence while leading a mixed cultured group from our Le Hotel du Velo Sportive Residential Retirement Hotel to a country lunch down some charming lanes when the ruffian struck. Instantly recognisable by the questionable Road Jersey this “Jack The Lad” of the cycling fraternity swiftly
overtook the group and with a raucous peal of laughter lowered, and I choke to say this, lowered, the rear of his cycling attire. The effect you can imagine. Luckily, a grassy bank nearby enabled our ladies along with some of the men I might add to sink to the ground and attempt to recover from such a trauma. Fortunately, and thanks to John B’s quick and effective photographic expertise, we managed to obtain a photograph of the miscreant. I am loath to include such an image in these articles which as you all know are renowned for their high moral tone but it is essential we recognise and apprehend the vagabonds one by one. If you find anything familiar about the image which may assist in his identification your duty calls. Some half an hour after the incident and with Margaret P’s and Gill G’s breathing finally under control I had time to reflect. Something had to be done and to this end after dinner back at Le Hotel du Velo Sportiv I sat chatting with Mike B and Pete D. The result was a plan which at the time seemed highly effective. It had been rumoured that members of this questionable Cycling Club would periodically gather for an evenings drunkenness and downright debauchery at an isolated New Forest Public House where further plans for affronting our fair sex could be devised.
It was obvious the best way to gain entry and therefore knowledge of their vile intentions would be to pose as women which would ensure a welcome entry into their sordid gathering. To this end, heavily disguised, the three of us in the gathering dusk pedaled quietly through the forest to the offending Pub. The sight of beards on Peter and myself being overcome by burying our chins in polo necked sweaters suitably padded in the bustal region. We had surmised correctly and upon entering a well filled noisy bar we were greeted with rapturous wolf whistles and general approving cries of a dubious physical nature. Each of us was quickly surrounded by a group of lewd eyed admirers and it was with some apprehension I saw Mike B, being heavily plied with drinks in small glasses containing cocktail sticks. By listening good information was being obtained until both Pete and
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Mike after lisping their apologies minced away for a toilet break and made the cardinal error of entering the “Gents” instead of the “ Ladies” facilities. Instantly an ominous silence descended followed by howls of anger and in the uproar all three of us were rudely handled and ejected onto the Pub forecourt. Mike’s pretty white blouse was in shreds while Peter had lost his Bra altogether and my own suspender belt had been severely displaced. The salutary ride back to “Le Hotel” was full of bitter recriminations and later over hot
chocolate in the deserted dining room we had to agree it had not been our finest hour. Wearily we parted on the first floor main landing en route to our respective apartments. The last word came from Mike. “You know what really gets me about this evening?” “No what?” Pete and I swung round. “Losing that white blouse”!
Annual Breamore Meet September 25th
Ride warily! Big Bob By Alan Clarke
What more could cyclists want than a good tea stop with toilets and the option of good food too, at very reasonable prices, and fellow cyclits for company. You can even eat your own sandwiches there. The area around Breamore is full of cycling interest. It is also accessible via the hourly Salisbury to Bournemouth X3 bus; alight in Breamore and walk west. The Miz-Maze, Saxon Church, Giant's grave long barrow, view of the front of Breamore house, the renovated Breamore railway station with trackbed path north, good company; are all free. If you have an interest in large steam vehicles then you can pay and go into the dedicated steam area. However you might well find quite a few of the smaller traction engines chugging along the public roads around Breamore. Look out for the plaque to the soldier who died in the Boer war. See you there from midday to around 3 pm.
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Bournemouth Cycle Centre
By Eamonn Deane
As the new cycling track in Bournemouth nears completion, the Bournemouth Cycling Centre took the opportunity to thank local organisations who have donated funds to support the new facility. In excess of £25,000 has been raised and will be used to buy bikes and competition equipment.
L to R: Andrew Mayfield (Bmth Arrow); Gerrish Gray (DCDG); Eamonn Deane (BJW) Steve Staniland (Radsport); Roger Papp (BCC); John & Rosalie Hayter (CTC Wessex)
Local clubs, Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers, Bournemouth Arrow/Hotel Collingwood and the Bournemouth section of the Wessex branch of the CTC all made donations of £1,000 and had representatives at the track as the first of the facilities bikes were delivered. Alan Mcrae, the centres manager said “It is important that all our donors are recognised, it’s great that the Jubilee, Arrow & CTC have people here today but we must also thank other funding agencies, Awards for All, Grass Roots, Community Goals and of course our own Dorset Cycling Development Group (DCDG) who all gave generously. In addition, Over £3,500 came from individual donations, including one of £1,000, many other individuals and organisations made smaller donations, some going back to our Winton days (the original plan, thrown out at the planning stage, was to redevelop the old Winton track). We can be proud of the total raised and this is the Bournemouth Cycling Centres opportunity to record its thanks to all these donors. Without them BCC would not be so well equipped” Technical problems with the sophisticated equipment used to lay the final track surface have delayed the opening of the new centre. Operations Manager, Roger Papp is hopeful of an official opening ceremony around mid June and the track available for use in early July.
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CTC Wessex Centenary . . . . . . and National AGM & Dinner
By Anne & Ken Reed
This article is about cycling and the fun we had celebrating a hundred years of our CTC in Wessex. It is about the good it has done for all of us in the eyes of the community. It is about the unusual sight of a Badger in a suit. David Cox the CTC Chairman On Sunday 15th takes the AGM May, as part of the centenary celebrations, many of us from CTC Wessex led rides starting from Weymouth and taking in Abbotsbury basking in lovely sunshine. Those game for a hard climb went on to Burton Bradstock, visiting Hardy’s Monument with views taking in Poole Harbour, possibly the distant Isle of Wight, Devon and Somerset. Others pushed their bikes up Lime Kiln Hill and made their way back to Weymouth via the Friar Waddon Road. We were very surprised to have about 50 people out on the rides, expecting far fewer. Perhaps we forget, being locals, how lovely Dorset is and how much others envy us. Many stopped off at the Wishing Well, keeping the Café To Café culture alive. Those we talked to were very happy with their day out. As far as we know none are still wandering in the Dorset hills unless they want to be there. Now to that Badger in a suit. The National Dinner, including presentation of prizes, was held in the evening after the AGM on 14th May. It was at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, the spectacular venue for the sailing events of the 2012 Olympics. Views from the dining room on this lovely evening took in the whole of Weymouth Bay with the Jurassic Coast stretching into the distance to Lulworth Cove and beyond. The almost unrecognisable be-suited President Badger (see the front cover) welcomed us with the following words:
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“Wessex CTC is delighted to welcome you to the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, in this our centenary year. Here, the venue for the 2012 Olympics, our sailors plan to head the medals table. They will of course be challenged for this honour by our equally successful cyclists. CTC activities are varied. CTC sponsored and led our Connect2 project, a landmark bridge which will be opened in September. Wessex CTC campaigns for cyclists’ rights with our partners, the CTC affiliated Dorset Cyclists’ Network. We will not forget our roots firmly based in cycle touring. CTC Wessex has been proud to host, over the years, almost every major CTC national event, some several times. Our club touring activities are varied. We have gentle days out with our folders group, longer rides in the Dorset hills and tough rides along the Jurassic coast. Now we are looking forward. In 2010 we formed a new subsidiary members group in Blackmore Vale to complement the Bournemouth, Salisbury and West Dorset groups. We have something for every cyclist”
Some Riders Assemble for the Sunday Morning
This set the tone for the evening with presentations to those who have promoted cycling in many and varied areas. Our guests of honour were each extremely impressed by the range and quality of CTC’s work and are sure that this will benefit us a great deal locally. The guests included Weymouth and Portland Mayor Elect Councillor Graham Winter, DCC and WPBC Councillor and Connect2 cycle champion Howard Legg and founder and Chairman of the Dorset Cyclists’ Network Michael Evans.
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Sue Cherry & Kevin Mayne CTC Guildford The Sunday Morning Ride
Your Editor at the gathering
Jill Kieran & Gill Anlezark enjoy a joke
Sharon & Margaret
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As long term cycle campaigners the good this is already doing us and will continue to do in the future cannot be underestimated. Our guests now see us as part of a Nationwide Club, often working with the deprived and disabled promoting cycling and road safety. We are sure they will pass the word on when cycling is mentioned. We personally were honoured at the Dinner by being presented with lovely flowers and a
very interesting antique book about Dorset. The main thanks however are due to all of you who helped make the AGM, the dinner, and the rides such a huge success. And if you are still nerdish enough to want to know about the business sessions it will all be published in “Cycling”.
Ken and Anne’s Presentation
Picture credits: Jimmy Walker; Keith Matthews & Margaret Phillpotts
Peter A. M. Dulieu 1928-2011 I first came across Peter sitting on the wall of the Sea View pub at the end of Ashley Road, Parkstone in 1978. He had been secretary of the Bournemouth Section some years before and had turned out to welcome an evening ride I was leading. He has been around ever since in one way or another and was awarded the Julian James congratulates Peter Sartain Trophy in 2000 for his at a meeting in France 1998 services. He was campaigning to the last and had been to a meeting only the day before he died. Enthusiastic and passionate about cycling, he fought to cycle on the Promenade both in Poole and Bournemouth and was dogged and prickly in arguments to make sure that cycling was at the forefront. He will be missed greatly. KJM
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By David Chesworth
It isn’t always easy to get people together on the same dates to go touring as so many have their own agendas for the summer. Nevertheless last summer Colin, Mike,Pete and I managed to get a week fixed for a short break in Normandy. The holiday started on the 13th July from home arriving in France from the Caen/Ouistreham ferry at about 7am on the 14th, Bastille Day, a National Holiday and not always the best day to tour as depending on where you are going many cafés are closed. Nevertheless, by booking hotels in advance we would be sure of a bed and something to eat. It was the intention to pass two nights at Isigny-sur-Mer, along the coast to the west, then going south east to spend two nights at Aunay-sur-Audon, on the edge of La Suisse Normande, finally returning to the coast to spend two nights at Porten-Bessin before returning to Caen/Ouistreham for the ferry Home. Generally we would be doing about about 50 miles each day between hotels with a day in between to do some exploring. As a guide to routes I used an IGN map “ Le Calvados à Bicyclette”. This map gives some 58 circuits from 28k to more than 100k of picturesque roads starting from locations where there are lodgings and parking facilities, although the latter didn’t concern us. It is, therefore, possible to create your own route by joining together bits of different routes to do a tour.
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To get to Portsmouth we decided to use part of the 6 Ferries ride along the coast via Hythe, Warsash, Gosport etc. The ferry was Picture credit: Margaret Phillpotts overnight and we arrived at Portsmouth ready for a meal before making our way to the terminal. Pete is our expert in all things Wetherspoons and following a brief chat to a taxi driver we arrived outside a Wetherspoons in the centre. The only problem was our bikes. We didn’t fancy leaving them outside (with respect to the local inhabitants ) but somewhat to our surprise the Manager told us to bring them into the pub (up the steps ) and put them in a baggage room. This we did, all lycra-ed up, weaving our way between tables. It was quite a shock for us. The light had a blue-ish tint and the young ladies sitting up at high tables and who were drinking coloured drinks, oblivious to our presence, seemed to be only half clad. Pete said, when I commented, that I should get out more but I’m not sure. You’re always guaranteed a decent meal at Wetherspoons, though, and the beer is good as well as the prices so the time passed by easily until we had to leave for the overnight ferry. Arriving on the French side next day next day
we found a café very close by and the usual coffee and croissants followed. Even at that time on the 14th July we weren’t the first there. After that it was a question of crossing the road to the D514 running all the way to Isigny along the coast. Our lunch stop was to be Arromanches but before we descended the hill into the town we stopped at the top to visit the 360° cinema which shows a twenty minute film at regular intervals of the D-Day landings. The cinema is not very big and there are no seats. You are encouraged to walk around if you want and there are metal barriers to lean against if you feel a bit seasick as the film is original film shot from the landing craft. You can feel and see the motion of the vessels and hear the gun fire from the German positions on the cliff top and shouted orders from the landing craft commanders. The ramps of the landing craft went down and it was possible to sense even to little degree how the troops felt when the protection of the vessel was lost. Bearing in mind that the screen surrounds the audience it was very realistic. Those who saw “Saving Private Ryan” will remember the opening scenes I am sure. Interspersed with the original footage were shots taken of the countryside in modern times and this seemed to make the film so much more powerful. Eventually the film ended and somewhat subdued we came back into the real world and made our way down
the hill to the centre of Arromanches for lunch. The town is very touristy, of course, and has crowds of people on Second World War trips. We didn’t stay long and soon continued on up the hill towards Isigny - still a fair distance away. We had a short coffee and crêpe stop en route and a meander around Grandcamp-Maisy before finishing the day at our hotel which was in the main street of Isigny. The bikes were to be stored in an outhouse at the back of the hotel and were under cover which is always a relief. The decision next day was to go to Carentan for our first stop, which wasn’t very far and then to head for Utah beach, St Mère Eglise and then taking some back roads back to Carentan and home. Utah beach seems to have sprouted more building works and plaques since I was last there and I
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had the feeling that the model soldier hanging from the church at St Mère Eglise was a bit newer. The day went well, however, although we did have a confusing route back from Carentan. It wasn’t that we were lost, it was that we weren’t quite where we thought we wanted to be. Eventually though we sorted ourselves out and blasted back to Isigny so we could sit in the sun for our sundowners. Next day was move on day to Aunay. The sun shone and the roads were quiet and picturesque. Basically it was the D5, then doing a liitle loop before coming back to Molay-Littry to ensure we could find a café for our first stop. After that the road went south throught the Cerisy forest before heading for Caumont l’Eventé. We had taken lunch at a small fishing lake en route and Caumont was to be our final break before the last section to Aunay. We were obviously getting into hillier country here for the road went sharply upwards. Zut! Mike and I got off to walk a section which was interesting as we were able to spend a few minutes looking at the old lavoir, the village wash house, and also some attractive gardens across the road. Pete stopped to catch his breath and then continued with Colin in the lowest gear on his Super Galaxy managing to get to the top. Chapeau! The road undulated its way after that to Aunay where it was easy to pick up our hotel in the main street, another hotel in the Logis chain with good bike storage. The following day was market day and we spent the morning
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knocking about the town which isn’t very big. We saw a photo in the Tourist Office of the town in 1945. It was really a picture of rubble with the church the only building standing everything completely destroyed. The town was largely rebuilt between 1947 and 1954 with the church also having to be rebuilt as it was unsafe. It was all done very sympathetically. In the afternoon three of us decided to take a short ride to Evrecy with Mike doing some further exploring in Aunay. We took a winding tortuous route via some very quiet lanes but finally arrived at Evrecy. Quiet wasn’t the word for it. We soon found our café at the far end of the village which turned out to be a PMU establishment. This is the local tote café where the TV always shows trotting races, so well liked in France. There were only a few others in the bar but, despite a smile and polite request to turn over to the Tour de France, the owner wouldn’t play, not unreasonable as the whole object of the TV was to encourage betting. We decided to hang on to our money as we didn’t understand any of it. Time for departure came and we decided to go straight up the D8 back home - a good road with the occasional fast car but no problem. The following day we left for our last hotel, heading north via VillersBocage to Tillysur-Seulles. This was a contrast to our peaceful morning. The circus was in town! Their van with a large loudspeaker toured the streets shouting out the attractions but in the middle of the crowds we managed to
find a café and a table on the sunny terrace for our stop. Our route out then passed the British Cemetery and we felt we should stop for a short visit. The sun was shining brightly and everywhere was immaculate. We read a number of the inscriptions on the gravestones, still being shocked at the youth of many of those who died. These places are always sombre and thought provoking despite the sun and after a wander around we decided to go on our way. We turned off the the D13 a little later, heading across country through flat open countryside before turning north on the D169 towards Port-en-Bessin and the Hotel Ibis. This little fishing port is very attractive and worth a visit any time. Our hotel was on the eastern side with the tourist office down the road and all sorts of restaurants and cafés on the other side of the basin. There was a small bridge to cross from one side to the other and we couldn’t have been in a more attractive and convenient spot. The next day was our day to see the Bayeux Tapestry. Bayeux was only 8 miles away and an easy ride. We parked our bikes and spent an interesting day in the town looking at the sites and especially the tapestry in the company of quite a few other tourists. Colin had some friends who had a house on the top of the hill and as they were over there at the time they very kindly invited us for a barbecue that evening. They gave us a guided tour of the house which was a new one on a good sized plot and most
attractive. We all had a great evening there and they said they would show us a back route to the hotel going via another small war site not too well known before we continued to descend a frighteningly steep hill back down to the port, probably more so after our boozy meal. We finally tore ourselves away next day from the port to head for Ouistreham. There were still sites to see en route though and we stopped once more at Arrromanches to visit the Museum in the town centre. Then, after lunch, it was pretty much the final leg, but going via Bénouville to see Pegasus Bridge. The story behind this is that on the 6th June 1944 a small detachment of British airborne troops stormed the German defence forces at Pegasus Bridge and paved the way for the allied invasion of Europe. It was the first engagement of D-Day and the capture of the bridge secured the Caen Canal. The original bridge is now preserved on the other side of the canal on the formal museum site. The Café Gondrée, the first building liberated, is still there and is a huge draw for tourists. It contains all sorts of war memorabilia, books, DVDs etc. From the bridge it was a pleasant ride along the cycle path to Ouistreham where we had our final meal before the night ferry back to the UK. It had been a varied week along the coast, some hillier parts on the edge of Swiss Normandy and then through some very pleasant countryside with lots to see, comfortable hotels and good company.
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Informal Wayfarers Rides to Burley This ride happens every Saturday and is completely informal. There is no leader and no back up, but generally an experienced cyclist somewhere around. The route is designed for beginners but joined in by all abilities.
Start 08:45 at Waitrose Supermarket, Christchurch every Saturday Or 09:00 at The Oak PH, Burton
Or just make your own way to the Old Farmhouse Tea Rooms, Burley for 10:00
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http://www.bournemouthctc.org “CycleInk” is the Newsletter of CTC Bournemouth a division of the CTC Wessex Member Group of the Cyclists’ Touring Club. Published four times a year for members. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the club.
Cycle Ink #161