Derek.jpg

Derek en vacance en France!

Not only that but pictured at the crossroads of a "voie verte" with identifying signing and the typical architecture replete with mandatory geraniums. What is it that makes France quite so much enjoy geraniums and marigolds? It's as though this were the compulsory "national flower", but then again perhaps they might see the hollyhock in a similar light for us in our country villages I suppose. My oh my what a time we had! Despite her injuries and a tooth that was troublesome the mighty Aero managed to power on for almost 150 miles of French roads, tracks, and even the odd tidal path and hillside! What really put the icing on the cake though was that I had also taken a solo ride (my Raleigh Aero, AKA Rory) and this meant I could be up at dawn and making reconnaissance rides in the surrounding areas before we were out there in the full sun with places to go and food to meet! It was some time before I discovered what I felt turned out to be the best ride though, although I had been into Carteret early in the holiday and discovered the "Ruse de Cap" which was an extremely good training climb to the lighthouse I had not been back. On returning I headed across the busy D900 (I think) which traversed the backs of the cliff-tops, my destination being Paix. I was not disappointed in finding some decent climbs, but the road was horribly busy and slightly brutal (though discovering the "Maison des Biscuits" was a lighter moment!). But I did notice many side roads seemed to join up and had signing that indicated some sites of tourist interest, so made a decent to Rozelle. The descent was t blast! Made slightly dangerous by the garbage truck that insisted on overtaking me, only to be able to keep to about my own speed for the rest of the way.... Not complaining though, it was his brake lights that told me when the decent had to end (rather that than a challenging T junction!). The next day I was back to explore the "tour des caps" road which had the brown tourist signs. Turns out this is a fabulous winding roadway through all the coastal towns, ascending and descending for eack and taking in a few beachsides along the way, along with towns that I could not help smiling at the names of, notably "Certainville" and "Ferme de Paul". I never did get to show Aero the hair raising climbs or descents to be found there, but that did not stop us setting a new speed record on our way to the biggest climb Derek made. This was up to the restored and fully working windmill in the heights of the Cotentine region. We bought the flour to prove it and there was nothing to compare with the arrival from the rear of the car park to round the corner and be confronted with a fully working windmill in full sail on a lovely sunny cloudless and windless day! Yes, you heard right, it was windless and they were using an electric motor to power the sails and demonstrate the windmill for the tourists! With nary a drop of rain, fabulous food accompanied by decent wine at a bargain price, and roads that were to die for in terms of their quality and scenery and most of all the lack of car traffic (and what there was extremely respectful, unlike England) I would unhesitatingly recommend this part of Normandy for a cycling holiday.

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