Axe Valley Pedallers enjoy another fabulous French visit
PUBLISHED: 14:30 09 April 2013 | UPDATED: 14:30 09 April 2013
As the ice sheet continued its advance south through Britain, 14 cyclists from the Axe Valley Pedallers took their chance on the overnight boat to France and were rewarded with clear blue skies and temperatures of 15 degrees, writes Rob Watson.
Hardly believing their luck, they cycled off the ferry into brilliant sunshine, without a breath of wind, and after croissants and coffee in the old walled city of St. Malo, pedalled gently along the stunning Brittany coastline to the seaside town of Cancale.
A high mileage was never the objective of this trip – now the seventh annual AVP ‘French Foray’ – so there was plenty of time to picnic and drowse on the sand under the palm trees, or purchase wine, before meandering reluctantly back along the quiet lanes to St. Malo, where the pedallers attempted to mingle unobtrusively with the Saturday afternoon promenaders. There were several mechanical failures on the trip, including the first ever puncture of the tandem, which itself attracted considerable attention from French onlookers, but these were easily dealt with and the group re-convened under the castle ramparts to re-enter the ferry in good order, at the head of the queue of waiting motorists, as the sun went down.
Both ferry crossings were calm enough to enjoy some activity on the dance floor, not to mention audience participation with the resident magician involving wine and a shoe, and a tolerable attempt at sleeping was possible before arrival at Portsmouth and a friendly greeting from the UK Border Agency.
Caption: Anne Roberts, Ollie Muncaster, Nathalie Caulier, Joe Pitt and Rob Watson in St. Malo