A Travellerspoint blog

Biking from Dieppe to just South West of Paris

sunny -26 °C

Its the 7th of May.. The first real opportunity as there is now internet.. It`s been quite difficult for me since Dieppe, and leaving the ferry from Newhaven (By the way and for those that want to know it`s a 4 hour trip across and sixty miles in distance. Now that saved some miles of pedalling. Please don`t say that`s cheating)

It`s that gorgeous Normandie country side, with it`s rolling fields of green and yellow. The trees and the woods are so rich in thick green growth. Then there is myself the blot on the landscape as I wheeze and struggle and wend my way upwards hardly seeing the view, I`m just about hanging on to life itself. Myself my bags and the old gal have to reach the top, so that we can then crash downwards mile after mile.. Oh that is nice. I can now see the view, but be very careful there is danger of death.. How exciting is that.! Then the process begins again.. As I sit here now in this very lovely, lush, and clean Campsite in Boulancourt, South West of Paris, and reflect.. All I can say is I would not have missed it for the world.

Cycled Monday thru` Thursday which would be the 5th of May onwards. I camped, ate, and slept where I could. (not campsites) I`d start looking for a suitable crash site around 5pm just in case the first few choices were a bit naff, and yes some were. I`d cycled past proper campsites earlier but the timing was wrong... However this one yesterday whilst just starting to look leapt out in front of me, she was a beauty.. and and today it has proved to be just that... A stream with fish, ducks and Swans, overhanging boughs full of wildlife.. and yes the fish are a jumping..! all you`d ever wish for a back to nature manicured campsite. Mileage has been a bit bleak tho`. Did 60 once but it`s more like 50. Sorry Micheal.

Perhaps as the terrain will get less hilly, and perhaps I`ll get fitter .. Makes my 100 mile a day target look a bit unattainable.. I will get better, I mean I can`t do less, can I? - I`d be walking

Anyway … Tomorrow we are heading off to get really dirty and smelly, for who knows how many days, in the direction of Auxerre and Avallon, and again to sleeping in hedgerows.. that is for me and my old Gal.

Posted by BikingBarman 12:09 Archived in France Tagged to campsite dieppe boulancourt Comments (0)

Arrived at Newhaven 1st May 11

A bit nearer

30th April 11

Well we three did make it to Newhaven, I`d found it really difficult carrying everything that I truly wanted. I`d already, with Micheal Terrington`s help, culled some of my favourite things, books, some of my `just in case spanners`.. My `big camera and it`s accessories`, nice cooking pots, My Muesli that was 2 kilos in weight.. Well.. It all had to go!.. Should have seen the wobbly test wide down the corridors of the flats where I live – Panniers were striking both walls, I over corrected and careered back again and would strike the other.. The old dear would have to be lightened up. and so did I ..I just wanted to get out and on the road..
Micheal McFadden had already said he`d be last man and that Micheal T.. would be like a scout just in case there were any of them ``Pesky Injuns`` out in front.. They were at the end of this trip, which for them would be Newhaven, go back on the train. So no real need for them to carry much.. The pair of them were offering to carry some of my stuff.. But for me, if the bike was gonna break I`d rather it be here in England and the South downs and be with a couple of good guys and they were certainly that, and not in France, so I declined. The bike behaved in a completely bizarre way, I`d tear down the hills, there would be a slight flat at the bottom then as the road continued its upward wend the bike would almost stop, so unexpected was this behaviour that It continually caught me out. I`d be in the wrong gear and Micheal who was behind me would be trying to climb aboard.. Would I ever get it?
We got to Newhaven, the guys checked on the trains and we went on to the Buckles, my camp for the night.. Hey it`s ok..When the guys had worked out how to put the tent up, and saw me sorted for the night we went off and had a couple of beers in the sun. It was so nice in fact that I`ve stayed here for one more day to enjoy the sights, one of which is the Nature Reserve. Plants insects, reptiles and birds, Oh and those rabbits, as the afternoon got later, and each time I cycled back and forth across it, there were more rabbits.. Do they really breed that quickly? Oh and there`s one more `Oh`.. my back hurt, so I rested..This being the real reason fo staying on that extra day.

I have booked my Ferry ticket for Dieppe tomorrow 0930hrs .. but I`ll get there before, you know the drill.

Posted by BikingBarman 09:29 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged newhaven Comments (0)

Four days to the off

Its becoming quite clear now that there are not too many days left before I depart. Micheal and Micheal, two of my work colleagues are cycling with me to Newhaven.. They`ve probably been asked to make sure that I do leave... It will be fun tho` to have some good company on the way to this first stretch of water, so I am looking forward to that. There are 4 more days to fully prepare.. and to think that some of this time will have to be used for housework.. You know all that washing and ironing.. and worrying whether or not the flat will be ok for visitors to walk round when I`m not here – Or if I don`t for whatever reason come back – immediately.. or what if I broke a leg doing something daft. If you know what I mean – That part of the preparation is fairly dispiriting.

Amongst the photos in my Gallery there are a few shots that are the Bike shop.. Ted the older told me in an idle moment that when he was around 17yrs old his Dad, who was the original owner spoke to him in connection with a former soldier who had collected a leg injury, I think he`d lost his kneecap during one of those wartime actions. This soldier had been a keen cyclist prior to his time with the service and now that peace had broken out he and is wife were keen to get back to cycling.. However because of the difficulties with using this injured leg he would now need a very special bike. This was to be Ted the younger`s first job, the year 1946?.

Not a tandem in the conventional way, one behind the other. This Tandem would be side by side. It would have a type of `snap` connection so that it could be quickly disconnected. After the ride they would be able to quickly disassemble the machine and lug both parts up the stairs and into the flat. In the beginning and whilst testing it was found to consistently veer to the left. An allowance had not been made for the camber.. However this was quickly remedied and it was soon back on the road and became an early success for Ted.

Today as part of my prep for this trip I needed to fit a low loader to the front of my bike. This was successful only because of the efforts of the folk at this Bike Shop.. A W Cycles in Colliers wood. Others required me to purchase new forks with the desired lugs in place. The replacement was now unavailable, my bike was too old, spares appeared rarer than hens teeth, things were looking grim - Needn`t have worried - Thanks guys.

Do I attend Josie`s Celebration of the Royal wedding BBQ this friday night in Amnity grove.... So tempting … Wouldn`t be up for cycling tho` the next day would I ?.. I bet the Micheals go, and I lose my escort to Newhaven. ??? and I`m left wishing I had gone .. Hmmm!

Posted by BikingBarman 08:21 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged the preparation Comments (2)

The preparation

Cycling to Cyprus ..

19th March 11

I have enjoyed my time over the past two years as a Barman at Wetherspoon`s ``The Edward Raynes`` - It has also been my Pub of preference. The Beer has always been blooming marvellous!.

However I`m now leaving:

1. Why ?.. I want to celebrate my 65th birthday in a different way. I have also, in the past, enjoyed my time with the Royal Air Force and spent
some years living in Cyprus.. Not too far for an old Git to cycle ... But also not too short a distance...

2. The Route?.. London to Dover, Dover to France..by Ferry, Marseille, Genoa, Trieste, Slovenia to Dubrovnik, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, into Turkey and Istanbul onwards to the South coast and then the Ferry across to Kyrenia Northern Cyprus..

3. Distance?.. Around 3,500 miles. I will always take the more scenic route. So will allow myself to be a little flexible.

4. Accommodation? .. Camping out. I will be carrying everything, bar edibles. My aim is to be self sufficient, to be reasonably quick and to enjoy myself.. I may cycle back, then again I might not. I might just throw the whole kit and caboodle into the Med when I do arrive! Mind you I have lived with the old gal for over 20 years so maybe I won`t.. . . However, what I will do is cycle to Cyprus if good fortune prevails.

5. Start-Date Mid-Late April 2011. Duration 6-8 weeks. I expect to encounter the occasional difficulty, will meet and deal with them en-route..

6. At this time am doing preparation.. I mean I really don`t want to overlook anything that I really should have attended to during the time prior to my intended departure..

At this time Looking at/for the best buy in relation to obtaining a Solar Charger that will somehow tie over panniers during the day..So that Whilst I Pedal, the sun will do its work and charge my Mobile, my netbook... and my camera .. I reckon about three weeks.. Oh` I`m travelling solo..

Posted by BikingBarman 08:25 Comments (0)

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