|The Fridays in full colour|
We're breaking the mould. Our destination is easy to get to and you can bring your fast bikes. We'll be spending the whole week with one town as a base and doing day rides so, unlike recent years, you don't need to carry all your luggage halfway across Europe.
|Some random geezer drinking beer|
So - here's the skinny, and it's all good.
We're going to France. Those who did the Caen-Bordeaux Tour will recall there will be empty roads, cafes, lunches in the sunshine (everyone knows it never rains on a Fridays Tour.........) and the very occasional stop for a small refreshment. We've chosen Lisieux in Normandy as easy to get to, interesting countryside (some exciting fast descents, if you get my drift) and many opportunities to bask outside cafes. And it has a railway station with one line going east-west and the other heading north to the coast. We're going when the weather should be good. July 14-21 will be in school holidays for some (but not all) of you. The more geeky of you will by now be reaching for the Tour de France itinerary and looking at trains to watch the stage on Friday.
Rides will start from outside the cathedral in Lisieux in northern France at about 9.30am each morning. You can book into one of the many hotels in the town (some suitable for the impecunious, others might suit those seeking a bit more comfort ) You might like to rent a house for a week (although remember these need to be paid for a long time in advance and don't offer the same flexibility as hotels). And for everyone's favourite recumbent riders there is a campsite.
Lisieux is about 60k from Caen by this route or you could go from Le Havre by this route so riding is quite possible. We think the port you choose will have more to do with times of departure and arrival. And it's about three hours on the autoroute from Calais. You might want to think about sharing a car with friends.
The ridesThis is the clever bit: you might not want to ride every day. You needn't. And you can bring your slower, weaker/older husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/teenage son/daughter and take a day off with them. They can, of course, join the rides. We plan to work out about a dozen rides: every day there'll be a led ride and we hope every ride will pass a railway station. (I can see you're paying a bit more attention now....) You could take the train and join the ride at say 20 miles in, or start with the group and leave the ride at 20 miles if your weaker husband/etc/etc is feeling the strain.
So each day you'll ride exactly how you want.
(You can see why we're feeling a bit smug about this can't you?)
And on some days there will be a little ride with a big lunch. Other days will be a big ride with a tiny, hurried lunch. We think there'll be a 200k audax ride on offer one day (plus a nice lunch alternative for us less committed riders, obvs). We hope to provide photocopies of maps with rides marked so a group can do something different from the main crowd.
- Mark the date in your diary and book the time off work.
- Check ferry times and work out how to get there and back.
- Look at hotels/houses/buy a new tent.
- Click this link and fill in the form so we know where you're staying and if we expect you on a ride we can make an effort to ensure you're OK. You can update the form as and when you make the bookings.
- Contain your excitement.
- Er, that's it.