Normandy Queries

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Normandy Queries

Postby groberts » Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:57 pm

1. Has anybody any experience of riding on the Avenue Verte from Ceaux (near Mont St Michel) to Mortain to Vire: is it all open, what is the ride & surface like, is it any good?

2. Any comments on the campsite at Ouistreham? A few years ago I camped just south of the Ouistreham site, near Pegasus Bridge, as I read that there were security issues at the Ouistreham site. Clearly it's the more convenient for the early ferry crossing - what are anyone's more recent experiences of the site?

Thanks.
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Re: Normandy Queries

Postby MuirSR » Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:34 am

Regarding (2), if you mean Les Pommiers, I'm expecting to stay there this coming Saturday night.

If no one else has posted anything, I'll provide feedback when I return.
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Re: Normandy Queries

Postby slowpeddler » Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:04 am

I've stayed at the Oistreham camp-site along the canal just outside the ferry terminal (Les Pommiers.)
Found it fine and a good base for exploring the local WW2 remains but also handy for going up to Caen on the cycle path along the canal.

The baker comes at 8 just as with most French camp-sites. A McDonald's place is 5 min away for the free wi-fi and a coffee.

I just turned up on 10th July and there were quite a few places. It isn't one of those camp-sites where they have an area set aside for those who arrive on bikes.

Certainly use it again

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Re: Normandy Queries

Postby groberts » Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:04 pm

Thanks John, that sounds good. As I said, I did the D-Day beaches a few years ago and got the impression online that the site was prone to thefts etc, with persons entering from the adjacent track / path that follos the river, so camped instead a bit further along near Pegasus Bridge. I'm off on Monday and as this time will be catching the early ferry back the Pommiers campsite is clearly very convenient.
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Re: Normandy Queries

Postby Graham » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:15 am

I haven't actually ridden that route, but if you have a look at the PHOTOS tab on the following page the surface looks pretty good ( even after rain )
Hopefully, they have not just photographed the best bits :wink:

http://www.af3v.org/-Fiche-VVV-.html?voie=56#
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Re: Normandy Queries

Postby T » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:43 am

groberts wrote:1. Has anybody any experience of riding on the Avenue Verte from Ceaux (near Mont St Michel) to Mortain to Vire: is it all open, what is the ride & surface like, is it any good?

We rode this section last autumn in the other direction (We did Cherbourg to St Malo along the Tour de Manche). As far as I remember, the bit between Vire and Mortain is all along a disused railway (originally designed and built by the same engineer who went on to build the Paris metro IIRC), so it is all very gentle gradients, traffic free, with a fairly fine compacted grit surface that we found perfectly good to ride on. For a lot of its length, the railway is level with or raised above the surrounding countryside, so you get better views than some railway paths which remain in a cutting for most of their length. The section between Mortain and the coast was less memorable, but it was mostly similarly surfaced cycle track through the countryside, except for the bit near to Mont St Michel, where it is minor roads, with some small hills. All in all, a very pleasant ride.
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Re: Normandy Queries

Postby groberts » Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:29 am

Sounds good, thanks - just booked the ferry (Brittany Ferries are very expensive compared to the Newhaven-Dieppe route I usually take) and the weather looks set fair. Fingers crossed.

I took a look at the early part of the track near Pontaubault (which I think is relatively new - not on my Michelin 2008 map but it is on the 2013 version) on Google Street View and there, at least, it looks like a well graded, fine grit which should be fine for my Audax/Tourer; anything more rough and I'd take my Trek MTB converted tourer. Much as I like the AVs in France they can get a bit monotonous and I will likely combine the track with smaller French roads, which are often more interesting and almost always excellent; notwithstanding, I am also partial to the gradients of the AVs!
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Re: Normandy Queries

Postby groberts » Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:24 pm

Have just got back from a week's tour as previously outlined and thought I'd report back + answer my original questions for anyone's interest:

The voises verte were, as usual great. Whilst unsurfaced the fine grit surface most of the time was excellent (I was riding a lightweight tourer with 28 tyres) and, though an old railway track and well graded, they climbed to some good heights in places with wonderful sweeping views, especially the Valle de See south of Sourdeval on the Vois Vertes du Bocage Virois.

Les Pommiers campsite at Ouisteham was fine. A little on the grubby side but it is well used by lots of ferry passengers + many others, so not a surprise. However, the site can be easily accessed by anyone from the Caen canal path, so if possible try and pitch over on the western side of the site, away from the canal just to be on the safe side.

In summary, St Malo to Ouistreham using the above voises verte via Audan sur Odon and Bayeaux and the eastern end of the D-Day beaches is a very nice 1-week trip which I can highly recommend. If anyone's interested in further detail pm me.
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Re: Normandy Queries

Postby simonineaston » Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:42 am

I was in a bit of quandry about which topic to post this on, but plumped for this one eventually, 'cos it's got Normandy in the title...
Am planning to go to Normandy in a few weeks and have been looking for resources to do with cycle routes and the invasion, and have just stumbled on this page:
http://www.normandie-tourisme.fr/cycling-212-2.html and in particular, these pdfs:
http://www.normandie-tourisme.fr/articl ... 328-2.html
These look good for a bit of background info. and an overview of the routes, e.g.
Capture.JPG
sample Normandy tourist info. pdf

Capture2.JPG
second page, showing route
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying Moulton F frames & a Brompton...)
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