French Raid 3

Huelgoat Aller et Retour

Today was reserved for a quick dash down the voie vert to Huelgoat, the favoured destination of SBCC (other clubs are available) excursions across la Manche from Plymouth. At this time of year, the cycle track is a pleasant ride through verdant countryside, with birds and bees filling the air with their humming and singing. Being a disused railway line, the track has a constant gradient, mostly downhill from Morlaix, which avoids the undulations of the road. It is not a route for skinny tyres, but our trusty HEVANSCCs (other brands are NOT available) were equipped with 32s and 38s – so not a problem. We were hoping to repeat our experience of last year and stop at the old station at Scrignac for a café and mini Far Breton, but alas, it has now been converted to a 16 bed gîte d’etape so will forever remain a Brigadoon moment in our cycling history.

The track was the busiest we’ve seen it, awash with cyclists and walkers, plus a gypsy caravan to negotiate . . .

. . . and clearly S should have bought the sprig of lavendar proffered by the old crone in the back, and so avoided the curse of the most complete chainring imprint I have ever seen . . .

. . . though in her defence please note the co-ordinated socks. Talking of which, the fashion this year in bike apparel seems to be matt black. We passed many earnest-looking cyclotourists kitted out with matt black bikes, matt black panniers, matt black shorts-shirts-helmets, and pretty much matt black expressions on their faces; like squadrons of cycling terminators autonomically determined to ‘get there’ according to an inviolate timetable. As regular readers will know, I am a keen advocate of scientific methods, applied to rigorous training for a cyclotouring life, not least of which is the necessity of frequent stops for rehydration with isotonic beverages bought at great expense from specialist sports . . . erm . . . bars . . .

So, having escaped the cycling sentinels of doom, we arrived at Huelgoat to find the sun glinting off the lake, le champignon in full bloom and the chaos in full flood (see previous Huelgoat blog re. interesting granite formations) – so we made straight for Le Brittany Pub . . .

. . . where we had the ususal omlette et frites; a first for S, but she declared it to be ‘the finest omlette I’ve ever had’ – praise indeed. Such was her joyous mood that she even bought me a celebratory (slightly dodgy looking I have to say, but I leave that to your imagination) ice-cream . . .

Ça va


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