Bike Spotting: Rennes to Mont St Michel. - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

April 17, 2014

Bike Spotting: Rennes to Mont St Michel.

Riding out of the city from this side is a great deal easier than either riding out or in from the south or east. From the hostel, I follow the road for St Malo. The highway with bumper-to-bumper rush-hour traffic, has a marked-off cycle-lane, and after a few kilometres reaches a big roundabout where most of the traffic joins a motorway, while a cycle-sign directs me along a quiet road continuing parallel.

Morning.
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Soon the road turns away from the din of the motorway, along a pleasing D road with undulating farmland to the side. On a bend, a group of grey-haired cyclists catch up on me and whirl by, a few greeting me "bonjour"; two I notice are riding purple Vitus bikes. A French make not much seen these days, though popular in the eighties. They made bonded aluminium framesets; that is the frame was held together by alloy lugs: both ends of each alloy frame tube were inserted and glued into a slieve, part of a lug in each corner of the frame's triangle. They were state of the art with a sharp race orientated geometry, meaning they readily responded to pedalling with swift forward flight.

I was heading for St Malo, but after checking the map while stopped in a crossroads village, decide to veer east, twelve kilometres to Camborg, then north to Dol Du Bretegue, which I approach coming up on one o'clock, when its warm and the legs are feeling tired, while coming to a halt in the main-street of colourful half-timber houses above tables of people dining, or just having a refreshing cool drink.

Dol Du Bretague.
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I had thought maybe just this once to sit down at a restaurant, at one of the many with boards outside announcing "Plat Du Jour 9.90"; but, taking into account the price of a drink on top of nine-ninety, the overall price will add up to a significantly amount. Besides, I've a Camembert cheese in my bag, so I find a boulangerie open and buy a fresh baguette and two apple and vanila slices called "Tart du Normandie", then sit on the step of a memorial in the sun eating, finishing off on a seat outside a café and diary writing.

The road onward follows parallel to the motorway east, though almost a kilometre apart, well away from the constant din and only visible occasionally as a line with trucks moving along in slow-motion on the opposite hillside. My road climbs high until looking ahead over a patch-work of bright yellow, vivid green and brown farmland.

Afternoon.
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From a high point.
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Bright yellow rapeseed contrasting with vivid green wheat.
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On the road north to Mount St Michel, I'm reminded that the Easter holidays are here, as I meet bumper-to-bumper cars and campervans coming south, many of which have UK plates. I also meet half a dozen couples riding tandems, not carrying much luggage and riding quite competedly. Then think they are perhaps taking part in the "Paris Breste Paris" long distance randomee.

Outside a Carrefour near Beauvoir, I meet the first cycle-tourer in a while. A tall blond woman from Denmark called Pia. She began her tour in Paris and intends taking three months following near the coast south to Spain, then continue to finish in Lisbon.

I finish the day at the coast by citadel promontory rock, one of the biggest tourist attractions in the area, Mont St Michel with the hords of sightseers from everywhere.

A working windmill.
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Cyclist-eye view.
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Today's ride: 69 km (43 miles)
Total: 14,559 km (9,041 miles)

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