Channel Isles

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
drossall
Posts: 4614
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 10:01pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Channel Isles

Postby drossall » 9 Jul 2017, 10:31pm

Des49 wrote:Where are you based and how far do you intend to go?

We're staying in Castel. That 50 mile route looks about right. We've only got the one day, because the rest of the family aren't cyclists.

Des49
Posts: 632
Joined: 2 Dec 2014, 11:45am

Re: Channel Isles

Postby Des49 » 10 Jul 2017, 10:20am

That 53 mile route is nice and varied, except for me it is far better as a Sunday or very early morning ride. Traffic blights our island. That route goes along some of the busiest roads in the island, in and out of Town a couple of times and so on. For example at peak times The Grange out of Town you will be in a traffic queue, The Rohais can be the same going into Town. The climb out of Town on the Val des Terres can be unpleasant due to impatient drivers, but it is our best hill of note and hard due to the sustained gradient so recommended if you want a good climb. There is a cycle path from Town to St. Sampson's, I consider it dangerous, so do take great care as it is shared with pedestrians and cars cross it in places for car parks plus there are a couple of narrow parts, I will use it going S but try to avoid it going N or if on my racing bike on a quiet day use the road. If you follow the route down to Petit Bot from the eastern side then beware this way is no entry down from 10am to 7pm at this time of the year. The Forest Road is very busy too, but there is a lovely lane parallel to this though if you prefer to potter along rather than doing 20mph with all the traffic on the main road.

You'll go past my house too when you are in the west of the island!

Hope you have a good trip.

Des49
Posts: 632
Joined: 2 Dec 2014, 11:45am

Re: Channel Isles

Postby Des49 » 10 Jul 2017, 10:47am

ossie wrote:I went on a few of the small lanes but its a bit of a mish mash, although traffic free within reason its like you are driving around an endless housing estate and quite uninspiring. That aside I was limited by time. If there for a week it would be mega slow time and not much cycling. You would probably see more walking.


An interesting observation! Yes it is a densely populated place with so many cars. The housing estate comment is true, but mainly inland on the north/east half of the island.

There are loads of lovely places to cycle, especially in the western parts. But the north coast can be lovely too, but go off the main roads and explore and use the coastal paths maybe too.

Walking is great for the south coast cliff paths, but a bike can still get you to many of the lovely places there too, for example Saint's Bay harbour, Petit Bot, Pleinmont Point and so on.

If I am out for a ride I tend to stick to the western parts and up and down the coast road all along the west coast (can be a battle against the wind or if the sea is crashing over the sea wall), avoiding Town unless very early (traffic builds up from 7 am) or on a Sunday. But you do get a bit bored of the same roads!

ossie
Posts: 664
Joined: 15 Apr 2011, 7:52pm

Re: Channel Isles

Postby ossie » 10 Jul 2017, 11:00pm

Hi Des

Needless to say Condor stayed true to form with my earlier post on this thread last year "Condor are massively effected by the weather so beware of cancellations...also subject to numerous breakdowns ...our nickname in Poole is the Vomit comet "


Last week the 'Rapid' sailed into the middle of St Malo harbour and broke down :?

My intention had been to spend two days on Guernsey and cycle the Island, however Condor kindly put me up in a St Malo hotel for nothing for the night, it left me with one day to cycle around Guernsey (fully loaded after a French tour). I thought to leave the panniers at the tourist information office but said sod it so just cracked on eastwards out of the docks...

I thoroughly enjoyed it, the housing estate quote was probably a bit cruel but its a little like suburbia in the East which isn't such a bad thing as you know you are back in the UK. Needless to say I didn't touch the majority of the back lanes. As someone who puts the miles in abroad it was a decent few hours ride and the stopover between the onward ferry was just right.

One thing that struck me was the lack of development. Numerous houses facing sea walls yet none expanding upwards to enjoy the view...

Des49
Posts: 632
Joined: 2 Dec 2014, 11:45am

Re: Channel Isles

Postby Des49 » 10 Jul 2017, 11:27pm

You were unlucky Ossie, the Rapide is normally far more reliable than the Liberation which does the Gsy-Jsy-Poole route.
However the whole service has suffered since the Liberation came into service, 2 fast ferries instead of 3, so when the inevitable mechanicals happen there is less contingency.

I am hopefully looking at spending a few days in Brittany cycle camping with one of my daughters next month. We had a great time last year, so nice to have some quiet roads and extensive countryside to go through.

drossall
Posts: 4614
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 10:01pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Channel Isles

Postby drossall » 3 Aug 2017, 11:32pm

We did our ride today. For obscure reasons, all three of us were on classic bikes with friction gears, and it was none the worse for that.

Des was right on all counts, obviously. By chance, we are staying a short freewheel from the marked start, so we began by flying round the northwest coast with a howling tail-wind. The east coast is more built up and therefore less attractive, but the aim was to see the whole island. We did use that cycle path; I share Des's ambivalence about such things, but it meant we could get a break from motorists trying to join our little three-man peloton.

The climbs out of St Peter Port were fun, even with drivers still trying to get in on the act. At Saumarez Park, we met the ladies for lunch as arranged. Then back to St Peter Port for the big one.

The second half is hillier. We used that back road to avoid Forest Road. Trying to be clever and use a parallel road down to Petit Bot didn't work; I knew it came out on the road we were avoiding, but assumed that the bottom bit might be two way. No such luck, so we walked down the last couple of hundred metres. The climb up was well worth it though - just the right gradient to really attack, and probably the best climb of the day.

I think the route designer agrees that the west side is the best bit. That last section twists and turns all over the place in its attempts to make the best of the area. Sometimes you'll do a loop into the hills of some miles, only to emerge 100m further along the sea front than previously. We were just following my Garmin, so kept kidding ourselves it was a straight run along the coast road now, only to head off on yet another little diversion.

And the Guernsey VC are a rapid lot. They were to put us in our places I think - uphill or flat, forever zipping by at twice our speed

Good ride anyway. Thanks for the advice.

Des49
Posts: 632
Joined: 2 Dec 2014, 11:45am

Re: Channel Isles

Postby Des49 » 3 Aug 2017, 11:43pm

Great! Sounds like you had a good ride. The weather has been a bit rough, 52mm of rain yesterday! Of course that was the day I got up early and met a few for a long ride myself (also on a "classic" with friction gears). Luckily we are on a neap tide at the moment, otherwise you would have seen the west coast in a whole different light with the wind, either waves crashing over the road, or stones and seaweed everywhere.

Hope you enjoy your stay, despite the weather.

drossall
Posts: 4614
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 10:01pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Channel Isles

Postby drossall » 6 Aug 2017, 10:52pm

Apart from Wednesday, which you described, and the previous Saturday, when it was a bit rough for our arrival crossing (and we couldn't see much till St Peter Port emerged from the low cloud and general mist), we were really happy with weather. We don't like it too hot. We knew Wednesday would be wet, so saved some indoor museums and things for that day.

Rather sorry to be home now :(