Brittany ferrys st.malo cycling tour

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Imtryin
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Joined: 10 Jun 2018, 11:22pm

Brittany ferrys st.malo cycling tour

Postby Imtryin » 11 Jun 2018, 12:10am

Hi Everyone

New to this forum, and a touring virgin.

I was planing on taking my first tour with my family ( wife and 10 year old daughter ) on a cycling holiday (tour) next year and i was looking specificaly at this tour suggested by brittany ferries. The mileage is dooable, with plenty of campsites on route. Im really struggling with getting a cycle route together for it though. Has anyone on this forum done this route before? If so could you share? Has any got a route they would be willing to share that they think would be suitable. We were looking at cycling 30 miles a day max, hopefully with a few easy 20 mile days, this st.malo tour sounds just what we are looking for

http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/guide ... tour-route

Many thanks
Lee

andrew_s
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Re: Brittany ferrys st.malo cycling tour

Postby andrew_s » 11 Jun 2018, 11:47am

I'd recommend using http://cycle.travel/map to come up with good routes.
Click on start, click on end, click on the suggested route for streetview, or a draggable via point which you can move to any intermediate place you may want to visit.
You've got to register to save routes, but you can download the suggested routes as pdf or gpx files (for a GPS) without.

Imtryin
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Joined: 10 Jun 2018, 11:22pm

Re: Brittany ferrys st.malo cycling tour

Postby Imtryin » 11 Jun 2018, 11:52am

andrew_s wrote:I'd recommend using http://cycle.travel/map to come up with good routes.
Click on start, click on end, click on the suggested route for streetview, or a draggable via point which you can move to any intermediate place you may want to visit.
You've got to register to save routes, but you can download the suggested routes as pdf or gpx files (for a GPS) without.


Thanks, ill have a look at that...

tatanab
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Re: Brittany ferrys st.malo cycling tour

Postby tatanab » 11 Jun 2018, 12:04pm

May I suggest that since this is a holiday and an adventure for your daughter, then you do not plan and stick to a route. The best things on tour come about accidentally and in unexpected places. I'd suggest that you do some basic planning such as which campsites to aim for and a rough route between, but on the day just follow your map (IGN 1:100,000 series recommended for all the little roads they show), picking and choosing variations to you rough route as you go.

if I assume this will be in the school summer holidays, then I suggest that you book your ferries early in the year because they accept only a limited number of cyclists. Last year I wanted to go out through St Malo in very early August and could not, so had to change plans by going via Ouistreham.

stu1102
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Re: Brittany ferrys st.malo cycling tour

Postby stu1102 » 11 Jun 2018, 12:12pm

I have done the St Malo to Vitre listed on the map and can thoroughly recommend it...all the towns villages listed by Britatny ferries are all worth a visit

Vitre->>>St Malo follows http://franceenvelo.cc/ the route


I would also endorse using http://cycle.travel/ to plot the route using your Brittany ferries map as a guide


You can borrow my Garmin GPS if you need one and dont have one.....as long as I can get it back

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mjr
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Re: Brittany ferrys st.malo cycling tour

Postby mjr » 11 Jun 2018, 12:17pm

tatanab wrote:May I suggest that since this is a holiday and an adventure for your daughter, then you do not plan and stick to a route. The best things on tour come about accidentally and in unexpected places. I'd suggest that you do some basic planning such as which campsites to aim for and a rough route between, but on the day just follow your map (IGN 1:100,000 series recommended for all the little roads they show), picking and choosing variations to you rough route as you go.

Too much risk of ending up on a hostile road these days, isn't there? That, or going further than youngster's legs (or oldster's!) find enjoyable in a day. I'd plot the route but be aware of the possible variations if possible.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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MrsHJ
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Re: Brittany ferrys st.malo cycling tour

Postby MrsHJ » 11 Jun 2018, 12:19pm

Sounds nice, the routes verte etc would be a good choice for kids in France although the surfaces vary. We did Redon to Carhaix on the Nantes Brest canal (camping) when our son was just 8 and daughter 10 (using front panniers for their small rear racks as recommended by people here) and had great fun.

NB I preferred routes with the kids to be preplanned -our question was really how far we'd get every day and that would dictate which of the possible campsites along the route we would use ( there were plenty and after a couple of days I'd figured out how far we'd really go each day instead of what I'd hoped we we do so I would know which campsite we'd end up at). We did 20-30km per day. One of the adults can always head off to shop etc further afield once the tent is pitched or during a long lunch.

Imtryin
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Re: Brittany ferrys st.malo cycling tour

Postby Imtryin » 11 Jun 2018, 12:29pm

Great, thanks for all your advice. Im going to try the cycle.travel to plot my route. If it was just me, id not bother planning, but as i've got the family in tow, and they are counting on me to get them safely to our next stop, id rather be prepared as i can be!

My 10 year old daughter will keep on cycling..no problems, my wife on the other hand...well, i need to be sure we get to the campsite! :-)

MrsHJ
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Re: Brittany ferrys st.malo cycling tour

Postby MrsHJ » 11 Jun 2018, 12:35pm

Imtryin wrote:Great, thanks for all your advice. Im going to try the cycle.travel to plot my route. If it was just me, id not bother planning, but as i've got the family in tow, and they are counting on me to get them safely to our next stop, id rather be prepared as i can be!

My 10 year old daughter will keep on cycling..no problems, my wife on the other hand...well, i need to be sure we get to the campsite! :-)


Non cycling spouses need to be gently encouraged otherwise they'll scupper the plans (so take chocolate/beer/wine etc) So I carry the tent, the toolkit, do the route planning, sprint off to the shops as required whereas him indoors is more of a turner upper when required (demanded) i.e. When I drop the tent around his sleeping bag in the morning!

Imtryin
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Joined: 10 Jun 2018, 11:22pm

Re: Brittany ferrys st.malo cycling tour

Postby Imtryin » 11 Jun 2018, 12:43pm

MrsHJ wrote:Sounds nice, the routes verte etc would be a good choice for kids in France although the surfaces vary. We did Redon to Carhaix on the Nantes Brest canal (camping) when our son was just 8 and daughter 10 (using front panniers for their small rear racks as recommended by people here) and had great fun.

NB I preferred routes with the kids to be preplanned -our question was really how far we'd get every day and that would dictate which of the possible campsites along the route we would use ( there were plenty and after a couple of days I'd figured out how far we'd really go each day instead of what I'd hoped we we do so I would know which campsite we'd end up at). We did 20-30km per day. One of the adults can always head off to shop etc further afield once the tent is pitched or during a long lunch.



The front panniers are a great idea....Thanks!

cotswolds
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Re: Brittany ferrys st.malo cycling tour

Postby cotswolds » 11 Jun 2018, 4:10pm

Our first tour was a loop from Saint Malo down to Vannes, which we really enjoyed. I agree that cycle.travel is the best way to create a route. (I also sometimes download the gpx from a cycle.travel route and upload it bikehike which allows you to check the route against google maps/satellite view and a different rendering of open street map - sometimes useful.)

We found Condor Ferries more cycle friendly than Brittany Ferries - their high speed boats have small car decks but big passenger areas, so I think it would be unusual for them to be full for foot passengers (which includes cyclists - they have nooks and crannies for storing bikes).

There are some great river/canal side routes in that part of France, but they can get a bit samey after a while. Don't worry about trying to stick to them - as long as you avoid the big roads, practically any road in France is cycle friendly, and French motorists are very respectful of cyclists.

Chat Noir
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Re: Brittany ferrys st.malo cycling tour

Postby Chat Noir » 11 Jun 2018, 4:14pm

This looks a good route. Campsites common and very reasonably priced. A fun start to the tour, especially for a family, is to catch the little ferry boat from St Malo to Dinanrd (cost £17 for 2 adults 3 weeks ago) - think this is what your route is suggesting. From the centre of Dinard you catch the old railway line south to Dinan, pretty level but not flat, hard gravel. I've used normal road tyres on these surfaces with no problems on several tours.

Last year my partner and I cycled to Rennes from where we went south and west before heading back up to St Malo. Rennes is a big city and the only campsite was closed for reasons hard to fathom. Although Rennes is fully cycle-routed not the easiest place to get through or, even more so, get out of. The route from St Malo to Rennes is delightful and pretty flat, very tranquil and an excellent introduction to cycle touring.

Look at velo vertes website and Red Dog books (they do excellent guides to the green roads of Brittany). Breton Bikes website probably the best cycle touring website for Brittany there is and they seem happy with people using it for information even when they're not booking. Cycle.travel the go-to mapping website for many on here and also shows campsites and other accommodation.

Some other observations: artisan bakers usually superb and reasonably priced and can help big time with reluctant participants. If you go through Evran (south of Dinan along the lovely river / canal), turn into the village as you get to a bridge, 100 yds on the left is an artisan boulangerie that will provide an excellent picnic to be enjoyed back on the banks of the river. And, just before you come into Dinan, just after Taden, on the riverside is a fantastic café which will soon convince any doubters that you're doing the right thing. There's even a municipal campsite back up the hill so you can wander back in the evening for another meal.

Enjoy the ride.
Dawes Galaxy 1979; Mercian 531 1982; Peugeot 753 1987; Peugeot 531 Pro 1988; Peugeot 653 1990; Bob Jackson 731 OS 1992; Gazelle 731 OS Exception 1996; Dolan Dedacciai 2004; Trek 8000 MTB 2011; Focus Izalco Pro 2012

tatanab
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Re: Brittany ferrys st.malo cycling tour

Postby tatanab » 11 Jun 2018, 5:11pm

Chat Noir wrote:Rennes is a big city and the only campsite was closed for reasons hard to fathom. Although Rennes is fully cycle-routed not the easiest place to get through or, even more so, get out of.
The campsite in Rennes is on the norther edge in an area that is like a big park. It is not convenient for finding shopping or restaurants so I would not recommend this to the OP. I stayed there once, I cannot remember why since I usually use rural sites. I found it quite hard to get across town to head south in the morning. I have certainly used some superb municipal sites in that area, superb to my taste that is.

Imtryin
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Re: Brittany ferrys st.malo cycling tour

Postby Imtryin » 18 Jun 2018, 10:29pm

Great advice from everyone, i have used cycle.travel and found it to be excellent! Now to get all the equipment together and start convincing the wife that this is definatley the right thing to do....!

Imtryin
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Joined: 10 Jun 2018, 11:22pm

Re: Brittany ferrys st.malo cycling tour

Postby Imtryin » 30 Aug 2018, 4:02pm

Hi Everyone.

Thanks again for everyone's advice, I have been mulling over this planned trip alot, it will be my first ever long distance trip and as my wife and daughter are determined to coma along i need to make sure i make it a enjoyable time!

I've decided to scrap the St.malo tour for now and have decided on the london to paris trip. I will be using the official route to newhaven, but starting at coulsdon south to skip out the heavy london traffic, and then i will be taking Donald Hirsch's route to Paris from dieppe as seen here http://www.donaldhirsch.com/dieppeparis.html.

Loving loving the cycle.travel site, great site. Investing alot of time now pre-planning stop overs, ferry and return journey ETC and we are all really looking forward to it. I have decided to still take a light weight tent just incase we need it. Picked a bargain from haldfords an ex-display garmin edge 520 for £50, i have to load the more detailed street maps for the area i'm in, but that's no great shakes.

Planning on taking the trip in easter break next year - I cant wait!