The Tour De Manche

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
newbootclimbco
Posts: 132
Joined: 3 Feb 2012, 8:18pm

The Tour De Manche

Postby newbootclimbco » 27 Jun 2013, 11:07am

A so called new ,Tour De Manche Route. The French part,from Roscoff to Cherbourg.Has anyone ridden this yet ?If so whats the camping like or should I use B and B .Weather wise what can I expect for the last 2 weeks of September.
I know someone out there will have this info so, I will be grateful if you can pass it my way. Thanks People, T.

User avatar
honesty
Posts: 2575
Joined: 16 Mar 2012, 3:33pm
Location: Somerset
Contact:

Re: The Tour De Manche

Postby honesty » 27 Jun 2013, 11:13am

I'm interested in this as well. The route looks fun and the route goes quite close to me so something I could try in the future. The mini tour de manche looks good as well. One thing I have noticed, the headline distance quoted in all the recent press of 745 miles seems to include the ferry miles as well because if you add up the sections its only around 600 miles.

CycleWest
Posts: 5
Joined: 2 Jul 2013, 10:17am

Re: The Tour De Manche

Postby CycleWest » 2 Jul 2013, 10:19am

If you have a look at the route planning website http://www.tourdemanche.com this should give you some ideas for accommodation, as well as maps for each section.

User avatar
BeeKeeper
Posts: 1265
Joined: 29 Apr 2011, 6:45am
Location: South Devon

Re: The Tour De Manche

Postby BeeKeeper » 2 Jul 2013, 10:59am

Despite the hoohah it isn't quite finished yet. The bit just east of Morlaix is described on the website as "not yet been laid out" but it is only a short section and easy enough to navigate through. http://en.tourdemanche.com/troncons/lannion-morlaix You can use this website to show campsites but it doesn't show them all. Using Google maps and entering "camping" in the search bar works but again even the mighty Google doesn't know about every campsite so buying a book of French campsites might be prudent.

Camping might be a slight problem at the end of September but I think you will find most sites still open. October would be much more difficult.

Weather wise - it is the Channel so expect the same weather as you might get in the south of England at that time of year. Could be a lovely warm September or chucking it down, which is the problem with this route I think. The weather could be anything at any time of the year. I was away this weekend camping near Roscoff and we had sun in the afternoons but a heavy damp sea mist in the mornings and the tents were soaking when we got up each morning.

CycleWest
Posts: 5
Joined: 2 Jul 2013, 10:17am

Re: The Tour De Manche

Postby CycleWest » 2 Jul 2013, 11:33am

You're right BeeKeeper the site doesn't show all the campsites, but most of those shown are accredited 'Accueil Vélo' so any visitor can be reassured this offers a certain level of service to the touring cyclist.

newbootclimbco
Posts: 132
Joined: 3 Feb 2012, 8:18pm

Re: The Tour De Manche

Postby newbootclimbco » 3 Jul 2013, 7:10pm

Thanks guys for your input regarding the above route.I have already looked at this web site,and unless I am doing something wrong I cant get any info.No proper discriptions about camps or routes.I have been to two of my local Tourist info outlets and they have nothing at all.My cycling mate has left his phone no ,with the powers that be .He has heard nothing.I have also registered my E Mail address and still nowt.The road to Plymouth from Poole ,namely the A35,Honiton ,A30 to Exeter/Oakhampton,A386 into Plymouth.There must be a better way than this without a hilly coastal way .
Please any more ideas,Thanks T.

newbootclimbco
Posts: 132
Joined: 3 Feb 2012, 8:18pm

Re: The Tour De Manche

Postby newbootclimbco » 4 Jul 2013, 4:33pm

I have now been able to see the route for the above tour,some young person has shown the old fella how to log on properly.I hate kids.
It is still a very hilly route especially loaded up with camping gear.It is tempting to try our luck and hope to get B and B enroute ,but that costs more.
I shall keep looking. Thanks ,T

CycleWest
Posts: 5
Joined: 2 Jul 2013, 10:17am

Re: The Tour De Manche

Postby CycleWest » 5 Jul 2013, 10:46am

What info do you need? I might be able to help.

les tocknell
Posts: 31
Joined: 8 Apr 2009, 12:55pm

Re: The Tour De Manche

Postby les tocknell » 5 Jul 2013, 2:45pm

I have just returned from a solo cycle camping trip from St Malo across to Domfront, down to Laval, Craon, Vitre and back to St Malo. I was aware of the petit T de M but from St Malo the signage doesn't seem to be there ( mind you the sea was exploding over the sea wall at the time...). I noticed it eventually near Mont St Michel. In season, campsites are very available. If you go on this http://www.camping-municipal.org you can get details of mostly reasonably priced sites, locations and facilities (often including dining/tv room and, once, herb garden). I didn't pay over 6 euros until the last night at St Malo (14 euro rip off comparatively speaking). However, watch the closing dates.

newbootclimbco
Posts: 132
Joined: 3 Feb 2012, 8:18pm

Re: The Tour De Manche

Postby newbootclimbco » 6 Jul 2013, 6:50pm

Thanks guys for your input regarding the above.I think the website about this route is not working correctly yet,which is a shame as the organisers want us to tour,but they have not got there act together yet. Anyway my mate and I are setting off from Poole on the 14 Sept,Ferry Plymouth/Roscoff.A bit of cycling then ferry home,Cherbourg to Poole on the 27 Sept.We have decided to camp,that gives us more choices where what etc.Thanks to cyclewest for the help offer,i think I am sorted.As was said I think the milage is a bit dubious but we shall probably go off route anyway,ie do some of the D.Day landing sites.
Anyone else about then ? Thanks again,cheers T.

newbootclimbco
Posts: 132
Joined: 3 Feb 2012, 8:18pm

Re: The Tour De Manche

Postby newbootclimbco » 27 Aug 2013, 5:50pm

Having had a few short trips with all camping gear, have now decided not to camp. My cycle mate and I are both getting a few niggles,sore knees a bit of cramp etc.So are going to chance our luck and hope to get B and B and Hostels enroute. Without having to carry all the extra weight of our tents etc. Also we are diverting off the official route and heading towards Alencon up to Caen and back to Cherbourg along the coast roads. Call us wimps but at 62 and 60 years young we need all the advantages we can get. Any advise, ideas about our accommodation always appreciated. Thanks T.

willem jongman
Posts: 2075
Joined: 7 Jan 2008, 4:16pm

Re: The Tour De Manche

Postby willem jongman » 28 Aug 2013, 9:34am

This summer we did a stretch of this west of St Malo (me, my wife and my 15 year old son), and thoroughly enjoyed it. The infrastructure was excellent, with renovated old railway bridges etc. Also signs were plenty and clear, and the free maps that you could get at the local tourist offices were excellent. There were quite a few families with children doing this, but that is quite a challenge. The short climbs can be steep, and some parts are sandy trails. This is not a tour for road bikes, in my view. Apparently a few parts have not been finished yet, but we at last did not encounter problems. We were camping and there are many campsites, including some spectacularly beautiful ones.
We left the car west of St Malo, and on the outbound trip I was carrying about 25 kg (front and rear panniers - family trips are a compromise). That was a bit much, to be honest, given my age (60) and the climbs. After we had gone as far West as we wanted, I went back alone to collect the car, carrying no more than about 10 kg. That was altogether different, and much better. So camping is quite feasible for someone of our age, but it helps to leave the unnecessary stuff at home. My advise would be to invest the money you save by camping in some nice lightweight gear. When I don't have to carry the family luggage, my normal luggage weight with the comfort of a proper stove, a comfy mattress, a good sleeping bag and a roomy tent is 12-15 kg, and even lighter is possible.
Willem

newbootclimbco
Posts: 132
Joined: 3 Feb 2012, 8:18pm

Re: The Tour De Manche

Postby newbootclimbco » 28 Aug 2013, 8:15pm

Thanks Willem, I get your point at least I would have the gear ready for the next trip.I would be interested to know what gear you have, Maybe other campers can recommend good lightweight equipment. I reckon on spending another £300 by getting B and Bs. That's a lot of dosh I could spend more wisely.
Thanks people, look forward to your comments as usual, T.

willem jongman
Posts: 2075
Joined: 7 Jan 2008, 4:16pm

Re: The Tour De Manche

Postby willem jongman » 29 Aug 2013, 6:55am

Climbing is what gets harder when you grow older, so weight reduction is the thing to do. I started doing this some years ago when we needed to replace much of our tired camping gear after many years of serious camping. There are three steps:

1 Leave home all unnecessary stuff. You really do not need a chair, a second pair of shoes or a second pair of trousers. Yes, some of these things give you some comfort, but so does a lighter load.

2 Reduce the volume of your kit so much that you do not need front panniers and front rack. These weigh 2-2.5 kg empty, and that is easily won. The more compact gear is usually also much lighter. Big gains are usually possible with the sleeping kit. For summer use (down to just above freezing) I have a very comfortable Exped Synmat UL mattress (460 gram and tiny to pack) and a PHD Minimus 200 sleeping bag (extra wide and with zipper so about 600 gram). I have the ultralight mx shell but that is a bit fragile. Perhaps their Dryshell is more practical, just as a bit more down (The MInimus 300 in their sale is perhaps ideal). With my wife we have a two person top bag (1600 grams, including fitted sheets). Instead of a bulky fleece sweater I have a PHD down vest that packs very small, and that I can use to extend the range of the sleeping bag.

3 Fine tune the rest of your gear. Use a scale to weigh shirts, trousers, and take the lightest, etc. I use a cheap plastic Ikea plate and mug, plus cheap lexan cutlery. Buy some more expensive items, but only in the final stage, and maybe not.

Only 2 will cost serious money. If that is a concern, Exped also do a Synmat Basic at about half the price. It is apparently not quite as comfortable, but still OK. PHD have a sale twice a year, with special items like a Minimus 300, and much lower prices. Cumulus and Alpkit also do rather cheaper down bags. Be careful that most of the temperature ratings you will see for sleeping bags and mattresses are a bit on the optimistic side.

As for the rest of the gear: I use a tent that we had, a low Hellsport Rondane 3 tent that I do not recommend because it is too low for comfort. For solo use think of a Wildcountry Zephyros (or a Hilleberg Anjan 2 if money is no object), but first use what you have. Any tent can go on top of the rear rack. For solo trips I use a Trangia 27 UL HA meth stove. This is lighter and cheaper than a multifuel stove, and makes real food. But use what you have.
Enjoy,
Willem

newbootclimbco
Posts: 132
Joined: 3 Feb 2012, 8:18pm

Re: The Tour De Manche

Postby newbootclimbco » 31 Aug 2013, 11:41am

Willem, thanks for the input.My original plan was to camp along this route, then changed my mind a couple of times. Plans can get altered if you are cycling with a mate as both people have different ideas. Now having selected a new lot of gear we are back to camping, I am glad to say.I may feel different when I get back. so Tent , Zephyros wild country 1 .Superlite multimat selfinflating compact 25, 3/4 lenth . sleeping bag ,Vango venum 150. I believe I got a good deal from Oswald Bailey at £149. A saving of about 1.5 kilo on my existing load, that 4 tins of stew.
No spare shoes. smaller toilet bag ,[if pos ] No bike leggings [ I usually apply baby oil to my legs if it looks like rain].
Willem you said the route is a bit sandy in parts, we are on touring bikes so may have to divert a little, but we intend to go off route anyway. We shall come back along the Normandy coast. Can you tell me why you used your car, and left it that side of the water. Thanks ,T.