Spring ride

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It’s not summer yet. We’ve only just left the grisaille of a Normandy winter behind and in March you never know what weather you’re going to get. So take your opportunities when you can. When we saw that the day was bright, we forgot about the work we should have been doing and grabbed the bikes. We knew we wouldn’t be back… Read more »

New greenways on the Vélo Francette

The other day I wrote about how we’d spotted a new voie verte (greenway) under construction. It was clear that this was a part of the award-winning Vélo Francette cycle route that runs 617km  from the Normandy beaches at Ouistreham (Caen) to La Rochelle. Although we walked only a small section of the new voie verte, I speculated that it might go as… Read more »

A greenway in the making

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Travelling home from the garage the other day (don’t ask – bloody cars) we were passing through Laubrière when something caught my eye. You don’t expect to find anything significant in Laubrière; it’s just a wide spot on the road. You couldn’t even call it a village. But clearly it was once rather more important. I knew immediately what I’d… Read more »

Greenways everywhere

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This year we plan to ride more of the greenways (voies vertes) in the Grand Ouest – an area that covers Normandy, Brittany and the Pays de la Loire. It’s easy to get lazy and keep travelling the same stretches – especially as they’re so beautiful. But we need to explore more, so I grabbed our map of France’s voies vertes… Read more »

Vélo Francette – Europe’s best cycle route

It seems that the V43 Vélo Francette is not our little secret any longer. It has just been voted the best cycle route in Europe. Fiets et Wandelbeurs – a Belgian cycling and rambling organisation – has recognised the beauty and convenience of the route. According to Google Translate and a judicious bit of editing, the jury said something like:  “The… Read more »

Review: end-of-year roundup

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Janus Sportwool hoody

Since it’s the close of 2016, I thought I’d do a review of the winners and losers among the things I’ve bought this year and last. Being new to cycling, I made a lot of mistakes at first, but I quickly discovered that while price is generally (though not always) a guarantee of quality, good kit can be had at… Read more »

Review: Ergon GC1 BioKork ergonomic handlebar grips

I’ve always had a problem getting a grip and lately it’s got worse. My bike came with cheap rubber handlebar grips that were, at best, functional. The problem, though, wasn’t them but me. I have osteoarthritis in every joint of my hands (not to mention lots of places elsewhere). This means I don’t have a lot of gripping power in… Read more »

Review: Optimum Nitebrite gloves

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In my experience, the first thing to freeze up on a cold day’s ride is your hands. And for anyone who has arthritis, as I do, keeping your hands warm is critical. I wear gloves a lot. The Optimum Nitebrite waterproof cycling gloves are part of a range of gear with an emphasis on high visibility. Indeed, one of the… Read more »

Review: Endura Velo PTFE Protection Jacket

As someone who generally doesn’t go in for buying cycling or sports clothing, this was an aberration. But a worthwhile one. I fell for the Endura Velo PTFE Protection jacket while the More Significant Other and I were in the midst of a full-blown shopping spree. You know the sort of thing – where you’re hopped up on the excitement of… Read more »

Review: Sheila Moon summer clothing

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I’ve been in two minds whether to review these items as they are no longer available except occasionally on Ebay – I bought them last year in Sheila Moon’s closing-down sale. But I’ve decided to mention them as I spent the summer in them and they give me some tips for what to look for when I need to replace… Read more »

Review: Georgia of Dublin Rainwrap

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The DH bought me the Georgia of Dublin Rainwrap as a present last year. It’s a beautiful thing, made from soft-touch waterproof fabric (I wish more jackets were made of this stuff) and packs up small enough to bung in a rackbag. You can also use it as a picnic blanket. It proved a godsend last winter and early spring in… Read more »

Review: Medipure medicated body powder

As all cyclists know, a good dusting powder is a must to keep yourself dry and chafe-free after a ride. I’d been using Gold Bond, which I do think is fabulous, but it’s terribly expensive to buy in Europe. Then I came across Medipure. Medipure is based on corn starch rather than talc – nice for those who prefer to avoid the… Read more »