Becherel to D43/N175 , France

Looking back at Becherel

Where I ended up today

I'm getting very annoyed at France making it difficult/impossible for me to route this tour because they have converted all the N roads to autoroutes. I'm at a hotel at the intersection of D 43 and N 175 because, after 80 miles of riding in about 7 hours - winds, about 10 mph from the north all day, and hills, 2000 ft of climbing, mostly in the first 30 miles, again - I got kicked off an N road that, unpleasant as it was to ride, I was going to ride to Arvanches. Now, as far as I know, you can't get there from here - about 10 km - without riding about 50 km - 20 east, 10 north, 20 west. I'm annoyed enough by this nonsense to route away from the coast, maybe heading east to Paris instead of northeast to Calais. That might also give me better weather.

I saw the sunlight, for the first time in two days, at 4:20 this afternoon. I rode in weather cold enough to require I wear my liner gloves, my extra kneewarmer, my silk undershirt under my riding shirt and my wind vest on top of it, almost all day today. I don't have a thermometer and I didn't see a temperature display, but I say the windchill temps were in the 40's most of the day. It didn't rain or ever threaten rain, it was just cold and windy with low clouds. Becherel, at about 700 feet, was in the clouds. After leaving Betcherel, when I got down - very quickly - to 300 feet or so, I was below them.

Looking down, from the viaduct on the Part of Dinan that is along the river

Riding through Dinah

I rode north from Becherel though several small towns to Dinan, the big city in those parts. Dinan is a really pretty, really interesting city and it very busy today. Lots of tourists plus a big market day. In order to get to the road to Ploubalay, the route us non motorized types have to take to get to St-Malo, I rode across the viaduct, up a big hill into town, through the old town and following signs to Ploubalay through half a dozen roundabouts, and made it out of Dinan with only one backtrack ;-}. Dinah was the neatest town I saw today. It looked, and felt, like a fun place to visit.

I though I would get to see the ocean when I got to Ploubalay, I would see the ocean. I didn't get to see it until after Cancale which is well past St-Malo. I could have ridden down to hotel filled beach front at St-Malo, but that didn't interest me. I felt like I did when I rode up the Atlantic sea shore in the northern US. I rode many miles before I found a place - a monastery in Kennebunkport if I recall correctly - where a tourist could actually see the water.

The high point of Ploubalay was the supermarket where I bought supplies and snacked just outside the market looking at the church. Oh, yeah, and they had toilets I could use right across the street. Life is good with a snack, a church to look at, and toilets ;-}.

Heading for St-Malo

The high point of St-Malo, which I reached about an hour and fifteen minutes later, was a working man's restaurant where I had lunch. I got off the busy highway at the exit for the commercial district because McDs was there. I had had a big snack - 750 ml of YOP and half a Baguette - about an hour before, so I figured McDs would do. It might have, but the lines were so long it would have been slower than eating at a restaurant. I headed into St-Male, going north as much as possible, so I'd be nearer the ocean. I never saw the ocean but, riding along a street in an industrial section, I saw lots of trucks - big and small - parked along the road. Then I saw a restaurant with a 10 E menu. Four courses, including wine, water, cider to drink. I had two things that interfered with my meal: It was so busy that they seated me with another man eating alone. He seemed depressed and that didn't help me enjoy what I was eating. I also had some concern about leaving my bike outside, unwatched, but, I was able to move it to a place where I could see it through a window, until someone took a seat and blocked my view ;-{. I wasn't too worried because the men sitting at that window knew it was my bike.

A pretty lake on the way to Cancale

Through another window, I noticed the building across the street was a Velodrome! It had the name of a famous old time bicyclist which I recognized, but have now forgotten. When I left the restaurant, I rode by the St-Malo Hippodrome a few blocks later. Then I rode out of St-Malo, heading for Cancale. From my maps, that looked like the best route to see the ocean. It was, but not till I left Cancale.


My first view of the ocean

The ride to Cancale was hard, because of the wind, but fun. I got a special charge out of the smaller town of St Coulomb on the way to Cancale. Unfortunately, my LZ-2 is acting up again and the images it took of St Coulomb were defective. Cancale is quite nice. Much nicer than what I saw of St-Malo. On the way to St-Coulomb, I did smell the ocean, but never saw it. When I left Cancale, heading for Mont-San-Michel, I, finally saw the ocean at the small Cancale port. It wasn't too impressive ;-{.

Riding along the ocean. Note the flags

The ocean - mud flats, at low tide

Sheep, grazing next to the ocean.
The weather certainly felt right for raising sheep!

Dutch windmill on the coast of France

I rode along the ocean - which was mud flats since it was low tide, for about an hour. Then the road went inland a bit - going behind three old, Dutch style, windmills. I stopped shortly after that for break, then rode on toward Mont-St-Michel. Before the road left the ocean, you could see the mount in the distance. I thought about riding out to it and then riding D 14 back to the main road. That would have been a better route to get here, but I didn't know I was going to end up here then, and the though of riding an extra 9 km into the wind kept me on the main road.

After the sun came out

After the sun went away again and the route became an expressway with no shoulder

Riding really improved, or at least my attitude about riding did, when the sun came out for while. Then, when I left Pontorson and the route headed northeast towards Avranches, the sun went away and the riding became a lot less fun. Now I was riding on a four lane expressway with no shoulder and a 110 kph - 75 mph - speed limit and lots of traffic. It would have been suicidal to ride on a road like that in the states. Here it was just a bit tense. I stopped for supper at a fast food place, and then continued on toward Avranches, not enjoying it, but figuring one I got there I could get back on little roads and either continue up the coast or go diagonally toward Caen and the next section of coast. The I got kicked off that route and stopped at this hotel to figure out what to do next.

Previous Page Next Page