Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Road Trip: Suisse Normande 2011

In September we packed the van and headed off across the channel to France, more specifically the area known as 'Suisse Normande'.
Suisse Normande lies roughly 25km south of Caen, along the gorge of the River Orne, and consists of 27 marked routes with over 600kms of cycling. Each route is graded from green, blue, red, black, with black being an XC nightmare! All of the trails are more XC orientated as the tracks pretty much either go up or down, however there are some cracking trails out there and some really testing DH runs, but you got to know where to look.
Data supplied by Greg and his iphone. Average speed is a little low, but I put this down to 1, a lot of climbing... and 2, when riding in a group there is inevitably a lot of stopping. The highest speed was clocked on a cycle computer at 43mph.

Day 1, Grimbosq Forrest.
Just north of Thury Harcuort, we discovered the forrest as part of RED 7 (GR36) loop. There are some fantastic singletrack runs here, with the first running parallel to the main path. For the next great singletrack run you need to follow GR36 over the northern stream and climb up the other side. This is worth riding a couple of times as it is very, very good. To finish double back along the singletrack and take the BLACK run back down to the river, it’s very steep!
Day 2, the Epic.
A point to point ride from Thury to Clecy. The highlights are climbing to the top of the gorge to the para glider launch then the DH BLACK run to the bottom. The return starts with a gentle ride along the Orne to the biggest climb... be warned its a monster. Once at the Church it’s pretty much DH all the way to Thury, ending in a rocky technical DH that rules...
stunning views

Ride: ‘Point to Point’, Thury-Harcourt to Clecy and back Date: 24 Sep 2011 9:08 amDistance: 21.1 milesElapsed Time: 4:31:41Avg.
Speed: 4.7 mph
Max. S
peed: 34.7 mph
Pace: 12' 53" per mile

Day 3, RED 25.
Starting at Rouvrou and great XC loop with testing climbs and DH runs, eventually climbing to the stunning viewpoint at La Roche d’Oetre. Highlights are the ultra tech rocky DH singletrack and the very fast DH fire road back in to Rouvrou.

ready to go!!!!

Ride: Rouvrou loop
Date: 25 Sep 2011 9:03 am
Distance: 9.78 miles
Elapsed Time: 2:10:32
Avg. Speed: 4.5 mph
Max. Speed: 26.5 mph
Avg. Pace: 13' 21" per mile

Day 3, afternoon, RED 23. Medium climb, all on the road, bonkers downhill back to the river.

Ride: Pont-d’Ouilly loop
Date: 25 Sep 2011 12:52 pm
Distance: 4.85 miles
Elapsed Time: 1:13:26
Avg. Speed: 4.0 mph
Max. Speed: 34.5 mph
Avg. Pace: 15' 09" per mile

Day 4, Le Billot.

Local ride (to where we were staying) that always seems to be muddy, no matter what the weather. Great downhill of the plateau, killer climb back up.

Ride: Le Billot loopDate: 26 Sep 2011 8:26 amDistance: 5.86 milesElapsed Time: 1:21:38Avg. Speed: 4.3 mphMax. Speed: 27.7 mphAvg. Pace: 13' 55" per mile

the team

go ride!


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