Thursday, 3 October 2013

Road trip 2013: Return to Suisse Normande

Having missed out on the Alpes trip this year our cycling road trip was back to Suisse Normande.
We headed off to France on the overnight sailing from Portsmouth to Ouistreham on Wednesday 11th October and landed at 07.15 French time. We had a ‘good’ night in the bar so we were nursing a few sore heads…

Day 1, Thursday 12th.
We headed off to Grimbosq forest for some more fun trail style riding and some filming.

Grimbosq is locally used by lots of schools so it is not unusual to see School kids there, this time they had a lesson on bikes, how cool!

The first singletrack run is good fun and fast but has these weird bumps, so you can almost ride it like a pump track. 
there they are!
Pritchard strikes a pose...
The mummy returns!
We do this run a few times then head over the back to do the singletrack that’s part of the RED 7 route.
Grimbosq singletrack from DanJones34 on Vimeo.

We do a ‘sighting’ run at a low pace then return for some speed, unfortunately not everyone is feeling it… due to the previous night’s excesses! That evening is spent chilled with a BBQ tea and we make a firm plan for the next day.

Day 2, Friday 13th – Greg’s Birthday ride.
We head of for Clecy and park down by the river, the aim is to ride for Pont d’Ouilly on the west side of the river and have lunch and then return on the east side.
The ride is quick and we find ourselves with a choice of a long climb then fire road downhill or a long climb and gully downhill, obviously the gully won. After the climb you enter the downhill with a drop off, so leaving a comfortable gap we all huck in. The route down is loose and sketchy and we all end with a skid and a big grin! A nice spin along the river we end in Pont d’Ouilly for a Pizza.

The afternoon ride back is mixed with hideous climbs and punctures but we climb the gorge to ride the red trail along the top of Lieu-dit Rochers des Parcs. Chris had a little crash along the top, which we never let him forget….
Ridge riding over Clecy, Suisse Normande from DanJones34 on Vimeo.

That evening we went to a little local restaurant in Le Billot for Greg’s birthday, all dressed in lovely Hawaiian shirts…

Day 3, Saturday 14” – Clecy.
Back to Clecy for two rides, this time in the ‘team’ Hawaiian shirts! 
looking dam fine!
The morning ride we chose RED 16 but chose to ride it in reverse so we could take in the gorge to the north of Clecy with the paragliding launch on. The ride itself was a tough one, lots of climbing and even more punctures due to a lot of thorny hedge clippings. When we finally made the paragliding launch we stopped to fix yet more punctures and talked Greg in to doing a little jump…

more punctures, with a pre-crash Pritchard
not to sure what Sprucey was up too...
For the downhill we decide to ride the official red route rather than the black we usually take in the hope that the singletrack would last longer. Greg and I are first with Paul, Chris and Sprucey following. We get to a really steep, rooty, rocky segment which Greg and I clear, we stop at the next junction and hear a lot of noise, somebodys binned it… The other three rock up and its Paul, he came off on the roots and left grazed his arm, leg, crash helmet… We all take it easy back to Clecy for lunch.

After Lunch Paul wants to ride so we do Blue 14, don’t bother, it was a proper rubbish ride. That evening Sprucey treats us to one of his legendry roast dinners, job done.

Day 4, Sunday 15th September, home.
We have got to catch the 2 o’clock ferry from Ouistreham, so potential riding time is very limited, nobody is that excited about it so we pack and head for home.

Another great riding weekend with lots of highs and lows, the weather was not great so it prevented some serious fast riding, but I would recommend a riding weekend in Suisse Normande to anyone. Clecy is only an hour away from Ouisterham, so new trails are only a ferry ride away!

kylie looking fine

going down...
Suisse Normande riding from DanJones34 on Vimeo.

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