Sunday 3rd July 2022 to Saturday 9th July 2022
Distance: 350 miles
The 2020 and 2021 rides had to be cancelled because of the COVID-19 epidemic. Having already planned the 2020 ride, we re-used those plans for the 2022 one. This time we didn't sail overnight to France, we stayed Sunday night in a hotel instead. Our itinerary was:
- Sunday: 8am ferry sailing from Portsmouth to Ouistreham arriving at 3pm local time. We stayed overnight in Hérouville-Saint-Clair before starting the ride in earnest
- Monday: Hérouville-Saint-Clair to Evreux, c.85 miles
- Tuesday: Evreux to Versailles c.60 miles
- Wednesday: Versailles to Rouen c.85 miles
- Thursday: Rouen to Le Havre (mostly on a new route) c.65 miles
- Friday: Le Havre to Caen c.50 miles
- Saturday: Ouistreham to Hayling via Portsmouth
Here are some photos from the new Rouen to Le Havre route:
Pete McQuade writes...
After two years in which the Paris to Hayling was cancelled due to Covid it was great to be back in France “a bicyclette” for ride. Our journey from from Caen to Versailles and back took in:
- Some of the route used in a number of recent events;
- Some new route; and
- Some which had not been used for nearly 3 decades.
It was a very successful ride but not always easy! The need for quick thinking and alternative route planning following the ferry suspension during one our crossings of the Seine brought out the best in all riders. Determination and creativity were demonstrated in equal measure with some choosing an “alternative “ off-road route which even hardy mountain bikers would have found a challenge! The wind was also irritating on the homeward days but at least it was a warm wind! And an SNCF strike brought an increase in traffic at a time and place (outskirts of Rouen ) where we didn’t want it. Finally, there was the Pont De Normandie – one of the highest suspension bridges in Europe which we climbed on the last day.
- Pete Loveridge was duly recognised for his great efforts
- Paul Clutterbuck who despite some health challenges battled through to raise another huge amount (over £4000) for Operation Smile.
- In the fancy dress competition on the last day the Vikings were the award winners, but I guess they were more villains than heroes!
And not all the heroes were on bikes . Support, as was raucously and unanimously agreed by riders at the last night dinner, were fantastic. Several of them were also committee members and they along with treasurer Keith Stringer deserve recognition for having kept the event alive in various ways during the past two difficult years. Jo and Sarah plotted some new route which included joining a freshly created riverside cycle path at Rouen which meant - past riders please note - that we didn’t need to climb a hill when leaving the city. And they were also responsible for booking/checking hotels and indeed holding on to some reservations for two years! Much of their “recce” work was done during a very stormy February weekend. Such dedication, although I am so relieved they picked better weather for the ride itself.
Sadly, Lori Poore has resigned as Hayling Cycle Ride secretary . Riders over the past 11 years owe a tremendous debt. She has been a truly superb administrator who has helped me and the committee so much .