Lobster Run

Lobster Run

1st-4th October 2015

Some memories of a Lobster Run on the Côtes - D’ Armor, Brittany...

Meeting late on a warm Thursday October afternoon, cup of tea at the M25/A3 BP Station. Some old friends, some new. On down to Portsmouth. Has the A3 ever been so jammed with cars? Paul skilfully leads the filtering and Steve backs up getting us through. Passports checked and onto the ferry. We meet in the restaurant for dinner. We do justice to the buffet, main courses and Pete devours a huge chocolate pudding. Brandy, whisky and coffee finish us off.

A fitful night for me in the cabin but wake and dock to a glorious St Malo October morning. Paul takes us initially to a peninsula, three sides overlooking the channel and Atlantic. On a day like today wimps like me can live here but when the Atlantic wind blows and the waves crash in, this is a place for granite houses and strong fisher people. Breakfast in a fishing village. Here’s tip for John - switch off your head lights when stopped. We jump start John’s bike under the authority and direction of Steve. Much rib-digging, we all laugh out loud and with power restored drive off.

Lobster Run

Glorious coastal roads with, in the distance, hazy images of fortified monasteries on islands. We drop down for lunch to the old river port of Dinan. John and I walk up cobbled antique lanes and over the bridge spanning the River Rance before joining the others for lunch by the river. Sea-bass and moules with frites washed down with a cup of cider. We sit in the afternoon sun. Is this October or July? Paul leads us away to an afternoon of twists, gravel and turns. I drop back but with the buddy system and the support of Steve we all arrive at the “Manoir” together.

Pre-dinner beers in the garden and good conversation. Dinner from an excellent host, foie gras and fish. I am exhausted but exhilarated and finally after a night cap go to bed. After morning croissants and coffee we make a sensible start to ride through the countryside’s twists and turns and back to the coast. Magnificent scenery. A riding lessons and tips from Paul. What a rider and nice bloke he is. Paul knows a fishing village for lunch. Local pork. Plates wiped clean and some conversation with friendly locals. Back to “Le Manoir”. Into the garden for beers and pre dinner chats.

Lobster Run

What a dinner and slightly early so we can watch the rugby. A sea food bisque followed by boats full of sea food topped with whole lobsters perfectly broiled. Even Dickie was beaten to finish; Graham, Paul and Caron thought they were back on the Cape. John made us all laugh. Steve took pictures. Up to their library to watch the football. Oh dear. What did England do? Or should I write not do? Chelsea also lost against Southampton. Not a good night for sport, but for us nothing could spoil a great day’s riding and friendship.

Graham and Caron had to leave early in the Sunday morning mist. If they said goodbye, my apologies I did not hear them. For the remaining six of us it was a long breakfast followed by start engines as our leader, Paul, led us through country lanes, cobbled town squares and finally a fast blast on the motorway to Caen. As soon as we were on the ferry it was a rush to the self service restaurant for an early dinner, or in our case late lunch. Gannets. We docked at 9.15pm in a mild Portsmouth Sunday evening. Lobster Run The night ride back up the A3 to London was just about perfect and a fitting end to a fantastic long weekend. Monday morning the weather broke and it was pouring down. How about that for perfect timing?

Robin Pickup - C&F Rider


Photographs by Steve Graham.