Laid Back Loir

The Loir

28th-30th May 2010

Our second trip to the Loir stayed faithful to the original concept - laid back and minimum organisational hassle. Oh - and good food a must!

Sarah and I met up with Twig (new to C&F rides and most welcome) at the ferry at Portsmouth. A smooth crossing on the ‘fast cat’ brought us to Caen where Clive and Janis were waiting with Howard and Margie. We set off south from Caen with ‘half a ride’, it’s always fun to head to the appointed rendezvous wondering who, if anyone, will be there! A pleasant couple of hours riding brought us to the Hotel de la Gare - and waiting there were Paul and Fiona. A few beverages sitting outside in the weak sun (but sun all the same!) and we then moved in to savour the excellent buffet lunch of which the chef, Patrick, is justifiably proud. We were just tucking in to the first course when that unmistakeable rumble announced the arrival of Andy, Sarah and Colin.

So the ride had assembled in deepest Normandy, eight bikes and twelve riders all arrived by diverse routes and on time according to the ‘relaxed plan’. We set off to Motoire sur le Loir, minor repairs to Sarah’s bike (loose battery leads?) did not prevent us arriving in time for drinks under the ancient plane tree in the courtyard of the hotel before heading off to the Relais d’Anton for a great meal sitting outside on the banks of the river.

The Loir

Saturday dawned grey and cool but dry, after a quick walk around the market we headed west (minus Andy and Sarah, who did their own morning thing and joined us at lunch) then we hit GOLD! The D38/D749 route from Chateau du Loir to Bourgueill is a magic biking road. I have had my eye on this one for a while but it turned out much better than I hoped. After Bourgueill we headed along the levees of the Loire with gathering black clouds, a stop for donning precautionary wets then over the river at Saumur and back to Chinon for lunch, arriving dry! Readers with an interest in wine will recognise this is like riding through a wine text book, temptations abound. A great lunch in Chinon - the ‘salade medieval’ was a revelation (if you like black pudding).

A stop for coffee, cakes and ice creams in Amboise, final home and burial place of Leonardo Da Vinci, then back at speed to Montoire for a very English Cote de Boeuf and chips washed down with some very French local wine.

The Loir

On Sunday we returned the way we arrived - by instalments. Colin headed off early to find his own path, Andy and Sarah headed north east to the Chunnel, the rest of us headed west for a brief stop at the motor museum at the Le Mans circuit. After a light lunch at a Creperie somewhere near Argentan Clive, Janis, Howard and Margie took the direct route to Caen - to sort out some passport anxiety (Janis’s passport having been found to be out of date). Paul and Fiona peeled off to their hotel beyond Le Havre, this left Sarah and I with Twig enjoying yet more good roads back to Caen where we rejoined the ‘passport group’ on the ferry home.

Mission accomplished, we all did our own thing, we all did our group thing, we enjoyed good roads, good food and some good companionship. Next year it looks like an extra night and two days of riding in the Jardin de France.

Thanks to all who came and hope to see you all next year!

Cap’n Beakey - C&F Road Captain