Monday 3 Oct

It’s a beautiful day, so it seems wrong not to make the most of it and go for a ride. One of the silver linings of currently being jobless.

The A272 calls to me. I think I will head to Loomies at West Meon for a fry up brunch, but might continue on to Winchester.

As other bikers know – It’s about the ride not the destination.

At Midhurst I stop to get petrol.

As I get off my bike I notice that the side of the seat looks damp…but its not rained?

Then the realisation hits me.

Can you spot what’s missing in the photo below?

Duh! I’d topped up the oil before leaving this morning and somehow had forgotten to put the oil cap back on 🙄

There is oil all down the side of the bike.

So it’s into the garage shop to buy a roll of kitchen towel,to clean up and a roll of insulation tape- the short term answer to so many problems.

I use the scissors from the first aid kit, that lives under the pillion seat, to cut a circle from the tape’s plastic packaging. I then tape this on, criss-crossing the tape to ensure coverage and hopefully enough stickiness to get me home.

It works!

Here is my “repair” when I get home.

The oil cap is where I left it on the shelf in my shed.

Now why I put it on the shelf and not on the bike seat, which is what I normally do, will remain a mystery. I hope it won’t happen again.

Anyway, despite being shorter than planned, it was still a good ride, the A272 rarely fails to deliver.


Friday 22 Sept 2017: Newlands Corner

I have arranged to meet Jenny Linn Cole, another lady rider who blogs, at Newlands Corner today. We are both also members of the Facebook group Motorbike Women, so as it’s such a beautiful day I also post up a general invite, and message Christine, a biking friend, just in case she has today off.

My wiggly route over:

There are about half a dozen bikes there when I arrive, but quite a few more by the time we leave.

Motorbike Women:

L to R Jenny, Christine, me

Jenny has brought her Round Britain Rumble photos and her sketchbook to show us. I love her sketches.

Paul, Christine’s brother has bravely come to join us too,

He very kindly buys us all a hot drink, whilst we sit and natter.

When a nasty big black cloud obscures the sunshine we decide that maybe that’s our cue to leave.

This rider obviously has a good sense of humour ” Not On”

Paul openly admits that he does like to try and fit a new box or bag wherever he can on his bike !

Christine getting ready for the off .

If you want to see Jenny on her bike, please take a look at her blog Round Britain Rumble as unfortunately the photo I took didn’t come out.

My Garmin Zumo took me home the curvy way, down lots of little wiggly wooded lanes.

On a day like to day, being out of work has its compensations!

#life is good

Saturday 2 Sept

The sun is shining, its my last full day, so I decide to make the most of it and head to the beach.

Im going to try somewhere new Plage de le Mine d’Or which is near Penestin.

I take the curvy route down, sharing it part of the way with a cycling event.

I arrive at Pensestin at lunch time, the restaurants in the centre are very busy but I spot one on the edge of town which had free tables.

I park up, a little too close to the pot plants for the owners liking!

The Moules Frites are delicious.

After lunch I ride to the beach.

The carpark is quite small for what is meant to be a popular beach.

As I walk down the concrete slope to the sea it looks like it is high tide and that there will be no beach to sit on, but how wrong am I?

What a gorgeous beach.

With the added interest of paragliders flying above.

I sit myself down for a bit of sunbathing. An old lady coming back from a swim is very interested in my blow up wedge

The beach is huge, and fairly empty so why does this family have to set up just 6ft from me?

The sea is lovely. A few odd stones on the seaedge but otherwise sandy.

I stay on the beach for a good few hours listening to downloaded Radio 4 dramas on my headphones.

Time to head back, as I still need to pack as its an early start tomorrow.

I take a more direct route back via Questermbert- still an enjoyable ride. I have to keep an eye on my speed as its so easy to end up riding much too fast.

I am feeling super chilled after my afternoon on the beach – a fab way to end my holiday.

Friday 1st Sept

Paul and Tracey start their journey home today. They are staying in Caen tonight before catching the tunnel tomorrow.

The statutory photo outside my #littlefrenchhouse.

After a quick stop at SuperU to change some clothes that Tracey bought yesterday but which don’t fit, we ride to Ploermel for lunch.

Tilty head melon smiles.

Tracey tries the Breton speciality pancake – a Gallette for main.

Once again the heavens open halfway through lunch, but this time we are ushered indoors to a basement room, as the canopy is broken and doesn’t extend properly.

For pudding I introduce Tracey to the joy that is Cafe Gourmand.

An expresso coffee and 3 little puddings – in this case pink blamange, fruit salad and creme brulee.

Its then time sadly to say Au Revoir, as they head off.

I ride to the Lac du Duc to walk round the Hortensias, but it starts to rain, so decide against it.

Once I’m back on the bike the rain stops, so I ride over to Mototaranis, as I may not have time tomorrow and they needed me to countersign some bank documentation.

Whilst chatting over a cuppa it starts to rain heavily again, so when it stops I quickly ride home to avoid getting drenched.

I had washed the sheets this morning, but because of the downpours they hadn’t totally dried, so it’s on with the large heated towel rail in the bathroom to try and air them properly.

Thursday 31 August

Because of the rain yesterday I have to rethink my plans on where I was going to take Paul and Tracey- so difficult as there are so many good places to go and so little time as they head home tomorrow. They will just have to make a return visit.

Decision made. First stop Josselin. It takes a lot to beat that first view of the château as you come down the hill.

Heres one taken at the bottom.

We park at the top of town- for a moment I thought I’d lost them but Paul had dropped a glove.

Another pretty town with lots of half timbered houses.

The restaurant ( above) I’d planned to go to is closed, but we manage to get a table at another.

Top tip if you are ever in France, don’t just plonk yourself down at a table to eat, you should always stand and wait to ask the waiting staff- apparently its considered very rude just to sit down.

The menu

The tartine for starter. I thought it was a quiche…wrong!

Tracey looking pensive.

Paul with a happy french frie

Halfway through lunch the heavens open. Luckily our table is under a large umbrella and the staff quickly put up another round one at the side to catch the overlap.

This gargoyle on the church does his work splashing the rain onto the stones below.

The rain eventually stops and after finishing lunch we walk it off.

Paul climbs the church tower…

Tracey and I sit and watch!

The view- photos by Paul, obviously!

We then take a look round the church- it is deceptively large.

Tomb of Olivier d’ Cuison and Margarete de Rohan from the 1400s.

The mourning monks on the side were destroyed in the French Revolution.

This creature, allegedly a greyhound, keeps guard at the feet of Margaret.

After Josselin we ride to Porcaro to visit the Oratory/ Bikers Chapel.

We also wander round the exhibition showing the history of the Biker Blessing which is still in the church. Its amazing to see hoe its grown from 38 bikers to 20,000.

Below are photos from when the Pope sent a crown for the Madone statue.

Then it’s back to the house as Martin and Jennifer are coming round for an aperitif.

They leave around 8 and I cook merguez sausages for supper.

It ends up being a long night ad Paul and I sit up chatting till gone 1am, with the help of a couple of bottles of wine!

Wednesday 30 August

The word of the day is rain.

All day up until early evening. Rain.

It’s days like this that I’m glad that Im not staying in a hotel and can slob around all day in my own place.

A couple of damp patches have shown up in the bathroom and Paul kindly takes a look for me- seems the insulation has not been rolled back properly, which he duly sorts.

Then going above and beyond, he cleans the ceiling patches off, then decides to paint the whole bathroom ceiling with gloss paint – what a star! Thanks Paul.

At about 7pm the rain clears, but as drinking had commenced earlier we can’t go out on the bikes, but just enjoy some fresh air in the garden

Would you let this man stay in ypur house?

Tuesday 29 August

After a nice, slow relaxed start to the day we leave the house about 11 to take a curvy route to Port Foleaux for lunch by the river.

Non- alcoholic beer is a welcome accompaniment.

It is turning into a very hot day…32 degrees,so it is a welcome ride to feel the breeze to Rochefort-en-Terre.

I manage to spot a couple of quirky items, I’m sure I haven’t seen before, or maybe I’ve just forgotten that I have!

This is only about two inches high and is to hold open wooden window shutters.

Little and large!

Large sporting the “its too hot to walk round in biking trouser” look

We have a nice wander round, and as it is so hot enjoy an ice cream.

I have a minor panic as we near where the bikes are parked, as there is a lorry that looks like it is offloading roadwork material OVER our bikes… but phew it’s just the angle we are looking from.

We ride home via Maelstroit and pass these workman covering the bottom of this lovely white wall with plastic, so it won’t be marked by the tarnac pavement they are laying.

These shots of me, are stills taken from Paul’s helmet cam.

This bit of road is just before getting back to Caro.

It always makes me smile when you can see the totally clear road and know you can really go for it 😈

Such a fun bit of road- short but sweet

Back at my #little frenchhouse

and our Tigers safely parked up in the garage.

After dinner we get to meet

Paul’s new french girlfriend