Author Topic: Routes: Ouistream to Ramboulliet  (Read 868 times)

FifeingEejit

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Routes: Ouistream to Ramboulliet
« on: May 22, 2019, 05:17:16 pm »
Right seeing as I hijacked the Dieppe one.

I've never ridden or planned a route in france and could do with working out a route down to Ramboulliet of 200km or more (may as well get a DIY in)

Is anyone else on the Thursday night (IIRC) ferry planning to ride down on the Friday and if so have you got a route sorted and do you mind a few others joining you!
If not then any advice on route planning in France would be good.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Routes: Ouistream to Ramboulliet
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2019, 05:33:34 pm »
The canal path towards Caen is a no-brainer, but actually last time I did Caen-Paris (2007) there were quite a lot of us leaving the Caen area via Troarn for breakfast.  That means leaving the canal at the first (very famous WWII) bridge after 2 or 3 km of paved towpath.

Then we used very laney options (probably lanier than I would have chosen personally) avoiding Lisieux (but I can't remember the details - S of Lisieux it soon gets a bit lumpy so we may have gone N [edit - yes we did, via Rocques]) and similarly avoiding Bernay [edit - via Valailles] then going through Beaumont-le-Roger (nice place) and overnighting at Evreux (chain hotels - up a bloody great hill but its on the route so no big deal). 

Then easy and very pleasant half-day out through the Dreux Forest (down-and-up across river [edit - via Saussay]) and Houdac.  We found big groups of cyclists lunching/celebrating at Houdac and especially at Gambais (nice place for lunch but a bit off-route if heading to Rambouillet).
I can dig out an old tracklog if wanted.  Distance (to St Quentin though) 224km.
Of course another option is to get to Dreux and get onto the PBP route (I assume it still returns through Dreux).
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Routes: Ouistream to Ramboulliet
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2019, 06:41:54 pm »
Ferry terminals tend to change their layout quite frequently, so you'd want to check this - but there's a wrinkle getting out of Ouistreham port on a bike, which is (very counter-intuitively) to stay on the LEFT and try to ignore all the 12-wheeled wagons passing your 'wrong' side.  The passport control is on the left of the road and once through there you come very quickly (about 50 metres) to a narrow ramp onto a cyclepath on your LEFT - virtually inaccessible if you are riding correctly down the right-hand side of the road.  :facepalm:

But it's also good to ignore the cycle facility at this point because it soon deteriorates - instead just stay on the road nearest the canal, looking out after a few hundred metres for a broad paved lane (barrier pole across) leading off left as the road veers right - this is the start of the canalside path proper.  It's a good fast and easy paved route into the heart of Caen if you want to follow it that far (10k).
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

FifeingEejit

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Re: Routes: Ouistream to Ramboulliet
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2019, 07:11:10 pm »
Thanks for the suggestions;
The port sounds erm interesting, and picking up the route from Dreux fits with suggestions that it's handy to have an idea of the final run in.
I'll have a proper click around later on tonight as well as checking the ferry detail...

Re: Routes: Ouistream to Ramboulliet
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2019, 01:10:01 pm »
Some obvious stuff.

Stay off A roads (motorways) and N roads (trunk roads)

Some other stuff

The D roads with one or two following numbers are generally excellent, quiet and smooth tarmac.  Some of the D roads with 3 or 4 following numbers are a bit like A roads. Choose the latter carefully, though my mapping shows whiuch are essentially A roads and which are not.   C roads are a bit like our back roads and can be excellent short cuts or a bit agricultural.  So again pick wisely and use a bit of streetview to get an idea. The French are quite good at putting road numbers on their signs even for small roads. French drivers are much more considerate unless you are on a road used for busy holiday traffic.

The French have greenways called Verte (such as Avenue Verte) these are generally exceellent with smooth tarmac.  Canals often have smooth tarmac towpaths so well worth a look.

Rural France really can be a bit empty and finding somewhere to eat or drink hard.  Places aren't open 24/7.  So in planning your route take a look at the places you pass through to see if there are food / drink options there.  It is worth knowing where along your route the cafes, bars, supermarkets, bakeries are etc.

I have found cycle.travel pretty good at coming up with an initial route that I can tweak.  It didn't exist in 2015 (or at least I wasn't away of it) but of all the online planners out there its probably the one I use the most.  Mostly I plot routes in Basecamp on the same OSM custom maps I have on my GPS.  I always saved the finished article as track for navigating.  No unexpected reroutes then.

My custom Basecamp (and GPS) mapping of France looks like this. My UK, Ireland, Spanish, Austrian, Switzerland maps etc. have exactly the same styling and feature setup.



I show the vertes in green and distinguish between paved and unpaved.



If you don’t make time for exercise now, sooner or later you’ll need to make time for ill health.

FifeingEejit

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Re: Routes: Ouistream to Ramboulliet
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2019, 01:49:09 pm »
Thanks, will digest that along with Frankies later on (getting ready for Over the Hill and Back at the weekend)

Ferry is from Pompey on the 15th arriving on the morning of the 16th so hoping to work out a gentle and leisurely 200 route that will keep the fitness up and the fatigue down and maybe even get me to the hotel when it's machine based check in...

Re: Routes: Ouistream to Ramboulliet
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2019, 01:55:33 pm »
Some N roads were renumbered as D roads in 2006, to discourage trucks. So there are two types of D road, minor routes, and old trunk roads.
Worth knowing if you are trying to navigate with a pre 2006 map book, as we tried to at PBP 2007.

FifeingEejit

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Re: Routes: Ouistream to Ramboulliet
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2019, 02:21:18 pm »
Very much a WIP; discovered a good few differences between the OSM and Google routing; got as far as MontreulDlgrille but every time I look I spot something a bit more direct but still one or 2 figure D roads... I contrast that to the UK where except for with the former A8000 the lower numbers are of higher importance.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30062316

FifeingEejit

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Re: Routes: Ouistream to Ramboulliet
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2019, 11:33:39 pm »
Some N roads were renumbered as D roads in 2006, to discourage trucks. So there are two types of D road, minor routes, and old trunk roads.
Worth knowing if you are trying to navigate with a pre 2006 map book, as we tried to at PBP 2007.

Just dug into the history of that; the old N roads became D's and either had 1000 added to their N number or some other multiple of 100 depending on the department.
Which explains why the 1/2 digit numbers are quieter roads (and really do look it on GSV)

I've got a rough route now, have ordered the Michelin 1cm to 2km map for Normandy as Googles map key is junk and OSM seems a bit random on what's yellow and what's white so want a decent source. though suppose I could use ViaMichelin hrm.

Re: Routes: Ouistream to Ramboulliet
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2019, 11:58:30 pm »
The idea was to force foreign trucks onto the Toll Autoroutes, as navigation would be difficult without the N numbers. That was undermined by GPS, which can reconstruct the old routes. So the old N roads, now designated D, are subject to heavy traffic without the associated maintenance.

Fortunately, that hasn't impacted on PBP, as Brittany is so poor that toll Autoroutes are unknown there. The N roads have been upgraded to near Autoroute standards, forcing PBP onto minor roads. Supporting a rider is easy because of that, which is why there are so many motor caravans. Major roads in Brittany are much like the A50 or A14 in England, the A55 in Wales, or the dualled sections of the A9 in Scotland.

There's some amusing folklore surrounding the lack of tolls in Brittany, assuming you can read French.
http://www.bzh-boutique.fr/breizh-blog/la-legende-des-autoroutes-gratuites-en-bretagne/

FifeingEejit

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Re: Routes: Ouistream to Ramboulliet
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2019, 12:09:49 am »
There's some amusing folklore surrounding the lack of tolls in Brittany, assuming you can read French.
http://www.bzh-boutique.fr/breizh-blog/la-legende-des-autoroutes-gratuites-en-bretagne/

French... yes.... erm, in that respect it's kind of unfortunate that Francis II died when he did, as had the Franco-Scots union lasted a bit longer French with a Fife accent may have been acceptable.
I can mime...

Re: Routes: Ouistream to Ramboulliet
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2019, 12:16:04 am »
It's San Fairy Ann to me.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Routes: Ouistream to Ramboulliet
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2019, 11:55:15 am »
Rural France really can be a bit empty and finding somewhere to eat or drink hard.  Places aren't open 24/7.  So in planning your route take a look at the places you pass through to see if there are food / drink options there.  It is worth knowing where along your route the cafes, bars, supermarkets, bakeries are etc.

That's a very good point although most small villages have their bakery.  Pain aux raisins is the stuff.  I sometimes feel guilty in a group of cyclists visiting a small village bakery because they can get cleaned out before the locals arrive.  You will of course be eating your way across France in preparation for PBP. 
If you want to shop, get it done before 12:00 because after that shops may not open again until 3 or 4pm.  Sundays and Mondays shops close or take a half-day.

On our very quiet route that I described above, there was:
Bar at Pegasus bridge on the canal (opens 7am),
Shop in Herouvillette,
Shop and bar in Troarn - our main reason for going that way,
good 'transport caf' bar on the D48 at Ouilly just N of Lisieux - we enjoyed that unexpected one -
then nothing for a very long way until Beaumont-le-Roger. 
Day 2 from Evreux shops and bars not a problem, as sizeable settlements become more frequent as you approach Paris.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: Routes: Ouistream to Ramboulliet
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2019, 12:00:13 pm »
Don't assume there'll be shops, many are now funeral directors or hairdressers. As in the UK, retail has moved to the garage on the roundabout beside the little bypass. Think East Anglia, and you'll be alright.

FifeingEejit

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Re: Routes: Ouistream to Ramboulliet
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2019, 10:21:22 pm »
Don't assume there'll be shops, many are now funeral directors or hairdressers. As in the UK, retail has moved to the garage on the roundabout beside the little bypass. Think East Anglia, and you'll be alright.

Shops that shut?
Roundabout?
Bypass?
East Angular?

Ok I think I know what you're meaning; any idea how good Google maps' business information is?
I know it's utterly hopeless on the islands...