Author Topic: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure  (Read 10318 times)

Oscar's dad

  • aka Septimus Fitzwilliam Beauregard Partridge
Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« on: March 03, 2010, 04:16:42 pm »
Two weeks touring in August en France.  Me, one wife, one step daughter, one tandem, one solo, two tents.

European Bike Express - booked
Maps - purchased, just now

I've toured en France, they haven't.  I'm obsessed with bikes, they're not.  Could go either way.  It will certainly be an adventure.

More thrilling installments to follow  ;D

Oaky

  • ACME Fire Safety Officer
  • Audax Club Mid-Essex
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Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2010, 01:09:28 am »
Two weeks touring in August en France.  Me, one wife, one step daughter, one tandem, one solo, two tents.

European Bike Express - booked
Maps - purchased, just now

I've toured en France, they haven't.  I'm obsessed with bikes, they're not.  Could go either way.  It will certainly be an adventure.

More thrilling installments to follow  ;D

I'm sure that La Current Madame R. would very much appreciate it if you assembled a collection of recipes for classic French dishes, made Trangia-friendly.

You are in a maze of twisty flat droves, all alike.

85.4 miles from Marsh Gibbon

Audax Club Mid-Essex Fire Safety Officer
http://acme.bike

Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2010, 08:24:14 am »
What part of France may one ask?

Sic transit and all that..

Oscar's dad

  • aka Septimus Fitzwilliam Beauregard Partridge
Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2010, 08:28:16 am »
What part of France may one ask?

You may.  North from Bayonne up the Atlantic coast to Saintes.  Mostly traffic free on the voies vertes.  I will post more details of the route and why we selected it when I have time.

Wascally Weasel

  • Slayer of Dragons and killer of threads.
Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2010, 09:37:10 am »
Two weeks touring in August en France.  Me, one wife, one step daughter, one tandem, one solo, two tents.

I've toured en France, they haven't.  I'm obsessed with bikes, they're not.  Could go either way.  It will certainly be an adventure.


This doesn’t sound like a holiday, it sounds like a pitch for a pre-watershed ITV comedy drama  ;D

You will be played by Martin Clunes.

Oscar's dad

  • aka Septimus Fitzwilliam Beauregard Partridge
Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2010, 09:49:53 am »
Two weeks touring in August en France.  Me, one wife, one step daughter, one tandem, one solo, two tents.

I've toured en France, they haven't.  I'm obsessed with bikes, they're not.  Could go either way.  It will certainly be an adventure.


This doesn’t sound like a holiday, it sounds like a pitch for a pre-watershed ITV comedy drama  ;D

You will be played by Martin Clunes.


You've hit that nail.  I've always fancied writing a book, this could be the opportunity.

Oscar's dad

  • aka Septimus Fitzwilliam Beauregard Partridge
Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2010, 06:01:34 pm »
Last night, whilst only mildly drunk, The Current Mrs R said she was looking forward to our holiday  :o   :thumbsup:

Mange tout  ;D

Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2010, 09:33:20 pm »
Maps - purchased, just now

I can see this going wrong.  Very very wrong.

Oscar's dad

  • aka Septimus Fitzwilliam Beauregard Partridge
Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2010, 08:43:32 am »
Maps - purchased, just now

I can see this going wrong.  Very very wrong.

I have le cunning plan: keep the Atlantic on the left.

Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2010, 08:55:36 am »
That's fine for the way out, but coming home?




 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Oscar's dad

  • aka Septimus Fitzwilliam Beauregard Partridge
Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2010, 09:04:52 am »
That's fine for the way out, but coming home?




 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

No problem, the big blue bus with a big blue bike trailer will be waiting to take us home.  Our route is of the linear not circular variety.  All we have to do is find the bus.  Clever huh?

Regulator

  • That's Councillor Regulator to you...
Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2010, 03:31:12 pm »
Two weeks touring in August en France.  Me, one wife, one step daughter, one tandem, one solo, two tents.

I've toured en France, they haven't.  I'm obsessed with bikes, they're not.  Could go either way.  It will certainly be an adventure.


This doesn’t sound like a holiday, it sounds like a pitch for a pre-watershed ITV comedy drama  ;D

You will be played by Martin Clunes.


You've hit that nail.  I've always fancied writing a book, this could be the opportunity.

Don't forget to take a good supply of crayons with you then....  ;)





 :-*
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

Oscar's dad

  • aka Septimus Fitzwilliam Beauregard Partridge
Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2010, 08:03:49 am »
I am slowly getting our kit together for this adventure.  Yesterday I ordered The Current Mrs R's Exped Downmat.

Oh dear, I've just had an evil thought  :demon:

The Downmat and new Trangia will need christening ... Twinkle Toes is away over Easter ... TCMR mentioned that we should get out on the bikes for a bit of training ... I wonder what the weather will be like ... perhaps a cheeky S24O would be in order  :demon:

Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2010, 08:09:47 am »
perhaps a cheeky S24O would be in order  :demon:

I have fond memories of that place. School camping trip in about 1986. Everything you can think of that is "underage" we did  ;D
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2010, 04:46:45 pm »
Was there a "chalet" site there in the late 50's - early 60's?  Went there a few times with parents while still at scool (prior to 1963).

Very small shop gave me my first sight of frozen Mars Bars, chemical toilets were emptied by "Dan, Dan, the toilet man" and permanent memory of wide mud flats when the tide went out.

Oscar's dad

  • aka Septimus Fitzwilliam Beauregard Partridge
Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2010, 09:04:43 am »
The maps arrived on Saturday, lots of them.  Had a quick peak and our route looks fab; mostly traffic free, woods, beaches and lakes.  No hills either, which is a shame from my point of view.

We have also bought another tent and two more Ajungilak inflatable pillows have arrived.  Unless I'm very much mistaken we're all kitted up and can go on a cheeky S24O, we just need this nice weather to continue.

Oscar's dad

  • aka Septimus Fitzwilliam Beauregard Partridge
Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2010, 11:43:59 am »
During May preparations for our French adventure stalled. The Current Mrs R knackered her foot; then she knackered her knee.  She couldn’t ride and confidence dropped whilst faces lengthened.  Some perspective and a plan were called for.  I worked out that we had 13 days to ride 220 miles – 17 miles per day.  It was decided that such a prospect was not beyond the realms of possibility but the theory needed testing.

Enter stage left the sunny weekend we have just enjoyed.  Enter stage right Oaky of this parish closely followed by his charming wife and their two lovely children, The Acorns.  The plan was that Famille Oscar’s dad would load up their bikes with a fortnight’s kit and accompanied by Famille Oaky would ride round a 34 mile route over the weekend.  Would all our kit fit in the panniers?  Could we ride that distance with that much weight?  In order to thoroughly test the theory I devised a route slightly longer than 34 miles and included some hills which we are unlikely to encounter in France.

On Saturday morning I helped Oaky ferry their car full of their camping kit to the campsite then we cycled off at noon …





We pit stopped at The Green Man, Little Braxted then dropped down the hill to the Blackwater Rail Trail after passing through Wickham Bishops.  Small children needed a hedge stop by the abandoned St Peter’s church which guards the first section of the Rail Trail.  The surface was rough but mercifully dry so we were soon back on the road heading for Paper Mill Lock via Nutty’s Slimed Bottom.  The lock was heaving with people but we found a table for lunch.  Suitably refreshed we climbed the foot hills of the Col de Little Baddow (aka North Hill), hanging a left onto the undulating Tofts Chase.

By late afternoon we were at the campsite and the tents were put up ...



... as some of our children hared around the site …



… and others had a cuddle ...



Oaky got busy with the BBQ, successfully smoking out the site …




Our nearest neighbour evacuated their pitch and went for a walk whilst the caravan next to them had their smoke alarm activated!

The food was fantastic and didn’t hang around long …



The sun set on a great day …



The next morning breakfast disappeared as quickly as dinner.  The kids wandered off to look at the horses …



… and the grown ups persuaded tents to fit their bags …



We had a bit more climbing to do before we found a new ford.  Most of the party decided it was too long and too deep to ride through.  Since fortune favours the brave (or just plain stupid) I decided to have a go.  Twinkle Toes my stoker abandoned ship but Tina the Tandem and I were triumphant …



Spirits soared …



After crossing the A12 the kids were delighted to see this …



After lunch at the Square & Compasses, Fuller Street a brisk tail wind blew us home.

Everyone agreed we had had a brilliant weekend.  Sat on the sofa on Sunday evening The Current Mrs R declared she was very proud of herself.  Her pride was not misplaced as she had done exceedingly well.  

Fingers crossed, we’re all set for France in five weeks time  :thumbsup:






CrinklyLion

  • The one with devious, cake-pushing ways....
Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2010, 11:54:51 am »
That sounds like a bloomin lovely weekend.  And what a gaggle of cute kids!

Oaky

  • ACME Fire Safety Officer
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Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2010, 12:05:52 pm »
It was a fantastic weekend.  Much fun was had.  The Acorn#1 was very sad when we had to part company and go home!

After parting company at a crossroads just NW of Witham, Acorn#1 and I had approximately the following exchange.

Acorn#1: Why can't I go with Twinkle Toes, OD and the current Mrs. R?

Oaky: But Acorn#2 woudl miss you

Acorn#1: Well, she could come too.

Oaky: But I'd miss you both.

Acorn#1: Well you could come.

Oaky: but what about mummy?

Acorn#1: Mummy could come too.

Oaky: So you think we should all go and stay at OD's house?

Acorn#1: Can we? Please?

Oaky: No.

etc. etc. etc.
You are in a maze of twisty flat droves, all alike.

85.4 miles from Marsh Gibbon

Audax Club Mid-Essex Fire Safety Officer
http://acme.bike

Oaky

  • ACME Fire Safety Officer
  • Audax Club Mid-Essex
    • MEMWNS Map
Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2010, 12:10:03 pm »




"Hmm... despite following the folding instructions I made for myself, the tent still looks too big to fit in the bag.  Coincidentally, the extra volume is almost exactly equal to that of a compact camera, a Hope 1 and a 4xAA battery pack for same!"
You are in a maze of twisty flat droves, all alike.

85.4 miles from Marsh Gibbon

Audax Club Mid-Essex Fire Safety Officer
http://acme.bike

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2010, 01:24:42 pm »
Where's that campsite, OD?
Bach without a doubt.

Oscar's dad

  • aka Septimus Fitzwilliam Beauregard Partridge
Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2010, 01:31:33 pm »
Where's that campsite, OD?

HERE

Strictly speaking you have to be Camping & Caravan Club members.  We're not though we used to be.  Jane, the owner, is open to persuasion if you're not members.  Nice site, the showers are a bit basic and temperamental.  The site is very quiet but at about 0430 hours the local wild life re-enacts Trooping of the Colour outside your tent - or at least that's what it sounds like.

Oscar's dad

  • aka Septimus Fitzwilliam Beauregard Partridge
Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2010, 01:00:28 am »
This time next week, wind in the right direction, we'll be in France.  We'll have spent the night on the European Bike Express, navigated our way out of Bayonne and found our first campsite.

I spent much of last week marking up the route on our maps and loading strategic waypoints into the GPS.  Packing has begun ...



I'm excited yet nervous.  The Current Mrs R professes to be terrified, Twinkle Toes is indifferent.  I'm sure we'll be fine  ;D



toekneep

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Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2010, 07:14:00 am »
I can't wait for the write up and pics. That weekend looked terrific.

Oaky

  • ACME Fire Safety Officer
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    • MEMWNS Map
Re: Famille Oscar's dad's French adventure
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2010, 09:40:01 am »
You'll be fine!

I will be looking forward to the write-up too.   :thumbsup:

I see from the picture that you're packing your "Hello Kitty" underwear. ;D
You are in a maze of twisty flat droves, all alike.

85.4 miles from Marsh Gibbon

Audax Club Mid-Essex Fire Safety Officer
http://acme.bike