Forges-les-Eaux, May 2016

A group of nine SMCTC members made a self-organised tour of Normandy from 17th to 27th May, 2016. The trip was based at Forges-les-Eaux, about 35 miles south of Dieppe. The weather was mixed, with heavy rain on two days, but otherwise sunny intervals and showers, and occasionally chilly. As always, the French roads were quiet, with excellent surfaces, and considerate drivers. Forges-les-Eaux is a former spa town, reached from Dieppe by an excellent voie verte — an old railway route, fully tarmacked, with a steady gradient — that forms part of one of the London-Paris cycle routes.

Those on tour were: Harry Burton,  Mark Dougal,  Eric Gill,  Neil Hepburn,  Roger Hubbold (route planner), Mike Philips (organiser),  Robert Reader (organiser and route planner), Geoff Southworth and John Thorogood. We cycled each day using routes that had been preplanned and loaded onto GPS devices, based partly on locally published cycle routes. Most routes were around 50 miles in length with about 3,000 ft of climbing. On one day some of us cycled while others went to visit Rouen by train. The countryside is beautiful in May and the region can be highly recommended; however, as we discovered, Normandy is green for a good reason!