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Monday, November 11, 2019

Remembrance Day cycle

Our club Sunday rides  in the winter are not organised like the summer ones, we just meet up and decide  where we will go.  This Sunday we choose to go to Machen, Risca and then up the Sirhowy trail.  The route is on Strava on the side panel.

Risca is always good as there's a Greggs for coffees etc.

Saturday was a dreadful day but the cycling gods turned it on for Sunday, cold but sunny and a few hills on the way to the coffee stop soon warmed us up. 

This is the Sirhowy river and the old bridge.

Risca, once the home of a large steelworks, but now long gone, the shops there now are tattoo parlours, tanning studios or nail parlours.

On the way home as we passed through Caerphilly and just in time for the Memorial Service, a great turn out with a lovely backdrop.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Garmin Edge Explore

After our cycle ride to Weymouth and the soaking we had on day 3 my old Memory Map 3500 packed up, in that it would no longer charge.   When I came home I bought a new battery for it, but no luck, it still wouldn't charge.  

It was a quite few years old and although it wasn't a "sat nav" by today's standards it suited me as it used OS maps, had a large screen,  used gpx files, and was compatible with the OS maps on the PC.  In all fairness to it it got us through many cycle tours.

The downside of it was that it was slow and the battery only lasted about 4 hours so on a days ride so you always needed a back up battery pack.
Memory Map no longer sell them,  and finding someone to repair it would have been difficult and so I looked into alternatives. 

The OS shop sells cycling GPS's complete with 1:50000 maps installed, but after looking around I  finally settled on the Garmin Edge Explore as it's a basic navigation device and a cycle computer.  It uses Garmin maps but as I have the OS maps on my phone I was happy with this and you can add OS maps if you wish.   

It took me a while to get used to it but it has many advantages over the Adventurer 3500, the battery life is well up to a days riding and its waterproof.
I can plot routes on the PC and transfer them as tracks to the Garmin and also vice versa.  I do prefer OS maps to navigate by, but as I said they are on my phone if I need them.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Last but not the least ......Honfleur.


This was our last stop as its only 40 mins from the ferry port at Le Havre.
The campsite was outside the town so we caught the bus in.
Honfleur was famous as a port in the early 18th century with many ships trading with North America.

Later it became a haunt of artists including Monet.

This wonderful tree greeted us as we got off the bus in Honfleur.

Many of the old streets and houses are still in use and have been carefully looked after.

One of the interesting buildings is this wooden church, one of the few that still exist.

Like all places, you only get a true feeling of the place when you walk around it, and the are plenty of interesting streets to wander around.

As you climb up through the town you get good views of the Seine estuary and the Pont du Normandie crossing it.

This was the public clothes washing area.

An old mini moke converted to electric.

Although the are many pleasure boats in the harbours its still a working port for fishing and river cruises.

Finally the ferry home with Portsmouth coming into view.

Friday, October 04, 2019

St Malo

It's not so long since I visited this area as we have stayed here when cycling around here.

We camped just outside St Malo and after travelling its always good to have a walk so we strolled a couple of miles from the campsite down to a little bay called Quelmer.  It was a beautiful Sunday evening and the French families were out in force after their lunch.

Into St Malo for a wander and a walk around the walls.  St Malo has suffered many attacks over the years from the British and Dutch but suffered the most damage from  WW11 and most of the inner town was rebuilt after the war.

St malo was the home of the corsairs  and robbed many a ship passing through the channel 
Its many islands have forts on them as in the 1700's the British and Dutch tried to ram the walls with ships laden with explosives.

 The bells in the cathedral have been recast are due to be rehung.