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Ride Rating System

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Brittany Coast and Normandy Beaches

  • Arrival
  • 5/24/2019
  • Departure
  • 6/6/2019
  • Ride Coordinator
  • Katherine Thompson
  • Tour Company
  • Pure Adventures
  • Starting Location
  • St. Malo, France
  • Finishing Location
  • Paris, France (CDG)
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $3900
  • Deposit
  • $1000
  • Number of Riders
  • 20 (min. 20 /max. 24)
  • Space Available
  • 4
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 0

Ride Rating

2B  Warning - Read the Description Carefully

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† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

Ride Description

OVERVIEW:    It’s the 75th anniversary of D-Day! Spend 2 weeks with Ride Coordinator Katherine Thompson and Ride Co-Coordinator Julia Lapp exploring the Brittany Coast and Normandy Beaches, absorbing French history, art and food, and taking in the D-Day festivals in Normandy. Recover nightly in 3- to 4-star hotels.  This is ride similar to the BAC Normandy-Brittany trip from May 2017 but includes new longer routes, and a stop in Cabourg.

The ride starts in St. Malo and ends in Honfleur with a transport on the last day to Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris.  The first few days we explore coastal Brittany, leaving St. Malo for Cancale, the oyster capital of France. We visit small ports and fishermen's villages, dine on Breton specialties from the sea, and ride along coastal paths beside expansive beaches and pounding surf. Our third night is spent near the bay of Mont St. Michel, with time to visit the spectacular Abbey Mont St. Michel, dating from the 8th century, and called a "Wonder of the Western World."

We continue cycling into Normandy to Avranches, Granville, and then to St. Mere Eglise, where we begin our discovery of sites of the 1944 Normandy landings: Pointe du Hoc, Utah, Omaha, and Juno Beaches, the American Cemetery, and Arromanches with its Musee de Barquement.

We spend two nights in Bayeux with time to see the famous Bayeux tapestry depicting William of Normandy's 1066 conquest of England. Leaving Bayeux we ride to Caen, home of the Memorial of Caen, the most complete war museum about the 20th century.   We rejoin the sea with a leisurely ride along the Cote Fleurie to Cabourg. We go past the elegant seaside resort of Deauville, and on to Honfleur for two nights.  Artists came here from Paris to celebrate and paint the amazing light and landscape.   It is also the land of French cheese and cider and there will be unique tasting opportunities.  A guided tour of Monet’s Garden at Giverny en route to Paris tops off this memorable and moving trip.

RIDE RATING:  The ride rating is 2B, but there are shorter routes available nearly every day. Typically, we will be cycling on coastal paths and country roads with light traffic. Of course, there is some riding on roadways and we will cycle city streets to some hotels. There is a small amount of riding on hard-packed dirt paths.

The tour covers 14 days and requires cycling on 9 days. We stay 2 nights in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, Bayeux, and Honfleur; this provides the opportunity to take a day off the bike or cycle an additional loop for a total of 12 possible cycling days. While the short routes average about 40 kilometers per day, Day 6 requires cycling 85 kilometers (about 53 miles).  Optionally, there will be a limited number of transfers available for Day 6; an additional fee will be required. Cyclists that prefer longer rides have 8 days (including optional days) with routes of 60 to 90 kilometers.

Expect short climbs along the coast in Brittany and rolling hills in Normandy.  On average, climbing for the shorter routes is less than 300 meters (or 1000 feet). On two days, cyclists ascend about 550 meters (1800 feet) over about 40-45 kilometers. Expect between 100 and 300 additional meters of climbing on longer optional routes. There are no hills with a grade greater than 8 percent, and typically only one or two hills (1 to 2 kilometers long) per day have grades between 6 and 8 percent.

WEATHER:  Brittany's and Normandy's coastal weather can be cool, breezy and damp, but the temperatures should be in the 60-75 degree range. Brief showers are likely for a few days during our trip.

LODGING & MEALS:  The trip includes 13 nights of accommodations: 3- and 4-star hotels, double occupancy, one large bed or two twin beds. Meals include 13 breakfasts, 6 gastronomic dinners and an aperitif at Hotel Des Ambassadeurs in St. Malo.  

LOGISTICS:  The ride starts in St. Malo, where we have a happy hour meeting at the Hotel des Ambassadeurs on Friday, May 24, 2019, at 6 p.m.   Cyclists will arrange their own transportation to St. Malo; options include rental car or train.  There is a train station in St. Malo. A train change may be required in Rennes.  Advance train reservations are advised.  

Daily briefings each evening will cover the next day's route, sites to see, and options for the next day's lunch.  Our support/guide will provide restaurant recommendations and mechanical backup during the trip.  This is not a follow the leader ride, so riders may stop where and when they wish during the day.

The last night is at Hotel L’Ecrin in Honfleur.  After breakfast on June 6, 2019, the motorcoach will leave for the Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris.  As mentioned, there is a stop at Giverny for a guided tour and arrival at CDG is expected around 6 p.m., depending on traffic, of course.  

Pure Adventures, our commercial tour operator, will make land arrangements, hire the van and  transport luggage and provide basic support, cue sheets and maps.  GPX files will be provided in advance.

RENTAL BIKES:  Rental bikes can be reserved in advance through Pure Adventures.  Our van support/guide will provide and service the rental bikes.  Options include hybrids, fitness hybrids, and road bikes.  On the first riding day (Day 2), our guide/support will fit the bikes for each rider at 8:30 a.m. At the end of the last day of riding (in Honfleur), cyclists will turn in the bikes to the support driver.  Renters will need to bring their own helmet and pedals. GPS rentals will be available as well for about $55.  The estimated rental cost ranges between about $265 (hybrid) to $450 (road), including delivery and pickup.  All prices are subject to currency fluctuation. If you prefer to bring your own bike, there is a handling fee of about $40 for transporting and storing your bike box.  Bikes may also be rented from other vendors, if desired.  

COST & ADMINISTRATION:  The cost is $3,900 based on an exchange rate of one Euro = $1.20 US and double occupancy. Three payments are required, including the $1000 initial deposit. The initial deposit is due once you are accepted as a ride participant.  The second payment of $1200 is due by November 30, 2018.  The final payment for the balance, including the solo supplement, is due February 24, 2019.

The cost includes lodging, meals noted above, van to transport luggage, road book with maps and cue sheets and GPX tracks. Two presentations are included:  Mont St. Michel and D-Day.  Also included is the guided tour at Giverny and motorcoach transportation from Honfleur to Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris. As noted earlier, transportation of personal bike boxes is not included.

SINGLES & SOLOS POLICY:  Singles are encouraged. We recommend that singles who want a roommate try to find one on their own. However, after receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until May 31, 2018, to find a roommate. If they can't, they can get a refund according to the refund policy. If a single pays the solo supplement of $950 (this amount may be adjusted due to currency fluctuations), they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary. The Ride Leader will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride.  Because several hotels are quite small, there are a very limited number of rooms for solo participants.  The single supplement is payable directly to BAC by check with the ride name noted on the check. The BAC office address is: P.O. Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193.

BAC CANCELLATION POLICY: The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fee are not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled.  Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped.  The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations.  If the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time.  If the cancelling participant can’t be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed.  If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped, the cancelling roommate may also be liable for the single supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour.   

In addition to the BAC cancellation policy, those who cancel are subject to Pure Adventure's cancellation policy.: 

  • For total cancellation after deposit but before November 30, 2018, the penalty is $750 based on 20 cyclists. Between November 30 and February 24, 2019, there is a penalty of  50% of the total commercial cost of the trip.  After February 24, 2019, the penalty is the commercial portion of trip cost; the commercial portion is estimated at $3,300 (for doubles) at 1.20 Euros to $ U.S..  Actual penalties depend on the currency exchange rate.  If a replacement cyclist is found, payments can be transferred to the new cyclist (no penalty).  BAC encourages members to purchase personal trip cancellation insurance to help avoid these penalties.

RIDE PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITY:  Remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support. Generally, the luggage van will not be available to transport riders.  There is no SAG support. Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles. All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour. This ride typifies BAC’s motto of friends leading friends.  This ride is not a follow-the-leader ride.  Participants will be provided cue sheets, maps and gpx routes.  Of course, we will discuss routes daily in advance and be there to help each other navigate.  We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leader. While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks. Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour. Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you may have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions.

SIGN-UP:  To register for this ride, use the sign-up links just above the Ride Description. After preliminary acceptance, you will be moved to the pending list and receive an email requesting you to go back to the BAC site to digitally accept the terms of the Release of Liability (ROL), and pay the non-refundable BAC fee and tour deposit by credit card. As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List. BAC members with questions may contact the Ride Director by "clicking" the name at the top of this Ride Description.

Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510

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