Saturday, July 30, 2022


 I received the following email from a good biking friend:

I’m enjoying your blog but missing any talk about food? How’s the food?

I realized that in this land where it's impossible to find a bad meal, I haven't made any blog entries regarding the spectacular meals that we've been treated to.

Breakfasts were served buffet style at the hotels, with all the expected european breakfast items including meats and cheese. Coffee was typically dispensed from machines including espresso drinks.

Lunch was on the road usually at the 1/2 point of the ride. It was served picnic style will all sorts of fixings to keep you nourished and back on the road in a timely fashion. Paul honcho it up and stopped at local food markets so that the food was always fresh.

Of course post ride treats were consumed at the end of the rides as well.

The star of the show was organized by Severine Liu, Sharon Golec and Agnes Melot who worked closely with each restaurant that supplied and excellent variety of beautiful and delicious meals. When I'll think of this ride, the roads and views will be remembered, but it will be the wonderful food that that will come to mind first.

All meals consisted of an appetizer followed by a main course, very often fish while near the sea, and a dessert. Oh, don't forget about the wine. Three kinds of wine, red, white and rosé which flowed in abundance.

Below are some example of the appetizers, main course and desserts, but click in on the following link for many more.

Photo album: click here

Day 14, Ploermel to Rennes

As these rides wind down, it all so bittersweet.You've been out on the road inching to get back home and stop living out of your luggage and you rush the last day to be back to hotel, disassemble your riding equipment and jump into the shower and clean up. Then slowly you migrate into the hotel lobby and for a couple of drinks before dinner prior to dinner. Some folks need to catch the early train for other adventures, some folks will depart in personal cars in the morning and the majority will catching the bus to the airport, some for departures in that evening and others for early morning flights the following day. In short, the scattering begins. It's now time for this small group of friends that have come together to enjoy the companionship that comes from shared effort and sometimes exhaustion with the common wish of maybe just one more week or one more trip. 

The two weeks in Brittany had been really fun, some would say magical. When the trip planning begins, the organizers tries to put the odds of a successful trip in their favor by selecting the correct location, the best routes and hotels and the best time of the year. However "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry".  Fortunately, this year, for this trip, the plans held firm. Not every day was perfect, not all routes were without obstacles, but I would not have traded this trip for anything.

Just feet away from our lunch stop we discovered the following work of art constructed from sticks that had grown in the nearby pond. It's both intimidating and fascinating at the same time. 

After lunch, we experienced quite a bit of downhill fun followed by some increasing urban traffic as we returned to our starting point, the Novotel Hotel in Rennes

Our task at that point was to return our rental bikes to the original condition (remove our peddles, replace our seats and saddlebags and remove our cycle computers and load the bikes into the van for return to Paris.

It was still pretty early in the afternoon, about 4PM, a large number of us gathered in the lobby to discuss the ride and what rides may be in our futures.

Tomorrow, many of us will board a bus to return to the Charles De Gaulle Airport. A couple of us will fly out Sunday evening with additional riders flying out Monday morning and some additional riders staying in the Paris area for an additional vacation. 

All in all, a wonderful experience.

To view today's photo album, click here

Friday, July 29, 2022

Day 13, Vannes to Ploermel

The ride is starting to wind down as we only have today and tomorrow until arriving in Rennes tomorrow to complete our unforgettable tour of Brittany in France.

I've heard the term of being in the flow previously have taken it to mean that what you are doing is so effortless that time just will fly by. There are times, if you are fortunate, that you will experience this while biking. Today the temperatures were perfect, the road surface was like butter, the gears were meshing perfectly and the cadence allowed you to make smooth circles as you rotated the pedals. Time just melted away and you simply flowed through the atmosphere with no effort at all. The flow doesn't occur frequently, but when it does, you need to savor it. 

As in previous days, we have been blessed with wonderful weather and riding conditions. As we started, the temperatures were in the upper 60's, a nice way to start the ride. As we left Vannes, we wound our way through the town's quite streets. A three day jazz music festival is being held in Vannes and maybe there was a bit too much partying held last night.

By the 6 mile mark, we were into the countryside climbing and following the gently climbing roadways into the interior of Brittany and away from the coast where we have spent much of the past 2 weeks. It was only at the 10 mile mark that I had noticed that the temperature was about 70 or so. I was going to be a bit warmer today that other days.

As we climbed, we came across a small pasture with a couple of horses. As we stopped to make adjustments, one of the horses made its way to the edge of the fence, perhaps looking for a snack from us. It was a nice break.

About 12 miles in, we wound our way through a small town and past a church (all towns in France seem to have a church in the center, often much larger than you would expect for a small town) and found a group of our biking buddies at a local cafe with a patisseries next door. Lauri and I grabbed some pastries and Jim ordered up 3 coffees and we snacked and sipped as we savored the early morning.

The highlight of the day was toward the end. The temperatures had risen to the lower 80's and the sun was starting to get pretty warm. About 15 miles from the end, the route wrapped it's way through a small town, just packed with restaurants and dinners and with one or two additional turns, we found ourselves riding on a tree covered canal path, nicely paved with boats and locks. 

Links to today's photos, click here

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Day 12, Carnac to Vannes

 Bike trips are fun, but traveling can be so darn educational!! I just count myself fortunate to be able to take these adventures that combine my love of biking with learning about the rest of the world. Almost like that spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down.

The past couple of days I've been writing about these huge vertical stones mounted in the earth by people over 2000 to 5000 BC. Thinking about the time and resources it took these ancient people to achieve such a feat, just boggles my mind.  

A bit closer to our time, but still centuries ago, our lunch stop was in Auray where Benjamin Franklin landed when he first arrived from the colonies to negotiate with French for help during the Revelonatary War.

After lunch, we left the coast a bit and headed inland where the roads were a bit busier and the separated bike trails become a welcome escape from the traffic. It was only 25 miles or so to the end of the ride with some moderate climbs. We found ourselves in Vannes and lingered over ice sundies until 4PM when our hotel rooms were ready for check in. All in all a very nice day. 

Today's photo album, click here

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Day 11, Lorient to Carnac

Today was scheduled to be a bit longer that the past couple of days, almost 60 miles with close to 2000 feet of climbing. Not a lot, but getting in later than usual. The weather starting off was in the low 60's with not much climbing in the early part for the ride.

Two options were offered. A shorter 30ish mile ride or the longer 60ish mile ride. The lunch stop was at about 20 mile point, so out coffee stop was early in the the ride at 10 miles, at a cafe that was overlooking a small island that contained a church and a couple of homes. Located in the estuary surrounding the island was oster beds. In the past couple of days, we have spotted many oyster beds sitting in the estuaries the past couple of days as we crossed bridges.

After lunch 1/2 the riders took off to complete the shorter route, an additional 10 miles, and me and the rest of the other riders headed South to the Quiberon peninsula adding 30 miles to the ride. The reward for the additional miles was to get up close to some outstanding examples of megalithes that were constructed 2000-5000 years BC. To be able to wander between the huge slabs of vertical stones was quite an experience.

The high point of both rides was near the end of the ride in Carnac. The attraction is called the "Carnac alignments".  Where the stones on the peninsula numbered in the dozens, the number in Carnac must number in the thousands. Though we would have loved to walk between these stones, these stones were separated by a fence and were off limits for any close inspections.


Link to today's album: click here

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Day 10, Pont-Aven to Lorient

 Checked the weather before heading out today. The forecast was for cool (low 60's) and overcast until about 11AM and then the clouds breaking up and warming up to the mid 70's and clear. Just like the "Gray May" weather that we have in late spring to early summer in Los Angeles. My favorite riding conditions.  

Sure enough, the forecast was correct and the ride was loads of fun. The distance was less than 50 miles and the elevation gain was reasonable at slightly less than 2000 ft and as we motored on the sky became spectacular as the clouds began to breakup sun started to reflect. I'm glad that I took just a couple of seconds to capture the scene.  

We took an early coffee stop at a picturesque cafe overlooking a tidal inlet. When you are in such beauty, you just gotta stop and soak it in.

By the time we reached the lunch stop, we had noticed that we were being pushed along by a very nice tailwind (so is that why we were making such good time?).

After lunch, the next stop was the WWII submarine pens that were built by the germans to house, repair and restock their U-boats before sending them out to the Atlantic to attack the allied convoys. The sub pens where built so strongly that allied bombers were not able to put them out of commission. Following WWII, the French repurposed them for their own use.

Just a couple of steps from the sub pens, we were to meet at a ferry that would take us to Port Louis and our hotel for the night. Agnes Melot had arranged for a nephew to give us an informal talk about the racing sailing boats moored near the ferry that was going to depart to Port Louis.

I found the engineering of these incredibly light and strong machines that have been designed to participate in multi day and world circling races to be fascinating!!

 Racing boats album, clickhere


today's photo Album, click here

Monday, July 25, 2022

Day 9, Pont-Aven Loop

Sometimes during these tours we’re faced with the lack of good internet coverage. In the case of poor coverage, the daily blogs are delayed. Today is one of these cases. We landed in a hotel that seems to have internet speed similar to dial up speeds, almost like stepping back into the year 2000 that results in getting knocked off the ‘net every couple of minutes. I’m preparing this blog in the off-line mode with hopes that we can upload this tomorrow.

Today we're in the lovely town of Pont-Aven and we're staying for 2 nights. A chance to catch our breath a bit before the final week.

Pont Aven is the summer home of Philippe Melot, a good friend of the "Les Cavaliers de La Fayette" who during the planning of this ride suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. In his memory, we took a small loop and hike that brought us to a location where his ashes were scattered. On a previous La Fayette ride, while riding in Europe, we had another death, Dr. John Snyder. His ashes were also scattered in this beautiful location overlooking the ocean.

For today's photo album, click here

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Day 8, Quimper to Pont-Aven

 Part way through today's ride it occurred to me that we had encountered only one traffic light all day and yet we had dozens of intersections that we had successfully navigated. To me, it was a good example of good road design. I observed that most intersections between multiple intersections were handled by traffic circles or also known as roundabouts, which meant that as bicyclist we simply merged with other traffic and exited the circle as needed with no fuss, no muss. it really works very nicely.

At home in Los Angeles, California, traffic circles are rare and as a consequence are confusing to many motorists and cyclists when traffic circles are encountered. 

I have been collecting many videos on how the Netherlands have designed their roads to improve the safety of both cars and bicycles (click here). In a nutshell, if you design the roads correctly, the need for traffic lights, speed limit signs and stop signs are largely unnecessary. Also proper road design reduces or eliminates that time spent at traffic light and stop signs. All very good attributes in reducing time and wasted gas. The roads here in France shares many of the attributes of roads found in the Netherlands and should be implemented in the United States, resulting in safer streets for cyclist, motorist and pedestrians. 

I was sceptical of this type of road design and now have seen it successfully implemented in many countries such as Netherlands, France, Spain and Italy. 

Today's ride ended in Pont-Aven. A wonderful seaside town that we will be able to explore more thoroughly tomorrow as we will be spending two nights here. I'll have more details tomorrow, but I'll leave you with this beautiful photo of a tidal inlet where the boats were floating and just a couple of hours later all the boats were sitting on mud flats as the tide had gone out. Not at all uncommon in this area.

Click here for today's photo album (here)

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Day 7, Le Faou to Quimper

This blog will get pretty repetitive if I keep talking about the perfect biking conditions, but here it goes. This morning was overcast in in the mid 50's at the start of the ride. Chilly enough that I had planned  to wear my jacket at the start, but moments before we headed out, I ditched the jacket, rolled it up and stuffed in in the back pocket of my jersey. Today's ride consisted of 8 substantial climbs and I knew that I was going to warm up pretty quickly on the climbs. 

Most days it's Jim and Lauri Young and myself and today we also had Steve Hart along as well. Within just a couple of miles we came across the bridge in the photo below. It's called the "Térénez bridge" and is spectacular to look at. The cable stayed construction is becoming pretty common today for new bridges, but I have never sees a bridge with a curved deck at such a scale. 

The morning remained cool and overcast only breaking 60 degrees at 10 AM. Like yesterday, much of the ride remained inland and occasionally breathtaking views of the landscape and the morning clouds. 

The ride also consists of many steep climbs for close to 4000 feet of climbing and many times the climbs reached a grade of 13% or more. Eventually we dropped out of the climbs and headed to a beach for lunch and took a nice long lunch while gazing out on the beaches. Then it was time to mount the bikes for 4 or so additional climbs.

As we rolled into Quimper we stumbled on a huge annual festival that was in progress. Where we saw pipers some costumed dancers in the streets. From there we scooted along to reach our hotel in another couple of miles. I just can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring.

To view all of today's photos, click here

Friday, July 22, 2022

Day 6, Morlaix to Le Faou

 Very nice, two wonderful days back to back. Both days bright blue skies with temperatures ranging from the mid 60s in the morning to the low 70's in the afternoon. For cycling, you can't ask for anything better. Today we left the coast that we have been hugging the past 4 days and said goodbye to all the quiet seaside town and heading inland across the peninsula that Breast is located. In doing so, we didn't have nearly as much climbing that we have had in the past 4 days. In addition the mileage was shorter as well.

I'll tell you, these area of the country is just filled with viaducts traversing the landscape. Confused of what a viaduct is? Me too. to me me it just looks like a big bridge, but this is what Wikipedia has to say:

A viaduct is a specific type of bridge that consists of a series of arches, piers or columns supporting a long elevated railway or road. Typically a viaduct connects two points of roughly equal elevation, allowing direct overpass across a wide valley, road, river, or other low-lying terrain features and obstacles

The photo below is a viaduct from today's ride. So next time someone asks you, you can tell them the difference.

Todays' photos are at the following link:

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Day 5, Lannion to Morlaix

 You know, some days are just better than others. This has been our 5th day riding in this beautiful country. The views have been wonderful and the weather for the most part nice. When the 2 come together however, it just makes you giggle will joy.

Waking up today it was cool in the low 60's and a bit overcast. Had breakfast and loaded the truck with our bags before heading out. As we navigated the first set of traffic circles, I glanced over my shoulder a saw blue sky peeking out of the clouds. Cool weather and blue skies, a perfect combination for a riding day.

Like previous days, we were following the northern coast westward. Dipping down to the sleepy seaside towns and popping up to the bluffs, repeating the process for the entire ride, I would be scolded by the other riders if I left out that the first climb of the day include a 21% grade. For most rides, a 6% grade is noticeable. A 12% grade is considered pretty advanced, but 21% is normally avoided at all costs. In this case, you hit the hill, get into your lowest gear and just slowly work your way up the hill. Most 21% grades, the length is measured in a fraction of a mile which was the case of this particular hill. Starting at 6% increasing to 10% then 15% and finally 21% then tapering back down as the top is reached. It's just another obstacle that needs to be overcome on a beautiful day. In addition, it gives us all something to talk about at lunch and at the end of the day.

Speaking of lunch, the photo below is from lunch (I talk about lunch in a future blog), where from my perch overlooking the beach.

Below is the interactive map of today's ride:

To view today's photos, click on the following link:

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Day 4, Paimpol to Lannion

Another great cycling day. Took off from Paimpol, a seaside town, this morning in nice cool weather. I suppose it was about 63 degrees F or so with blue skies. Seems as you leave each of these seaside towns you need to climb 200 feet or so to reach the overlooking bluffs. Today was no exception. If you look at the ride profile below you can see that the average blubb height is between 200 and 300 feet after each town. Not too much if you are driving, but on a bike, it adds up pretty quickly. 

One of the interesting sites that we came across was a large circle of stones, obviously very ancient. A placard written in French described the significance and made reference to a large burial mound that include a photo from 1958, but for some reason the monund is now gone. The photo below includes a church built near the site as well. 

Another ancient site is called "Menhir of Saint-Uzec". According to Wikipedia, it was constructed 5000-2000 years BC and 7.4 meters (24 feet) in height. Wikipedia also states "This megalithic monument was Christianized in 1674 during a Mission of the "Apostle of Brittany", the Jesuit father Julien Maunoir."

A very impressive stone to stand at the foot of.

See today' photo album at the following link:

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Day 3, Fréhel to Paimpol

 The weather today was a welcome change from yesterday. The heat has broken, the sky overcast for the most part with some scattered showers. Later in the afternoon the Sun started to peek through that made the views spectacular.

As we left the hotel, we quickly started a climb from the beach town of Frehel to the bluff overlooking the beach. It would be the first of many climbs from almost sea level to 200-300 feet. Some of the inclines were pretty steep and others 5 to 6% ( a 6% incline represents a gain of 6 feet for every 100 feet forward).

There were plenty of sights today. While riding along the bluff, there were fields of hay all rolled up in bundles within view of the Atlantic. A view not seen in the US, viaducts right off the road, marinas with boats stranded on land as the tide rolled out. The route event took us across a viaduct that was constructed to carry trains at the turn of the last century that has been converted to a bike path. At one point, we came across a view that we just had to stop and take in the view from a well placed  public bench.

With all the sights, the  day as to starting to run late and there were still miles to cover and hills to climb. At one point, we even passed up an ice cream store in one of the small sea side towns because we need to keep going.

When we reached our hotel in Paimpol, we had covered almost 69 miles and close to 4,000 feet.

Today's photo album is located at the following link:

Happy riding,


Monday, July 18, 2022

Day 2, Dinan to Frehel

 Today's ride was a two part ride. From Diana to Saint Malo on the coast. Then take a short ferry across the inlet to Deianard for the second part of the ride that includes the lunch than onwards to Frehel.

Europe is in the middle of a heat wave, maybe you have heard of it, with temperatures reaching 100+ degrees Fahrenheit. Even warm for this guy from Southern California. As I left the hotel this morning I followed a hard packed gravel bike trail along the canal that the hotel was located on. At 8 AM the air was cool, about 62 degrees F. After a couple of miles the road turn to the left and up the bank to higher ground. once I was on the bank the view of the river that flows North to the Atlantic was worth the climb. Today was filled with many other climbs as road had a series of drops and climbs during the day. Looking at the ride profile in the maps below you will be able to clearly see how the attitude accumulates throughout the day.

Along the way, I joined up with additional riders as reached Saint Malo in about 2 hours at which time you could start to feel the day's heat starting to come on. Found our way to the ferry for the 15-20 minute ride across the inlet to the town of Dinard where we pushed onward to lunch and as we rode on, we gathered additional riders.

By the time we left lunch the distance to the ride end was only 25 miles or so, but the temperatures were already in the high 90's and heading higher. We traveled through many small town onroute and a convenience store with cold drinks would have been a welcome sight, but alas not a single store crossed our path at all. About 6 miles from the end of the ride, we stop at an unusual light house. Unlike the shape that I associate with lighthouses (tapering cylinders reaching to the sky), this light house (as you can see in our today's photo album, the light house is more of a tapering rectangle.

We finally reached our hotel with the temperatures in the low 100's. When the rooms were ready, it was time for showers, and a quick nap. I'm finishing this blog in the hotel lobby where many of the other riders are gathered. Turns out the hot weather in this small beach town is so unusual that the hotel doesn't have air conditioning. So with a cold beer nearby I'm happily typing away.

Link to today's photo album:

Rain is in tomorrow's forecast, so maybe a cooling trend is on the way.  We'll see.

Happy riding,


Sunday, July 17, 2022

Day 1, Rennes to Dinan

 First day of the Tour

Starting any big ride like this entails a set of jitters. If you are riding a rental bike, is the fit of the bike just right for the ride ahead; is the breaks adjusted properly; how are the gearing set up; what about the seat and is it adjusted for you? Any number of items. All those thoughts float through your mind as you stand with the other riders just before the morning photo before the start.

All those thoughts dissipate as as you make the first couple of pedal strokes in the cool morning air as you leave the town in the quite Sunday morning with little to no traffic with only a couple of pedestrians to watch as to the 40 or so riders make our way out of town though the streets and bike paths. The scenery starts to change from the city lined with commercial building filled with closed shops. All the shops will be closed today. It's Sunday and not even the bakeries are open. The commercial buildings transition to residential buildings then before you know it, you're out in the rural community with fields of corn lining the roads.

You start to pick up some speed at the pace quickens. Not too much, after all this isn't a race just a bit faster than a social ride. You still have a case of early ride jitters and today's ride will be almost 100 kms. Not a lot of distance, but you want to get some distance before the summer day transitions from the cool morning air rushing by you, the low 60's and before later afternoon temps int the high 80's or low 90's.

Chuck has methodically layed out these routes to include interesting sights that today included a chateau called, Chateau de Lehon.

Below is an interactive map of today's ride. At the bottom is an elevation profile of the ride. The elevation gain for the day was 2,638 feet, though it was spread out for entire ride and really didn't seem to very signification.

I've posted photos from today's ride at the following link, feel free to browse the photos a bit

All the best and happy biking,


Thursday, July 14, 2022

Ready to goo

 It's been a long time coming. This trip has be up-ended by the pandemic twice before. Originally scheduled for the summer of 2020, it was delayed to 2021 and then again to 2022. But it now time to depart.

The group is fairly international with riders from all over the US, France and the Netherlands. "Les Cavaliers  de La Fayette" in French and "The LaFayette Riders" in the English, is a private group that has been hosting rides for more that 30 years.

The ride will start and end in Rennes. It's a multi-day ride running counter-clockwise with much of the time spent on the Atlantic coast. Everyone that know that has been there, raves about the beauty and food. 


I'm heading to the airport tomorrow to catch a 1 PM direct flight to Paris, arriving 9 AM on the 16th. The catch the 12:30 PM a TGV train to starting point in Rennes. You better get over jet lag pretty fast because the next day we head out to Dinan. The longer route will be 94 Km/58.4 Miles.

Blog Update

I'll try to update the blog on a daily basis. On occasion, the daily updates will be lagging by a day or so. The updates will be a paragraph or two and a photo or two with a link to the day's photo album.