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FNRttC The Tour 2017

Discussion in 'CycleChat and Recreational Rides' started by mmmmartin, 20 Jan 2017.

  1. OP

    mmmmartin Random geezer

    The 12 noon ferry from Dover docks at Dunkirk port about 3pm French time, and you'll be in the centre of town about 4.30pm. The next ferry is 2pm from Dover and you'll be in the centre of Dunkirk about 6.30pm French time.

    It might be that some of the unemployable elderly could have gone over a day early and thus have enjoyed a ride that included swinging past the ferry terminal to meet you and assist with the route into Dunkirk. This, as with all things, is dead easy on quiet roads when you know it, but if you don't it can be dreadful with loads of huge lorries all over the place and nav made tricky by an autoroute getting in the way.

    This nav problem is unlikely to be faced by the people on the 3pm and 5pm arrivals because there'll probably be someone in that group with a GPX track and/or map and instructions from Google, but is a distinct possibility for a few who arrive later than that.

    You've four months to forget this but here goes anyway:
    Here is a link to the route from Google Maps: two things shall ye remember:
    1. As you leave the boat you'll inevitably be on the righthand side of the road inside the port. If you remain on that side you'll be on the righthand side as you go through the gates where you might show your passport and inevitably find yourself on a cycle path with a metre-high concrete barrier between you and the lorries streaming off the ferry. This is good because you're not going to be squashed but BAD! because you need to get on the road called La Route de la Maison Blanche then the Route Des Dunes and to do that you need to approach those gates on the left side of the road. Hence you need to cross without being squashed. At the roundabout all the lorries take the first exit, you take the second exit. Given all this palaver of noise and pollution and danger you might want to linger in the bar for another drink and leave the ferry after everyone else. You won't do this, of course, because you're all fired up and off on a grand trip with your mates and every second counts. But I'm putting this down here, for the record. (Also note that since the Streetview car went round the port has seen has seen a lot of fence-building, and not in a nice way.)
    2. If you look at the Google map you'll see a funny little squiggle where the route turns back on itself and does a small circle. This is important. It takes you underneath the dual carriageway and back on to a cycle track alongside the D601. This keeps you on the north side of water. If you ignore this and follow the D601 on the south side of the water you get into all sorts of complications involving bridges, heavy traffic and a cycle route that isn't. (DAHIKT.)
    But we don't go for four months so there's plenty of time to print this out today, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest it all, then put it in a safe place where it can safely be lost, forgotten about and cursed before you ring me up and ask for directions as you ride off the boat.
  2. Snail Bait

    Snail Bait Senior Member

    Thank you @StuAff. I'm also booked there now.
    ianmac62, velovoice and mmmmartin like this.
  3. Oh, good. We're there too. Glad to hear you're coming. :smile:
    Snail Bait and mmmmartin like this.
  4. ianmac62

    ianmac62 Über Member

    Gunthorpe Bridge anyone?

    If you are channeling your inner Glaswegian, the expression is "Ah c'd eat a scabby dug, so ah could." (I really am very and indiscriminately hungry.) Often said on entering a fine restaurant.
    mmmmartin likes this.
  5. OP

    mmmmartin Random geezer

    Just a reminder to email
    if you are interested.
    This forum is visited by only a minority of Fridays members and the email address will be the method of communication.
  6. BalkanExpress

    BalkanExpress Veteran


    It is the end of the academic year, so you can also blame Thatcher for all the UK parents coming over to pick up their kids who are getting a high quality and low cost education.
  7. srw

    srw It's a bit more complicated than that...

    We have spent a slightly surreal evening on a sub-tropical extinct volcano, drinking Rioja while listening to Mozart on Radio 3 and booking hotels in the low countries. We've also roughed out our previous week. Assuming (@mmmmartin) that the lunch stop on the last day is in Willemstad we plan to abandon our car there or thereabouts earlyish in the week before the tour, then ride via Antwerp to arrive in Ostend as the main tour party arrives in Dunkirk before executing a neat interception manoeuvre somewhere on the North Sea coast. We are booked on the overnight ferry on the Sunday so that @rvw can go home and I can either go into London or else home depending on what, if anything, I need to do that day to satiate my employer.
    ianmac62 likes this.
  8. Adrian

    Adrian Heed the elf's wisdom

    Appreciating that you have been drinking, any chance of phrasing this more delicately?
    wanda2010 likes this.
  9. OP

    mmmmartin Random geezer

    The recce was cold and windy but http://www.pumpke.com/ supplied a very decent lunch. There are lots of other places in the village.
    ianmac62 likes this.
  10. DP

    DP Chasse patate

    Maastricht might be expensive since you are visiting at the same time as Andre Rieu's annual take-over of the city.

    ianmac62 likes this.
  11. Adrian

    Adrian Heed the elf's wisdom

    At the risk of cross threading, tickets are available on Viagogo from £100 upwards.
    ianmac62 likes this.
  12. Adrian

    Adrian Heed the elf's wisdom

    It is all a bit of a fiddle.
    theclaud, srw and ianmac62 like this.
  13. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    All sounds a bit too Straussful for me....
    ianmac62 likes this.
  14. srw

    srw It's a bit more complicated than that...


    At least in the presence of his adoring fans the older members of the party will feel young again.
    StuAff and ianmac62 like this.
  15. jiberjaber

    jiberjaber Senior Member

    Well I moved a step closer to this by booking a hotel (in Ramsgate) for a ride down to Dover....

    I haven't looked at the rest of the hotel options yet, but if Maastricht is a bit crazy, I might give that a miss and pick you all up back on route somewhere. It's a lovely place but when I was last there I ended up in a hotel quite far out due to availability at the time. I can recommend a trip round the caves.

    I quite fancy riding round the coast of Kent on the way down (anyone any experience of the route Whitstable / Herne Bay/ Margate / Broadstairs / Ramsgate / Sandwich / Deal ?