International Tandem Rally 2011
Saturday, 28th. May - Saturday, 4th. June
Rozel Camping Park
This event was organised by Daniel Hendriksen and Jersey proved to be the ideal destination for family cycling. Although only nine by five miles the extensive network of rural lanes, an overall speed limit of forty m.p.h. down to fifteen on Green Lanes provided us with a gentler pace and plenty to explore.
So why the 2011 International Rally in the Channel Islands? Well, although part of Britain, Jersey is not in the United Kingdom, and indeed is not even in the EU. It is a Crown Dependency. Although it uses pounds and pence (British money is accepted), it issues its own currency. Likewise, the Norman influence persists in the street and place names.
The Rally took place at Rozel Camping Park, in the parish of St. Martin, where we were made welcome by Dave (Tosh) and Heather who run this excellent camp site. Daniel welcomed us to the rally and explained something about the terrain we should expect. Although there would be hills they would be short so that when we started up them we were already near the top.
Sunday 29th. May - Introduction and the Jersey Criterium
A short, twenty mile, ride to get us used to pottering and enjoying the variety of scenery. Using Green Lanes we explored Eastern Jersey via the climb up Mount Bingham, only a canny few discovering the flat cycle path alternative, to St. Helier. We were able to watch the Jersey Criterium cycle racing and took up the opportunity to ride the course with the Rally tandems circulating as a group.
Monday 30th. May - Round the Island
A complete clockwise circuit of the island, helping us with orientation and gaining an overall idea of Jerseys size and scale. Using roads which were generally bigger than Sundays, smoothing out the contours - but seldom busy. Several miles used a disused railway, now a cycle path. The day finished with a presentation about the German World War Two Fortifications by a member of the Channel Islands Occupation Society.
Tuesday 31st. May - Occupation Day
Following yesterdays presentation we were able to visit three (of very many) sites related to the German occupation of the Channel Islands. First visit was to Moltke Battery, which the Channel Islands Occupation Society opened especially for us. We then moved on to the Channel Islands Military Museum, also housed in an old German Bunker. Finally, we visited the Jersey War Tunnels, the new name for the Underground Hospital. This is very impressive, and the exhibitions gave a good insight into life for the population during the occupation.
Wednesday 1st. June - Free Day
No rides were planned for this traditional day off giving people the opportunity to visit some of the many attractions the island has to offer.
Thursday 2nd. June - Four Coasts
A compass Point ride visiting the sea on the North, West, South and East of the Island, using quiet inland roads between them. We were able to visit coastal spots not otherwise covered on the rides showing the diversity of the Coast. The North coast featured a walk down to Devils Hole from the carpark at the top; well worth doing, but we were warned to have suitable alternative footwear if wearing have exposed cleats. La Mare Vineyard provided a suitable spot for morning coffee. On the South coast, quite apart from the spectacular views at Noirmont Point, there was a huge German battery with lots of exploring for the younger riders! Although a marvellous point for a picnic, there were no shops or cafes on the headland, so the wise stocked up with food earlier in the ride.
Friday 3rd. June - Ancient Jersey
A shorter, twenty mile, day to finish. We were able to visit three of Jerseys Neolithic dolmans; Ville-s-Nouaux in a park, La Pouquelaye de Faldouet in a field, and - most impressive of the lot - La Hogue Bie.
Thanks are due to Dave and Heather, the site owners, who made us welcome and helped to make it all happen.
Pictures from the rally may be seen here.
Photographs from the Jersey Evening Post (Available for purchase)
Some places to visit
Pallot Steam, Motor and General museum Rue de Bechet, Trinity.
Map showing location of Rozel Camping Park