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.
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.
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.
A complete clockwise circuit of the island, helping us with orientation and gaining an overall idea of Jersey's size and scale. Using roads which were generally bigger than Sunday's, 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.
Following yesterday's 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.
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.
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 Devil's 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.
The day finished with a Hog Roast accompanied by Jersey Royal potatoes, Pasta salad, tomatoes and Liberation Ale. Live music was provided by members Tim and Paul Colling.
A shorter, twenty mile, day to finish. We were able to visit three of Jersey's 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.
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (Jersey Zoo) on cycle routes1, 1b and 3a.
Maritime Museum Occupation Tapestry
Map showing location of Rozel Camping Park
This event is being organised by Daniel Hendriksen
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