Tuesday Tour, Pas de Calais, Escalles -30th April 2019
The last Tuesday in April for the Pas de Calais ride has become the traditional annual date for the Pas de Calais ride. There have been a variety of incidents in our trips, some humorous, some serious. On this occasion Simon, in suicidal form, capped them all in miraculously immerging unscathed from a horrific crash while descending Castle Hill at 38mph.
Our crossing was uneventful; no migrants were met attempting the crossing to the UK, and thanking good fortune, fifteen cyclists were safely escorted out of Calais port towards Escalles.
Before compiling this report I have attempted, without success, to find from the “Blog” the previous year when this route was achieved (The general consensus was 2013). The use of the word “achieved” is well defined. The gradients in reaching this idyllic village, set amongst the rolling hills, involves a steep incline to Cap Blanc Nez. Even more daunting is the tortuous escarpment ascent out of the village for the return journey, particularly after a good lunch accompanied with the product of the fruit from the vine.
In less than one year, aging and failing muscles amongst some of the group have resulted in the use of the e-bike, which enabled them to take this route again. Those members without assisted power, who previously made the Cap heights unassisted, again manfully achieved the destination but were left moaning at the passage of time and their consequential retreating strength.
The restaurant L’Escale gave us a reasonable meal in a relaxed time, with excellent service. The unavailability of house red wine was not a good feature, and it was only after some static from the maitre, were we able to establish that ½ litre carafes were available –but strangely not 1litre carafes!
A strong head wind nullified some of the benefits of the downward gradient ride back to Calais, when thereafter a state of sleeping bodies in P & O chairs ensued. A much welcomed disembarkation in front of juggernauts allowed a 6.45pm return to Walmer.
For the record; those participating were:-Malcolm, Jonathan, Stan, John G, Peter, Bill K, Michael L, Roger, John P, David Lt, Richard, Michael S, Simon, Paul, Lance
Grateful thanks to David Lintern for arranging the ferry bookings. (LA)