I travelled over to France with my Dad last Sunday. We took an early 8am ferry from Portsmouth, which meant getting up at 4am to get there on time. The crossing went well with the channel looking more like a pond than the sea. I was most grateful for this, as I’m not the greatest when it comes to travelling by boat. It was then a short 1 hour 30 drive in the car to Bricquebec from Caen. On arrival we did a few laps of the town as I tried to remember where the house was, before giving up and giving the team manager a call. He kindly showed me round and recommended a place for supper, leaving us to unpack my stuff. The house is basic but we have all we will need to keep us going through the season. Dad set early off next morning back to the UK.
Joe had arrived the day before so I met up with him. Davide, the Italian rider on the team, arrived the next day. We have been getting used to the town and house this week together which has been nice and have found a good café with Wi-Fi to use so have been there most days. Bricquebec is a very nice place to live with all the shops we could need, and a market every Monday.
I have been on a few good rides already, managing to not get lost thanks to Garmin and my memory of town names and signposts. I have been on three team rides, one mid week on a Wednesday afternoon for 4hrs and also a weekend camp. On the weekend we rode 5hrs40 and 167km on Saturday to a Hostel where we stayed the night. The club organized a big meal and get together for all its members and we also talked through the plans for the upcoming season. My first races will be a series starting on the 18th of February, they are held on the west coast of France. I will also be getting my team kit and bike next week, which is exciting! On the Sunday we rode 115km back to Bricquebec in torrential rain and wind, which was an extremely cold experience, but very satisfying once completed and sitting in a nice warm café for lunch which was provided after.
It was really great to get to meet everyone in the team and club; they were all so welcoming, inclusive and very friendly. I feel like there is a great atmosphere amongst them all and you can really see why this is the place to race your bike when they are so passionate about it in every way.