An Essex Cycling Club visits Jersey

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An Essex Cycling Club visits Jersey

Cycling in Jesery

  • Island-wide cycling network makes cycling a pleasure
  • 100 miles of cross-island routes
  • Plenty of cycle shops and hire facilities
  • Explore 50-miles of ‘Green Lanes’ where pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders have priority over cars, and motorists must slow to 15 miles an hour.
  • Download the Jersey Cycle Guide & Map

Maldon Cycle Club Review Jersey’s Cycle Lanes

For most cyclists, the island of Jersey would seem to be too small for a club tour but I can tell you that there are hundreds of miles of lanes, cycle routes and disused railway tracks to enjoy!

Our cycling club went there recently – bikes go free when you book with Condorbreaks so it’s easy to wheel your bike on to the catamaran and enjoy the trip over. The catamaran goes via Guernsey (next time we plan a visit there too) and then on to Jersey, so it’s an interesting journey. Once we arrived, we just wheeled our bikes out and set off and they drive on the left so no problem. We based ourselves in St Helier so we didn’t have far to ride with our panniers from the harbour to our hotel.
Once there, we just unloaded the panniers and set off to explore.

There’s a great cycle path all the way along the sea front from St Helier to St Aubin, so a gentle ride along there seemed a good idea for our first afternoon ride. We found a great café right on the beach and enjoyed our first Jersey cream tea. Everyone knows that cyclists need to carbo-load so the huge fruit filled scones, yellow Jersey butter, strawberry jam topped off with Jersey clotted cream seemed the ideal choice and washed down with pots of tea. After that we felt a little guilty so we continued past St Aubin on the old railway line all the way to Corbiere on the west coast. It was still high tide so we couldn’t visit the lighthouse but the views across the beaches and rocky coast were just amazing so we decided to come back at low tide another day.
Back at the hotel, we enjoyed a swim in the pool before dinner (well, we had to work off those calories!) and the hotel bar was very friendly too.

Next day after a great breakfast, we met up outside the hotel and checked our bikes and had the usual arguments; whether we needed waterproofs, who had the repair kits etc. The route (Cycle route 1) took us down to the seafront and on to the cycle path round the back of the Power Station and back onto the road on the Havre des Pas then headed east along the coast road all the way to Gorey. The views at low tide of the beach at St Clement are just awesome, you can see miles and miles of beautiful sand, rocks and pools – it’s like a lunar scape as Jersey has one of the greatest tide ranges in the world. On the coast you cycle past the Martello towers, a reminder that Jersey has fortifications all around the coast and many of the towers, concrete bunkers and defences remain as a fascinating reminder of the past.

We stopped in Gorey to admire the harbour and Mont Orgueil castle but it was too soon to stop for a tea break, so after a few photo’s we left Cycle route 1 and carried on up the steep hill along the coastal road to St Catherine’s break water, where we found one of our favourite cafés to stop for a cuppa (cyclist’s main fuel). There was a display of sand sculptures to admire then we carried on up the hill, back on Cycle route 1 toward the north coast where we visited all the tiny bays down narrow steep hills and back up again. The famous one is Bouley Bay with its hair pin bends, so of course we had to race up that one!

We deserved our lunch so we found a pub serving Jersey crab sandwiches. Is this beginning to sound like a foodie diary instead of a cyclists blog?!

Jersey has hundreds of miles of lanes and roads but the motorists are very polite, the speed limit is low and on the Green Lanes, the motorists have to give way to cyclists, walkers and horses. If only we could get this rule implemented on our Essex roads! It is quite easy to navigate as the Cycle routes are clearly marked so to get back to St Helier we simply followed the 3a then the 3, the 5 and the 9 which brought us out quite close to our hotel. We may have only done 25 miles, but believe me, there are some short, steep climbs.

The next day we headed due north, past Jersey Goldsmiths and La Mare Wine Estate to explore the north coast, still on Cycle route 1. We had lunch at Greve de Lecq in a fascinating pub with a 12th century water wheel, then we continued to explore the north east coast. We enjoyed sunny weather with very little wind so it was great cycling weather plus the views were as far away as France!

The final day we retraced our route along the south coast cycle path through St Aubins and along the railway track to Corbière where we walked across the causeway to visit the Corbière lighthouse, then continued down the hill all the way along the Five Mile Road. Dead straight along the east coast and we wondered whether there was a 10 mile time trial course there? It would be a fast one! We had lunch at Big Vern’s bistro on the beach. As we left, Vern called out “if you see Lance Armstrong, tell him he’s barred!”

It was a great few days and we hardly covered the same road twice, not bad for an island only 9 by 5 miles!

Guest Blogger: Lynda George

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Posted by S-J