Dec 31st
2011
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Boxing Day ride in Guernsey

For the Christmas holidays both Dan and I returned back to Guernsey to catch up with our friends and family.

Guernsey is a small island in the English Channel which is not exactly a mountain biker’s mecca, being just seven miles by five, with the highest point being only 110 meters above sea level. There are almost no bike trails, however the sport has a good following on the island and has produced some great riders over the years including our guide director Dan of course.

To help us get over the excesses of Christmas Day, Dan arranged a ride with some of the Guernsey Mountain bike crew.

Dan and riders at Cobo, Guernsey

Dan and I headed down to meet up with the guys at the Albecq side of Cobo beach to start the ride at 9am. For a Boxing Day in Guernsey the weather was very favourable. It was mild, dry, still and with moments of sun, it was the ideal weather for a coastal ride.

Steve and Pete at Cobo

Meeting on top of one of the old German bunkers over looking Cobo bay we were joined by three previous Ticket2Ride guests, Pete, Andy and Steve, all of which came out in 2010 for Pete’s stag do. Our riding party consisted of seven riders in total.

We set off riding along the coast path that follows the west coast towards L’ancresse Common. This coast path is an easy ride, being pretty level and well surfaced, which after the amount we had eaten and drunk on Christmas Day was exactly what I needed.

Guernsey West Coast

The coastal path takes in some amazing coastal views which are rarely appreciated when driving in a car along the coast road, however on a bike riding right on the edge of the beaches it is impossible not to be impressed.

When we set off it was our goal and hope that in the two hours we had allocated to the ride that we would find one of the many beach kiosks along the route open and serving bacon butties, however this was not to be the case, which is not surprising really considering this is Guernsey in the Christmas break.

Dan doing the bunker climb

With no on-trail challenges to complete, the Guernsey mountain bikers have over the years identified a number of ‘challenges’ to negotiate along the side of this coastal route which includes a couple of challenging climbs up some of the German coastal defence bunkers which are a prominent feature of the  Guernsey coast.

Dan riding one of the Granite Outcrops

There are also a couple of trials style features to negotiate through some of the granite out crops along the route.

Pete on one of the short steep technical climbs

With these challenges attempted and completed in some cases we carried on to the next.

Andy at one of the Martello Towers

As the coastal path took us north towards Ladies Bay we passed another previous Ticket2Ride guest, Pete Amy heading the other way along the coastal route. We exchanged Christmas wishes as we passed on the trail.

As we came to the end of the coast trail we arrived at the Bridge, which is effectively a section of reclaimed land which connects what was originally two separate islands, which signifies the end of one coast and the start of another which heads along a relatively busy section of road to the ‘capital’ of the island, Guernsey. 

We arrived at this point at 11am, at which point the crew separated as being Boxing Day everyone had family type commitments and this was a suitable place to split up for people to head for home. From here Dan and I cut back up and over the island and headed back down to Cobo bay where we saw the final part of the annual Boxing Day swim, which with such good weather was very well attended with hundreds of swimmers taking the plunge.

It was a good ride and great to catch up with some of the Guernsey Mountain biking crew, and enjoy the impressive Guernsey views again.