Every year The Wheelers visit the pretty town of Ardres in the Pas de Calais to take part in a Sportive organised by our sister Club in France “Les amis cyclos de l’Ardresis”. This year marked the 15th year of the event and the 13 Wheelers who made the trip took part with mixed fortunes.
On arrival the Team arrived at the Hotel that was booked in February to find there had been an error and there were no rooms, long story but after an hour of thinking we were all going to have to spend the night in our cars our accomodation was sorted (even if it was going to be a little cramped).
A quick change and we grouped up for our customary ride along the coast road for a few beers and a Team photo at the “Queen Mary” pub in Gravelines. A head wind on the way there and guess what, a head wind on the way back.
A pleasant evening meal and a few drinks in the Hotel then heads down, 3 to a room, up for breakfast and off to Ardres to sign in and take part in the Carres de Vallees Sportive.
After signing on we all split into groups and set off preparing for the first climb, the 2 mile climb through the woods to Quercamps. having elected to ride on his own and after reaching the top of said climb the secretary promptly went off course and got lost. The others ground on and in one the hottest days of the year made it back to ardres and the finish, finding the wayward sec at the beer tent.
The afternoon was spent in the company of our good friends “Les amis Cyclos de l’ardresis”, being spoilt rotten and planning their next adventure to France.
During the afternoon it was announced by Marcel Morreels their President that 582 riders had taken part and that of the 41 clubs that had taken part we were the 6th largest contingent.
And we had the honour to meet with local 1970′-80′ racer Jean-Michel Condette.
Fantastic weekend yet again and bumping in to friend from Ardres and some ex Rye Wheelers too.