Rollerski Bretagne

20 Jul

Spent a long weekend rollersking in Brittany. The 53km greenway from Questembert to Mauron runs along a disaffected rail right of way. The asphalt is silk and the climbs and drops are perfectly gradual. The whole thing makes for very smooth running. Makes you feel like a locomotive.

We covered the whole thing in a couple days. First the 44km return trip from Ploërmel to Mauron and then roughly 70km from Ploërmel to Questembert and back.

The latter segment crosses “la haute montagne brétonne” : a series of ridges formed by the very old Armorican Massif. Before the formation of the Mid-Atlantic rift those hills were part of the Eastern U.S. Appalachian mountains.

The only less than perfect part of the path lies just north of Ploërmel. There the greenway is lined with all different types hydrangeas. The asphalt is narrow there to make way for the flowers and little herds of walkers were milling about to admire them. Other than that, the only other issues were leaves and other detritus fallen from the trees as well as the occasional patch of moss.

Skies stayed blue for the first two days despite Brittany’s nasty reputation for weather. On day three the rain brought welcome rest while on the fourth day we slipped through the drops for one more tour from Questembert to Mauron. My roadmate broke the tip of his pole crossing a wood bridge just after the turn around point, but a replacement spike miraculously held the whole way back without any glue.

Since I’ve started doing a lot of rollerski greenway touring, it’s high time I start rating the paths. The strong points for the Brittany greenway are excellent asphalt, well-protected and not too frequent road crossings, the beauty of the countryside, the nearby attractions and the overall length of the greeenway. The negatives were the tree droppings, moss and the narrow spot in Questembert.

Overall this greenway is a reference in its genre. Rating: 16/20.

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