Rollerski Vendée

20 Jul

Yesterday’s rollerski greenway tour took me deep into the heart of France’s traditionally royalist region, La Vendée. Don’t know how Catholic it is to go rollerskiing in lycra tights, but the greenway is without a doubt fit for a king.

The start point, just Northeast of the rail station, is, to say the very least, inauspicious:

However the path quickly opens up and tranquilly leads the rollerskier high above the downtown chaos of La Roche-sur-Yon via an elevated railway right of way. You escape in an heartbeat from the bustling town into bucolic countryside.

The path is narrower than the Brittany Greenway, but still just large enough to go comfortably with skate style rollerskis. Yesterday was windy after the passage of a storm, leaving a fair amount of leaves and twigs fallen from the trees shading the path. But that didn’t pose too much of a problem. That just meant I had to double-pole through the heavily shaded damp spots with tree droppings to avoid skidding out.

The asphalt was fast rolling, allowing me to log my fastest speed ever on slow-wheeled rollerskis. But on the down side, some of the road crossings were less than perfect. The passages between the barriers were difficult to negotiate at speed, leading to a near crash. Moreover, the initial ones required you to traverse stretches of dirt.

However, on the up side, unlike the Britanny Greenway, there weren’t any barriers to slow you down when you crossed tiny agricultural paths. Moreover, the narrow width of this greenway never became much of an issue because the traffic was very light. The only problem was a herd of English cycle tourists who obnoxiously sped up as I passed them. F*ing royalists!!

I only sampled a third of the greenway’s 31km. But the experience makes me want to come back. Overall rating for the Vendée Greenway: 15/20.


One Response to “Rollerski Vendée”

  1. engelski July 20, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    Nice! Am staying at La Chaize Giraud, probably only a few km away. Didn’t bring rollerskis though & am just cycling, running, swimming & drinking Desperados, a wonderful restitution drink of beer & tequila.

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