Our first holiday with Breton Bikes was four years ago when we took our two boys (then age 9 and 11) on the Two Chateaux and the Blavet route. Geoff Husband had helped us choose the right route for our capabilities and it proved the perfect one for our whole family. There were plenty of flat sections along completely stunning canals and near the end a few gentle hills through contrasting countryside. My husband was not an enthusiastic camper prior to this holiday but a combination of thermorest sleeping mat (purchased by us from Breton Bikes) and the delight of the whole experience, overcame any negativity. Personally I was nervous how we would cope carrying all our own equipment but the quality of the bikes meant my worries were groundless. Friends look at me doubtfully when I say this but it was true, and the sense of freedom carrying your own tents is great. Other friends say they want a "relaxing" holiday but there is no such thing with kids! We found this extremely relaxing because you instantly switch off mentally from work, there are no arguments about "what to do today", no electronic gadgets to police, minimal thought about food and no decisions about what to wear (its those glamorous cycling shorts again!).
This year we returned with older teenagers (now 13 and 15). My main concern was that it couldn't live up to the fantastic previous trip. I need not have worried. Geoff helped us choose a route that would suit our increased capabilities (boys older and stronger and able to carry their own tent!) and off we set on the Isle de Brehat route. This time we passed along quiet rural roads and up to the north coast where we ate mussels, camped overlooking the sea, sunbathed and swam. We could adapt the route to allow for the days when we had lots of energy and the days we preferred to go slow after a particularly good lunchtime stop (what amazing value those set meals are!). The only disappointment for us was the Amoriparque where, on a particularly hot day, we were longing for a swim only to find it packed, expensive and insisting on "speedo" style trunks for males. The highlights for the boys were the drop handle bar bikes and one amazing day near the end where we slowly climbed long gentle hills to enjoy the thrill of speeding down the other sides on almost empty roads. We were particularly lucky that our trip coincided with the best weather week of the summer holidays this year so not one drop of rain fell for the whole week!
It is hard to describe the holiday adequately as it was definitely more than the "sum of the parts". What Kate and Geoff do seems to be unique in offering anyone, of any ability, the chance to have a mini adventure with the comfort of their back up if you have a problem (its worth noting we had no problems with any of our bikes or equipment on either week). Their intimate knowledge of the area means that you are not wasting your time devising routes thereby maximising cycling and eating time! It seems to be the perfect holiday to take with children and teenagers. Many, many thanks to Breton Bikes!
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