Tour de Manche – Signpost Cycling Host International Journalists


International Journalists Cycle Tour de Manche

Weymouth based cycle holiday company; Signpost Cycling, assisted with the visit from 9 international journalists who experienced, by bicycle, parts of the Dorset section of the European funded Cycle West project, the Tour de Manche (TDM). The 1200km/745miles route starts in Plymouth to Poole, crossing the channel to Cherbourg and finishing in Roscoff.

The 9 Journalists from northern Europe; Holland, Germany, Belgium and England, experienced sections of the route in both Normandy and Brittany before arriving in Poole for the Dorset section of the route.

Working with Visit England and Dorset County Council, Signpost Cycling carefully compiled an itinerary that highlighted to the journalists areas of outstanding natural beauty, heritage, history, the Jurassic Coast and the diversification of the route from Poole to Weymouth. The group were served a buffet lunch of Dorset, meats, fish and cheese in the Oasis Bistro overlooking Weymouth Harbour.

Roy Griffiths, Signpost Cycling, Principal said “We were delighted to be able to use our local knowledge and cycling enthusiasm to showcase the area to the visiting journalists. We know more and more people are looking for an adventure from their holiday time and cycling can be as leisurely as you want it to be. Activity adventure tourism is the way forward to extend our holiday season in Weymouth, Portland and Dorset, which in turn will strengthen the economy. The coverage the visit will create in a number of European papers and magazines will definitely boost the profile of Dorset as a destination for adventure and fun”.

Writing for a Dutch regional paper, Rik Booldink commented “I was very surprised how many landscapes we saw in such a short distance. The route signage is good and easy to follow. The Dutch people love their touring cycling; I think they will like this section of the route. The pebbles on Chesil Beach were like being in a children’s ball play pool, like you find in IKEA”. German reporter, Harald Rief, said “German people do not know how good England is for cycling. The locations have all been so different, not what I was expecting”. Coverage from the 9 journalists will reach in excess of over 3 million readers via national and local newspapers and dedicated cycling magazines.

Picture attached: Journalists swop their pedals for pebbles on ‘Chesil Beach’. Please credit Signpost Cycling

For further information please contact Jacqui Gisborne, Manager, Signpost Cycling
t. 01305 832512 m. 07980 730073 e Notes to Editors: The €8.5 million European funded Cycle West is an inspiring project that puts two routes on the map for the discerning cyclists and connects them across international frontiers.

The group stayed at the Sandbanks Hotel in Poole
They cycled from the Hotel to Corfe via the Chain Ferry and Rempstone Heath
They managed to see and photograph the Steam Train before it departed for Swanage, unfortunately time did not permit for the group to board the train
Coffee and cake was served in the garden of the Greyhound Inn in Corfe
A visit was made to the period dressed station in Corfe
On the mini bus journey to Weymouth, Adam Bows explained Dorset County Council’s investment into the cycle path infrastructure of both the Petite Tour de Manche and Tour de Manche and the legacy it had provided from the 2012 transport fund and the sustainable transport fund to visitors and locals
The group experienced the recently extended Chesil Beach Centre and Chesil Beach via the new board walks, with comments like “It reminds like a children’s ball play pool”.
The table was then turned on the journalists who were photographed for a daily news paper and interviewed by both the newspaper and 2 radio stations.
Everyone re-mounted their bikes, which were supplied by the newly formed Weymouth based cycle hire business – Jurassic Trails Cycle Hire – and cycled into Weymouth along the Rodwell Trail to Westham Bridge. Various pieces of information were delivered about Sandsfoot Castle ruin and Gardens and Portland Harbour.
Adam Bows led the group by foot around Weymouth Harbour to the Oasis Bistro and Wine House for lunch, where they were met by DCC Cllr Peter Finney and tourism representatives from Weymouth and West Dorset Council.
The lunch menu was carefully selected to showcase Dorset foods, this included; local crab and chive cakes with lemon mayonnaise; lyme bay scallop and black pudding skewers, lightly battered gurnard and chips. A selection of local cheese and chocolate brownie, fudge and sea salt bites completed the meal. Some of the journalists were particularly taken aback by the quality and taste of the cheese
The group had a short while to explore the harbour the town before they continued their journey to Exeter to explore sections of the Devon Tour de Manche route
Signpost Cycling is a trading brand of Creative Solutions (MPE) Ltd
A total of 13.5 miles were cycled in Dorset