Passing through one village, I noticed a car boot sale in progress. Howard happened to be marking the junction and nobly suggested I stop and check it out while he waited for me. I made this addition to my scooter collection, for €1:
A little way beyond here lay the Hillclimb, another of Bike Normandy's 'special' roads. I loved this - a series of swept but forgiving uphill curves, which the bitey little automatic engines of the scooters lapped up. As a bonus, delicious coffee awaited at the top.
Charles's GTS suffered an electrical fault soon after we set off again, providing an opportunity for some members of the party to try each other's bikes out while Charles and Doug worked on the problem. Then there were more lovely, lovely roads - my favourite stretch of the weekend, I think, was a fast A road section with wide open bends - before mussels for lunch down by the river.
We left the nice roads, hit the dual carriageway, and all too soon we were saying our farewells to John and Jen (and also to Charles, who would travel onwards to meet his family in Dieppe) at the ferry terminal. We rolled on board Brittany Ferries' Mont St Michel and found some comfortable seats to collapse into for the six-hour crossing.
As we sailed homewards, I reflected that although it seemed as though moments had passed since I was outward bound on the Normandie Express, I seemed to have packed at least a week's worth of experience (and weather) into three days. I think everyone did at least one thing they'd never done before, and I know everyone had a brilliant time - or else they're very polite and very good at lying. A repeat visit is already under discussion.
Why do I keep going back to Bike Normandy? Could be the roads, could be the company, could be the food, but really it's the quality of the insults. Never before has my helmet been compared to one of the Smash Martians.