Meet Mickaël-Ange Véron – SEA BIKE & SUN

Are you from here or did Destination Pornic cast its spell over you?
I’m originally from Le Mans, and first came to Pornic just over 10 years ago,when I was 24. I’d applied for a job as manager of a bicycle section. I didn’t know Pornic at all. I went down towards La Noëveillard beach in the amazing spring sunshine and fell in love with it. It was a week day, and there was hardly anyone about. I loved this authentic, “out of season” feel. I wandered a good way along the Chemin des Douaniers customs path and admired a gorgeous sunset over the old harbour. I could really see myself living in Pornic.
Is cycling a hobby you discovered at an early age?
I got into cycling when I was 6, during competitions at national level. I had to make a choice to finish my studies, and I stopped competitive cycling. I didn’t completely give up going riding though. I’ve made sure
bikes have remained part of my life. I was the cycle manager in a sports shop.

What made you decide to set up your business in Pornic?
Two things. The first was purely for business reasons. People are increasingly finding enjoyment in cycling,
whether for outings or for getting about. In Pornic I wanted to provide a local service, with high-quality products. The second draw is the quality of life that I no longer experienced while working in Nantes. I like the town of Pornic, I love the harbour…

Where do you most like going cycling?
What I like best is to head out along the Vélocéan, north of Pornic, along the Pornic/Saint Brevin stretch. You’re not completely facing the sea, but you catch sight of it quite a lot. That’s what I like about this route through changing scenery, incidentally: there are parts running alongside the sea on little paths, alongside the road, or inland where they take you into the countryside. The coastline you can admire here varies as you go, it’s sometimes quite hilly, with fishing huts, flatter sections (Tharon beach), small inlets, rocks and cliffs. Brittany is in the air here.
Where’s your favourite spot for taking a break on your bike?
There are two. The first is the whole coastal road between Les Sablons and Le Porteau, and Les Sablons beach in particular. The road that overlooks the sea is amazing! Les Sablons beach is my favourite beach around Pornic. The light is stunning there come evening. The second spot is L’Etang beach. The sand is really different there, it’s orangey, rust-coloured. When I was little, I went to the Sahara and the colour kind of reminds me of it a little … it’s a little unusual. And then there’s the colour of the crystal-clear water, so clear you can see your feet.
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What are your ingredients for a successful cycle ride?
A cycle ride – even if you can go out on your own – is something to be shared, so my first ingredient would be to head out in good company. Then, head to a nice place in nice weather. The cold isn’t an obstacle, but ideally try and choose a sunny day to get the best light and to see the coast at its best. And finally, it’s a ride
you can enjoy, where you see different things, a variety of landscapes. What’s great about cycling, compared with walking, is that you can go further and see so many different things!

Electric bike, conventional bike … how do we choose?
If you’re a family with kids, hiring electric bikes is tricky. It’s illegal to rent them out to kids under 13 as these bikes are heavier, faster and harder to control. Then it depends on what you want to do. This year I was surprised by the number of full-day rentals of electric bikes. People wanted to go further, cycle over long distances …some even went as far as the [Passage de] Gois in Noirmoutier for example.
Do not leave without having tasted ...
Ice cream at La Fraiseraie. It is a real ritual, to be enjoyed at the foot of the castle, facing the beautiful villas of Cornish Gourmalon.

The Destination Pornic at home :
Brigantine beer, with a slight preference for dark.
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