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France Trip

 
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Dar



Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Posts: 342
Location: Ballston Spa, NY

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:21 am    Post subject: France Trip Reply with quote

Just got home this weekend from a 2 1/2 week bike trip in the Alps (Swiss and French), Southern France and the French Pyrenees.

WOW Exclamation Exclamation Exclamation The mountain roads there make our Maggie Valley rides feel like a short warm-up ride Exclamation You can spend all day in the twisties with very little straight road riding in between. I'm glad I was on 2 wheels instead of 3, a lot of the small mountain roads were narrow enough that cars passing in opposite directions would have to stop and one pull way off to the side to let the other make his way by - not a problem with a 2 wheeler though, but certainly had to be careful about staying to your own side of the road in blind turns. Of course being above the tree line a lot of the time helped the visibility around turns quite a bit. Highest pass we crossed was 2862 meters (almost 9400 feet) - temperature was in the mid 40's (F).

Didn't see many sidecars, maybe half a dozen or so in the whole trip, mostly in passing on the roads, so didn't get a good enough look to see what they were.
Did see this pair, though, at one of our stops - a BMW with sidecar and a Yamaha dirtbike with a Sidebike leaner, the latter driven by a very cute French biker chick:





The road near the top of one of the passes, and some of the strangeness you might see there:



Being in France for Bastille Day got me a second chance to watch fireworks this month (I was here at home for the 4th):

And my last day before coming home, I saw this BMW in a museum - a different take on the chopper style


Did get a chance to drink lots of French wine and eat a lot of cheese made from raw milk - my riding buddy was trying to educate my taste for fine food. The wine list at one restaurant we ate at had bottles of wine priced from 23 euros up to about 1600 euros (multiply by 1.4 to convert to US dollars). We drank one of the 23 euro bottles.

One word of warning - if you're planning on visiting French campgrounds, take your own roll of toilet paper - there's only about a 50% chance that you'll find it provided.
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David D
Suzuki Bandit 1200/Hannigan Bandito
2007 BMW F650GS
2000 Guzzi V11 Sport
2009 BMW R1200GS
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Polar Bear



Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 110
Location: Denia Spain Ex Birmingham UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:46 pm    Post subject: French Ride-Out Reply with quote

Hi There David,

Many Thanks for the Very good Trip Report and the Interesting Photo's, I almost felt like I was up there myself.

Can I ask where you are based .. I can't decide if you are a Brit or an American over here on a European Hire-n-Ride holiday ?

Cheers, Stay Safe Wink Polar Bear (Brit in Spain)
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Dar



Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Posts: 342
Location: Ballston Spa, NY

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Polar Bear

I'm an American, live in NewYork State, about 3 hours north from New York City.

I have a German bike riding friend who lives near Heidelberg; we periodically get together for a ride, sometimes on his side of the world, sometimes here. When I'm in Europe, I rent a bike, which is easy to do in Germany, but I'm pondering the economics and practicality of shipping one of my own bikes and storing it over there in the future.

Didn't quite make it into Spain on this trip but was very close at many points in the Pyrenees.
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David D
Suzuki Bandit 1200/Hannigan Bandito
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2009 BMW R1200GS
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JayBoy



Joined: 26 Jan 2005
Posts: 234
Location: Lexington, KY

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What an experience! Glad you made it back safely.
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