Motorbiking

"Biker" for me usually means motorbiking, though I also have a Marin mountain-bike...

My current motorbikes are a CBR600RR and a CBR600RW, both from Honda.

Previously I have owned: Honda VF750F, Yamaha FJ600, Suzuki GSX750EX, Yamaha FJ750, Yamaha XJ900, Kawasaki Z750 and I passed my riding test on my Kawasaki KH250.

See also my Motorbiking web links

Rider-bike bonding at the lake of the Verdon at Quinson

The Plateau of Valensole, Provence

The castle at Esparron sur Verdon

A fine day’s riding in mid-November. Putting together two favourite routes gave a full day’s riding - more than one tank of fuel. A day riding fully-focussed on the road and the ride, shutting out any thoughts about the various projects that I have in hand back in the UK.
Out from Marseille on the road to Toulon via the southern flanks of the Sainte Baume massif, passing the Paul Ricard circuit at Le Castellet, then through the pine forest - that’s not a straight road. Moving on, more curves and the Roman town of St. Maximin and over the rocky ridge - some hairpins and more bends but stupendous views nearing the crest - to the lower gorge of the river Verdon. A pause for reflections and rider to bike bonding (in the style of VR46) by the side of the lake at Quinson and a chat with some hikers setting off on a path exploring the lower gorge of the Verdon; then up some more hairpin bends to ride the over the Plateau of Valensole to Esparron, site of a previous GLME camp hosted by AMA, with its fine castle and a famous Camping Naturiste.
A favourite boulangerie in Vinon with a chat outside with a local rider admiring my bike before a quick stop for a quick “Bonjour” with Lionel the bike dealer in Peyrolles before tackling the rush hour traffic heading out of the Marseille metropolitan area. And dinner with a friend from AMA at a restaurant we both know well.
Light winds, sunshine, clear air and fabulous autumn colours but above all, friendly drivers make riding at this time of year a pleasure and a privilege to treasure.

Tour Carbonnière near Aigues Mortes

Impossible to visit Arles without thinking of it as a pilgrimage to the temple of conceptual photography. Herewith a sofa scene from a courtyard not far from the École Supérieur de la Photographie; also nearby, a convolvulus twines its vines up a villa, in this town this plant produces blue or white flowers and is cultivated; in the UK this is bindweed and the enemy of all gardeners. Here they honour a thing of beauty out of what would be a weed elsewhere; one could think of it as a metaphor for conceptual photography, the cause célèbre of Arles.
Out in the Camargue, the simple immensity of the Rhône delta is hard to understand, this river that brings at least a third of the water down from the Alps, the less-celebrated partner of the Rhine and the Danube. There are numerous water channels, shallow lakes frequented by wild birds, migrants and residents. Far away are the last of the mountains as Provence meets the Mediterranean.

Read more: Arles & the Camargue

D974 - ascent of Mt Ventoux

Summit of Mt Ventoux

Chalet Reynard, Mt. Ventoux, these days known mostly to cyclists, trail runners and walkers. Forty years ago and mostly annually before then, this modest cafe was one of the principal viewing points for a major motorsport event, La course de côte du Mont Ventoux (Mont Ventoux Hill Climb), the race to the summit of Ventoux, in the format of a time trial ie TT. First run in 1902, the roads were unsealed and the winning time over the 21½ km course up from the village of Bédoin (alt. 256 m.) to the summit of Mt. Ventoux (1908 m.) was 27 mins 17 sec.

Read more: Mont Ventoux Hill Climb

 GSXR Hi-Viz

Custom colours for absolute maximum visibility. Not a track bike, I noted the street pipe and front indicators with a UAE number plate in Arabic script: I wonder if ANPR and speed cameras can read those. Seen parked just outside Monaco.

Pas d’Ouillier, Cap Canaille

Cap Canaille, Cassis

Playtime on two wheels after our hiking and car trip to the Écrins. Sportsbike in the sunshine, roads clear and the sun not too hot. This time the Pas d’Ouillier, 340 m., a real play road with convenient roundabouts at each end, three runs on that, then another three on the Route des Crêtes, the 15km cliff road with some interesting twists and turns over Cap Canaille between Cassis and La Ciotat, just to the east of Marseille.

Read more: Pas d’Ouillier - Route des Crêtes, Cap Canaille

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En route from Marseille to the Alps

I'm riding light for a week on the mountain roads of the Alps. No laptop, although I do have my SLR camera but photos will have to wait till I'm back in Marseille..

I left Marseille for a long ride north via the Col de la Croix Haute (1179 m.) to Saint-Gervais under Mont Blanc. A bit of rain towards the end of the day which cleaned the Provence dust off my white leathers and boots but didn't soak me through.

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