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

Briancon, start of the Col d'Izoard

Tootle up the whole length of the valley of the river Durance from Marseille. Mediterranean Provence giving way to mountain Provence. Picnic lunch over looking Briancon and its three valleys which in winter become ski centres Les Trois Vallées, etc.

Col d'Izoard route

Col d'Izoard - view south

Then the Col de l’Izoard (2360 m.), remarkable both for the graceful sweeping road route with nicely laid and graded stacks of hairpins that, though challenging, reward working at the flow. And also the tortured geology which culminates at the Casse Deserte at the col and to the south.

Read more: Why I love riding in Provence - 3

Lac de Serre-Poncon, Alpes d'Haut-Provence

Col du Labouret, Alpes d'Haut-Provence

New tyres, snow still on the mountains even in June. Rock layers twisted to a greater lean angle than any motorcyclist can achieve without falling off. The Alpes of Haut-Provence are the Big Country: grand views, challenging roads, roadside waterfalls, hilltop villages and Vauban forts.

Read more: Why I love riding in Provence - 2

Long clear straight road in Provence

Friday evening, weather’s good for the weekend, running in new tyres, done several roundabouts, now need a few right-hander curves. And what pops up in front, a long straight. This is it: Time to Rev...

Aqueduc de Roquefavour, Pays'Aix

Poppies near Aix-en-Provence

The Roquefavour Aqueduct spans the valley of the river Arc near Aix-en-Provence, to bring water to Marseille. Completed in 1847, it is 83m. high, almost twice the height of the Pond du Gard built by the Romans to supply water to Nimes. The Aqueduc de Roquefavour is approachable without negotiating the defences necessary for its more famous relative: there’s no visitor centre or coach parks, not to mention pay booths as it doesn’t get the crowds who come to see the UNESCO World Heritage site spanning the river Gard. But I wasn’t alone, a peloton of friendly club cyclists from the Pays d’Aix, then a rider taking his son out on a motorcycle and sidecar stopped for a chat, he had converted it from a 1980 Moto Guzzi T3 Californian 850cc V-twin.
Next, riding on past fields of poppies to friends for lunch and watching the Grand Prix de France from Le Mans with Frenchman Johann Zarco on pole.

Grand Canyon du Verdon - route des crêtes

Grand Canyon du Verdon - North Rim road

Another day... another gorge. But this is the Big One, the deepest canyon in Europe, the Grand Canyon of the Verdon. Spectacular rock topography on view and very much in your face through a bike visor but for most of us our riding the canyon North Rim road is moderated by the up to 700m drop to the river below, even on a midweek out-of-season day like this when the North Rim road is blocked half-way to Castellane so the traffic is wonderfully light. Views of the snow on the peaks of some Provence Alps from the Col d'Ayen (1031 m.).

Read more: Grand Canyon of the Verdon - April 2018

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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.