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

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

CBR600RR at Le Castellet Circuit

Yes yes yes!!! Out on my own bike. It’s a great ride. Tight and sharp. Easy to hug the tank and ride with my legs. Head down, arms bent. A much closer feeling with the road surface than the SX. Ironically it’s easier to ride the small bike fast: that twist and go, lazy riding style of the Z1000SX with bags of easy power and its comfortable ride comes at too high a price in terms of loss of feel with the road and lack of confidence in the brakes.
Just a short circuit of Le Mont Saint Baume, so Le Castellet, Méounes and l’Espigoulier (723 m.), is quite a sporty workout that includes all the elements of road riding.Then down and back to Marseille for lunch, reassured. The Z1000SX got me to summercamp and the Eastern Alps in farway Austria but what a great welcome home from my RR. Also, I think I prefer red, white and blue!

Colle dell’Agnello - 2,744 m

Pain de Sucre, Cottian Alps

Jubilation at crossing safely back in to France at 2,744 m., amongst bare granite and high enough to be in the clouds. Col Agnel is the highest international col in the Alps with a road surface: the road is a bit rough on the Italian side but with impressive views of the Pain de Sucre (3208 m.), that I scrambled to the summit of on my birthday in 2009. This time, just a picnic next to a mountain stream.

Read more: Colle dell’Agnello - 2744 m.

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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.