"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
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.). Riding in my white kit so happy to find a quarry for a “Moonwalker look” pose.
The best rides are the roads leading to the canyon, up from Vinon-sur-Verdon where the Verdon meets the river Durance. Then the road up the valley of the quaintly-named river Colostre and some lakeside roads around the Lac de Saint-Croix. Pine forests concealing tricky curves and stacks of hairpins. The South Rim road is known for spectacular rolling curves and hills which give plenty of scope for sporty riding.
Today the canyon was in sultry mood aiming to frustrate the photographer. I had arrived too late to enjoy its early morning show of coloured limestone, having enjoyed the spring sunshine at Peyrolles-en-Provence while Lionél did the service on my bike. Never mind, I’ll be back.
Once to check out the road and then riding it again head-down and without stopping; the road of the Ardèche Gorge is one of the great French bike rides. 38km of road - route panoramique - from St. Martin-en-Ardèche (not far from the Rhône) to the natural rock bridge known as Le Pont d'Arc, the road follows the sinuous course of the river in its gorges and cirques below. Hairpins, long straights heading steeply down to a welcoming rock face and/or a ninety-degree bend. Tunnels through the bare craggy, dripping limestone.
Cassis to Gémenos is less than 20km by a direct route but Patrice from Arles took us on an interesting tour of east Provence taking in the Route des Crêtes of Cap Canaille, some of the sporty roads near the Grand Prix track at Le Castellet, a ridge route with views over towards the Maures and the islands of the Provence coast, this was great for the several riders now with Adventure style bikes.
Enjoyable rainy bank holiday lunchtime with Mike from Hove sharing our passions for MotoGP, World Superbikes (WSB) and riding our own sportsbikes. As well as the nippy little BMW G300R, Mike also rides his own BMW S1000RR with HP4 Carbon high performance package, that’s in sunny Spain.
The 25th « Rétropézien » motorcycle rally, the French is much more atmospheric - XXVième Rassemblement des Motos Anciennes - suggesting assembling all the old bits again to get the old bikes working once more. Unfortunately another dodgy forecast, not the sunshine as expected but despite the rain first thing, the afternoon was dry for the old bikes’ outing. About a hundred bikes turned up for the actual run, more just for the run, not including the lunch.
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.