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

Mesh bike gear on the Col de l'Espigoulier

Col de l'Eespigoulier

Checking out my mesh riding kit in the heatwave in Marseille. Great when moving but mesh doesn’t stop me heating up when stopped. On safety and protection, there’s a balance between comfort and safety (you aren’t riding safely if you are overheated) but the protection from a full riding suit is undeniable. Maintaining hydration and structuring rest are also important.
But of course I took the opportunity for a bit of sharpening up riding skills on the Col de l’Espigoulier (723 m.) - it’s always good to remember that some curves tighten as you ride through...

Port of La Madrague, Var

Bandol

Last ride out on this trip so visiting the Mediterranean. Chilling out is not the word, today is the summer solstice: the temperatures are well in to the thirties. The little port of La Madrague retains its charm, now lost by its larger neighbours such as Six-Fours, Bandol and Sanary. Bandol enjoys a particularly magnificent example of municipal roundabout horticulture this year and the town is recovering well from the diseases attacking palm trees elsewhere on the Riviera.

Read more: La Madrague - Bandol - Castellet

Start of the road to the Col d'Allos

Hotel du Cheval Blac, Barcelonnette

Col d'Allos

Fine clear start in Barcelonnette but chilly. Leaving the friendly town centre hotel that’s been run by the same family for four generations and riding up the north approach to the Col d’Allos (2250 m.), it’s not a road for speed but it is one of the very best for nature.

Read more: Why I love riding in Provence - 4

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

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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.