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

GBMCC London Christmas lunch 2017

Ninety-one happy bikers for GBMCC London Christmas lunch at the Riverside restaurant, on the bank of the Thames at Vauxhall. Thank you Stephen for organising this event, which goes from strength to strength, as does GBMCC, now in its fortieth year.
Then many of us went on the nearby Royal Vauxhall Tavern for traditional stage entertainment: Charlie Hides’ TransAtlanticDame show.

High res version available to club members, see the GBMCC website

Le Plan de la Tour, village in the Massif des Maures

Balcony in Le Plan de la Tour, village in the Massif des Maures

Last day riding for this trip. Petit déjeuner at home with Denis and Michel in St. Tropez then riding up to the cork tree forest that clothes the Massif des Maures. Stopping for coffee in the little village of Le Plan de la Tour. Previously a village of vineyard and forest workers, now you don’t have much choice if you have only one million Euros to buy your holiday house. Nonetheless, the new owners have mostly made their renovations sympathetic to the local styles.

Read more: Le Plan de la Tour

Snack Popeye, Plage Gigaro, La Croix Valmer

Bikes on the harbour wall at sunset in St Tropez

Ride in the sunshine along the French Riviera: Hyères, Borme les Mimoses and meeting with Denis and Michel for a salad lunch on the front at Le Lavandou.
Continuing the road movie with a photo stop at Snack Popeye on Plage Gigaro at the village of La Croix Valmer. These little beaches are pretty much deserted at this time of the year and the storms haven't yet wreacked damage. Some more roads, hills, cliffs and plenty of curves then a stop for coffee and tea portside at Les Marines de Cogolin, just across the channel from Port Grimaud.

Read more: St. Tropez sunset

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

The Plateau of Valensole, Provence

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 at home 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 long straight roads over the Plateau of Valensole (my photo is meant to be in the style of a road movie); then Esparron, site of a previous GLME camp hosted by AMA, with its fine castle and a famous Domaine Naturiste in a secluded valley with its own beach.

Read more: Quinson - Esparron - Vinon

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

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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.