Great day out riding my RR; this is what I came here for this time, despite the hassles of travel at the moment.
After a classic Provence winter dawn, breakfast of just a croissant and some coffee, but indoors as it’s the coolest breakfast-time air temperature so far, just +3°C on my balcony. High clouds look like they will limit the sun’s rays but keep the heat in. The wind that stopped me riding yesterday has dropped so it should be good to go later on.
Riding out of Marseille, then passing the Légion tank regiment base at Carnoux-en-Provence, before a stop in pretty Cassis.
Following out of Cassis a little old local trail bike ridden like the devil, so I had no option but to enjoy the nostalgic two-stroke smoke, then the first 270 degree hairpin (always a shock to the rider the first time after a while) steeply up to Cap Canaille with its fabled view west to the Calanques.
The Route des Crêtes on Cap Canaille is as good as a track day session, at least when there’s not much traffic, like early today. You’ve ridden up from beach level to a maximum altitude of 356 m., there’s a clear view round many of the curves, the hills are challenging and there’s a huge variety of road layouts. I ran it once to check for obstacles, gravel etc and then a couple of times to play on a high revs basis.
Down to La Ciotat, a town with a naval dockyard but also beaches that face the sun and are protected from the Mistral. The promenade at La Ciotat still has its magnificent palm trees, despite storms and disease. It was warm enough in the sunshine to strip back the layers to my t-shirt, discarding the leathers, wind/waterproof under-jacket, and a light fleece! Fantastic, twelve days before Christmas!
Home via the interestingly twisty Pas d’Ouillier (365 m.) and Roquefort-la-Bedoule, this crash hat’s peak being very useful against the low angle of the winter sun.
Colourful sunset back in Marseille and eating out again at the favourite restaurant where Pascal and I had enjoyed a Fondue Forestière together a couple of days ago to see off 2021 and hope for better in 2022.