RR at the balcon de mescla on the south rim of the Grand Canyon of the Verdon Crossing the Verdon at the end of the Grand Canyon of the Verdon

Lots of sporty bikers, some very sporty-aggressive indeed, riding up on Sunday to the Grand Canyon of the Verdon, practicing and perfecting their moves on the freshly improved road. Too early for motorcaravans and even no groups of cyclists either, so fantastic riding opportunities, not to mention chain stretching and high rev gear changes as the road is neither level nor straight. Note: I don’t do late braking when there’s a solid wall of rock or a 500m vertical drop ahead.

Riding up from St Tropez after breakfast with Denis, the road has been improved so much that it’s almost a race track for bikers. I chose the southern route of the canyon, there’s more open road than the north rim road. A very special atmosphere on the road with bikes outnumbering cars two and three to one. Passing the standby ambulance at the high bridge over the river Artuby which otherwise sane people jump off from with only a piece of elastic to jolt them back to reality. Riding alternately sporty and tourist depending on the views, and stopping at the viewpoint at Vaumale for a photo. Picnic lunch at Aiguines, bikes and bikers still outnumbering cars gave an extraordinary ambience.
Crossing the river Verdon just outside the lower end of the canyon and on to the plateau of Valensole, itself not short of opportunities for sporty riding, and back to Marseille.
This new RR is a great joy to ride, I’m really happy with it. It’s supple in its handling, sure in its grip on the corners and very sporty. It’s great riding but quite physical - it gets me quite sore, even with all the gym I do. I had more trouble than usual with sorting out a viable baggage arrangement to bring the minimum necessary for an overnight stay. An R1200 wouldn’t have any such problem but wouldn’t have been half so much fun.

Corniche de l’Estérel ride with Denis the previous day.