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Old 07-16-2011, 02:13 PM   #1
ChubbyThumper OP
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The call of the Cols

A ride to the Stella Alpina rally in Bardonechia Italy via some cols and passes of France and Switzerland.

With 10 days between ferries and a target to be in Bardonnechia, Italy for the Stella Alpina event in a weeks time I set off from Roscoff with a rough plan of what I wanted to do and see. My forum buddies Jockser and Padge had given me some ideas so my first day was spent doing 440 miles S/E to the RidersRest.net
bikers B+B near Treignac, just South of Limoges. Tony, the owner, had told me if I was down in time they would keep Sunday dinner for me. With a Garmin ETA of 7pm I made maximum use of the motorway system and arrived at 7.20pm after two fuel stops and a coffee break. This left time for a beer and shower before the roast chicken Sunday dinner.



Day 2


Next morning I realised what a useless piece of sh1t my lowered gel seat (came with the bike) is in 35C. My arse bones had been bottoming out on the seat frame giving me two nice bruised tender spots which stayed for the entire trip! Sorry no pics!
Over dinner we had been watching a slide show of Tony’s showing local points of interest and he kindly gave me a mapsource route for my Zumo to get me near Gap using some excellent roads and cols (passes) and a waypoint for Chateau de Val



A bit knackered but still characterful. There was a bottle jack under the rear end!



Ardeche





I waved these guys down to warn them about loose gravel ahead but they wouldn't stop. It is very remote....






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Old 07-16-2011, 02:26 PM   #2
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I stayed that night at camping-solaire.com near Veynes and after setting up camp met Thomask and his wife. They were a Swedish couple beside me in a camper and correctly assumed that as I was from Ireland , a wee glass of Tullamore Dew would not go amiss. After a couple of nips and a great chat I went back to my tent and fell fast asleep without having any dinner. Must have been tired.

Day 3


Up early and on the road at 7am. Great light for photos. These are just across the road from the campsite






As a guide I used the book “Motorcycle journeys through the Alps” by the American John Herman ISBN 978-1-884313-70-7. Being close to Veynes I intercepted the D937 going Nthwards and rode the col du Festre and col du Noyer







The refuge at Col de Noyer, Time for a coffee and a walkabout. There was only myself and a cyclist in the cafe. Perfect.





Down the other side towards Poligny village

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Old 07-16-2011, 02:56 PM   #3
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Poligny village looking back up at the Col de Noyer





From Poligny onto the Route Napoleon N85 to La Mure then col de Glandon

Road to Col de Glandon.






As a fellow Vito van owner I got chatting to the young English couple holidaying in this one and took a photo for them



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Old 07-16-2011, 03:04 PM   #4
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to Les 2 Glaciers campsite just before Chamonix. The site is just below the Aiguille du midi, giving spectacular views of the mountains. Mont Blanc is out of sight on the other side of the hill.







Even the toilet block was pretty

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Old 07-16-2011, 11:28 PM   #5
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Mate, how awesome is that! I'd love to be able to go and have a look at some of that one day!

What is the building at the top of the mountain?


Love your work keep it coming
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:52 AM   #6
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TEASE!!!! WE WANT MORE!!!
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:14 AM   #7
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jtb its a viewing platform and gondola station. You can take a ride up from chamonix on the other side. I have done it with my wife in winter and it is spectacular. Try this link for more info
http://www.coldfusionchalets.co.uk/p...0Du%20Midi.pdf

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No teasing intended I am trying to work my way through a mountain of photos and rough notes made at the time then carefully put away in places that made sense at the time but have now been forgotten.....Doh!
Thanks for your interest guys
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:49 AM   #8
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Day 4

I crossed the border into Switzerland from Argentiere at 7.15am. The customs had not yet opened which made things pretty simple. 80 tedious miles through urban roads (avoiding motorways) and passing lots of motorcycle dealerships brought me to Furka at the foot of the Furka Pass. This is more like it!



I feel the Furka is best ridden from its base near Furka village, this gives you the entire climb wheras joing from the Grimsel Pass brings you in much higher up missing the golden triangle of hairpins.
Still climbing Furka up through the tiny village of Gletsch which you can just about make out lower down.






Starting the Descent towards Hospen Tal and Andermatt



I pulled in to let a bus get ahead .You really do prefer these roads (read corners) to yourself. An American guy, Alex from Texas pulled in with the same idea. As we ate lunch he told me he was studying in Oxford and having an end of term break on his BMW. Good to meet you Alex















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Old 07-17-2011, 06:01 AM   #9
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Thumb

Great Stuff! Can you show us a map of your route? I'm yearning for Europe.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:02 AM   #10
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very nice pics, want some more
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:26 AM   #11
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Strangely some of these perfectly straight sections in the valleys have airsocks and can double as a military landing strip. I don’t think we’re talking Cessnas here……




Turning to page 21 of Motorcycle journeys through the Alps I decided to do the Furka, Susten pass Grimsel loop anti clockwise. Not my smartest move as the guide takes you round in a clockwise direction. Ah well

Sustenpass. Taken by a German guy working in UK and riding a UK registered Beemer. This is his 6th year here working on getting his laptime down…











From the hotel Alpenrosi at the top of Grimsel you can take a dead end track called the Oberaar. The track is controlled by traffic lights. I highly recommend taking a look along here as long as you can handle the drop offs.










Restaurant above the reservoir at the end of the track. Too pricey for me!







And so I turned down the Grimsel to head for Interlaken and the campsite there. I had been texting Gordo from ADV and hoped to tie up with him and Marc, the Swiss guy he was staying with.



As I was approaching Interlaken I was waved down by another 950KTM . This turned out to be Marc accompanied by Gordo. We went back to Marcs place and I ended up staying the night there. Excellent!
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:02 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by jtb View Post
What is the building at the top of the mountain?
Hi,

At the top of the "aiguille du midi" the building is the highest telecommunication center in France.
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:28 PM   #13
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Thanks Tigrou I didn't know that.
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:35 PM   #14
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Nice pics,and the right stuff for me.Will do the "route des grandes alpes" to south france next week

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Old 07-17-2011, 01:04 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by MikJogg View Post
Nice pics,and the right stuff for me.Will do the "route des grandes alpes" to south france next week

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