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Old 04-08-2012, 08:09 AM   #1
Beach40 OP
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Bol D'or

Has anyone attended the Bol D'or recently?

I lived in the UK in the mid 90's and did a group ride with Ride magazine to Paul Ricard. This was in 1996, if memory serves correctly. Its still one of the best rides I have ever done.

One of the highlights was the amnesty for bikes and the blast down the motorway. No tolls, no speed limits.

Whats its like now its at a different circuit?

I'm looking at organising a much overdue trip and possibly a ride from London in 2014.
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:31 AM   #2
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I too miss the blast down to the Paul Ricard circuit. Wheeling down the sea front of Bandol much to the annoyance of the riot police. The road up the mountain to the track was fantastic, lined with locals egging you to go faster until someone crashed (it`s where Mr Williams of F1 team fame was paralysed in a crash). The trip down the Ardeche Gorge..... Aaaah memories. The blast back from Bandol to Calais in about 8hrs. The 600french franc on the spot fine for speeding on the motorway at Dijon. Great memories. If you try to do them sort of speeds now, they`d throw you in jail, confiscate your bike, fine you 1000 euro. Twats! Do you know you can empty a VFR800 fuel tank in about 15 mins if you held the twistgrip against the stop at 160+mph. That was the last time I went. Now it`s held at Magny Cours I`m not interested anymore.
I was down there in `96 Beach40. I was on a Yamaha TDM850. Went down with MCI tours who sorted all the accom out for us. As a Welshman, we got our minions to sort out the bookings. Stayed in the Royal hotel Bandol and they put me in a room with an english lad who travelled down on an RVF400. He only stayed one night then went home. (I snored like an absolute bastard after a shed load of beer) If you`re interested in a trip down to the middle of France you won`t get much better than the Coupes Moto Legendes at Dijon Prenois at the end of May. Check out the webshite. it`s in french but you`ll get the gist of it. It`s not a race, but more of a display of classic race and road bikes from the last century. I`ll be off down again this year after a 2 year break. But nowadays I travel a little slower as we like to soak up the french countryside as well as the beer and vino collapso. The Eurotunnel is the best option, 50 return, ride on in Folkstone, ride off in Calais 35minutes later.
Word of warning.... Get there later than luchtime on Friday and you`ll have a hell of a job finding a decent pitch as thousands of bikers from all over Europe will be there for the weekend. Give me a shout if any of you need any more info.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:09 AM   #3
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One of the highlights was the amnesty for bikes and the blast down the motorway. No tolls, no speed limits.
Relegated to history. Now, there are a gazillion cops, check-points, etc. The Bol d'Or is next week-end at Magny-Cours.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:52 PM   #4
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Here`s a link to the Coupes Moto Legende http://www.coupes-moto-legende.fr/ The rules and regulations being imposed by the french are set to get tougher this year. With compulsory breathalyser kits to be carried in car (not sure about bikes yet) from July, hi viz jackets, increased fines for small number plates, radar detectors are banned, fines for having the ability on your satnav to tell you where the fixed speed cameras are. So we`ll be taking the scenic route and plenty of backroads. It all sounds a bit draconian, but, ducking and diving and being sensible through the villages still makes for a fantastic trip. We`ve been popping over there for years and despite trying to learn the "lingo", I still speak like a knobhead in their language. I young lad said to me at Dijon a few years ago, "Mr Tod. Please speak in English because your accent is terrible and I can`t understand you in french". Cheeky young f**^^r! He was right though.
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:27 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info Tod.

Now I'm really wishing I had not left it so long.

When did the race move?

Was that when the fun police really screwed it up?

I thought we had it bad with our highway cops, but banning a gps device that marks speed camera locations is a little over the top.

And we were thinking most Europeans were forward thinking and stuff.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:03 AM   #6
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Here`s a link to the Coupes Moto Legende http://www.coupes-moto-legende.fr/ The rules and regulations being imposed by the french are set to get tougher this year. With compulsory breathalyser kits to be carried in car (not sure about bikes yet) from July, hi viz jackets, increased fines for small number plates, radar detectors are banned, fines for having the ability on your satnav to tell you where the fixed speed cameras are. So we`ll be taking the scenic route and plenty of backroads. It all sounds a bit draconian, but, ducking and diving and being sensible through the villages still makes for a fantastic trip. We`ve been popping over there for years and despite trying to learn the "lingo", I still speak like a knobhead in their language. I young lad said to me at Dijon a few years ago, "Mr Tod. Please speak in English because your accent is terrible and I can`t understand you in french". Cheeky young f**^^r! He was right though.
Yes, there have been changes but there has been a lot of non-fact info going around.

Breathalyzers will be mandatory on bikes. It will not be necessary to wear hi-viz jackets, the 'compromise' will be that you'll have to wear at least some dorky reflective band around one or both upper arms if your jacket doesn't not have built-in reflective strips, which virtually all new gear will have. For several months after the legislation takes effect, July 1 IIRC, the police will issue warnings rather than citations. I haven't read that there will be fines for small plates. There is discussion on now about going to larger plates because the radar can't read them very well. At the mo, something on the order of 50% of bike flashes go in the dumper. AFAIK, there will not be any requirement to re-rig the bike or the wallet to conform to any new legislation, it would apply to new bikes. There was some talk of making front plates mandatory but I don't think that got much traction. Radar DETECTORS have always been illegal. Until recently, the GPS could be downloaded with the specific points where the fixed radars were installed. Henceforth, the locations will be 2-4 kms stretches known as danger zones and there will be a mandatory 'instructive signal' upstream which will be radar attached to flashing signs showing your speed. It def will be for new installation, don't know if it will be retro for older radars. That way, you'll be able to get legal before the camera radar. That said, it will take time before the new set-ups, if I can use that term here , are operating. There will still be mobile radar units, which is what tags most of the bikes going to the Bol d'Or. In the near future, there will be police vehicles with radar that can be used while moving. Be mindful of the speed limits in town, those will be enforced more strictly than on the highways.

The FFMC, French Federation of Angry Motards, has been a very significant force in keeping the changes reasonable. They consistently hammer on the improvement of driver comportment and more enforcement of driving/drinking, but of course those are labor intensive and costly whereas the radar just goes 'ka-chink' every time it hits the jackpot.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:05 AM   #7
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Thanks for clearing that up for us brits RTLover. I don`t think I`ll be falling foul of the law in France anymore as the older I get, the more I realise it`s all about the journey, the sounds, the smells, the friendly people, and plenty of coffee stops.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:20 AM   #8
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Thanks for clearing that up for us brits RTLover. I don`t think I`ll be falling foul of the law in France anymore as the older I get, the more I realise it`s all about the journey, the sounds, the smells, the friendly people, and plenty of coffee stops.
Agreed. But, damn, it sure is fun to push it from time to time. I just keep in mind that the radar needs a certain amount of time and distance to work so the mountain twisties should still be fun and the posted speeds are often higher than I'd care to go leaned over anyway. I sympathize with you Brits, having to deal with the traffic you have.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:02 PM   #9
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happy days

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Old 04-09-2012, 05:01 PM   #10
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happy days

Is that the bad lands at the back of the main straight?

In '96 we were camped with the Honda people opposite, inside the circuit.

We could see the fires and hear the music from bikes without mufflers all night.
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:28 AM   #11
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Free Ricard

Do they still dish out free Ricard?
We would knock it back as fast as they could line em up in the '80s!
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:52 AM   #12
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Do they still dish out free Ricard?
We would knock it back as fast as they could line em up in the '80s!
I wouldn't think so, what with the draconian traffic enforcement these days. But if you fancy drinking and riding, Ricard has put on the market an anise-based non-alcoholic beverage named 'Pacific' which is surprisingly good.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:14 AM   #13
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I was offered an aperitif just as I finished putting the tent up at the Coupes Moto Legende a couple of years ago. Ok, it`s the norm for the french to get their gastric juices prepared before a meal, but he damned near half filled my mug with neat Ricard. 2 beers later I was as pissed as a fart! Very hospitable bunch, the french riders, and I`ll be paying them a visit again at the end of May.
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