Looking for suggestions for a Alps tour starting in Germany

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by Rogue_Ryder, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Not to be picky - O.K., being picky. La Bonnette isn't actually a pass - it's just a loop road from the pass to get the altitude - the pass itself is #3 or 4. Great views, though. And you'd have to go over the Iseran (#1) to get there.

    Sounds like you're having a great ride and keeping busy. So - when's the next one? It's like the old Lay's Potato Chips slogan - "Bet you can't eat just one".

    From Bourg St. Maurice I'd recommend the Cormet de Roselend and/or the Col du Pre and back north through Chamonix into Switzerland at Martigny and north or over the Grand St. Bernard and back into Italy at Aosta.

    Another possibility would be to go over the Iseran and take the Col du Mt. Cenis back into Italy to Susa. The Finestre is also a possibility from Susa if you don't mind a little polite dirt.

    On a side note, I checked into the Evaldo last night for 3 nights. Still lovely. There's a group from Adriatic Moto tours here and a whole flock of Swiss.

    Shameless plug. I'll be putting my VStrom DL1000 up for sale after I get back to Stefan's... :augie
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  2. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    On my maps, and also on google, type in Col de la Bonette and that's what you get.
    Wiki says
    Col de la Bonette is a high mountain pass in the French Alps, near the border with Italy. It is situated within the Mercantour National Park on the border of the departments of Alpes-Maritimes and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.

    I have no idea: I remember reading the little plaque at the top the first time I went up, when it was all unimproved and gravel for the top third, both sides - "...built as a military road..."
    So maybe rather than being the lowest viable route between two high points*, it deliberately chose some higher ground for a better defensive or observational position. I know about the extra loop added for more height, comparatively recently.

    *my laymans definition of a pass or col

    Selling the bike Michael... looking for a replacement or pastures new.
    #22
  3. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Want to do some longer rides in North America (budget limits) and don't want the VStrom to sit for 2-3 years until I get back to it. Not good for the bike or my wallet.

    I may replace it in a bit with something more dirt-oriented and smaller (read: easier to pick up). There are a number of dirt roads that I want to ride that are beyond my capability on the VStrom. The Assietta was about my comfy limit. I want to enjoy the ride, not brag about surviving it. That shit was 50 years ago.

    Re: Bonnette. The Col is the point where the road humps and heads back downhill. The plaque is on the loop road at the Cime de la Bonnette.

    Or so I have been told.
    #23
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  4. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    My first time at the top of the Bonette - I was still working so probably late August and trying to cram as much in on the way back home. We both had all our bike clothes incl. waterproofs against the cold. It was thick fog and you couldn't see more than a few dozen yards. But all of us who made it in those old days, pre sealed surface and deep rain traverses, felt we had done something slightly out there.
    It was not only the road and the mountain, but the bikes of 30+ years ago were not so easy to handle, tyres were much worse too.
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  5. Rogue_Ryder

    Rogue_Ryder

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    Thanks for the tips! Wish I had checked the thread sooner. Here's what I've covered so far https://goo.gl/maps/43g8ehb8Pik not too bad for roughly 4.5 days of riding. I still have tomorrow but I'll probably just explore some of the bike roads in this area and then start making my way back to Heidelberg in the afternoon.

    When I left Landry I headed towards Chamonix and road the pass into Martigny Switzerland. I wanted to hit the Black Forest of Germany on this trip, which was the main reason for not going any further south or west in France. After riding through Switzerland and trying to stay off the A roads as I Didn't want to drop 40 Euros for the Vignette for only what I thought was going to be a few hours of riding (in hind sight I should have just dropped the $ and bought the Vignette and hauled ass back to Germany, as the route from Martigny to the Southern Edge of the Black Forest was slow going), I should have stayed in France longer and cut over into Germany north of Switzerland, but it's all part of the experience I guess. I ended up overnighting in Bern and made my way back in Germany in the early afternoon.

    I found some great roads in the Black Forest but so far France was the best for great roads with very little traffic. Tomorrow I'll ride some more of the Black Forest before heading back to Heidelberg.
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  6. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    That's why you need to make multiple trips!
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  7. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Even in high summer season in France, once away from the well publicised routes like the N85 Route de Napoleon, there are more great riding roads with next to no traffic near by.
    We have ridden and driven and barely seen a handful of vehicles a day outside villages.
    Once you cast aside the tyranny of the destination, you can start to enjoy the ride and the scenery.

    Sounds like you had an adventurous time. Here's to the next.
    #27
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  8. lhendrik

    lhendrik Putins Puppet

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    Hello to all, this thread has been very helpful to the OP and to me as I "plan" another ride in Europe. I think I recall meeting MichaelJ at Knopf's a year or two ago on the Vstrom. I was the grey haired guy from New York, with the tall grey R1200GSA.

    On Sept 4, I head out to Heidelberg again to pick up my bike at Knopf's for 3 or 4 weeks of Fall riding. For the past 5 or 6 years I have looped through the Alps, and also taken wider ranging rides to the Extremes of Europe. As a 68 year old, this year I am thinking of some time in the Cevennes area (Millau) for some relaxed camping on the river. Weather permitting I would then head across to French, Swiss and Italian Alps as discussed above.

    If weather is not cooperating, I will head south, cross the Pyrenees into Spain and see how that fares.

    That's the nice thing about moto-touring - so many choices.
    #28
  9. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Hello again!

    I went through Millau last year coming back form Andorra. Stayed in the Hotel Bowling in Millau. Cheap hotel (think F1), but the "lobby" was in a bar/bowling alley combo. Picked it from booking.com as the name intrigued me.

    Some very nice riding just NE of Millau - the Gorges du Tarn (my track last year).

    [​IMG]

    Carcassone is impressive. It was 35C+ when I was there, and so didn't spend a lot of time. Walking around in full moto kit was a bit much.

    [​IMG]

    And, if you're that far south, Andorra and the Pyrenees beckon. Highly recommend the Hotel Nordic in El Tarter in Andorra.
    #29
  10. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    The Cevennes are a really nice ride. Of course, as I rarely actually navigate, I tend to use geographical designations somewhat loosely. But that sort of Tarn-ish/Ardeche-ish area (and lots more) are wild and empty while being physically less rugged than the Alps.
    I tend to be travelling in the opposite direction, but from Avignon (itself worth a walk round) I head to Uzes, because there is nice cafe with good pastries on the shady side of the "circle" round the town.
    From there heading slightly north of east - or you could just look up Milliau. Actually the Tarn valley road has been smoothed and straightened over the years, not the bit of a challenge it used to be. There are always lots of alternatives though. Interesting villages along the way, Some almosy desolate some managing to keep it together.

    Or heading east from Avignon, Take in the Luberon. Many routes from say Cavillion/Apt (with lots of little villages scattered about) up to Sault and Mont Ventoux. You can dither east west too. Lots of my favourite by ways around there and villages and restaurants and vinyards.
    From Apt you can take the D900 along to Forqualier and see the Alps shining in the far distance. Keep going and past the Verdon Gorge you can strike out for Castellane and hit the Alps proper.

    Now August is gone, so will the majority of the tourists.

    Have a great time.
    #30
  11. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    I rode sous le pont d'Avignon - but didn't see anyone dancing.
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  12. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    No, the song is a bit of a propaganda excercise...
    And the Palais des Papes is a tourist trap (and vast).
    But the town is a nice place for an aimless mooch - despite being too large.
    #32