Riding the western Alps.

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by motorrider, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. motorrider

    motorrider Ride as much as you can!

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    81
    Location:
    Losser, Netherlands
    In September I had a week holliday. I tought it would be nice to ride a tour in the <st1:place>Alps</st1:place>.<o:p></o:p>
    I wanted to ride a lot of cols and do some off-road riding. Although I do not have any off-road experience I wanted to ride the Sommellier, the highest rideble road in <st1:place>Europe</st1:place>.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Before leaving I always make a pic of the milage, nice to know at the end of the ride how far it was. So I picked up my things and I left to <st1:country-region><st1:place>Germany</st1:place></st1:country-region><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    In Appenweier I arrive in Hotel Hanauer Hof.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    The next day the first col ahead is Jaunpass.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    The next col for the day is the col des mosses.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    And than <st1:state><st1:place>Col</st1:place></st1:state> de la croix<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    The last col for the day is Forclaz.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    I pay &#8364;22,= and ride the mont-blanc tunnel<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    In the evening I arrive in Pre Saint didier in <st1:country-region><st1:place>Italy</st1:place></st1:country-region>. I find a hotel called hotel Bucaneve. It is a nice place for a good price and good food. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The next day the first col is the picollo <st1:city><st1:place>san bernardo</st1:place></st1:city>.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Than the 2770 meters high <st1:state><st1:place>Col</st1:place></st1:state> de l'iseran. The weather is perfect<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    After the Iseran there is col du mont Cenis with the beautiful lake .<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    At the lake there is a dam onwhich you can ride the bike.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    In Bardoneccia I find the way to pointe Sommellier. First a piece of tarmac than there is only gravel. I do not have any experience with of-road riding but I want to get to the top.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Because of the nice weather there are fantastic vieuws<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    The begining of the road is easy to do. The higher I get the harder it gets. But I do not give up so easy. I am to curious, I want to get to the top.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    With a little preserverance I get the heavy GSA without off-road experience at the top of the Sommeiller<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    I made it!!!
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    The Streetpilot indicates almost 3000 M.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Behind the fence it is not permitted to go with my GS.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    And exactly there is the nice blue lake.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    There is even snow.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    In Bardoneccia I get a hotel. Hotel La beiulla.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    The day after I don´t have to ride so far to get to Monte Jafferau.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Realy nice views.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    I think this road is harder to ride than the one at Sommeiller. Bigger stones.<o:p></o:p>
    My curiousity is to big, I want at least reach the tunnel.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    At a certain moment I reach a place were I can choose for more directions.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    I think the way which I want to go is not permitted. But there is a traffic sign with Italian text on it. I don´t know any Italian so I think the sign says that it is permitted for motorbikes.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Such a view I don´t want to miss.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    This sign I find at the way up.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Than I drive through the tunnel. After the tunnel the way goes ahead.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    The way to the top is very hard but very beautiful. Sometimes I meet another motorbike or some 4x4 cars.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    At the top there is another sign. Not permitted to ride in.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Again made it to the top.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Almost 2800 M
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    The way back goes well, although it is very hard for an off-road noob like me. Enough off-road for the moment I think. A few days later I get in even worse off-road.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    col de 'l Echelle.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    col d I 'zoard
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    At the end of the day col d' Agnel.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Near paso di Tenda I stay in this good hotel.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    The GS can sleep covered too.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    I want to ride col di Tenda. I heared there should be a gravelroad at this col which would be rideble for normal touring bikes. It starts with tarmac.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    At a certain moment I was driving the wrong way without knowing it. I think that I am driving the gravelroad which I heared about.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    The view is very nice.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    As I follow my way I have my thoughts about the way I am following. It can´t be the right way. This is not a road which can be driven by a non off-road bike.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    I can go back or ride ahead, My decision is to ride ahead and let me surprise what I get.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    The road is very hard, harder than the other roads I had driven. After I studied the map it looks like it is the via <st1:state><st1:place>del</st1:place></st1:state> sale<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    At this road you get to colle <st1:state><st1:place>del</st1:place></st1:state> lago dei signori.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Via <st1:state><st1:place>del</st1:place></st1:state> sale is the road eastwards of colle di Tenda and which the border shapes between <st1:country-region><st1:place>Italy</st1:place></st1:country-region> and <st1:country-region><st1:place>France</st1:place></st1:country-region>. It is an old military road from the 16<sup>th</sup> century. The road is without tarmac and only driveble for one car. It is better for off-road motorbikes.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    At colle <st1:state><st1:place>del</st1:place></st1:state> lago dei Signori I have to put my GS at the ground, my leg missed the ground and when I touched the ground with my foot it sliped away over the gravel. I can not hold the heavy motorbike and have to put it on the ground. I dismantle the panniers and put the bike up at the handlebar.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    After the approximately 50 km long road which is better rideble at the end, I reach the Mediterranean see.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    I ride to the Mountains again and pass again the border.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Col de Turini.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    The last one for the day is col saint Martin.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    In Isola I get into this hotel.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Next day I drive the road to Isola 2000. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Directly after Isola 2000, col de la lombarde.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Via col de larche back to <st1:country-region><st1:place>Italy</st1:place></st1:country-region> again. Unfortunately the weather is changing to rain.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    At col de Labonette there are heavy rains.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    With this kind of weather you can ride into the clouds.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Col de la couillole.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Col de la cayolle
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Col de Vars
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Hotel in Guillestre.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    It is still rainy weather when I want to leave from Guillestre the next day. At col du galabier the sky is bighten up a little. There is snow at the mountain tops.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Fantastic col.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    After the Galabier it starts to rain again.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    In Switserland it is even very foggy.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    In the evening I reach <st1:country-region><st1:place>Germany</st1:place></st1:country-region>. I get a very nice hotel with good food. Hotel Krone in Neuenburg am Rhein. Much better than the French hotels.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The last day I drove in heavily rain at the German Autobahn home again. In one week almost 4000 km and 22 cols. It was fantastic. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    With my helmetcam I made a movie about the ride to the highest road of <st1:place>Europe</st1:place>, the Sommeiller. Click at the link beneath.
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    http://www.vimeo.com/1833565
    #1
  2. Olirider

    Olirider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    480
    Location:
    The country of stinky cheeses
    Nice trip, thanks for sharing.
    I know nearly of these roads, they are awesome.
    You definitively missed the Tende pass road.
    [​IMG]
    You'll have to come back !
    #2
  3. Old Git Ray

    Old Git Ray Now retired...YeeHaa

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,500
    Location:
    UK based, Bored because I am not travelling
    Great report but I must say you are crazy.

    No off road experience and you go alone on those roads -wow - respect.

    Well done and thanks for the post.
    #3
  4. AZ-Twin

    AZ-Twin Dusty and Thirsty

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,326
    Location:
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    Very nice ride report and pictures. Thank you for sharing your trip with us.
    #4
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    57,500
    Location:
    Toronto
    Awesome ride, report and pics :clap thanks for posting such a great rid :thumb
    #5
  6. old school

    old school FUBAR

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    124
    Location:
    The Great State of Confusion
    Great ride report and pics - looks like it was a blast! :thumb

    Thanks for sharing.
    #6
  7. motorrider

    motorrider Ride as much as you can!

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    81
    Location:
    Losser, Netherlands
    I definitely wil ride back to ride the Tenda col. I think next year.
    Nice pic:clap
    #7
  8. flygirl

    flygirl n00bius maximus

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    520
    Location:
    Colorado
    IN!!! :D:wink:
    #8
  9. motorrider

    motorrider Ride as much as you can!

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    81
    Location:
    Losser, Netherlands
    #9
  10. BigBear42

    BigBear42 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    La Talaudiere, France
    Fantastic ride, do you have any tracks of this journey? I'm planing to spend abouit five days in the area at the end of july.

    Keep Riding

    Big Bear
    #10
  11. tserts

    tserts Chaotic Neutral

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,717
    Location:
    Yunanistan (Stans baby!)
    Motorbike heaven, how I envy you, It will be sometime before I get the chance to return there...

    Thank you for the write-up and the photos, seems you had a great time! :clap:clap
    #11
  12. tserts

    tserts Chaotic Neutral

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,717
    Location:
    Yunanistan (Stans baby!)
    Wow, I just watched the video as well, it is beautiful! :eek1

    What was that animal that crossed the road? I couldn't make it out..
    #12
  13. Monti

    Monti n00b

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    Black Forest, Germany
    Hi Motorider,

    can you tell me were you get this map? Or from which manufacturer and size it is? It seems realy detailed and I'm still searching for a sustainable map for my trip in september. :evil

    Thanks,
    Monti:wink:
    #13
  14. motorrider

    motorrider Ride as much as you can!

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    81
    Location:
    Losser, Netherlands
    #14
  15. BigBear42

    BigBear42 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    La Talaudiere, France
    Thanks mate.

    BB42

    #15