The call of the Cols

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by ChubbyThumper, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. Famous

    Famous Goin down hill fast

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    Looks good Terry

    Looking forward to the next lot:clap

    Nice haircut by the way.



    Or is that gravel rash:D
    #21
  2. ChubbyThumper

    ChubbyThumper Been here awhile

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    Thanks lads, more to come but won't get the Stella bit done until tomorrow. late shift beckons...

    I was now a days riding from Bardonecchia .The overnight thunderstorm had cleared and the sun was out but not over the top of the mountains yet. A great way to start the day.
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    Outskirts of Courmayeur. I wonder what the going rate is for a wee wooden house is in this neck of the woods? Must remember to do the lottery this week.
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    My Zumo was getting mighty confused in the small town of Courmayeur. So was I, my attempts to ask directions were met with unfriendly silence so it was time to do a good sheperd ie get the flock out of there. Val d`Isere was beautiful but closed for lunch! Well out of season I suppose its more of a winter destination. At least the fuel pumps worked on a Visa card despite the attached supermarket having a two hour siesta. This scene just out of town near the gondola station. Ski lifts all over the place.
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    climbing Col de L`Iseran from Val d`Isere
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    Looking back down on Val d`Isere
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    Scenes around the top of the Col. We are back in France by the way

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    #22
  3. ChubbyThumper

    ChubbyThumper Been here awhile

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    Whilst in having a coffee and cheese / ham baguette I met a Scottish cyclist Iain Mackie. Iain is doing an epic trip taking in the Pyrennees and Alps on his bike. Check out his blog on
    Cycling2011.com
    An amazing feat, his wee carbon fibre bike is worth twice as much as my KTM! His thighs would feed a family of four for a month! Anyway a real nice guy and a pleasure to meet
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    Goin down from the col I spotted my first Marmotte. By the time I got pulled in and camera out the little fecker was gone so I took some road shots anyway
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    Iain recommended taking a look at the village of Bonneval at the foot of the pass and I must thank him for this. ItÂ’s a lovely restored village just off the main road but easily visible .
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    And so to Camping Bokki in Bardonecchia


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    Erecting a tent caused hundreds of these little guys to take off and move a few yards away. Only to come back and festoon the tent once I had it up
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    Tomorrow we ride the Stella Alpina
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    #23
  4. Daithi

    Daithi Destination Unknown.

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    Absolutely fantastic looking spin, I've now got this event pencilled in for next year.

    Thanks for sharing.:thumb

    PS
    Didn't know what a Marmotte was so I had to Google it...........

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    #24
  5. KHVol

    KHVol Long timer

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    I believe the is the best Alps RR and pics I have seen..glad now that we had to cancel our Alps trip this year, your route is a better route. Many thanks...
    #25
  6. Beer

    Beer 950 SE

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    Great write up and superb pics Chubby!

    I'm looking forward to going back later this year......
    #26
  7. KTM Gordo

    KTM Gordo Another flat battery

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    Looks like you had a grand trip - it was good to catch up with you in Switzerland. :D

    Suppose I ought to post my own trip report of two weeks in the Alps...
    #27
  8. ChubbyThumper

    ChubbyThumper Been here awhile

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    Thanks guys, I enjoy the feedback. Daithi I got a shot of a Marmotte on the Stella descent but he didn't have his RPG7 with him. Must try harder.
    #28
  9. davidgibson999

    davidgibson999 Been here awhile

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    Fabulous report Terry. Looking forward to the rest of it. You've a good eye for a photo!!
    #29
  10. D.T.

    D.T. Difficult but useful

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    :clap
    #30
  11. ChubbyThumper

    ChubbyThumper Been here awhile

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    I got the tent up and headed over to the reception / bar / shop building to get something to cook. It took a bit of time to get there as I had to pass a lot of interesting bikes and friendly people. So far so good. In the bar I made some new friends Phil (Roastbeef82) Gary and Donnie. Beer was offered and spaghetti ordered. Bike talk began.
    Next morning I met Buckles on his 1200GS adv. We had met previously at the Dragon Rally in 2010. Buckles and I decided to take a spin up with Phil and Chris to the Refuge to check out the route for the rally next day. About 6km out of Bardonecchia up a very small road you turn off at this sign.
    It supposed to be 26kms to Lago Sommeiller, the top, from here...I wouldn&#8217;t be surprised.
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    Up through the tree line.
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    <o:p>Phil in the camo but you can still see him...

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    A bunch of Honda guys camping here. A nice handy river for cooling off
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    #31
  12. ChubbyThumper

    ChubbyThumper Been here awhile

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    Fairly soon we arrived at the Refuge. There must be a long way to go still.

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    Campers getting set up. It was to be much busier later in the day.
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    Romagnola noise pollution at the refuge. Its actually very pleasant and one of the alpine associations you leave with.

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    It transpired that the route was open and being ridden so....up we went for a looksee

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    First opportunity we took a photo stop

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    A Swiss guy, they must be born with a head for heights. It was ok he had his crash helmet on

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    #32
  13. ChubbyThumper

    ChubbyThumper Been here awhile

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    After this climb we crossed a saddle on to the next set of twisties, things getting a little bit more rugged on the corners but no stoppers yet

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    Eventually we made it to where the snow blocked the road
    Here&#8217;s Donnie. He dinged a downpipe and had a slipping clutch but otherwise all good
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    Buckles, we rode all the way up together
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    Meself of course (fine bike)
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    After an off piste diversion and riding over an earth bank we reached a wooden fence type barrier with a notice banning any further vehicular progress. We had done it! We joined the other bikers that were soaking up the sunshine and banging water and food into themselves.

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    some of the machinery at the top

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    a two stroke twin, havent seen one like this before

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    A walkabout to check out Lago Sommeiller
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    #33
  14. KHVol

    KHVol Long timer

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    Yankee, 500CC's of Two Ossa 250's pressed together..sweet...

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    #34
  15. DeeGee

    DeeGee I'm a Yorkshireman thanoz

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    Absolutely stunning T! :thumb glad you're back home safe and sound. Keep it coming.
    #35
  16. boboneleg

    boboneleg we can rebuild him.

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    Hi Terry,

    nice to meet you in Bardo, shame our paths didn't cross earlier. I went south (Napoli) after I met you, it got very very hot.

    Back now, bike performed faultlessly and returned 42.84mpg. Not too shabby considering the speeds I was travelling at on the way back :rofl

    Hope to meet you again somethime :thumb

    Bob.
    #36
  17. ChubbyThumper

    ChubbyThumper Been here awhile

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    Nice one Bob and thanks for the sticker, DeeGee good to hear from you, must be too wet for golf then....

    Donnie sent me these two pics of myself and buckles going off piste for the last few hundred metres to the finish, cheers mate :clap

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    Some young Italians having fun on enduro bikes

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    On the descent I finally got some Marmotte shots, (without anti-tank weapon ). I spotted him and immediately turned my engine off waving Buckles to do the same. He did and got another French guy to stop too. I went into slow motion pulling camera out of tank bag, lens cap off, turn bloody camera on, focus and gotcha!

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    I have heard them described as just a big rodent which sort of takes the cuteness way. Must get him googled up tonight...
    #37
  18. boboneleg

    boboneleg we can rebuild him.

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    This fearsome beastie was guarding the doors to the tunnel on le Grand Parapillon when we got there.

    They dont half make a 'screeching' sound when you've spolit their day :lol3

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    #38
  19. Daithi

    Daithi Destination Unknown.

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    Glad to see that not all Marmottes are armed, fantastic RR Chubby.:thumb


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    This is what would make me go next year....
    #39
  20. ChubbyThumper

    ChubbyThumper Been here awhile

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    Bob we really need to see a Ride Report from your recent trip.....
    Daithi, just do it ....

    Going down we met two guys, one with a BMW the other minding a Pan European. Both bikes had lost all engine oil. The BMW had a nice hole in his crankcase whilst the Pan had a smashed oil pump I think. Not the best of places to be stranded, but they both seemed happy enough and had food and water. Pat, the Pan owner had borrowed his mates 800GS to go get help.
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    The BMW owner seemed unalarmed

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    There's always time for a bit of craic.Buckles joins the banter.


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    Pats mate from Tipperary was a long way from home and hoping Pat hadn't just taken his 800GS to the nearest pub!
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    #40