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Vanvan Alps Adventure 2010

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by K44rll, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. K44rll

    K44rll Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Shropshire England
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    SUZUKI VANVAN 125cc Adventure In The French/Italian Alps
    Day1

    GRENOBLE - VILLARD DE LANS - COL DE ROUSSET - DIE - COL DE MENEE - COL DU FAU - PONT DE BRION - COL D ORNON -
    BESSE EN OISANS

    As we left the Hotel B&B Grenoble we were again blessed with the skills of Phill "Sunshine" Anderson heading out of the city's rush hour traffic and West towards St Nizier and the Vercors.
    After a few kilometers we had an unexpected detour to our intended route due to a landslide closing the road, this diversion had the added bonus of woodland single track roads via Herbouilly...

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    Altho the sun was shining Gary was glad he had layered up as the air was bitterly cold and was glad to stop and absorb some sunshine...

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    After a few more kilometers we were back on our intended route and the roads/scenery just got better and better...

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    I bet Triggs wife wish he had got a rock this big in his hand last time he got down on one knee...

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    After a slight incident involving Keiths bike and a coach (broken indicator, bent clutch lever, scuffed mirror and forks twisted) we made our way to Pont en Royans and a lunch stop...

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    It was then back to the roads carved out of the mountainside with a slight drop to the left if you dared to look...

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    Being a tree surgeon i'm sure Paulie thought he was on some sort of bus mans holiday after seeing this blocking the road...

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    After the twisty mountain roads and sheer drops it was only a matter of time before we were all going to Die...

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    A few more twisties and it was down to Ort Dunlo/Martyn to prove you can get the pegs down on a Vanvan...

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    Then it was a great evening meal and a rather dark ride back to our second nights hotel in Besse en Oisans...

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    Day2

    BESSE EN OISANS - LA GRAVE - COL DU GALIBIER - SAINT MICHEL DE MAURIENNE - LANSLEBOURG MONT CENIS -
    COL DU MONT CENIS - SUSA - COLLE DELLE FINESTRE - COLLE DELL ASSIETTA - MONTE GENEVRIS - BARDONECCHIA

    Saturday morning we were up bright and early for breakfast and a walk around the picturesque village of Besse en Oisans...

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    Then it was a light application of sunscreen as Gary tried to improve satellite reception on his Sat Nav...

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    Leaving Besse we headed East towards the snow capped mountains before turning North to cross the Col Du Galibier...

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    From Galibier it was more twisties before turning toward Lanslebourg and Lac du Mont Cenis...

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    As usual the Vanvan attracted attention whenever we stopped, Emanuela was there with her boyfriend on a V-Strom but jumped at the chance to try a Vanvan for size...

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    It was then accross the Italian border and down to Susa and a break from the tarmac as we headed up the Col delle Finestre at 2176 m...

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    And again amongst other far more expensive machinery the Vanvan was center of attention...

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    Alpine traffic calming...

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    Next up was Colle delle Assietta which was to turn out to be one of the most scenic of the day altho towards the end we were struggling to see the track as it just seemed to go on and on winding it's way into the sunset and then pitch darkness where we were all gratefull of the Vanvan's decent headlight showing the way...

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    Day3

    BARDONECCHIA - SALBERTRAND - TUNNEL JAFFERAU - FORTE JAFFERAU - LA ROCHE - BARDONECCHIA - PIAN DEL COLLE -
    COL DE L’ECHELLE - BRIANCON - COL DU LAUTARET - ALPE D’HUEZ - GRENOBLE

    Day 3 and we were just over the border in Italy staying at the Hotel Europa in Bardonecchia...

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    Judging by the hotel car park and riding down to the petrol station Bardonecchia is an off road mecca being central to many of the Alpine trails...

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    Fuel top up prior to heading into the mountains...

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    After a quick blast up to Salbertrand on some of the best tarmac ever it was a sharp left and after a few KM's we were on gravel and the single track climbing up to Jafferau. Initially the track was busy with 4x4's, motorcycles and cyclists but soon become clear as hairpin after hairpin slowed down the 4x4's and cyclists...

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    After many hairpins the track leveled out to a viewing point and the lions head...

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    Trigg hanging precariously by his fingertips...

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    While at the viewing point three German registered BMW's turned up, after the intial hello's and questions about the Vanvan's they then asked "were you guy's on Assietta last night riding in the dark?" of course the answer was yes and with a shake of the head and muttering something along the lines of "Krazy English" the German guy explained they had been camping up in the mountains and had watched us ride by but could not believe we were still riding so late in the darkness...

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    Altho the track was pretty rough it was suprising where the locals would drive their family car's, ok these Fiat Sedici/Suzuki SX4's are 4wd but as you can see in the second picture just around the corner the track was more suited to Jeep style 4x4's...

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    Next up was the highlight of the trail "Tunnel Jafferau" a 1KM tunnel carved thru the mountain, not only is it pitch black but it goes both up and down around bends, water is dripping from the ceiling, it is flooded in places and open both way's to traffic...

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    Final climb was to Fort Jafferau allowing us to look back at the previous trail ...

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    As we were about to continue on the trail back down to Bardonecchia a local hiker advised us that there had been a landslide on the trail and we would not get the bikes past, thinking we would have to retrace our tracks he then told us of another way down which we had seen about 2km back,unlike England it seems hiker's and off roaders tend to help each other out...

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    A little way down the diverted route we come accross two fresh springs and a welcome drink...

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    Ok so i had to photoshop one letter on the sign...

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    Paulies new friend...

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    Well deserved lunch...

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    Then it was the final ride back to Grenoble via Col du Lautaret and an
    unplanned trip up to Alp d'Huez...

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    VANVAN ALP'S 2010 FLICKR SLIDE SHOW

    VIDEO'S

    Karl
    http://www.youtube.com/v/MRnR04I-23Q&hd=1

    Gary

    http://www.youtube.com/v/SvAPGyF4INg&hd=1

    http://www.youtube.com/v/L5J3F2i-VFc&hd=1

    http://www.youtube.com/v/FT--R4P_3KA&hd=1
    #1
  2. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,039
    Location:
    northern Arkansas
    Dirt roads in the Alps, what next?
    Great stuff.
    Jim
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    70,322
    Fantastic ride, report and awesome pics!! :clap Thanks for sharing your great ride with us!! It's truly spectacular and the food looks :tb
    #3
  4. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,681
    Location:
    Florida Keys
    That was great stuff. Lovely pictures and all done with great bikes.
    #4
  5. BusyWeb

    BusyWeb Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    99
    :clap :clap
    #5
  6. Edimbourgeois

    Edimbourgeois Vintage Addict

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    In the Phare Ouest
    Thanks for sharing! Awesome trip you had there! Congratulations and thanks again for the pics!!
    #6
  7. doring

    doring Aventuros

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    30
    Location:
    Bucuresti, Romania
    Great pictures, great bikes. Very beautiful landscapes. Thanks for sharing.
    #7
  8. JuanAMB

    JuanAMB _.-._

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    Barcelona - Spain
    Nice travel.
    #8
  9. srad600

    srad600 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    736
    Location:
    Chino Hills, CA
    :thumb That looked like a really fun trip, nice. :thumb
    #9
  10. Wataboutya

    Wataboutya n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2
    Craicin report. Loved the pics and the routes where well planned too by the looks of things. Would love a route map if youve got one.

    So what was the journey like from blighty to Grenoble then? Mustve been a laugh in a group but did you stick to toll roads or D roads?
    #10
  11. boboneleg

    boboneleg we can rebuild him.

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,760
    Location:
    Bristol UK
    Great stuff guys :clap

    we will be there this summer but on slightly larger bikes :lol3

    Bob.
    #11
  12. K44rll

    K44rll Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Shropshire England
    I have the routes on Garmin .gbd files if you use Mapsource or i can send a route on Google, pm me your email


    Due to most of the guys having work/family and restricted holiday commitments we transported the bikes down to Grenoble in Van's, that took a day but would have been 2 days on the 125's avoiding motorways (a couple are still on L plates) This year i will ride down a few days before and meet up with the others

    Thanks for the compliments

    Karl
    #12
  13. GZPainter

    GZPainter A Scouser from Crete

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Bristol, Crete and wherever the road goes...
    Nice ride and great report....

    I reallly like that you did the ride with this small bikes because you show that where there is the will...there is always and the way...

    yea...I think either gbd file or google map will be perfect...PM is on the way...
    #13
  14. griffin146

    griffin146 Coming in Hot.....

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    146
    Location:
    Malaysia
    Never seen this bike before , but it looks great.
    With a bigger fuel tank it looks like you could RTW on one :thumb.
    Great RR :clap:clap
    #14
  15. saito

    saito Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    66
    Location:
    Gent, Belgium
    Would love the route aswell, PM send, cheers!
    #15
  16. K44rll

    K44rll Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Shropshire England
  17. macarron

    macarron Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Spain
    Very nice ride report, the Alps always look great. I also like the idea of riding as a Suzuki team on rather unusual bikes.
    #17
  18. Bury_Dave

    Bury_Dave Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    71
    Location:
    Cambridge , UK
    That's one cracking ride report. Well done !

    Well put togther, well presented, great photos. Awesome.

    Nice to see someone show that those lovely little VanVans are very capable and that you don't need a GS to enjoy yourself.

    Also good just to see a group of tight mates having fun.

    I'll also be PM-ing for the route.

    Dave
    #18
  19. K44rll

    K44rll Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Shropshire England
    <iframe title="YouTube video player" class="youtube-player" type="text/html" width="640" height="510" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/g7LNRmQB_CA" frameborder="0" allowFullScreen></iframe>
    #19