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Author Topic: French Moto Culture  (Read 1713 times)

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Offline Orson

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French Moto Culture
« on: July 05, 2017, 04:41:42 PM »
This year marked the 100th anniversary of Il Gyro d'Italia so, I thought it would be neat to catch the Stelvio stage of Il Gyro. Headed north out of Parma on my faithful Guzzi to our first night's stay on the shores of Lake Garda

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Lago d'Idrio

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I had arrived while the Mille Miglia was being run. I knew sumthin was up as, I kept seeing whole slews of classic cars. These blokes were heading back to the UK in their Ferraris

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Castle whose name I forgot  :o

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The Stelvio Pass had just opened the day I had arrived and Gyro fans were already staking a claim

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I got a hotel room at the foot of the Umbrail Pass. My plan was to head up the Umbrail Pass to where it joins the Stelvio Pass and watch the riders go up the Stevio and then, watch them again as they looped around and climbed the Umbrail Pass. The next morning was a beautiful sunny day. I bought some sausage and cheese for lunch then, headed up the Umbrail. About halfway up, the police stopped me and said no more motor vehicles. Curses!

In actuality, It wasn't too bad a viewing area as you could see them coming for quite some distance before they took a hairpin corner. I passed the time talking to a nice Dutch fellow riding a BMW GS

Amateur riders head up as far as they can before the race caravan overtakes them

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The breakaway group arrives

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The main pack takes the hairpin. This gives an idea of 14% gradient

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After the race caravan passed the roads were open to all comers. Racing a thousand bicycles down hill

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Swiss views

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Sitting forlorn and perhaps forgotten

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From the Stelvio Pass, I headed west across Switzerland hoping to catch the Furka Pass out of Andermat but, my plans were dashed against the rocks as the Pass was still closed from the winter snows! Argh! This forced me to take a slightly tamer route towards Lake Geneva then on into France to the Dijon Prenois race track for the Coupes Moto Legendes classic bike meet. For those unfamiliar with the venue, this was the location for the epic, final lap battle for second place between Gilles Villeneuve and Rene Arnoux. Google it.

I spotted my first Voxan in the parking lot

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A pristine Kawasaki Z1

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Mash motorcycles are supposedly built in China by a French company. I must commend them for getting the details right. Snub tail section. nice cafe fairing, mirrors on the bars.

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The French love their endurance racing

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A tasty Honda 6

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Gratuitous Guzzi picture

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Motobecane 500 two smoke

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No idea what this is. I think it uses a Citroen engine

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Almost 40 years later, they still remember the '79 tussle

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From Dijon, I head southwest deeper into the Massif Central to another classic race track. The Wikipedia page describes the five mile long Charade Circuit as a twistier and faster version of the Nurburgring. Its sinuous layout was said to separate the men from the boys. Today, the race track has been shortened and converted into a dedicated track although, parts of the original layout are still being used as public roads. Think about what it would be like if Highway 1 to Leggett looped back into itself and you get an idea what the track must have been like. Throw in 1970s Formula 1 cars and it must have been mind blowing

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The Gravenoire curve was the fastest corner on the racetrack.

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I turn back towards Italy enjoying the fast, flowing roads of southern France...sport touring at its finest. I love stopping to eat at nondescript places that seldom see any tourists.

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Verdon Gorge

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I stayed the night at Moustieres-Sainte Marie. The hotel had a fantastic restaurant which meant that it would be rude not to partake in some good grub. Moustieres-Sainte Marie at dusk

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I return to Italy via the Pass della Maddalena and pass thru the picturesque Piemonte region before arriving safely in Parma

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Trip Statistics:

Travel Days:15
Rest Days:2
Mileage: 3,000 km
Countries: 3
Gendarmes Encounters: 2
Calories Consumed: 10,000,000

Online viffergyrl

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Re: French Moto Culture
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2017, 05:11:01 PM »
*sigh* Beautiful.
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Offline Jim

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Re: French Moto Culture
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2017, 06:20:00 PM »
Wonderful scenes portrayed nicely.
sodapop6620: You are never lost as long as you have gas.  Mrs. DantesDame: Side roads lead to interesting discoveries

Online kendenton

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Re: French Moto Culture
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2017, 10:59:13 PM »
Thanks for the write-up and the pics!
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Online Papa Lazarou

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Re: French Moto Culture
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2017, 01:02:11 AM »
I do like a Voxan
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Online st2sam

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Re: French Moto Culture
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2017, 06:43:39 AM »

 Another  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: ride report Orson!

  Thank you...
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Offline Skee

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Re: French Moto Culture
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2017, 09:36:10 AM »
+ :thumbsup:
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but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.   Vincent van Gogh

Offline kneescrubber

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Re: French Moto Culture
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2017, 12:34:33 PM »
I'll be coming back to this thread several more times. Beautiful work as always Orson.
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Offline Mrs. DantesDame

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Re: French Moto Culture
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2017, 01:07:57 PM »
So... it appears that I seriously need to get out more  :o
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Online 1KPerDay

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Re: French Moto Culture
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2017, 05:32:47 PM »
Don't take this the wrong way, but... what do you do?? I love your reports though they make me insanely jealous.  8) :clap:
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Offline Orson

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Re: French Moto Culture
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2017, 05:55:29 AM »
I'm a retired oil drilling supervisor  :)

Offline nevinfs327

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Re: French Moto Culture
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2017, 11:17:30 AM »
And doing retirement right - thanks for sharing the report and pics and letting us all live vicariously.  Beautiful places.

Offline stromgal

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Re: French Moto Culture
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2017, 07:40:47 PM »
Oh. My.  :drif:
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Online Andrew

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Re: French Moto Culture
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2017, 10:01:26 PM »
Wow Just WOW  :hail:
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Offline R Doug

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Re: French Moto Culture
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2017, 05:45:51 AM »
It's good to see you and the Le Mans enjoying retirement. 

I'm curious of this shot of Moustieres-Sainte Marie at dusk.  Is that the setting Sun's glow reflecting on the rocks or does the village light them up using artificial lights?



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Offline Max Wedge

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Re: French Moto Culture
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2017, 05:58:50 AM »
Jealous also. Thanks for sharing. 8)
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Offline Virginian

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Re: French Moto Culture
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2017, 11:59:49 AM »
Amazing photos and many thanks for sharing.
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