By Eddie Smyth I took the bike out from its personal garage for the final time and loaded up my belongings with enough straps and bungees to foil Houdini. The two cars set off for Vimy Ridge via the main roads. I pointed the bike to the back roads towards Arras where Vimy Ridge sits [...]
By Eddie Smyth The next day was spent visiting several sites around Albert. There are so many that an attempt to stop at every one you pass will take you months. To visit them all in Northern France would be a lifetime’s work.
By Eddie Smyth A trip to the battle sites of Northern France is always a good topic of conversation for bikers as they sip ale in the cosy confines of the local pub. It’s not as far away as the Alps and certainly not as risky as a trip across the Andes.
By Eddy Smyth Day 7: 230 miles traveled Hours in the saddle: 8 Day 7 – Chateaugiron, Rohan, Josselin, Ploermel and off and away to Plélin-le-Gran We decided to head east today. Chateaugiron got rave reviews in several reference books so it seemed a good choice for a nice run along more of [...]
By Eddy Smyth Day six: 70 miles traveled Hours in the saddle: 3 Isthmus on the Cȏte Sauvage to Quiberon A relaxed breakfast before setting off in brilliant sunshine to the very tip of the Isthmus on the Cȏte Sauvage to Quiberon. Once we were out in the open the ocean on both [...]
By Eddy Smyth Day 5: 179 miles Hours in the saddle: 7 Another clear morning despite last night’s rain. We had planned several stops today. Keeping ahead of gathering clouds was part of the plan; heading ever southward might achieve that aim. Amongst all the other nice memories and sights we’d taken in at Huelgoat [...]
By Eddy Smyth Day 4: 87 miles traveled Hours in the saddle: 3 Paimpol and onwards to Perros Guirec on the Pink Granite Coast We spotted a staircase that led down below the reception of the hotel to a breakfast room. It was very cloudy outside but dry enough to encourage us on [...]
By Eddy Smyth Day 3: 107 miles Hours in the saddle: 5 Exploring Dinan After a light but perfectly adequate breakfast we wandered around the town once more, marvelling at the classic buildings and sharp squares that always look tidier than their UK counterparts. The older buildings in the old centre of town [...]
By Eddy Smyth Day 1: 172 miles Hours in the saddle: 5 You’ve heard of the tale of the Owl and the Pussycat. Well, this is a tale of somewhat different creatures but it seems appropriate that since it involves a Bulldog and a Blackbird, certain parallels can be drawn. However, it might be dishonest [...]
Day 1. Saint-André-les-Alpes to Briancon via Gorges de Daluis, Colle della Lombarda, Col de Larche/Madeleine and Col d’Izoard Distance – 280km I only had a window of a few days for this trip as a trip to the West of Ireland and two more to the Pyrenees earlier in the year was starting to drain [...]
Day 1. Torrevieja to Ainsa, Spanish Pyrenees Distance – 666km The May trip had been a washout, so after two weeks drying out in the Spanish coastal town of Torrevieja (home) I had returned for a 2nd crack at the Pyrenees. It’s now June and it’s finally proper hot. I’d ridden up the coast from [...]
Day 1. Roscoff to Le Relais de Touvent, Bordeaux Distance – 550km A humbling experience came my way on my 2013 trip to the Pyrenees. Day 1 was mostly N, D and A roads south, pleasant enough if a little boring. I left the ferry in Roscoff around 11am riding 550km under blue skies to [...]
Route – Col du Pourtalet, Col de Marie Blanque, Col de la Pierre St. Martin, Porte de Larrau Col du Pourtalet The next morning I wake at dawn feeling refreshed and still elated from the previous day so I’m back on the road by 7am. I had no real plan for my last day in [...]
France, St. Beat The next morning I wake up with the strangest feeling that I’m not alone and I sit up to find a squirrel gobbling my nuts! I’d left the window open and a bag of mixed nuts and dried fruit on the window sill. A rather unlikely event I’d agree, but I’m in [...]
Departure: Spain – Valencia, Aragon and Catalonia Arrival: France – Hautes-Pyrénées
Some of these passes I covered last year in which case I’m not going into too much detail blabbing on about them. For the 2011 trip I filmed the roads with a Drift HD170 Action Camera, I hope the videos attached to this blog will help you see for yourself what to expect better than [...]
Col Du Galibier (Alt. 2646 m) The northern ramp is currently not great from Valloire to Verneys but enjoyably none-the-less, riding through Verneys in September was an experience as it had no road surface at all, some lads from the road works dept had dug up the fecken lot leaving me to ride my R1150RT [...]
This was a big day riding some of the best roads I know of. Leaving Albertville I headed up Col des Saisies 1657m, Cormet de Roselend 1967m, Col du Petit St.-Bernard 2188m (Hannibal’s Pass), Col de l’Iseran 2,770m (Highest Paved Mountain Pass in Alps), Col Du Mont-Cenis 2087m, Col du Telegraphe 1566m, Col Du Galibier [...]
The 2011 Tour was 6500+ km through the Alps and the Pyrenees taking in 38 of the highest passes, many made famous from the Tour de France cycle race in 10 days. Starting in Albertville I rode through the French and Italian Alps down as far as Gorges du Daluis where I rode along Gorge [...]
Route Description – From Carcassonne through Cathar country, entering Spain through one of the highest passes, ending in Andorra la Vella Distance – 470km of mostly Pyrenees mountain roads with 11 great Cols Cols/Passes – Col de Portel (1,432m), Col de la Crouzette (1,246m), Col de Péguère (1,375 m), Col de Port (1,249m), Port de [...]
Route Description – The Camargue Circuit runs from Arles to Saint-Maries-de-la-Mer through the Camargue National Park and back to Arles. Distance – An easy 140km
Route Description – Monastery, Castle, Open Country Road and Provencal Village Circuit. Starting outside Signes near Toulon this a great motorcycle route through the back country of Provence known mostly to the local bikers. Cant really recommend this route enough, it’s a really magic mix of smooth open country roads, typical old villages with a [...]
Route description – Starting and ending in Théoule (west end of Cannes) this route takes the Corniche D’Or (gold road), Frejus, St. Raphael, St. Maxime, Port Grimaud, St-Tropez, the forest’s of Massif des Maures and a couple of great villages. Distance – 254km
Route description and places to stay along Stage 8 of this great Alpine tour: Stage 8 – St Martin du Vesubie to Menton Distance – (Stage 7a – 148km) (Stage 7b – 157km) Cols – Col St.Roch, Col de Braus, Col de Turini featured in the first episode of Top Gear series 10 when the [...]
Route description and places to stay along Stage 7 of this great Alpine tour. Stage 7 – Castellane to St Martin du Vesubie Distance – (Stage 7a “Purple” – 148km) (Stage 7b “Green”- 157km)
Route description and places to stay along Stage 6 of this great Alpine tour. Stage 6 – Barcelonnette to Castellane Distance – 182km Cols/Gorges – Col de la Bonette (el. 2715 m./8907 ft.), Gorges de Valabres, Gorge du Daluis, Additional Routes – Grand Canyon du Verdon (Marked Yellow on Map)
Route description and places to stay along Stage 5 of this great Alpine tour. Distance – 114km Cols – Col l’Izoard, Col du Var Additional Routes – Lac de Serre-Poncon (Route 115km), Col d’Allos (el. 2250 m.) – Col des Champs (el. 2087 m.) – Col de la Cayolle (el. 2,326 m) (Route 116km)
Route description and places to stay along Stage 4 of this great Alpine tour: Stage 4 – Lanslebourg/Val Cenis to Briancon Distance – 110km Cols – Col du Telegraphe, Col du Galibier Additional Route – Including Col du Lautaret, Col de Sarenne, Croix de Fer, Col du Glandon (300km)
Route description and places to stay along Stage 3 of this great Alpine tour: Stage 3 – Bourg St Maurice to Lanslebourg Distance – 76km (120km inc trip to Lac Cenis – 6/8hrs) (200km+ Bourg St Maurice to Briancon 6/8hrs) Cols – Val d’Isere, Col d’Iseran
Route description and places to stay along Stage 2 of this great Alpine tour Stage 2 – Grand Borand to Bourg St Maurice Distance – 100km Aprox 3.5hrs, 4.5hrs inc Col du Pré +20km This stage passes – Clusez, St-Jean-de-Sixt, La Giettaz, Flumet, Les Saisies Cols – Col des Aravis – 1486 meters, Col des [...]
Route description and places to stay along Stage 1 of this great Alpine tour. Stage 1 – Thonon-les-Bains to Grand Bornand Distance – 90km This stage passes by Morzine, Gets, Taninges, Cluses, Le Grand-Bornand Cols – Col de Gêts 1163 meters, Col de la Colombière 1613 meters Cols (Stage 1b) – Col du Ranfolly, Col [...]
The Route des Grande Alpes is a tourist itinerary through the French Alps between Lake Geneva and the French Riviera passing over all the highest passes of the French Alps. It also hugs the Swiss and Italian borders so feel free to explore off route.
I never get tired of watching this:Alpine Adventures – Col de l’Iseran »
I am not a real fan of the coast here, its crowded, over priced, polluted, seriously packed with tourists, car drivers are aggressive and the cops here seem to be worse then anywhere else. But in fairness I used to live here so have a different opinion than the normal biker just riding through.
My God I’m tired, it’s been a very long time since I’ve ridden a bike so far and the late nights and early starts are starting to get into my old bones, my pains have pains and my brain is on auto pilot. But my goal is in sight as I’ve decided to spend the [...]
Today I had planned to attempt 5 Cols “mountain passes” in one day, Col d’Izoard (2360m), Col de Vars (2108m), Col d’Allos (2247m), Col des Champs (2087m), and Col de la Cayolle (2328m). The plan being taking Cols Izoard and Vars to Barcelonnette, unloading the motorbike at the hotel I had booked and taking the [...]
It’s the 24th of May and today I’m going to take it easy as by this stage, with 1700+km since leaving Cherbourg I’m getting pretty knackered so I take a short 90km ride back into Italy and another bike-tastic road, the N25 up to Mont/Lac Cenis and back down into France.
I really did not want to leave, I loved the little town of Torgnon in the Aosta Valley and for me the little place I had stayed in was perfect, rustic, full of character and charm. If your ever up there it’s worth staying with them, I’ll insert the GPS location soon, but for now [...]
Thursday, 20 May 2010 A difficult day as I lost a screw on the GPS holding bracket so the GPS got a knock and somehow lost the maps I loaded for the route into Italy with the result being I had to use the old fashioned way of navigation. After more then a few wrong [...]
Wednesday, 19 May 2010 What a day, Normandy in early summer is amazing, blue skies, and green fields emblazoned with yellow flowers of rapeseed, the vibrancy of the colours almost a shock to the system after the grey seas of the journey over. Unfortunately I had little time to take photos as the route I [...]