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Peter Genet

Gentleman Biker of Cricklade

Month

April 2015

Run to the Alps – Les Portes Du Soleil region

5 night adventure trip! Departing Sunday 27 September.

Les Portes du Soleil is a major ski-sports destination in the Alps, encompassing thirteen resorts between Mont Blanc in France and Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Spread over 14 valleys and about 400 square miles (1036 square km) Les Portes du Soleil ranks among the two largest ski areas in the world. The highest point of skiing is 2,400 metres and the lowest is 900 metres.

Avoiding motorways and toll roads as much as possible, we use roadside motels for en-route overnight stops to our destination which whilst in France is the B&B chain. Once at a longer planned stop, good quality 3* and above hotels are used. Hotels tend to be small, friendly and family run where possible and may have swimming pool and sauna/steam room.

The route will be suitable for all. Pace will be set accordingly and if you want to go faster or slower, then please do so. There will be no pressure from anyone. Suggested minimum size of machine would be 600cc; needs to be suitable for long days in saddle.

The roads in France are generally better than those in the UK; quieter too.

The whole route:

run to the alps

Day 1 – cross to Calais via the Chunnel – early-ish start as we have a 6 hour ride ahead to reach our first night stop in Nancy. We pass through the Belgian town of Ypres, home to the World War 1 memorial, Menen Gate. We can stop here for late breakfast or early lunch. Then, along some great riding roads, we make a dash to Nancy, stopping for regular breaks and fuel stops. 336miles approximate all told.

Day 2 – another long riding day, heading around the northern end of Lac Leman (Lake Geneva), we cross the Swiss border, head into the Alps mountain range arriving late afternoon at our 3 Star hotel for three nights in Chatel. Today will be another long day, mileage approx. 240, but as the roads get windier we tend to slow down a bit! Arrive in Chatel for dinner.
Day 3 – Ride out around the ski-resorts of Les Portes Du Soleil region

Day 4 – Ride out to Albertville, the town that hosted the XIV Winter Olympic Games back in 1992

Day 5 – Depart Chatel and head for home via Geneva. This means we have gone round the Lake. We head up through the country side on minor roads to our last overnight stop in Troyes. Another long ride, 330 miles or so all told.

Day 6 – Head for the Chunnel to catch our late afternoon crossing to for our journey home.

Costs (per person)
1. Rider plus pillion, sharing a room – £414
2. Rider only, sharing a room – £556
3. Rider only, not sharing a room – £765

Drop me a line if this is of interest at peter.genet@talktalk.net or see the Gentleman Bikers website link above for more details.

Who turned the heating off?

Crikey, this week turned a little nippy hasn’t it? Past couple of weeks have been lovely and warm; alright a bit chilly first thing, but coming home has been very toasty! But yesterday and now today – brrr, blooming cold! I had to stop last night to put my winter gloves back on.

Got a new inner sun-visor which drops down at a flick of a lever. Definitely need it with the low morning sun which can be blinding.

Good weather for riding – and meeting Bambi!

What a great few days it has been! Weather has been perfect for those early morning rides with the air smelling sweet with crops coming through. Some days, the low lying mist in the fields with the sun peering through make the English countryside a picture post-card scene.

The only real incident I had was when a Muntjack deer tried to cross the road in front of me. There I was sitting happily at 60, when this deer ran out in the road. I couldn’t stop. He did though and turned back to the hedgerow from where he came. I’m not sure who was more frightened – me or the deer!

Its funny how these days I look forward to riding into work. And of course, the ride home 🙂

The Long Good Easter Monday – Top Gear perhaps!

What a cracking day! Sunny! Warm! Dry! Great roads and some great mates too.

With new Gentlemen Biker Chris, we headed to Bath via Tetbury and Junction 18 of the M4. Rather than heading down the A46 to Bath, I took the team up past Lansdown Road which is much more scenic, dropping into Bath and parking in Milsom Street. The chosen route was picked for its variety of bends and long straight stretches which are always a joy to do. There are some limits in place of 40mph and 30mph through villages but these don’t detract from the ride in any way whatsoever!

Bath is of course one of the most famous cities in the UK. With its Roman Baths, Royal Crescent, Circus and a bloody awful one-way system, it is a popular tourist destination. You do need to pick the time of your visit carefully as it is normally very busy with tourists and day-trippers. Coming in off the A46 and onto London Road, you can expect to queue all the way. Parking is notoriously expensive – my suggestion is to pick one of the Park & Ride areas as the buses leave every 15 minutes and drop you off very centrally. Bath also has a lot of good eating places so take your pick from Chinese, Thai, Italian and Jamie’s. There are plenty of alleyways to wander aimlessly down too.

We headed to a coffee shop, Cafe Nero, of course, and then walked down to the Abbey. Normally, Bath is absolutely heaving with tourists. But not so today. Must have heard us coming – well, certainly Chris on his Harley!

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Three Gentlemen Bikers Chris Webb, Richard, and yours truly! – perhaps we could start a campaign and get that Top Gear gig that’s been freed up?

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Richard Williams and Jason discussing bikes!

Once we negotiated the notorious one-way system that Bath has to offer, we followed the A4 towards Chippenham, onto Calne, Avebury, Wootoon Bassett, and then back to Cricklade. This road is also a good road to take home; if we wanted to, we could have stopped off for more coffee on the way, but given our average ages, best we didn’t!

Great ride with some great friends. Looking forward to the next one which will be tough to beat!

Total trip around 90 miles. Including a couple of stops, it took 3 hours all told. View the route on RAC route planner here: http://www.rac.co.uk/route-planner/l/jvqT

Next ride to be organised; dates pending family commitments!

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