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Topic: French Moto Culture  (Read 4819 times)

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Orson
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« on: July 05, 2017, 05:32:11 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



Lago d'Idrio



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



Castle whose name I forgot  Embarassment



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





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



The breakaway group arrives



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



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



Swiss views



Sitting forlorn and perhaps forgotten



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



A pristine Kawasaki Z1



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.



The French love their endurance racing



A tasty Honda 6



Gratuitous Guzzi picture



Motobecane 500 two smoke



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



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



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



The Gravenoire curve was the fastest corner on the racetrack.



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.



Verdon Gorge



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



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



Trip Statistics:

Travel Days:15
Rest Days:2
Mileage: 3,000 km
Countries: 3
Gendarmes Encounters: 2
Calories Consumed: 10,000,000
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2017, 06:05:25 pm »

Great pics!  Cool  Now, what about the two Gendarme encounters?  Smile
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Orson
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2017, 08:29:16 pm »

Just a couple roadside checkpoints to see if all papers are in order  Bigsmile I was told my gloves were illegal because of minimum knuckle guards
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2017, 08:40:30 pm »

Nice picks  Thumbsup

UCI hands out participation trophys in cycling.   Yesterday's ruling on Peter was complete BS.
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2017, 09:08:31 am »


Just a couple roadside checkpoints to see if all papers are in order  Bigsmile I was told my gloves were illegal because of minimum knuckle guards

What? No breath test? No cavity search? The gendarmes are going soft.
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Orson
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2017, 10:54:45 am »

I'm sure I got off lightly for being a stoopid tourist  Bigsmile

or maybe a Guzzi exudes enough street cred to melt a gendarme's steely exterior  Bigsmile
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2017, 12:55:25 pm »

Sorry to have missed you. One of these days we'll have dinner together again!
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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2017, 03:12:01 pm »

Beautiful
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2017, 06:02:14 am »

Spectacular! The Villeneuve-Arnoux 40th banner made my day.

Two questions:
1) Was that a Simca in the "forlorn and perhaps forgotten" pic?
2) When did Team Orson stop recording bee sting count in overall data?
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Orson
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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2017, 08:23:31 am »

I think that it's a Fiat 500 but, I'm no car expert. I read that Michael Schumaker owns one  Smile

Alas, this trip was bug free so, I highlighted the massive calorie intake instead  Bigsmile
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2017, 02:58:22 am »

Lovely pictures and great to see all these various vintage makes.

Oh and hello!  Smile
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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2017, 12:20:49 pm »

 Great report, and great pictures, but...shouldn't that gorgeous Guzzi feature more prominently?  Smile
 One of these years I will bring my LeMans over to ride there for myself, but for now I have to live vicariously! Ah well, at least I have some great roads and a beautiful morning to enjoy here, with my sweetheart, on our Norge.
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2017, 07:38:12 pm »

Nice pics as usual.  Thanks for taking us there!!
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2017, 09:12:58 pm »

 The forlorn car is an original Fiat 500, and the CitroŽn powered bike is a BFG minus fairing, with a solo seat.
 Nice pics and report, and the best possible choice of steed for the trip! I am jealous.
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« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2017, 08:10:52 pm »

Beautifull trip, gorgeous pictures!
Thanks for sharing my friend.  Thumbsup
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« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2017, 07:23:41 pm »

I somehow missed this back in July.  Anyway, nicely done!  Your Tenni looks better and better with the passing years.

I'm trying to sort what the bicycles were doing---they were going up Stelvio from the west side and then turning around at a the top to come back down the hill for just a couple of kilometers and then turning right to go into Switzerland on Umbrail?  Or did they go completely over Stelvio and then turn left to loop back to Switzerland and then back up Umbrail?  Either way; they're in good shape.
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Orson
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« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2017, 06:59:28 am »

It wuz the latter.

They rode uphill as fast as I ride on flat ground  EEK!
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