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Author [NL] [FR] [ES] [DE] [SE] [IT] [NO] [MY] Topic: Mountains and Motorbikes  (Read 11909 times)

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Offline Zipperhead

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Re: Mountains and Motorbikes
« Reply #20 on: Dec 03, 2020, 06:44 PM »
*Originally Posted by Gustavo [+]
Good choice, I always liked Annecy.  I never thought of it in the context of how close it is to a major airport, as we always rode there starting in Paris, but was actually very smart.  I may have to use that one day, I think we are due for another French Alps tour.

If you haven't visited there in the past, can I recommend a visit to the Vercors, just to the west of Grenoble. Stunning scenery and roads.

Offline Zipperhead

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Re: Mountains and Motorbikes
« Reply #21 on: Dec 03, 2020, 07:01 PM »
Sunday 1st September

What could be nicer on a sunny sunday in September than laying in bed with the one you love? Instead, as I was with my wife we got up and went out for breakfast. Well, truthfully, I went out early again to take some pictures.

As it was now September it was much quieter, lots of holidaymakers must have been travelling home that day.









After breakfast we had a gentle stroll through town towards the lake.



These “sheep” were in a park which ran along one of the rivers.



My wife had expressed a desire to cycle round the lake. An excellent idea, there’s a lovely path for walkers and cyclists that goes most of the way. But there were two things I knew that she didn’t - the distance, the lake is 15k long, which makes the ride round it a bit longer - 27 miles (to mix units). The other thing is that it’s not flat all the way. If you go round anti-clockwise (which somehow seems the obvious way from the old town) then about three quarters of the way round someone has carelessly left the end of a mountain running into the water, which means there’s a bit of a climb - about 150 metres I think, complete with hairpin bends. She's not a regular cyclist so....

Please Monsieur Bicycle Rental Homme, may we rent two electric bicyclettes? Bicycles and electric motors, two things that were destined to go together like rice and pudding.



That’s the path at the bottom.



The tourist info says that there is a “steam” train to remind you that the path was once a railway. According to google’s translation of the sign, it dates from 1905 and is “without hearth”, operating on a mixture of hot water and compressed air.

It also adds that it was used in ammunition depots.



Towards the far end of the lake people were flying paragliders from the mountain, across the lake and then landing near us. A pretty constant stream of them, I think I counted 11 or 12 in the air at any time.

When we got to the aformentioned hilly bit I almost felt sorry for the serious cyclists struggling up the climb, almost. I’ve paid my cycling dues, ridden up much bigger climbs.

At the top of the climb there was excitement (I promised you excitement), there was paragliding at this end of the lake, but instead of going across the lake (it was about the widest point) they were jumping off the steep mountain and flying parallel with a vertical bit then landing near where we were. Except for the one who wasn’t. He/She/they had got a bit too close and managed to “land” in the trees a long way up in a very steep part.

The helicopter had been flying up seeing what was going on, and then landed down near us.



I’m not sure whether it was because the paraglider pilot was beyond saving or just that it was close to lunchtime and this was France after all, but after chatting on their radios for a bit they got back in and flew away, blowing everybody’s hats off in the process.



Seeing as how it was lunchtime, when the road got back to water level we found a restaurant by the lake and had lunch.

Later I went out to ride up Semnoz again. I was going to post the video here - but I need to re-edit it, so you’ll have to wait.



Not quite at the summit. Here’s my top photography tip for scenic photos like this - pay very careful attention to the slopes on the surface. It was a nice hard surface, but with a gentle slope, which wouldn’t have been a problem except for the little hill behind the back wheel. I had a sweary few minutes wondering whether I would have to wait for someone else to stop for the view.



Head in the clouds. This is about the highest point on the road, on the right the mountain is a bit higher, maybe 15 or 20 metres, with the top station of the ski lift on it.



I extended my ride back a little to take some pictures of these big balls



There were 5 of them I think. I’ve no idea why I didn’t shoot a panorama.

Online Stewie

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Re: Mountains and Motorbikes
« Reply #22 on: Dec 03, 2020, 07:30 PM »
No pictures of the wife this time?

Bit disappointed to be honest.

Offline Gustavo

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Re: Mountains and Motorbikes
« Reply #23 on: Dec 03, 2020, 07:52 PM »
*Originally Posted by Zipperhead [+]
If you haven't visited there in the past, can I recommend a visit to the Vercors, just to the west of Grenoble. Stunning scenery and roads.

Yeah, I've ridden a lot of the passes in that area over a couple of bike trips (the ones in a car weren't as much fun, my wife somehow manages to enjoy riding twisties on a bike, but gets dizzy at a moderate pace in the car   :sick:   :027:), but there are a lot of other squiggly lines on the map I didn't get to.  That's why I need to go again...     :7:


I'm making mental notes based on your trip, to see what I need to go explore in the future.  Keep it coming.   :152:

Gustavo
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Offline uralrob

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Re: Mountains and Motorbikes
« Reply #24 on: Dec 03, 2020, 10:38 PM »


  Ignore them Zipperhead.

  I and I'm sure others are above oggling the wives of others and cadging ideas for our own as yet unhatched trips. We're here for the quality of the writing and the clarity and brilliant composition of the photography, and enjoying every minute of it.

 One small suggestion, 'tho. The colour of the bike, green, or more accurately black with green accents. Proper Red would set off your spectacular backgrounds to the nth.

  :2:

 Rob.
Don't take Life too serious, it's not permanent.

Offline Zipperhead

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Re: Mountains and Motorbikes
« Reply #25 on: Dec 03, 2020, 11:07 PM »
*Originally Posted by Stewie [+]
No pictures of the wife this time?

Bit disappointed to be honest.

It's for the best, trust me. It woud be bad (and painful) enough if she knew that I'd posted a picture of her without her permission, I would be searching the online shopping sites for some prosthetic gentlemans plums. But she might decide to go after everybody who had seen them - and I don't know if bulk buy discounts are available.

Offline Zipperhead

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Re: Mountains and Motorbikes
« Reply #26 on: Dec 03, 2020, 11:09 PM »
*Originally Posted by uralrob [+]
One small suggestion, 'tho. The colour of the bike, green, or more accurately black with green accents. Proper Red would set off your spectacular backgrounds to the nth.

Then I shall add a final section to the tale, just for a red bike.

Offline Zipperhead

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Re: Mountains and Motorbikes
« Reply #27 on: Dec 05, 2020, 12:35 AM »
Monday 2nd September

You’re probably bored with pictures of Annecy, I’m getting quite bored of them, I want to get to Italy.



That will do as a final picture of Annecy.

Well, perhaps one more picture. Outside the town hall with this thing that reminded me of The Little Shop Of Horrors.



I have no idea either.

We had decided that today we would go and visit Chambery, have a look around, eat lunch. Regular tourist stuff. Oh, and visit the main tourist attraction in the town.

We took the scenic route on D roads along the bottom of the mountains and between them. That led to the inevitable question “Are we nearly there yet?” Dear wife, you don’t eat enough chips and pizza so your booty is undersized for  this. No, I didn’t say that. Not even in my head. If she ever finds this we won’t need to buy any cat food for a few weeks. Fortunately my son knows where the spare keys for garage and bikes are.

The centre of Chambery is a very pretty,



There are streets leading away on either side of the junction (or maybe the next one)



Nice shops everywhere to make my wife happy.



Do I make her visit motorbike dealers? Do I make her watch me try on scores of helmets, waving my head around and pulling faces in a mirror for each one? I most emphatically do not! But we’re on holiday so I quietly watch her trying on hats and doing all the other things that she does when she goes shopping.

At the end of that street is the towns major tourist attraction - a fountain.



The Fontaine des Éléphants colloquially known as les quatre sans culs which translates as “the four without arses” for obvious reasons.

But I said that it’s a fountain, and it is



All four of them spend their days and nights squirting water from their schnozzes.

We wandered around looking for somewhere for lunch, my wife reading the menu carefully for each of them, but I don’t think it was the food the made her choose the restaurant in front of the Chateau des Ducs de Savoie - it was the waiter. One of the waiters was very good looking (very), and she made sure that we were at one of his tables. He was also very nice, she engaged him in conversation, I could see that I had lost her, and he gave us a suggestion for a place for lunch the following day.

His favourite place he said, the lake was even cleaner than Lake Annecy as they had been conserving it since the 60’s.”Right”, my wife said when we left, “we’re going there for lunch tomorrow.” Fair enough, it’s our last day on holiday together so somewhere extra special would be great.

“Also”, she said, “can we go back on the motorway”

64 miles ridden that day



-------------------------------------------------

Tuesday 3rd September

To ensure that we didn’t spend too much time journeying and miss lunchtime we went on the motorway down to the lake that was our destination - Lac d’Aiguebelette. It’s a good job that the waiter had written it down for us, I would never have remembered that accurately.

It’s probably less than 10k from Chambery, but nature stuck a mountain between them, so the direct route goes through a tunnel.

It’s a very pretty lake, although access seems to be well controlled - no rolling up, parking, going and having a barbeque and leaving your litter. At all the places I saw where there was a beach there was also a fence near the road and you had to pay (not much) to go in. I suppose it helps keep it clean and fund the work.



We parked and went for a walk, scoped out the restaurants in the area that we had stopped at. We had to wait a little for a table at the one we chose, so while my wife enjoyed the bar I went for a walk to see if there was anything to take a picture of.



If you are going there, we chose Restaurant Les Belles Rives at Le Port, there are two restaurants there, but my wife chose that one as we could sit over the lake.



And feed the ducks and the fish as we ate. It was that clean. The fish that we ate didn’t come from the lake.



That was it, our final lunch together of our holiday finished.

As we didn’t have to hit any deadlines I got permission to take the scenic route back. We rode along lovely country roads on a hot and sunny afternoon, gradually climbing until we crossed the top of the mountain and then descended down the other side heading south around Lac de Bourget, following the shoreline into Aix-les-Bains and then back into the countryside.



Aix-le-Bains is on the other side of the lake, on the right hand side is Chambery airport. Semnoz is the mountain at the far left furthest away.

There was one little surprise on the way back. When we got to the foot of Semnoz I took a left fork to head north back to Annecy, and as we went along the road there was a pretty little suspension bridge ahead (Route du Pont de l’Abime) . Very narrow, wide enough for one car at a time, and it would have to be careful of any pedestrians on the bridge. I was expecting it to cross over something a little way below. What I wasn’t expecting was a very deep gorge.



That’s copied from google streetview



Distance for day 89 miles.

-------------------------------------------------

Tomorrow I set of for Italy, via Switzerland, France and Switzerland.

Offline Oldplodder

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Re: Mountains and Motorbikes
« Reply #28 on: Dec 05, 2020, 03:24 PM »
Nice - good report and photos

Dave T
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Offline uralrob

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Re: Mountains and Motorbikes
« Reply #29 on: Dec 06, 2020, 01:15 AM »

 
 Yup, and much looking forward to Italy. My son lived there for 20 years  so we had several trips over there one of which included a memorable night in the station at Sedona, in the arch of the boot. We had been informed that it was the headquarters of a particularly self directed claque of Mafioso.
 My wife said that the hardness of the bench prevented her from sleeping, but it was the chattering of her teeth that kept me awake.

 Ride on  :biker1: .

 Rob.
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