At the end of May 2014 we toured for 5 days through Northern France under mainly blue skies with a great group of people and on flowing, open motorcycling roads – what more could you ask for on a tour???? Well, we often have the comments…”but Northern France is flat and boring” “What about scenery“? but here’s the thing, the roads are perfect for riding and offer great views as can be seen from this photo taken of the vineyards through the Champagne and Bourgogne regions. We rode through the Morvans National Park with roads that twist and turn through the hills on your way to Lac des Settons which was sparkling in the sunshine as we arrived there for a welcome ice cream one afternoon before riding north to Auxerre which was our Sunday night base on this tour. The beauty of riding in Northern France is that there is little traffic, few hedgerows to block your views and although there are no specific mountain ranges in this part of France, you can find yourself riding on high elevation roads offering stunning scenery all around you.
We’d titled the tour “France, Ride & Dine” given that we would be sampling excellent cuisine at our hotels and lunch stops as well as having the opportunity to ride our motorbikes, some of our pillions however, adapted the title slightly and called it “Wine and Dine”!!! and who can blame them given that we were riding through the Champagne region and the wine regions of Burgundy and Bourgogne 🙂
Our Monday morning ride was a rather damp one which was a shame as we had included a visit to the Memorial to the Battle of the Marne, it is well worth a visit if ever you are in the region and was erected to keep alive the memory of the 1st victory of the Marne in September 1914 and stands at 33 metres high, balanced on 22 metres of foundations overlooking the champagne vineyards, a very impressive structure and a moving tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives in the battles here.
Whilst we visited locations such as this Memorial, the main focus of the tour was to ride the open French roads and enjoy the company of fellow motorcyclists. There is nothing nicer than having ridden 45 miles through the champagne vineyards on a blue sky day encountering no traffic on terrific motorcycling roads than to ride into a sleepy French village for a refreshing drink by the river as can be summed up here when we parked up at a riverside café.
This tour was undertaken over 5 days with the final day being a ride of 60 miles on open French country roads before picking up the autoroute to Calais. Even riding on their motorways can be pleasurable as yet again the traffic is only light and the views as you ride through the Picardie region are excellent. Here’s to the next time we ride in France!