Touring in Northern France May 2014

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, French vineyardsthe 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 Ice Cream at Lac des Settonsbefore 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 Battle of Marne memorialas 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 French cafe life!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!

Ride to Work Week June 2014

So it’s “Ride to Work Week” (16th – 22nd June 2014) and there’s a lot about it on social media at the moment.  For us, running a motorcycle tour company, we are fortunate that every day is related to “riding to work”.  The weather in the UK also seems to have picked up as well to coincide with the week and hopefully this has encouraged more people out onto their motorbikes.  What we should bear in mind this week is that there is a message to be relayed by motorcyclists,which is to make other road users more aware of us.

There are some great blogs coming up relating to riding to work, check out the one by the Kawasaki team on their blogspot where the staff give their views on riding in to the office on a variety of bikes.

This last weekend, we met up with Matt & James at SnettertonMatt Smith of Bikers Motorcycles from Swadlincote who was racing in the Superstock championship at BSB Snetterton and James Ellison ahead of his race later that day in the BSB Championship.  Both of them were “riding to work” as they made their way around the paddock on 2 wheels – albeit not on a scooter and pushbike – from this pic you have to wonder what tactics they were talking…..!

We are in the middle of tours this week so have not done much riding to work ourselves but our ride over to Snetterton last weekend was excellent Riding to Snetterton and don’t let anyone tell you that the roads are all flat in East Anglia!  We found some terrific roads which will be brought into our tour programme in the next couple of years.  We’re spending this week prepping for our motorcycle tours coming up over the next few weeks, in particular the Lakes & Mountains of the Vosges in early July, Northumberland at the end of July and then Germany in August when we ride through the Harz Mountains and further south onto The Romantic Road south of Wurzburg.

Whether you ride to work as a rule or a making a special effort to do so during this week, we hope you enjoy it as much as we do.  Ride safe 🙂