Well we've been back 36 hours and my brain is still completely fried.
- London autoroutes and N roads from before Rouen to Tours and a night with an old school friend
- Poitiers, Limoges, Tulle, Argentat, Aurilliac, Rodez, Villefranche. Rodez was like Stevenage so we pushed on to a Michelin Bib Gourmand in Villefranche. Tulle to Rodez over the Massif was stunning riding.
- Albi, Castres, Mazamet, Carcassone, Narbonne, Perpignan, Catalunya.
- Camp in Car Park B, watch the races, etc etc
- Perpignan, Montpelier, Nimes, Aix arrive at Classic Bikes Provence in time for 3 course dinner.
- A day riding an Enfield, Velocette Clubman, BSA A65 , CB750F round Provence and Luberon
- Aix, Nimes, and up into the Cevennes, Gorges du Ganges, Vigan, St Jean du Bruel, Meyruies, Florac and another Bib Gourmand.
- Gorges Du Tarn, Millau, under and over the Millau Bridge, Villefranche (again!), Cahors, Sarlat, St Eyzies.
- Perigueux, Brantome, D675 all the way to Tours, Le Mans and Silly Guillaume and the last Bib Gourmand.
- Push for home, Boulogne, Calais, Tunnel and London.

2600 miles.

Check out the Michelin Guide and what they call Bib Hotel and Bib Gourmand. Cheap rooms and good food at reasonable prices. They vary a bit but I've never had a bad one.

Everyone we talked to said the weather this year is crazy and it's *never* been like this. April onwards should be guaranteed sun but most days were a good start, cloudy at lunchtime, thunder in the afternoon and then drizzle at night. Up to and after Mazamet should have been amazing (50km of bends) but was instead scarily intense. Wet broken tarmac on a laden sportsbike concentrates the mind. The side winds around Perpignan were the worst I've ever ridden through, and we got down to 15 minutes of 30mph and 2" of standing water over the top of the Pyrenees and down into Barcelona.

The Cevennes region and the Gorges to the east of Millau is absolutely amazing. Highly recommended.

Pick some D road routes across the gaps on the map between the main roads and you can travel almost as fast on mostly well made roads and never see a car.

The French got roundabouts all wrong. The camber slopes outwards and the exits are really tight. But they really understand big fast constant radius corners. 180deg at 90 leaned right over is *so* much fun.

Catalunya is not one of the best circuits for watching. It felt like Silverstone. Lots of big screens and grandstands made it like sitting watching TV at home but with a better soundtrack. The commentators were SCORCHIO from the Fast show. We camped with others in a car park instead of 80 Euros in the real campsite. On friday night at 7pm a Police van and three circuit security turn up and say "no camping". There's lots of arm waving. 30 minutes later they leave. 30 minutes after that somebody comes round and says "this happens every year, they have to tell us off and we ignore them, then they go away, everyone's happy". You gotta love this kind of anarchy where everyone goes through the motions and then does what they were going to do anyway.

Next year, Mugello!

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[ 15-Jun-08 12:12pm ] [ ]