French Alps, September 2014 − Travels − Captain Tom

French Alps, September 2014

The annual tour into the Alps. This time with Marcellus, Joe, Klaus, Beat, Claudia and Tomo. Three Germans, two Swiss and one Japanese. A nice group on it's way through the mountians. I have done Alpenglühn with Marcellus' Extreme-Tours. A result of him putting me on the cover page of his flyer.

A result of him putting me on the cover page of his flyer.
Alpenglühn means many passes, good food and good company between Lake Geneva and (almost) Nice. Weather was very good. Just some minutes of rain on Great Saint Bernhard. Aside from this the weather was dry, mostly sunny and warm. A great week.
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1 Journey to Switzerland

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I did it in one go. More than 700 miles and almost half of it on country roads. A big chunk of a ride but I made it in one day to the meeting point.
2 Day #1

We are south of Lake Geneva and go over tiny passes.

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The chocolate box gets revealed and gets our companion during the rides.
We get an extensive lunch on top of a pass
We have a break for getting some coffee in the afternoon.
3 Day #2

We make our way further south.

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On top of Mont du Chat we expect a splendid view onto Lac du Bourget. Unfortunatley there is fog when we arrive.
Later we get beautiful views at Cognin-les-Gorges
We find a luxurious hotel in the middle of nowhere and have a good lunch
Col du Rousset offers nice roads and a brilliant view
4 Day #3

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Video of riding Col de Grimone
We proceed southbound. Lunch at Col du Festre
A dog demands attention. Tomo in action
Now it is my turn
At the end all of us had to do "Get the stick"
Col du Noyer offers great views and roads
Video riding Col du Noyer
Lac de Serre-Poncon is blue as always
We got up this mountain road. But my engine overheated - more about it later
I got attracted by this old Dassault 312 in Barcelonette
In the evening we arrive at Pra-Loup 1500 and stay in a little ski hotel directly at the cable car station
5 Day #4

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We have breakfast on the patio
Col du Cayolle is our first target
Col du Champs is a rather rough pass Video getting up the pass
Klaus on the summit
Tomo enjoys the view
Video riding down Col des Champs
Almost at the end of the western ramp Beat's bike gets a tire puncture
The wheel gets removed
Marcellus checks the tire in Colmars and returns with bad news
Impossible to repair the tire. A new tire is available in Barcelonnette. The group proceeds while Marcellus and Beat take care of the tire change.
We go to Gorges du Verdon, the big Canyon of Verdon. Quite impressive.
There are whitewater kayaks on the river
In the evening we return via Col d'Allos. Tomo and Klaus arrive on top
Video riding down Col d'Allos
6 Day #5

The day of the passes. Today we will go over spectacular passes. We start with La Bonette, the highest paved pass in the Alps. Later we will have Lombarde, Sampeyre, Angello, Izoard, Lautaret, Galibier and Telegraphe.

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The morning starts with a brilliant view
Beat got a new tire
Via Restefond ...
... we go on top of La Bonette
Group picture: Joe, Marcellus, Claudia, Tomo, Beat, Klaus, Tom
Another rider (Alexander Ali Métayer of
View from La Bonette
Col de la Lombarde
Old forts from World War I
At bottom of Col de la Lombarde in Italy
Colle Morti with a memorial for Marco Pantani, a famous Italian racing cyclist
Lunch at a well know place
The group rides
Climbing Col Agnel
Tomo in two countries
Izoard offers rough scenery
... and blueberry cake
Video riding up southern ramp of Izoard
Video riding down nothern ramp of Izoard
A rare Benelli Trek on top of Galibier
View from Galibier
7 Day #6

Another day with great passes and views on our way back to the starting point

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The pass with the iron cross Col de la Croix de Fer
Col du Pre is my personal point of rest. This vew lets me forget everything around me.
View over the reservoir to the western ramp of Cormet du Roselend
Video riding Colle San Carlo
Almost at the end some rain on Great Saint Bernard
The group is back in Champery
This is the view we get in the very end
8 Journey back

I did almost exactly the same route I came. So again Autobahn through Switzerland and from Schweinfurt to Berlin. In between nice country roads. 700 miles again.

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9 What else?

This time my mopped did irritate me. The engine overheated three times and two times the cooling fluid was boiling.

I went into a shop in Barcelonette. The checked the radiator and topped up the cooling fluid. No success.
At home the shop found a clogged radiator. Even against light you are not able to see through it. The radiator got replaced.