Southern France, Alps, August 2021 − Travels − Captain Tom

Southern France, Alps, August 2021

We do the Alps in Southern France again and I ride with Marcellus and Extreme-Tours. We have chosen the "classic" route this year which goes counterclockwise and starts with smaller passes southbound and ends with the very high passes northbound.

Colle dei Morti is on the list but we will drop it this time.

We ride in two groups and we meet on the way at particular viewpoints, for morning coffee, lunch or afternoon coffee.

1 The participants

This is the group: Michael jr., Horst, Beat, Michael sr., Tom, Markus, Marcellus, Karl-Heinz, Wolfgang and Andi.
I do the ride most of the time with Andi and Markus (me to the right).
Michael jr. joins us a couple of days later.
2 All pictures

I have summarized all 2500 images in a video chronologically in just under 5 minutes.

3 The journey to the meeting point

We come from different directions. I drive in two days from Berlin with a stopover in Bad Wimpfen, Markus comes from Duisburg directly, the two Michaels have a stopover at Lac Léman and the rest of the motorcyclists come from Munich and pick up Beat in Switzerland. Wolfgang comes by car directly to the meeting point.

I start in rain. Close to Freyburg I can see Castle Neuburg.
Thuringian Bratwurst
Andi has arrived at Marcellus' place.
I stay overnight in the hotel Gasthof zur Traube in the medieval city of Bad Wimpfen.
The bike parks in an exclusive fenced spot.
The castle of Bad Wimpfen
The group lead by Marcellus is on its way.
Michael and Michael are already at Lac Léman.
I reach Lac Léman during the day and stop for the view over Montreux.
Boats on the water
I have already circled the small island.
Markus is on his way.
Markus arrives.
Marcellus' group arrives.
There is a little bit of alpes glowing in the evening.
Alps glowing
4 Champéry-Aix-les-Bains

We drive directly over the Pas de Morgins into France and then over small passes south of Lake Geneva to Aix-les-Bains.

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Getting ready in the morning (Andi and Tom)
Getting ready
Brilliant weather
The first pass in France
Nice roads
On the Col de la Ramaz we have a magnificent view to Mont Blanc.
We have to stop for this view.
The other group stops for the morning coffee.
We reach Col du Feu...
...and get our morning coffee there.
Château Saint Michel Avully
We all meet in Saint-Jean-de-Sixt for lunch.
Good french food
We continue to have brilliant views
Cows block the road just before Le Revard
View from Le Revard to Lac du Bourget and Aix-les-Bains
On top of Le Revard
We meet Wolfgang while getting fuel in Aix-les-Bains.
In the evening we had good French food. However, the tartar was Markus and Andi's destiny and has turned their stomachs once.
5 Aix-les-Bains-Gresse-en-Vercors

We drive over small passes further south into the Vercors. A great dinner awaits us in the evening.

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Marcellus looks around the town in the morning.
We go up Mont du Chat in to the fog.
Fog on Mont du Chat
We get the morning coffee combined with a brilliant view.
A cow on the roadside
The other group takes the break for the morning coffee on Col du Granier.
We pass chestnut farms in Isère valley.
Brilliant View in Presles just after Gorges du Nan
Down there we have Pont-en-Royans.
We proceed over Combe Laval (Col Gaudissart).
Combe Laval (Col Gaudissart)
Combe Laval (Col Gaudissart)
We stop at Col de la Chau.
Coffee and chocolate cake - but not for Markus
The manifold clamp needs to be fixed.
After the Col de Rousset the sun shines and the clouds flow over the mountain.
The other group passes Combe Laval.
Wolfgang welcomes us in Gresse-en-Vercors.
Dinner is at Le Châlet, a restaurant with Guide Michelin and Gault Millau listings.
We are ready
Meat pie
Backed vegetables
Sweet dessert
Finally a nightcap
6 Gresse-en-Vercors-Barcelonnette

We proceed further south and we will get to Lac de Serre-Ponçon and Ubaye valley.

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Breakfast in the morning without the madame who took care of us for years
Dog transport
A sheep
Pont du Brion
It is still very cloudy, but remains dry.
We see the Motorrad-Actionteam Western alps tour group.
Sun is shining at Gorges des Gats.
Gorges des Gats
Gorges des Gats
Morning coffee - the other group arrives
Le Claps
Lunch on top of Col du Festre
Wolfgang, Andi, Tom
Marcellus, Michael, Michael
Brilliant view on Col du Noyer
Col du Noyer
We get to Lac de Serre-Ponçon.
We get a coffee at Belvédère du barrage du la de Serre-Ponçon.
We proceed through Gorges de la Blanche.
The view to the lake from Col de Pontis is quite nice.
From the other side of the lake, one can easily see the place with the landslide. To the right the rock needles Côte des Demoiselles-Coiffées.
Island in the lake
A boat
We pass Wolfgang in Ubaye valley.
The other group gets to Col de Pontis.
Very sassy sparrows at the hotel in Barcelonnette
7 A loop to Roubion

On this day we drive different routes. We do a round trip to Roubion while the other group goes towards Grasse.

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In the morning we celebrate Beat's birthday.
The bikes are ready.
First we go up Col d'Allos.
Michael and Tom
Col d'Allos
Col d'Allos
On the Col de la Colle-Saint-Michel we see a village on the other side of the valley on top of the rock.
We stop at an amazingly well attended coffee.
Morning coffee
It turns out that the many people present are actually participants in a funeral.
Col de Saint-Barnabé
Col de Saint-Barnabé
Clue de Saint-Auban
The other group has found a good place for lunch.
We get panini in Entrevaux.
The other group is in Gorges de Daluis.
Gorges de Daluis
On Col de la Cayolle we can chase some french riders.
Cows on Col de la Cayolle
Col de la Cayolle (Markus, Tom, Andi, Michael)
This vehicle comes towards us on the northern ramp.
Northern ramp of Col de la Cayolle
Back to the hotel
The other group on Col de la Cayolle
Very nice dinner in Barcelonnette
8 Barcelonnette-Toussuire

The top stage with the very highest passes is coming up. Among others, we drive over Col de la Bonette, Col de la Lombarde, Col d'Izoard and Col du Galibier back north.

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The day starts with sunshine.
Clouds on our way up to Col de la Bonette
Col de la Bonette
Andi, Tom, Michael, Markus
Col de la Bonette
down the pass
The hairpins of the southern ramp
The other group at Col de la Bonette (Michael, Karl-Heinz, Marcellus, Horst, Beat).
Col de la Lombarde and many clouds
We decide to skip Colle dei Morti because we wouldn't see anything in the clouds anyway.
The Italian family at the morning coffee place has some pass recommendations for us.
Road blocked at Col de la Larche (Colle della Maddalena)
We have to wait for 30 minutes.
Lunch at the southern ramp of Col d'Izoard
Southern ramp of Col d'Izoard
Col d'Izoard - southbound view
Col d'Izoard
Col d'Izoard - northbound view
Col du Galibier (Andi, Michael, Markus, Tom)
Col du Galibier
Straw figures are waiting in the Valloire valley.
We stop on top of Col du Télégraph.
Coffee and Coke
9 Toussuire-Martigny

The last day of the tour. We proceed north and back into Switzerland to Martigny. Before that, however, we still have to cross Col du Pré, Cormet de Roselend and the small and large Saint-Bernard. So a little bit of Italy is in it as well.

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We start with Montvernier.
Then we go over Col de Chaussy.
The other group goes over Col de la Croix de Fer (Beat, Horst, Karl-Heinz).
The see sheep on Col du Glandon.
We have our coffee break on Col de la Madeleine.
Morning coffee (Markus, Andi)
In Beaufort we have to briefly check closed roads.
At the bottom of Col du Pré
Col du Pré
Lunch with view to Lac du Roselend
Lac du Roselend
On the other side of the lake the ramp of Cormet du Roselend
The other group arrives.
We proceed (Michael).
Cormet du Roselend
Other bikers greet us.
On Petit Saint-Bernard we can chase some Swiss bikers.
Col du Petit Saint-Bernard
Berhardins and marmots
Col du Petit Saint-Bernard
Coffee and ice cream on Col du Grand Saint-Bernard
Southern ramp of Col du Grand Saint-Bernard
It starts to rain.
We refuel one last time in Martigny.
The other group has no rain, but cows on Col du Grand Saint-Bernard.
On top of Col du Grand Saint Bernard
From the hotel in Martigny you can see the northern ramp of Col de la Forclaz.
10 The journey home

I start early at half past five. I have 1200 kilometers ahead of me. That will be exhausting. But the weather stays dry and pleasantly warm all day.

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It is still dark.
There is quite a long tour ahead of me.
Sunrise in Switzerland
Fog when entering Germany
Other bikers
Citygate in Haßfurt
Back to Berlin
11 Zusammenfassung

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