The team are getting excited now! There are eight bikes travelling down through France all the way to Chatel, in the Portes Du Soleil ski region of the Alps which is about an hour or so from Geneva.
Our journey begins meeting at Membury services and heading along the M4 and M25, via Bracknell, all the way to the Chunnel where we meet with the only car that is coming. As there are eight bikes, we will be travelling in groups of four in “chevron” style which enables us to stay together as a pack without compromising safety.
After leaving the Chunnel, we head down to Reims for our overnight stop. Avoiding autoroutes, apart from getting out of Calais, we follow major roads. Not only does it make the journey more interesting, it gives us a sense of being in France. A motorway, autoroute, highway – can be anywhere in the world! Bland and boring although functional of course.
From Reims, we head to Lons Le Saunier for our second night stop. Again, we use major roads avoiding the autoroute.
Monday, we depart Lons Le Saunier for Chatel via Thonon. Ok, we may have to use the autoroute for part of the journey on this stretch. And after approx. 5 hours of riding, we should arrive in Chatel for a late lunch or early beer!
Travelling at this time of year means we get more hours of sunlight so we can stop more often for coffee and cake – this seems to be a staple diet of bikers so in for a penny, in for a pound (or is that to be Euro after the referendum?).
In Chatel we intend to spend a couple of days exploring some of the twisty alpine routes around the ski resorts. No doubt there will be snow around still so expect it will be a bit chilly at times. Our stay in Chatel is at Snow Focus and I for one am looking forward to spending an hour or two in the hot tub!!
Thursday – depart Chatel and head back north to Troyes for an overnight stop.
Friday night is our last night and we head to Ypre (Leper) in Belgium where we plan to hear the last post at the Menin Gate. This has been played every evening at 8pm since the end of World War One (except the WW2 years). Expect this to be very emotional – there are some 40,000 names carved in stone around the Menin Gate of fallen soldiers of the “Great War”. These are soldiers without graves.
Saturday – back to the Chunnel for a mid-day crossing and head home.
Apart from day 1, mileage will be around 200 per day or so. Day 1 will be approx. 400miles or so.