With the motorcycle in the western Alps

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With the motorcycle in the western Alps
Deleker

With the motorcycle in the western Alps

With the motorcycle in the western Alps

With the motorcycle in the western Alps

With the motorcycle in the western Alps

13th pictures

With the motorcycle in the western Alps
Deleker

1/13
Out and about with a motorcycle in the Western Alps – the last exit of the season.Image: On the way to Bonette. At the top there is a wild panorama over the completely barren landscape at the beginning of October.

With the motorcycle in the western Alps
Deleker

2/13
The ancient village of Chianale at the south end of the Col Agnel. Solid slates as roof tiles against capricious weather.

With the motorcycle in the western Alps
Deleker

3/13
The Col du Galibier is one of the highest alpine passes and enchants with views of imposing almost four-thousand-meter peaks.

With the motorcycle in the western Alps
Deleker

4/13
Visit the enduro dream while you can: Enjoy driving on the Assietta-Kammstrabe.

With the motorcycle in the western Alps
Deleker

5/13
View of the misty valleys on the Colle di Sampeyre.

With the motorcycle in the western Alps
Deleker

6/13
The highlight of the Col d’Izoard is the erosion landscape of the Casse Deserte.

With the motorcycle in the western Alps
Deleker

7/13
Always a hearty adventure: the Assietta-Kammstrabe. Even with road tires on the V-Strom.

With the motorcycle in the western Alps
Deleker

8/13
Panorama disc on the Col Agnel, at 2744 meters the third highest alpine pass.

With the motorcycle in the western Alps
Deleker

9/13
At Lac de Serre-Ponçon, the largest reservoir in the Alps, near Le Sauze-du-Lac.

With the motorcycle in the western Alps
Deleker

10/13
Fresh spring water at a village fountain not only cleans the visors, but is also ideal for the drinking bottle.

With the motorcycle in the western Alps
Deleker

11/13
The Col du Galibier is not only one of the highest alpine passes, for us it is even the big favorite of all alpine passes.

With the motorcycle in the western Alps
Deleker

12/13
In good weather, you can even see the Barre des ecrins mountain range, the westernmost four-thousand-meter peaks in the Alps, on the horizon.

With the motorcycle in the western Alps
Deleker

13/13
Eagle’s Nest: the town of Roure in the French Maritime Alps.

to travel

With the motorcycle in the western Alps

With the motorcycle in the western Alps
Enjoy a motorcycle tour in the Alps shortly before the end of the season

The western Alps beckon with a seductive mix: grandiose passes, gravel paths with great views and a surprising tranquility outside the high season. And those who are tired of the passes can go straight to the Mediterranean.

Joachim Deleker

10/10/2012

Beginning of October – the days are getting shorter and frighteningly fast, and the first night frost is hammering the last summer thoughts out of the brain. Couldn’t it stay warm and sunny for a few more weeks? Yes, it can, but not in the domestic latitudes. South of France, Western Alps, Mediterranean Sea – the best weather, addicting roads, no motorhome blockades like in August, just drive and enjoy. A dream? Sure, but very easy to implement, especially since there are still places available on the next car train to Bozen. Dreaming the day before yesterday, booked the train in the evening and now the world is a different one: We swing up the wide curves to the Col du Mont Cenis and roll over the almost traffic-free N6 to Saint-Michel. Take a break, take a deep breath, feel the sun on your nose and the fine tingling sensation in your stomach, knowing full well that one of the most ingenious Alpine passes is right in front of the front tires of our enduro bikes, the Col du Galibier. A total work of art, flanked by two satellites, the Col du Telegraphe and the Col du Lautaret. The Telegraphe is a driving revelation, not even the landscape distracts from turning corners.

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That only changes further up, when the now narrow asphalt strip becomes the actual Galibier and strives through yellow-brown meadows towards the top of the pass at 2645 meters. There the scene suddenly changes, the road no longer dominates the senses, but the gigantic east face of La Meije, which is almost 4000 meters high, with its freshly snow-covered glacier. Do we marvel at the mountains or do we concentrate on the descent? Neither is possible, after all, one wrong look could be the last. The Galibier does not know secured roadsides, the abysses are terrifyingly deep. But this pass is far too exciting to drive it just once anyway.


With the motorcycle in the western Alps


Deleker

At Lac de Serre-Ponçon, the largest reservoir in the Alps, near Le Sauze-du-Lac.

The Col de Saren-nes, which branches off the N91 and immediately gains altitude, is of a completely different nature. The narrow, bumpy road demands all reserves from the spring travel of Tenere and V-Strom until the path ends in L’Alpe dHuez, an ugly winter sports resort at almost 2000 meters above sea level. And yet we associate this name with countless human dramas that have played out in the 21 hairpin bends and 1,100 meters of altitude of the merciless ascent from the Veneon Valley. The Tour de France, unthinkable without the showdown to L’Alpe d’Huez. While we toboggan loosely and flaky down into the valley, I try to read all the names painted on the asphalt: Schleck, Contador, Evans, but I can even decipher Ullrich, Armstrong and Pantani. The latter still holds the record for the ascent – 14 kilometers in 37 minutes. Unbelievable.

Not a single road crosses the huge ecrins National Park; we have to go around it far to the south. Off to Gap and on to the largest reservoir in the Alps, the turquoise-green Lac de Serre-Ponçon. The landscape is almost lovely, harmless round mountains that have nothing in common with the drama of the Massif des ecrins: meadows and fields, boring main roads. It doesn’t have to be, so we turn to Col d’Izoard. That would be another pass among many if it weren’t for the surprising lunar landscape of the Casse Deserte. Bizarre brown rock towers, battlements and needles, modeled by wind, frost and rain. And after the top of the pass, the rustic “Refuge Napoleon” beckons with the best blueberry cake far and wide.


With the motorcycle in the western Alps


Deleker

The highlight of the Col d’Izoard is the erosive landscape of the Casse Deserte.

New day, same weather. With this clear view, we just have to go back up into the mountains. And one of the most promising roads in the Western Alps is the Assietta. Plus one of the last freely navigable long gravel stretches in the Alps, which shouldn’t even embarrass the road-tired Suzuki. If not now then when? So over to Italy, choose the eastern climb to the Assietta, because of the better view. In this weather the tightrope walk is a dream. The valleys of Val Chisone and Dora Riparia shimmer deep below. On the western horizon, the 4000-meter peaks of the Massif des ecrins bore into white clouds. The slope meanders beyond the 2000 meter mark through yellow meadows, in which hectic marmots are eagerly collecting grass for the winter cave. The first snow could fall as early as next week. An infinite number of waves, holes and stones demand concentration and suspension. Nevertheless, the Assietta is an absolute pleasure route. As if to prove it, a Harley is stomping towards us. respect.

Enough for today, back to France. For the rest of the day, relax in Guillestre. Narrow, winding streets hide between old stone houses, some have been restored in an exemplary manner, others exude the morbid charm of centuries. In the middle is a small market square with ice cream parlors and restaurants. Guillestre is also the ideal starting point for the fourth highest alpine pass, the 2744 meter high Agnello, which brings us back to Italy. Hardly anyone is out and about on this fresh October morning, the icy wind whistles over the barren pass, where a colorful panoramic window helps to identify the mountains. 1000 meters below, Chianale forces us to brake hard, a place like something out of a 19th century picture book. Gloomy gray, roughly bricked houses, the roofs covered with huge slabs of slate, two ancient church towers peek out over the houses. It’s great that places like this still exist without the ski hype wellness hotels.

In general, the Italian places. Only now are we realizing what their counterparts on the French side are missing: the patina of the pastel-colored facades, the atmosphere of the arcaded piazzas and blaring Vespas, countless small bars with the world’s best cappuccino for 1.20 euros, in short: Mediterranean flair.


With the motorcycle in the western Alps


Deleker

Visit the enduro dream while you can: Enjoy driving on the Assietta-Kammstrabe.

San Damiano, Demonte, Col de la Lombarde – and we’re back in France again, after a slow descent in Isola we hit the main road. A sign electrifies me: Nice 68 km. Our brains are still running in pass mode, and suddenly this sign interferes: “Let’s have a pizza in Nice, an hour to the Mediterranean.” We would almost have succumbed to the charm if it weren’t for a second sign: Col de la Bonette 41 km. There is no question which signpost has a stronger seduction potential, of course the highest alpine pass.

The long driveway is only really exciting beyond the tree line. The landscape becomes barren, the brown, red and yellow mountains could just as easily grow in the Argentine Andes or a southern Spanish sierra. A different world than on the Galibier. For the ultimate panoramic view, we climb the last few meters to the summit of the Bonette at 2,860 meters. Thin air, cold wind, but what a view!


With the motorcycle in the western Alps


Deleker

The ancient village of Chianale at the south end of the Col Agnel. Solid slates as roof tiles against capricious weather.

According to the motto “One can still go”, we dash to Jausiers and take on the Col d’Allos. It has everything an alpine pass needs. Countless curves, hardly any traffic on the narrow, bumpy road and the last high mountains before the Mediterranean. Direct hit, a pass to enjoy. And it takes us straight to the south of France. The melancholy of the alpine places is behind us, from now on it smells of wild thyme, pine and eucalyptus trees. Provence is close.

So is the sea, but there are a thousand reasons not to go there until the day after tomorrow: countless small roads that curl through the mountains, all of which are ennobled with a green stripe. Or the Daluis gorge. Dark red rocks plunge vertically into the depths dug by the Var River over millions of years. The famous Col de Turini, where the heroes of the Monte Carlo Rally celebrate their drifting skills in the winter landscape, or the picturesque old towns of Dolceacqua, Apricale and Perinaldo on the Italian side. A thousand reasons to just cruise through this area for another week. Especially since it is still summer here when the first snow falls at home. Thanks for this summer addition.

Info


With the motorcycle in the western Alps


Werel

Travel time: 1 week. Distance covered: 1500 kilometers.

The western Alps beckon with a seductive mix: grandiose passes, gravel paths with great views and a surprising tranquility outside the high season. And those who are tired of the passes can go straight to the Mediterranean.

getting there:
It’s about 1000 kilometers from Cologne to Briançon. The fastest route is through Switzerland via Basel and Geneva. To the Côte d’Azur it goes through France via the toll highways A7 (E15) and A8 (E80) to Nice and Monaco. The most comfortable and material-friendly journey is offered by the DB Autozug, which runs from Dusseldorf to Alessandria, for example. For one person and a motorcycle, a one-way trip from Dusseldorf costs from 206 euros, depending on the season. Information from DB Autozug, phone 01 80/5 24 12 24 or on the Internet at www.dbautozug.de.

Travel time:
August is the main travel month in France and Italy. Heat, traffic jams and annoying room or campground searches are the result. From September on, calm will suddenly return. At the beginning of October the high passes are mostly still open, but many campsites are already closed. Night frosts are possible in the mountains, while at the sea it can still be over 30 degrees. Often the first snow falls in the course of October and with it the barrier for the passes. The winter closure unfortunately lasts until May or even June, depending on the snow situation and altitude.


With the motorcycle in the western Alps


Deleker

In good weather, you can even see the Barre des ecrins mountain range, the westernmost four-thousand-meter peaks in the Alps, on the horizon.

Offroad:
The French and Italians are very tolerant when it comes to driving on the old military tracks. However, even with them, the fun stops when all-terrain heaters abuse the paths as a race track. The result is route closures with drastic penalties for disregard. There are still some free stretches that are perfect for enduro hiking. How much longer depends on the driving behavior of each individual. The Assietta is closed on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the summer, the Sommeiller on the weekends.

literature:
The book “Motorradtouren Westalpen” by Denzel-Verlag, which describes 46 tours in detail with degrees of difficulty, is very informative. Price for the cult work: 27 euros. We recommend the out-of-date tour guide “Lust auf French Alps” from the Highlights publishing house for 11.90 euros, which lives up to its name with ten detailed tour suggestions. The best maps come from Michelin. The very detailed maps on a scale of 1: 150,000 show almost every route. Sheets 334 and 341 are required for the trip described. Costs per card 7.50 euros, without the annoying cardboard envelope on site, 4.50 euros.

Action Team:
The West Alps tours with the MOTORRAD action team are in great demand. Dates 2013: June 15-22, June 22-29, June 29-July 6, August 31-September 7, September 7-September 14, www.actionteam.de or phone 07 11/1 82-19 77.

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