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Old 08-28-2014, 08:05 AM   #1
Lescogriffe OP
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Location: Effeil tower, 2nd floor, 3rd door on the right.
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3 froggys across the Alps

Hi guys,

A Couple of months ago I bought a 1150 GSA because it's a great every day ride, but also because I've spent too much time watching "Long Way Round" and other Ewan Mc Gregor's stuff.

Last week after planning this 3 days trip a little bit we ended up with two friends (one with the same 1150 GSA fitted with aluminum cases where we could put all our food and another one a little more experienced on a 600 XR) near Bardonecchia, putting our fancy clothes on in order to attack the Colle del Sommeiller.

First of all Bardonecchia is really a fantastic spot for this kind of light offway trip with perfectly unexperienced dudes. Moreover people are extremely welcoming, for example the cops brought us to our hotel's door after we asked them our way.

Let's go back to dust: Colle del Sommeiller starts easy: a badly asphalted strip with more and more potholes which becomes non asphalted after some miles. The first part of the road is made of dust which is not particularly tricky but the last part is made of rocks which gave me a really bad time to climb (once I gave up 500m to the top I saw a guy flying above this rocky strip on a 990 Adventure, that proves this is absolutely feasible with a heavy bike as long as there's the right driver on it ). All along the way the sight is amazing, even when you're familair with the Alps:









On the Afternoon we went to Monte Jafferau. That's a little bit easier (except a couple of portions where the rocks make the grip a little slippy) and, at least for the first part, a littel less spectacular.



After a while you reach a tunnel which is supposed to be closed. In fact you can go through it but you can really feel it is about to collapse: large bit of ceilling are falling and lying on the floor, water is coming from the walls. We tried it but stepped back, there was nothing to win to go further and moreover we were seriously running out of gas.



When I check now on dangerous roads I think we should have gone further but we had no more gas, so it is what it is. That will make a good excuse to go back there next year !

Regarding the hotel we went to the Cianfuran Residence, a little above Bardonecchia. I strongly recommend this spot to anyone, both hotel and restaurant are above expectations.

On day 2 we went to Colle delle Finestre in order to reach the 35km road to Sestriere through Colle del Assieta. Unfortunately the last one is closed Wednesday to Saturdays during summer and we were on a Saturday. We did Colle delle Fiestre, which is quite easy (when even met a local grand'pa climbing it on his good ol'Vespa!). One more time, the sight is breathtaking.









During the afternoon we went to Montcenis (Monte Cenisio in italian, it's right at the border between France and Italy) to climb the road to the lake. In the end we lost our way somewhere and eneded up on the road to the Lake of Roterel. . It's a very old paved road and honestly, even if it's paved that's a tough one.



That was the occasion to take some advices from our firend on XR who's a bit experienced in enduro. His advices were clear: "forget being sat down, get on your legs, put the second gear, don't use your brain and use your right wrist". In the end I have to admit that was faaaaaar more effective than "destroy you clutch, stop on each difficulty, fall down on a regular basis".

As usual, the sight was fantastic (especially thinking "I came through this, I reach the summit !")









On Day 3 we moved to Les 2 Alpes to climb the col du Jandri. First bad surprise: officially if you're not driving a construction vehicle you're not supposed to drive there. After some discussion with local people (some nice ones, some not nice at all) we were given a go, as long as we stayed on the track (which was far difficult enough for me). We knew that this one would be our Evrest and it kept its promises. The first 90% were quite OK.







But in the end I had some very bad time in he middle of a 20% rocky slope. First attempt I stalled the engine. The bike was right in the direction of the summit (which happen to be the direction of the slope too) and even while locking the brake the GS was extremely attracted by the valley. By miracle I remained on my wheels, went a little down to get some speed and attack again, with enough speed not to stall.

And I stalled again: no power, the engine was choking. That time both of the bike and I ended up on the ground. That freaked me out but I had nothing else to do that going back to the valley, giving up 200m to the top.

Anyway the sight was again spectacular, even though this last one left me with a bitter taste in my mouth...



In conclusion this first "raid" was amazing and I'm kind of proud of what we did, considering we were complete beginners. There is still a long way to go before being a serious adventure rider but after this first attempt we clearly are looking forward to try again and again.
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:59 AM   #2
GB
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C'est beau mon ami! Allez-y, voyons encore d'autres photos!
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:08 PM   #3
Lescogriffe OP
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Actually I'm running out of (nice) pictures. I'll ask to the 2 other dudes if they can post some of theirs.
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:17 PM   #4
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Nice. I'm going to the alps next friday on the same bike
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:29 PM   #5
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Why not consider going back to Bardo for the Stella Alpina in July 2015 ? Just a thought.....!
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Old 08-31-2014, 01:56 PM   #6
Lescogriffe OP
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Location: Effeil tower, 2nd floor, 3rd door on the right.
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I didn't even know it existed ! Thanks for the tip !

Regarding the airheads I forgot to mention it but while I was just stabbing my clutch on some rocky trap in the last part of the Sommeiller one guy came out of nowhere on a roaring R80GS, overtook me on the outside of a hair pin (I was easy meat) and just vanished in the dust, as quick as thunder.

I thought "look at you dude, you're sitting on 30 years of technical improvements and that does not seem to make you a better rider...".

I get back stabbing my clutch then. You always stick to something you're good at.
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Lescogriffe screwed with this post 08-31-2014 at 02:03 PM
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Old 08-31-2014, 03:24 PM   #7
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Beautiful...That is an area to ride that is on my list.
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Old 12-14-2014, 12:57 PM   #8
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Location: Effeil tower, 2nd floor, 3rd door on the right.
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Shit happens

It seems I finally found out why I was lacking power...







Let's see the good side of it: I'm gonna get a bunch of "extra" power soon !
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