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4 days in Liguria and Piemonte

Erstellt von PHS, 27.09.2015, 13:11 Uhr · 21 Antworten · 3.805 Aufrufe

  1. PHS
    Registriert seit

    Standard 4 days in Liguria and Piemonte

    After my "blitz-trip" last year I was hooked on gravel.
    Already during that trip the plan to go there next year was in the making.
    But not on the GSA. Too heavy. Too big. Too expensive when dropped. I needed to find something around that.

    Via an old Yamaha TTR600 I got myself a 2013 KTM Enduro R with a lot of modifications.

    I also decided not to go on my own again as accidents during gravel trips are easier to have.
    Roel, a buddy of mine, who was preparing his '87 R80 G/S immediately signed up to join.
    The planning could start!

    The tools:

    Sunday morning we pulled the trigger.
    Roel provided the trailer.
    I took care of the towbar.

    After 12 hours we arrive near Susa, Piedmonte.
    Car and trailer would remain there for four days

    Day 1

    Early up.
    G/S and 690 are ready to go.
    Roel was already a little tense because the G/S had had some problems starting.
    And indeed, after 5 mintes of starting....nada.
    In the end, the silent hectic sparkplug cover had not clicked despite some serious force excercised.
    And then BRAAAAP, take off...and off we went.

    Easy start with Finestre and Assietta.
    On the Finestre I drive a bit further onto the track so I can make a photo of Roel in action.....but where is he?

    Mmmm, that's unlike Roel. On the 690 and back, to learn that the starter engine has not survived the prior 5 minutes starting...
    OK. Nothing we can do about that other than clever downhill parking and bobsled starting...Off we go.

    Roel is the better and faster driver.
    No fun in being stuck behind a slower driver.
    So we agreed to drive our own speeds and catch up regularly.

    Here's Roel a bit further up the track.

    Brotherly side by side. No brand envy.

    Roel gets on his bike while I shoot a small movie.
    Then I also get on the bike and at my own pace follow him.

    Shoot another nice pic.

    Get on the bike again...
    Drive through a corner.....What is this? WTF? No way!

    Luckily Roel is standing on the track instead of under the bike or down the hill.
    (that's me looking at his bike there)
    He overlooked a big stone and the handlebars were janked out of his hands.
    The slope is like 45 degrees with lots of rocks and still frozen over from the night.
    After some pulling and pushing we know that we will not be able to pull it back topside.
    And we can't drive it up at an angle because we can't start it...damn. our trip already over?

    Roel has a wild idea: drive down the slope....get the G/S started in to a lower track...return to the main track.


    So I'm at the back of the G/S. Roel on it. We slip, slide and bump down the slope.
    And then I have to let go. Roel stands on the pegs and...falls nearly off...releases the clutchs abd.....BRAAAP-stutter-BRAAAP

    Wow. Well done Roel.

    I have to climb back up some 50 meters.
    He's back where he went off before I am there...Me sweating and panting like an old horse (which maybe because I am)

    We look at each other. We laugh. Get silent. Laugh again. This could've gone totally sideways...

    A few scratches on the cylindercovers. That's all.

    On we go to Val Argentiera.
    A very nice valley. Relaxed gravel.
    Only the last part to a farm called Gran Miol is mean and steep.
    My Heidenau Scout scrabble for traction.

    As the track dead-ends we return. Next is Col D'Izoard....yes, tarmac.

    Great tarmac!
    Me on all roads, Roel on full nobbies. We enjoy ourselves great by chasing a few Germans on streetbikes up the pass.
    When we stop on the pass we get the thumbs-up.

    Me on the 690.

    Of course we shoot some pictures.
    Roel's already gone.
    When I drive away I go flat on my face with plenty people watching.
    Forgot to kick up my side stand....oops.

    The other side of the Izoard pass:

    Tough guy, our Roel.

    On we go to Col D'Agnel Col.

    Planned destination is Venasca where we want to start the Varaita Maira Kammstrasse (gravel).
    But during a fuelstop we decide to do that track today as well.

    In the meanwhile the youth is somewhat tired...

    Done as planned, we take on the Varaita Maira.
    Hafway Roel decides that some kind of dry riverbed at an angle of 45 degrees is the right track.
    Fool that I am, I let myself being sent in first.

    It is crazy. No way can this be right.
    I lose traction and keel over.

    Roel concurs.

    We turn the bikes around (easier said than done!).
    Roel manages to get G/S going again....and we follow the track. The right one this time.

    After Col de Birrone it becomes "ruppig" like the Germans say (correct, yes?).

    At Col de Sampyre meet the tarmac again.

    Nearly in dusk we drive through the fabulous Valone di Elva. A canyon like small twisty road.
    Near our place for the night, while turning on the road, I drop my bike again. Getting good at it...
    Arriving there it looks like some forgotten hippie resort, but on the inside all neat and clean.

    After a nice pasta dish cooked by a nice old hippie with ponytail it's off to bed to take on the Maira Stura gravel track.

    According to Roel, the Romanian lady host had an eye on me....mmmm.

    And we've already had our first day...

    to be continued...

  2. Registriert seit


    Front page material!!!

    thanks for sharing

  3. Registriert seit


    Great pictures. Well done!

  4. Registriert seit


    Amazing story and pics! We should have met, so i could have helped you back on your bike again

  5. PHS
    Registriert seit


    Zitat Zitat von hoechst Beitrag anzeigen
    Amazing story and pics! We should have met, so i could have helped you back on your bike again
    Yes, that would have been nice, some extra muscle....

  6. PHS
    Registriert seit


    Day 2

    A bit stiff from yesterday's excercise I get out of bed at 6:30
    Roel say's he doesn't feel a thing....yeah right.

    It is bit cloudy. Shame, but dry.
    Within 3 minutes we're on the Maira Stura Kammstrasse track.

    Right or straight ahead....Zumo doesn't show us very well.
    An old Italian cowboys points us in the right direction.

    The clouds make it a small world.
    That has a certain appeal to it, but I'd rather have the sun.

    It's a rough scenery.

    Roel is already a bit ahead...

    After the Maira Stura, we go to the Marco Pantani statue on the desoltate Col dei Morti.

    We proceed our way further into Italy to Demonte where we have a few café Americain (just a regular size cup of coffee instead of the tiny espresso's).
    The aim is to do the first part of the Ligurische Grenskammstrasse: de Baisse D'Ourne.

    We drive to Limone Piemonte to find the track.

    We see the Fort Central in the distance, but we will be there no sooner than tomorrow when we complete our loop.

    Also we pass Fort Marguirie.

    We end this part of the track just below the village of Tenda
    Dan weer terug en de "originele" track vervolgen.

    Now we have a bit of a dilemma.
    We want to do the rest of the Ligurische Grenzkammstrasse but now it is forbidden on Tuesdays. And it is Tuesday.
    What to do?

    After a lengthy debate of less than 1 minute we just decide to go for it. Take our chances.
    In the small village of La Brigue we have to go through very narrow alleys to find the track,

    We take an illegal hefty gravel track up to find the southern part of the main track.
    So far so good. No barriers. No parkguard. Just the graveltrack and us.
    But after Col de Tanarello, fate strikes.

    A young bloke tells us it's a no go for today and we shouldn't even be here.
    We play flabbergasted. Really? Not on Tuesday? Why not? How come? where could we have seen this?
    Begging, offering to pay more and flattery almost get us through.

    Then a big fourwheeldrive races up the track and slews to a standstill.
    And Mussolini steps out. Gun on his hip.
    Open his trousers puts right what's lying wrong. Zips up again. Incredible!
    Verbally and non verbally he makes clear that we can kiss his ass but it won't help.
    We think he secretly hopes we're going to try to make a run for it so he can have some shooting excercise.

    This is going nowhere so we turn the bikes and drive back and find ourselves a place to sleep.

    We find two rooms at a cheese maker....yes, really.

    As we're early of the track , Roel decides to have a go at the starter.

    But our McGyver can't fix the Chines piece of junk.
    The evening meal is an almost endless stream of local Italian fresh food. Great!

    As I walk to my bed I see movement from the corner of my eye: I have a roommate!

    Although I am mostly friendly towards animals, I must confess that I used my boot to reclaim the room for myself alone....

    And already 2 days into this trip...

    to be continued

  7. PHS
    Registriert seit


    Day 3

    Rise and shine!

    No such thing as sleeping late....

    After a great Italian breakfast, the first physical excersice of the awaits....pushing Roel's G/S to the road and start it.
    The engine tuning is great so it works first time. But still....

    We decide to fill up prior to hitting the strech of gravel.
    We wind up at an unmanned petrolstation with rusty equipment.
    You can only feed bills into the pump and those are eaten without any notification or sign.
    But miracles still happen as the right amount of the precious liquid flows into our tanks

    We return to the spot where the previous day Mussolini groped himself (yuk).
    He's not there. Phew. We continue our track.
    Again a lovely rough scenery

    Great views.

    We encounter almost no one.

    The gravel track has been flattened and cleaned up.
    One could drive it with a Harley Davidson Electra problem.
    Personally I find that a pity as the adventure component is less.
    But it is what it is and the scenery is still epic.

    Roel has to show that he's a baddie:

    The much photographed Boaire...

    We continue and get the view on the Fort Central, but now from the other side that we had the previous day.

    There where we went right yesterday, we now come in from the left track.
    There's a skihut where we eat a sandwich.
    The youngsters are a bit tired again.

    The older folks are having a bit more active posture... (yup, that's me)

    So much for the Ligurische GrenzKamm Strasse.

    Onwards to the Col de Lombarde!

    Gliding on tarmac.

    And onwards to the Col de la Bonnette... The highest paved road in Europe.

    On the highest point it's an orgy of BMW's
    Roel's old G/S gets a lot of attention.

    On the way down we devour lots of tarmac oriented machines.
    Nobbies rule

    But we still have the objective to ride the Parpaillion.
    Gravel track with on the summit a dark and gravel tunnel at over 2600 metes.
    Filled with mud, potholes with up to 50cm of water and patches of frozen mud/ice.

    First we book our next lodging on the other side.

    On the way up....

    It is 6pm and the mountain is totally for us alone.

    Roel wants the best picture.

    I do the same, but the other way around

    On the other side of the Parpaillion we eat a big pizza on the main square of the small town of Embrun.

    When we're finished we entertain the crowd with our bobsledge startprocedure for the G/S....and we fail the first time....but get applaus the second time when we succeed.

    And the it's off to bed.

    That was day 3.

  8. PHS
    Registriert seit


    Day 4

    The final day.

    A bit of melancholy, but...we're on to the extra tracks.
    And that means we've done more than anticipated...and that's good!

    Of we go to the village of Bardonecchia to pick up the next gravel path.

    In the morning I discover that I have a bit of damage myself...
    And that is while wearing my Sidi Adventure boots...
    Still don't know where I did this.

    Second time Izoard.
    I manage to keep the KTM upright...progress, right there

    Target 1 was obvious: Colle Sommeiller.

    Roel spots some moisture streaks on his rear tire.
    The plug has come pretty loose...that's gonna be fixed.

    McGyver @work (again).

    The first part of the Sommeiler is a kind of gravel racetrack.

    A bit futher it gets a bit rougher...a bit nicer...

    The top is a sort of plain...on 2986 meter atlitude.
    The highest you can get motorised in Europe.

    Roel wants a snow pic:

    There's 5 people. 3 of 'em comfortable with what they're doing here.
    But there's also a couple in their thirties, and she's definately not overly excited to be here.

    Roel whispers to me: that could be a long way down.

    Everybody goes. After 10 minutes, we go as last.

    Rough world here.

    And Roel was right.
    Some 150 meters down the couple is standing in a hairpin.
    She's is totally exhausted and shows all signs of not going down...
    ...and then it's a long way down.

    Again back in Bardonecchia we decide to take on the Jafferau.
    A ski piste.. first forest..then alpine...

    Roel "steps" off twice.

    He loses the rear tire in a steep part forest trail in a nasty puddle (the picture never really shows...).
    We were driving like 40km/h...he took a big hit.

    A bit further, a forest guard does not give way enough.
    I slip past, but Roel's rear tire slips away.

    The last part to Fort Jafferau awaits...

    You don't have a view like that at home taking a leak.

    The mean part is in the last part.

    It is very very steep.
    It is very rough.
    It has lots of curves.

    My Heidenaus are fighting for traction.
    Pulling the clutch is a no-go.
    Just hit the gas and point where you want to go.

    But on the top, the view is rewarding.

    Going to Col Basset we see down the slope a few motorcycles. Tsjech riders.
    We go down, chat and have a bit of fun.
    The help push-starting Roel's G/S.

    We continue.
    The weather is turning.
    Clouds are being pushed from the valley over the ridge.
    Visibility is sometimes almost nill.

    We decide to go down.
    Enough is enough.

    Once we hit the tarmac, the road is just great.
    It's just a regular road here, but magnificent nonetheless.

    In Susa we eat (another) pizza, prior to go back to our first hotel.
    Put the motorcycles on the trailer to be ready in the morning.

    We mount for the last part....and it starts to rain.
    The first rain on the last kilometers. Great planning.

    We had 4 terrific days.
    Plenty of adventure.
    1200 kilometers. 700 gravel kilometers.

    It was good.
    It was beautiful.
    My pal and I had a splendid time.

    Hope you enjoyed the trip with us!

    Roel & Peter

  9. Registriert seit


    Very nice pictures of your trip, last week we plan a smaler round but Thema weather....
    We stay at Bergamo

    Thanks for post


  10. Registriert seit


    Super Fotos!

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