Beta Alp 4.0

A collection of information as it arises. There's not a lot out there!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Stella Alpina Day 3 - Les Rousses to Bardonecchia

Quite a day despite doing 'only' 331km. The first section continued through the Haut Jura and this is a superb area. Hilly enough to be dramatic but not so musc so to be frightening. I can understand why it is a popular walking area. The hills levelled ot to high pasture land with a very alpine appearance.

Next came the valleys. The first few were tight and narrow with the roads following the fast flowing rivers. The gradients and corners were relatively gentleand as usual, fairly traffic-free.
Eventually I came to Annecy and despite my concerns managed to pass around it without problems. The following section to Albertville was the most disappointing of the day. The lake at Annecy was a lovely colour but in the bid for tourism the road was lined with bars and small hotels, and all the traffic jmas that come with such attractions. Luckliy Ugine, juts before Albertville marked the beginning of my route into the Alps.

This is not one of the most famous passes but very fetching and cold enough to have a little glacier.

Next up was the famous Val d'Isere where I was concerned that I didn't have enough petrol to clear the pass. I met some German motorcyclists at a closed petrol station (English creit crads still won't work in the machines) who had come over the other way and they reported that there was no fuel for 40km. I'd risk it...The ascent all that I expected; steep tight bends and quite cold. I'd been warned about this so put some extra clothes on. I took the road pretty steady, this was no place to come off. There were a lot of cyclists too working their way up - no wonder the continentals do well in the Tour d'France.

It was also the first place where I got any hint that other motorcyclists were heading for Italy.

The petrol stattion was actually 50km from Val d'Isere but I reached it without problems. I thin one rides quite gently when it's a 1000m drop at the roadside. The Mont Cenis pass was straightforward and was followed by a pleasant descent into Italy where the sun was shining on the Susa valley.

Throughout the day the Alp had done well, of course I'd been passed and mostly when I was at the speed limit. There was nothing to suggest that on such a day that the machine was the limiting factor. Maybe a flashier machine would have increased my confidence and flattered my ability but I doubt it. At altitude, such as the 2700m col, the idle was unreliable and maybe there was a splutter when changing speed but on every corner I had power to pull away. I'm not sure that I was that happy with the tyres, they always felt a little remote. Perhaps the pressures were too high.
Somehow, in Susa, I ended up on the Autovia and so experienced a 5km tunnel - and a €4.50 toll.
It didn't take me long to find my hotel but somehow my deposit hadn't been paid. Anyway, I got my room and after a shower headed into town.

Well where was everyone? Maybe they were camping and most people don't arrive until saturday? Anyway I had a good meal and an excellent glass of Il Rosso.

The 1574km here has been a long way but enjoyable. I wonder what the weekend will bring?


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