Beta Alp 4.0

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

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Stella Alpina Day 7 - Dole to Cambrai

I had a broken night's sleep as the hostel was nosiy but the garage was secure in the morining and the Alp still there. Breakfast was fine, but in a restaurant building that smelt of baby poo. I'd give Dole FUAJ hostel a miss in future.
I'd planned a simple route and in that regard it worked well. Together with my detailed route card I only needed to refer to the map once. The first third of the journey in the edge of the jura was fine and quite picturesque but Ardennes is an arable desert; long straight roads in plains of crops. Apart from on the N74 I wasn't unduly bothered by traffic. Close to Rethel there was a policeman with a radar gun but that was of no worry to me as 1) I'd been warned by a motorist i the opposite direction and 2) I was going well below the speed limit anyway.

A few days in the saddle were getting to me in that I was getting saddle sore, even with the AirHawk pad, and my left ear was painful from the ear plug. I found another signed unsurfaced road and followed it to a cross at a junction and then down a wooded track which approached a farm; at that point I turned back. I need more info on these lanes as there are obviously very many of them and some parts may be interesting and the others worth some exploration.

I saw many of these roads which didn't have restriction signs and even though they are dull where they adjoin the road the few that I have followed have gained character within a km or so.
The 'dull' routes of the last 2 days have certainly been quicker and shorter than the 'intersting' outbound routes. It is better to be in at 17:00 and have time for a hsower before a pleasant evening meal rather than to arrive focussing on sleep. Whilst thinking about the speed, on European local raods the Alp can easily cruise at or above the speed limit and the lack of range is the limiting factor. A bigger machine would probably be more restful on long raods but I'd have to watch my speed. Maybe some AutoRoutes would be a good idea; as it is I've striggled to maintain an average of 55kph with no real meal stops and certainly no museum stops or visits. So I've had lots of motorcyclin gbut no tourism. Maybe that's OK? Today some faster roads would have been helpful to get across the centre of France.

A pretty easy 492km


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