Todayís ride was primarily for pleasure, but also for a thorough check over of the bikes performance. I had just collected my GT back from the dealers after 10 days, where it had been for repair of the sticking throttle/lack of engine braking problem I had been experiencing. Having been told they could neither find or replicate the fault, I had been reluctant to take it back, but with an assurance that they had been through it top to tail, and that if the fault resurfaced they would replace the ECU, I decided to take the opportunity of a great days weather forecast to ride a few cols and see if it ran better, or more importantly, to see if the problem would resurface.
I left home at 09.20 with a route planned into the Zumo of around 450kms, which included 5 cols, starting in Switzerland then returning to France.
The first 100kms was on the Swiss motorway, tracking alongside Lac Leman to Lausanne, past the vineyards and fields, and the trees returning to full foliage, the morning was one where you see everything and appreciate its natural beauty.
Round Lausanne to Montreux, (where Queen had their recording studio and a statue of Freddie Mercury stands, fist aloft facing out to the lake), and then onto Aigle. The sun was warming and the temperature rose as I rode further from Geneva. The bike seemed to purr along, with gears snicking in more easily and quietly than I had remembered, and with the ESA on comfort and the cruise control set at the Swiss 120kph limit, I wafted along, noting the buzzard flying over the motorway traffic no more than 6 ft above me, and chuckled at the horses tail flapping in the wind outside the horse box. Today The vineyards lining the motorway
There is a great spot past Montreux which I used to promise myself to stop at and take photos. Iíve only done it once in the 10 years I have lived over in Switzerland/France , but I stopped again today. There was a low early morning mist hanging over the mountains on the far side of the lake, waiting for the sun to burn it off later in the day.
I filled up at the services just outside Aigle, paying Ä1.53 a litre, then cursed when the same petrol in town was only Ä1.49!
In Aigle I took these few pics before ascending the Col des Mosses at 1445m to Chateaux DíOex where there is a balloon festival held each year.
As I started to climb I started to appreciate the throttle response, no jerkiness! Handling was fine, no abrupt cut-offs, just smooth, silky drive. I was starting to enjoy this, it was like a new bike! Donít know what they had done to it, but itís enjoyable and really as I imagined it should have been all the time.
Stopped to take this picture as the wooden part of the building looked hundreds of years old.
Turning off towards Bulle, I skirted Gruyeres, home of the famous cheese of the same name. From Bulle west across the Jaunpass 1509m, then south via the famous ski resort of Gstaad to Sannen.
Then south via the Col du Pillon 1546m and back to Aigle. Along this route you pass Glacier 3000 where you can take a cable to the summit and eat in the circular restaurant or in winter take a husky sled ride.
After over 4 hours I stopped to eat and take a break . A sandwich, kitkat, orange juice and ice cream later, I set off again. In Martigny I climbed the Col de Forclaz 1526m where you have these amazing views of Martigny below.
Onto Le Chatelard where the Swiss and French borders meet, where I then descended the Col des Montets 1461m down into Chamonix.
Finally home via Sallanches, Cluses and Bonneville.
It was a long but thoroughly enjoyable day. Around 7 hours in the saddle, but made a pleasure by a bike which now rides like a dream. Effortless power, fault free fuelling, and gears which seem to change better and more quietly, and even the board computer reading was damn near 100% accurate. Donít ask whatís been done. Maybe there is a new software update they loaded, whatever the case, I just hope it stays this way, as all thoughts of changing to a 1300 disappeared after this ride. 450kms of pleasure, a days tour which brought enjoyment from of my surroundings, but also more importantly, rekindled my faith in what is a great bike.