Highest pass in Europe - Part 2 - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old Jun 18th, 2009, 3:36 am Thread Starter
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Highest pass in Europe - Part 2

After the joys of the Bonette and a pause for refreshment, we set off again for the Col de Vars. Unfortunately, the signposting was so bad that we missed what looked like a branch off the main road, and continued on what turned into a fantastic pass, but which terminated in Italy . A quick check of the map, as the bloody Zumo had failed miserably, and it was clear we had missed a turn and were now at the head of the Col de Larche, about to enter Italy.

Whilst this had been a great excursion, we were now going the wrong way, so we turned round, went back the way wed come, and found ourselves back at the missed junction. Luckily, as it turns out. The road had been closed a few kms before the next town, and from 08.30-12.30, and would be closed again from 13.30 to 17.00. Wed arrived back half an hour after the road re-opened, so off we went, and this time we were on the correct road heading up the Col du Vars.

Time had clearly addled my memory, because aIthough I remembered the Vars as being an old favourite, I hadnt remembered the height elevation. Reading the map later I should have realised that it was going to climb a bit!

In fact the col climbs and climbs until its 2109m summit This is a wonderful pass with great views and a pretty good surface.

Another pause for refreshment and a great plate of spaghetti carbonara

The route down was equally spectacular

Next highlight, the Col dIzoard. This is a really unique pass, quite unlike any other, resembling a moonscape

Here looking back down to Chalp

From the Izoard to Briancon, over the Col du Lauteret and the last major pass of the day, the Galibier at 2646m. On this pass you really feel you are up in the clouds, but its a tricky ride as there are NO guard rails to the side, the road is narrow and has some sharp bends, concentration is paramount, a small mistake and youd be falling a long way!

We stopped for the final time for the day on the descent, and then continued down to Valloire, and after that, the less than stellar Col du Telegraphe , which is infinitely forgettable. I remembered feeling the same the last time I rode it , perhaps its because its at the end of a long day, but there are no great views, no flow to the bends, and its just a pain.

Deciding to return quickly we headed for the motorway, only to enter and find an overhead panel showing VENT VIOLENT- PRUDENCE ( violent winds, take care!)
After several kms swaying and weaving at a max of 100kph I opted for the A roads which although longer in distance were certainly safer.

Home safe and sound by 19.30, wed had another 11 hour day, and covered 1045kms in the course of the two days. The bike had proven itself worthy, with its comfort contributing to our being able to handle two such long days in the saddle. Fuel consumption remains steadfast at 5.5l/100km or 51mpg, which is pretty good for a fully loaded two up touring bike.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old Jun 18th, 2009, 6:26 pm
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Grand Forks , BC, Canada
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great pics.

Re: The pic of the signpost with all the stickers on it (Mt Galbier)

Anyone see the BMWSporttouring Unrally sticker on the top left? It is black with white lettering.
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