I got the urge to go exploring

After already doing the Lake District on my bike a few years back and seeing Wiggys pics of France I got the urge to bugger off somewhere on my own with Tigger (the bike ). Working 7 days on and 7 off gives me great opportunity to do it and its almost summer so why not Even when I was in Greece last week and got a scooter I was finding and riding unclassified roads and tracks exploring the small ghost town villages and mountains, just couldn’t help myself

I want to do the Alps later in the year but I’m (trying to) think sensible and just do the Lakes first for about 5 days as a little test. Obviously i won’t be camping anywhere in France on my own, will be B&Bs and I want to make things more “interesting and adventerous” but NOT taking a satnav Yes, i can read a map

I know alot of people do it and a few can’t due to work, family, partners etc but I can’t see anything holding me back. Ok, it’s hardly “The Long Way Round” but it would be an adventure for me all the same

Has anyone actually done this? Where did you go? How did you find it? What mistakes did you make (luggage, equipment etc). Insurance and breakdown cover is a must as well as leaving the hairdryer at home I know

Go for it. France is a fabulous place to ride a bike. Lots of nice roads and much less traffic than in the South East of England.

When I took my road bike to France I went with a friend who rides at a similar pace to me and we stayed mainly in these hotels:
We found one in Champagne and they gave us the map and guide book that enabled us to find the rest. They were cheap by English standards and generally very good. I think you can get their guide via their website.

We travelled in the first two weeks of September and would pick a general direction, then at about 4-5pm we would stop and pick a Logis nearby and could always get in (except for in Ax Les Bains where there was an agricultural fair and they directed us to another hotel in the town, which had rooms). Given that, like us, you are travelling out of the main season, you should have no trouble finding accommodation.

Have you ridden in France before?


France is a great idea plus it´s only 11 pounds each way to take the bike on the train ! at that rate why take the ferry

7 days on 7 days off??

LMRR What do you do??

Duncan - I have ridden through it twice to get to Assen and once I went straight to Rotterdam on the ferry.

Riding abroad on my own doesn’t phase me at all. Even ridden round Greece on a scooter and an Honda XT trials thing

Sounds like you’ll be fine.

Have fun


I’m sooo jealous… the only thing stopping me doing stuff like that is my lack of annual leave entitlement and you get 7 days off, all in a row 26 weeks a year? Niiiice. :slight_smile:

Get one of those waterproof indestructable european map thingies. My bro got me one for crimbo, which unfortunately hasn’t been used yet, but when it does, it won’t go all soggy when I pull it out of the map pocket, in pouring rain, to change pages.

Also, glad to hear I’m not the only one that prefers to use a map book rather than GPS, or worse - one of those online directions sites that gives you 60 instructions when you only need four.

Go for it!


I did that 3 times! It’s a long subject we can chat on Wednesday if you remind me!
Just go there in the summer ok?

LOL… nice pic!

France is fab - I went for two weeks on the bike and took my tent which is great as you dont have to plan really where you go other than the general direction- take a book of camp sites with you, although it is nice to climb into a feather down bed in the local chateau on occasion when you can

Done this a few times. Usually sit down for a few days studying the maps, no more than 250 miles per day, book etap or formula 1 hotels (really cheap) write down route notes/directions and then laminate so don’t get ruined in the rain.

There are some stunning roads around Normandy for shorter trips (3-4 day) or go down east side towards grenoble, you won’t be disappointed.

Could be on here all day with the same advise as everyone else so just PM me if you got any thing you think I maybe able to help you with.

Am wanting to go now myself, bugger.

I know what you mean - all this talk is making me want to go now too - I am off soon anyway on a trip so not long to suffer the withdrawal

3 of us are off in 28days to the South of France and back through Gremoble/Alps, not one hotel stop is planned, all camping, we camped actually in the alps most of the time in the forests, with no ammenities/facilities or any cost

Occasionally we sneaked into a campsite to use their showers once the wiff got too much (if you aim to hit campsites after hours, you can ride up over the pavement and in, pitch by the light of your headlights and your in, up and out before anyone realises

I think we actually paid for 3 nights out of 14 last time Oh and take some tyreweld, essential.

We were doing between 2-400 miles per day with 600 miles our longest day, all on sportsbikes, GSXR750WX/GSXR600K1/SV650, not a problem with pain at all

Happy days,



All good stuff

Its amazing though how many “plan” the journey. For me it has to be the least I plan, the more exciting it will be Yeah, things may go wrong and we cry at the time but we always laugh at it after and thats the fun bit

Although I think the alps on my own isn’t a good idea, did you see any bears in the woods wig? lol I’d def cack myself all night Is there any places to stay actually in the alps anywhere if I wanted to bed down? I HAVE to go there just for the roads and views.

Ceazer, looks a bit too chilly for me there mate summers good enough for me

the only planned thing was our return ferry, hence the 600 mile dash back!
When I say forests, it was more woods by the side of the road, out of view of the traffic but with access for our bikes to be hidden from view.

Didn’t see many campsites but there are loads of hotels and b/b’s in the towns and there are plenty of towns high up in the alps.

Get a map/credit card/tent and do one

I did some touring with some of the guy’s from work over a seven day period going like hell doing France , down in to Italy via Swiss, along from there to Ortona in Italy before heading back north through Austria into Munich back through Germany. Being blokes we took all crappy t-shirts and old undies and at the end of each day binned them thus when we returned to Calais we had room for the important things like cartons of wine an ciggies. During our little trip we stayed at b and b’s there are plenty around and if two people match up in the rooms it was about thirty euros for the night and breaky in the morning that was 15 each. One place even let us park our bike’s in the lobby which was quite funny. One of the things you may have to watch for are the different rules of each different police force as you go from country to country. They can try and take the piss, problem was when they found out we where traffic officers from London they decided it wasn’t good practice to take fines and stick them in their pockets. That was mainly in Italy though and was afew years ago. If you want any info what their enforcment is likegive me a shout and I will try and help you. I hopefully will be at Waterloo this week to introduce myself to those I haven’t met.


7 on 7 off is brilliant, especially as I do nights & there’s no manglers around to bother you plus if I’m on earlies I finish @ 03:30 & can get a couple or so hours of wazzing around the roads on my own before all you day walkers come out & get in the way

Spent the last few days in Bulgaria, now doing 7 nights & then 3 weeks off !

Great place that Bulgaria, beer 35p a pint, 2 quid for a pizza, but the roads are truly shocking, possibly even worse than those in Hackney…

Did see one current model R1 there, plus a couple of big trailies which would have probably wazzed all over the R1 in an A to B race on those roads.