riding in france

Hi folks

during september, me and a few friends will be riding through france and briefly belgium and germany. Anyone have any tips or advice? i,ve done some research and pre-booked ferries but anything new is welcome

cheers :slight_smile:

A “cheat sheet” converting the KMH speedlimits to MPH, stuck on the tank worked for me. Wave or kick out a leg to fellow bikers, the nodding thing doesn’t really work. Nothing is really open on a sunday & if you get caught speeding you have to pay up on the spot.

But, the roads are great & almost empty. Enjoy!!

The French old bill are really cracking down on speeding now… my brother had an ‘incident’ on the way to the Le Mans 24hr car race in a mates TVR…I think it was about 135mph. It cost him a shed load of money and I think the only reason he didn’t get locked up was some sweet talking by his french speaking friend.:slight_smile:

Saw a piece on TV last night about a sign in France that means traffic entering your road from the right has priority ! :w00t: Amazing. So if you see a junction, or even if you can’t see it, if you’ve been passed a particualar sign beware that traffic will just move right on out in front of you ! :w00t::crying:

thats the same in most of europe also at roundabouts traffic ENTERING have priority, you have to let them on oh and dont forget to go RIGHT on roundabouts n get ya left knee down :smiley:

Strewth :w00t:

No no no, that’s not “right”. lol.

Priorite a droight is supposedly “archaic” but applies in some small villages still - traffic entering a main road has priority. It also applies on the arc de triomphe - traffic already on the road has to give way to those entering! I forget what sign it is - something with a yellow border but search for it to be sure.

Otherwise signs are pretty straightforward. Practical advice:

The french have good lane discipline on dual carriageways. Overtake and then move back in, everyone else will.24 hr supermarket petrol stations don’t always take UK credit cards, so choose manned stations.Keep cash for paying on toll roads (and “le flic”, the police!) - some motorways are pay per mile.Travelling on a Sunday? Prepare food and start with a full tank because not everywhere is open.

Priorite a droite applies in lots of towns and villages in France, and on some parts of some of their equivalent of A roads (I think they’re called D-roads). Also applies in some other EC countries (some parts of Holland, for example).

The sign telling you that priorite a droite is in force, in France, is a yellow diamond (by which, I mean a square stood on one of its corners), with a white border.

The sign telling you it’s no longer in force (often seen e.g. leaving a village) is the same sign but with a diagonal black line through it.

Ah! A bit like what Italian scooter riders do in this country only in reverse!

correct !! well it was when I lived abroad and did coninental driving for years, it all became second nature, used to be great fun at calaise watching the ‘tourists’ going arse about face on the first roundabout outta docks !! :)I know its straight onto motorway now :slight_smile:

You will probably drive on the left at some point. Usually when there is no other traffic about as that’s when your brain will revert to type. Obviously that isn’t usually a problem but if some traffic does show up you may panic slightly and try and get further on the left while they will try and get further on the right making the situation worse. Being forewarned might help stop the panic reaction but you might also like to tie a little ribbon or something to right hand mirror and consciously think about why it’s there every time you notice it. If you get the left hand thing happen you may find the ribbon will provide a bit of clarity.

To make the most of traveling in France you should use as many of the smaller (Non dual carriageway) roads as you can. We have dual carriageways and the French ones are just the same. The D roads are glorious and nearly always perfect and we don’t have those. This is one reason they pay so much tax. They also have fewer gendarmes, but sadly, not none. However, they don’t go all hootin’ and tootin’ if they see a motorcycle possibly going a little too fast. If they see one going definitely too fast they will have a lot to say about it as you could potentially have an accident and greatly increase their workload.

The signs with the town names on count as speed limit signs. (50kmh unless otherwise stated) They do not like you taking the **** in this regard as they don’t rigorously police it and the towns aren’t all filled up with speed cameras (yet.) In response they expect a bit of cooperation on the issue and are used to getting it.

Best places to eat are in the small towns. Set menu places. Not usually signposted at all except for a peculiarly higher concentration of vans and flat beds in the vicinity around 12.30. This is where all the commercial drivers take their two hour Gallic lunches. You help yourself to an entree of salad stuff, cold meats and pate when you go in. Pick up a plate and go along the table picking up what looks tastiest. Easy to overload, so go easy. As you tuck into that someone will notice and bring along the ubiquitous bread offering. When you get down to the plate they will offer you a selection of mains. If your spoken french isn’t good, they were probably taped to the window as you walked in. A minute spend pondering them can help you bluff it. You might get someone who can speak English but don’t expect it. They’re not bothered. They get all kinds of truckers and travelers. It’s their business. You’re more likely to get an old trucker who once owned a Gold Star and thinks he’d like to tell you how he started it in English that’s not been exercised for a while. After pudding or cheese you can order coffee, which will usually be extra, or you can go and settle up. The going rate is 10 euros but, as ever, tip appreciated. Possibly a bit too heavy to do every day but they make a great change from another butty from the garage fridge.

Bon Route.