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Motor cycle touring. With excellent road surfaces and wonderful scenery, the Alpes Maritimes is a motor bike Mecca. We supply day trip itineraries to include the Verdon Gorge circuit, the route of the Monte Carlo rally over Col de Bleyne, through Le Mas down to Aiglun, the Route Napoleon/N85 (used for testing the latest in motor bike technology), the spectacular cliff top route used in the car chase to Monaco in the film Golden Eye passing the pretty village of Greolieres, with the old village ruins built into the side of the Cheiron.
To the north, circuits including the red gorges, Gorge du Daluis and Gorge du Cians make unforgettable days out and a chance to visit the medieval town of Entrevaux. For more photos of both gorges have a look at our photo gallery. Col de Cayol (2327m), Col D'Allos (2240m), Cime de la Bonette (2802m, the highest Col in the Alps) and Col de Champs (2095m) are all perfectly feasible day trips from Les Basses Beaumettes. It is worth bearing in mind that the Col D'Allos is closed to all except bicycles in July and August on Friday mornings between 8 and 11 am.
To the south, a day along the Cote D'Azur provides a total contrast to the mountain scenery around Les Basses Beaumettes. Have a look at the Drive Alive website for ideas of famous places to visit.
We also offer a shopping service and have a lockable garage with a comprehensive selection of tools for your convenience.
Mike & Jackie Merril, September 2006
Main roads through the region - suitable for all bikes (trail bikes, tourers, sports tourers and very fast bikes). Very little traffic, well surfaced roads, with bends galore. Unfortunately the spectacular scenery is a distraction! Any speeds possible within reason. Speed cameras are in operation on some major roads - if you see a speed camera sign slow down, there will be a speed camera within the next mile. They are painted grey and hard to spot. Sundays are possibly the worst day of the week to go quick - main roads will be busy with the police conducting the odd spot check. Route Napoleon (N85) from Grenoble to Cannes, possibly the best biking road in Europe!
Back-roads through the region - suitable for most bikes (big trail bikes especially, tourers and sports tourers). Very little traffic, mainly well surfaced roads although in some areas roads can be in a poor state of repair with pot holes and gravel being the main problems. Corners vary from open sweeping curves to extremely tight hairpin bends with everything in between. Many back roads are little more than a single carriageway in width and combined with the bends and extensive forests through which many of these pass, forward vision can be very limited, resulting in low average speeds.
Alpine passes - Bike suitability, as for back-roads. Carburettered bikes can suffer with the altitude (not an issue on fuel injected bikes). The weather can change very quickly in the high mountains. Essential to take waterproofs and extra warm clothing. Some of the high passes will not be open until late May, early June. Keep an eye open for tour busses as they are the last thing you want to meet head on around a hairpin bend.
Car drivers in the main tend to be courteous towards bikes. Lorrys tend to stick to the major routes, with very little HGV traffic on the back roads. Fuel can be an issue on Sundays and Bank Holidays in France and finding a fuel station which is open can sometimes be a problem (autoroutes excepted). Most English credit cards do not work in the automatic pumps. Also most fuel stations will shut between the hours of 12:00 and 15:00 throughout the rest of the week.
Overall a brilliant place to take any bike! And it's only 16 hours from Calais.
Mike Merrill - BMW 1150 GS
Citroen Museum. For those wishing to spend a nostalgic afternoon oggling the most famous symbol of French motoring there is the Citroen museum at Castellane.
Rallies. The Monte Carlo Rally, the first event in the World Rally Championship is sometimes staged over Col de Bleine. We are perfectly situated for those who wish to spectate at this event.
The Princess Rally (early June), Rally d’Antibes
(October) and Rallye de Soleil (December) also sometimes go over Col de Bleyne.