9 days, 4350 miles, 1 motorbike, 1 female rider – Pyrenees and Alps – Part 5
20/06/2016 – day 6 part 1
Cagnes-Sur-Mer – Nice – Col de Turini – Col de la Bonette – Col du Mont-Cenis – Bourg-Saint-Maurice
Woke up, got ready, packed and set off with a plan to first stop at the nearest supermarket, have some sandwich and juice and then just ride through Nice, stop at a motorbike shop to buy more chain lube as I was running out of mine and head to Col de Turini.
Had quick food and got to Nice. It was really warm, must have been between 35 and 40 degrees. In Nice traffic was bad at the coast, I was moving really slow and stopping a lot at the traffic lights. My bike was overheating really badly. Finally left the coast road and took a turn towards the bike shop. And then some bad smell started coming off my bike… I looked down and there was some liquid all over my bike… Pulled over and got off my bike, I wasn’t sure what was it. Started panicking, what am I going to do now, does it mean that’s the end of my trip, should I phone my European breakdown cover company? Decided to try and ride to the bike shop that I was heading to, as it was only just round the corner. Parked my bike in a motorcycle parking spot but I couldn’t see any bike shop anywhere. Decided to leave my bike and go and have a look around, and bike shop was actually not far away.
I walked in, explained the problem and one of the guys came to push my bike into the shop. I waited a while before they finished what they were doing and got my bike onto the ramp. It turned out that this liquid was just a coolant because my bike was overheating. They filled the coolant back in, I bought the chain lube and some WD40 and set off. Unfortunately I lost about 2 hours because of it but at least I could continue my trip.
It wasn’t easy to get out of Nice… My sat nav was in my tank bag and sun was shining that way so I couldn’t see it at all, only when I covered it with one hand to make a shadow I could see a bit better (I couldn’t ride with one hand above the sat nav all the time though only at times so it was making it difficult to find the way). Because of it I ended up riding round few times but eventually I found the right way and finally started heading to Col de Turini.
Col de Turini itself wasn’t very spectacular, but that was just the start. To start heading towards Col de la Bonette my sat nav was showing me a road down the hill, but I could see some road up the hill from where I was at Col de Turini and decided to check it first what’s there and then turn back and head to Col de la Bonette. I started riding up, without realising that I didn’t close my tank tag properly… At some point I looked down to check the sat nav and… it wasn’t there! I looked around and couldn’t see it, I thought it could fall down the hill and probably be gone or even if it’s still on the street it would probably be in pieces. In that case I would need to use my phone as a sat nav… Panicking, quickly turned back and very slowly started riding down… Couldn’t see it anywhere. Back in the place where I stopped earlier, I stopped and.. well, only just realised that my sat nav was still there, attached to the USB cable hanging down, luckily my leg stopped it from falling down. Well, that was lucky.
Finally started heading towards Col de la Bonette.
Views started getting breathtaking, and roads were just amazing. Roads were even better than my faviourite so far road in Scotland. Nice and twisty, but at the same time easy to keep a high speed, corners not too sharp as in most mountain passes but just perfect. And roads were not too busy. In fact at some point I got stuck behind some sports car, but I didn’t overtake him because they were going faster that I normally would, as I don’t know the road. If he took a corner fast then I could see if he slows down or not and if he didn’t slow down I knew I could take this corner fast too. I don’t know why I didn’t get this road on the camera, I think I wanted to keep the battery charged for later, but that road was just the best road to ride that I ‘ve been on so far, the most enjoyable. Finally that car in front of me got stuck behind some slower car and I overtook them both and enjoyed the rest of the ride to Col de la Bonette. At some point corners started getting a lot sharper, the actual mountain pass started and I started climbing up corner after corner with views getting more and more breathtaking. Finally at some point I could see cars parked, the road ahead was shut due to snow so I stopped there.
And here is the video:
I will continue the rest of this day in my next post.