Sunday, August 7, 2016

Trip 2016

The Jura Mountains.

   In January we put a few ideas forward for the 2016 road trip and only Col and I were going to be able to go. So we decided as in 2015 the temperature had been so hot in Geneva so we decided to go back and hope the freakishly hot summer of 2015 was going to be more to our liking this year.

 We planned to use the same hotel as last year as we knew it was good and had underground parking for the van and the bikes.
 We set off in the VW van at 4am headed to the Euro tunnel to find we have the wrong sized van. The lady in the Kiosk was helpful and told us to go to the help desk.  At the desk another lady told us we had to pay an extra £70 which was fine, but she said, i am struggling to find you a space on the train, however 30 minutes later we were in the tunnel and Calais bound. 
 Its a blooming long way to Geneva, we watched the temperature climb to 37 degrees as we crossed France and were thankful that this van had air-con. 
 We arrived at the Hotel at 18:10 to the sound of a crash on the back of the van as we went around the last 2 roundabouts. We checked what had happened and the strap holding the bikes inplace had come undone sending my bike into Cols as we cornered causing a crack in the fairing and a broken indicator on Cols bike and scratches to mine, we both were gutted as we had checked the bikes were ok at every stop we made for the last 14 hours. We ate our Pizza thinking of better ways to secure the bikes for the return journey.

 The next day, we got the bikes off the van and assessed the damage, it didn't look quite so bad and we managed to do minor repairs where needed, then headed to the nearest fuel station.
 The plan was to ride the Jura mountains and go to St Claudes as this road was our favourite of the 2015 trip and well worth a 2nd visit. That is until we discovered the main road had 3 sets of roadworks spoiling the flow, and the clouds were gathered at the half way height which let go as we arrived, so we had our first soaking of the trip.
After the 1st down pour
The botttom of the hill down to St Claudes
 The afternoon dried up nicely and we found the good roads from last year and had a good time in the afternoon sunshine. We stopped at the top of the road from Gex for an drink and Ice-cream and noticed a leaflet for the Jura park and Jeux Chateau so decided that was tomorrows destination.

Stopped by the lake
 The next day we awoke to the sound of heavy rain. The mountains behind the hotel could not be seen so after a late breakfast we waited at the hotel for a while and chatted to some English people who were going home after touring for 3 weeks on their bike. They were telling us how many people wanted to talk to them about Brexit but not in a positive way.
   The rain stopped so we headed to the Joux Lakes crossing into Switzerland for a few feet, and then made a run for it back to the hotel only stopping to put on the waterproofs under a bridge as heavy rain, well i say heavy rain but actually it was very heavy waterproof penetrating rain which came and spoiled the rest of the ride.
  Back at the hotel the sum came out so we went to talk to the Bike Shuttle crew that had come to take the other bikes that were parked in the underground car park.

 The last day we thought we would give the Joux chateau another chance, but the rain was so heavy on the mountain we decided to go to Annecy in the opposite direction. As we got within 2Km of Annecy the rain started and lightning streaked over the black sky ahead so we changed our course and rode around some of the lesser know areas of the French Alps and Jura mountains until we found a sign for somewhere we had heard of.
The darkest of dark clouds was hiding out of shot to the left

 All in all we didnt find any new roads worth a mention, but at least we did ride some good ones again that we rode last year.

The sun arrived as we waited to get on the train back to the UK
 At Calais we were held up for 2 hours which caused us to hit Londons M25 at rush hour, what joy. The journey home was 15 hrs.

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