My 8 day solo motorcycle tour of France (Alsace region & Vosges Mountains)
I spent 8 glorious days riding a round-trip solo across the Alsace region, through the Vosges Mountains, with an overnight stop in Switzerland to see a friend.
The first rule of lady biking: don’t drink and stay dehydrated.
Let’s get the embarrassing admissions out of the way before we start:
1. I had intended to go rogue with just my wheels and my Michelin map (National 721, France 2019). However, The French signage system is beyond confusing unless you know all the small towns on the way to where you want to go. I used my SatNav throughout the trip though I did plan my route on the paper map each night.
2. I was unrealistic in mileage. I did 1684 miles in 8 days. I over-miled on planning my journey which resulted in a sore derriere and aching legs.
Crossing: Dover to Calais by ferry
Dates: Last week in May, 2019
Routes: Yellow or white departmental roads (D-routes)
Itinerary: To see each day's route, click on the links below.
Day 1: Dover to Calais, Lille - Valenciennes - Fourmies - Charleville Mezieres
Day 2: Charleville Mezieres - Verdun - Lac de Madine - Nancy
Day 3: Nancy - Northern Vosges National Park - Strasbourg (173 miles)
Day 4: Strasbourg - Balloons des Vosges National Park (south) - Mulhouse (126 miles)
Day 5: Mulhouse - Chur, Switzerland (194 miles)
Day 6: Chur, Switzerland - Thal National Park, Belfort (206 miles)
Day 7: Belfort - Chaumont - Reims National Park - Reims (229 miles)
Day 8: Reims - Amiens - Boulogne-sur-Mer - Calais - Dover (313 miles, including the ferry)
Reflections on my Tour de France
- The French biker community are friendly and inclusive. You will nearly always get a V-sign or a nod when you pass a fellow biker compatriot.
- The French are good drivers and are generally very respectful of motorcyclists.
- No one speaks English (or will try) in France, unlike in Germany and Switzerland.
- Did I mention that the Frenchies are totally obsessed with road signs and speed limits??