French tour 2008


Although one valve had to be adjusted at Appy’s shovelhead, we leave at the gas station of Hazeldonk before six ‘o clock (yes, in the morning).
After a not scheduled detour we end in a traffic jam, passing the cars is possible but it ain’t fast.
At the second tank stop Robert discovers one gas tank is still filled and he tries to unplug the hose. While he’s at it, he manages to reclaim his pal’s money from some gypsies.

Leaving the traffic jam behind us, we pass through Luxembourg easily and just as we are about to consider the journey as smoothly, Richard stays behind just after passing the gas station we didn’t wanna go to.
Appy stops as soon as possible but Ger and Robert are discovering Richards’ stop too late and they stop miles further on.
After some telephone calls (aren’t we modern?) Appy picks up a gas cable from Ger and walks two miles back.
One is not allowed to turn on this toll way and Richard has all the toll tickets in his jacket. After the emergency repair we drive to the next gas station to fix it properly.

The road gets more beautiful by the mile and at its’ peak with the last ten miles, up steep, narrow but tight tarmac road, passing rocks and bushed ravines to bikers camp Jurabik in Choux. First day: 550 miles (880 kilometers)
Over there a kind of hippie fills up an inflatable pool but the kids are sent into their home and we haven’t seen them since.
We are welcomed with the biker handshake (what ever that may be) and warm beer (!)
We put up our tents after a second beer and go to diner at “Chez VaVa”.

After drinking some beers at the front end of the restaurant, we take our diner at the side of the building. Over here we bolt down our food (at least to the French opinion): potato gratin with stew meat and order our second portion.

After diner we enter the bar and Robert leaves the sink behind dirty and the bum gets the blame (Appy with his bloodshed eyes). A soccer fan is driving through the village while humping his horn. Spain has won a duel in the European Championship. As this man enters the bar Appy is farting the most horrible fart imaginable. Because the keys are still in, Appy locks the door and the customers start panicking. The landlady slightly terrified leaves all the money behind and makes her way out.
Laughing our balls off we walk back to the camp in pitch darkness. Over there we make a campfire and drink more beer while the hippie is shaking his head. Richard and Robert trash some wooden pallets and a donkey starts bawling in the night. Very strange sensation…..
The next day we have breakfast at the camp bar (or what it’s supposed to look like) and see some pictures of Dutch clubs which are coming here for years.
With the experience of last year Richard took his own “Fred & Ed” hazelnut paste in a cylinder.
The French hippie wonders again: that crazy Dutch guy puts toothpaste on his bread?
(By the way: think of it and Richard got it with him, he is a little like a pawnbroker.)
When we leave, the hippie (who owns a Street Bob after all) doesn’t show up.
We ride a very nice road but due to lack of time we have to adjust our course.
After several stops we reach the Frejus tunnel (which has got nothing to do with the village Frejus at the Cote d’Azur) and after a lot of misunderstanding we finally understand that the tunnel fee is in total of 85 euro.
The tunnel is more than 8 miles long and bleeding hot but as we get out and park our bikes we make friends forever with two Italian truckers.
The smaller of the two has got a “Harley” tattoo in his neck and has a sportster low at home.
He is very interested in our bikes but he hasn’t got a clue.
The bigger one even less but he’s impressed by the knowledge of the small guy.
As we say goodbye again a “biker handshake” and everybody happy (joy, joy).

The road to Briançon is one of the nicest ever seen with mountaintops full of snow.
(Unfortunaly no pictures)
In a small town we drink outside a bar with a terrace next to a river.
Later on we pass a completely deserted ski resort which feels slightly strange.
A beautiful road with nice bends, snowy mountaintops in the distance and passing trough Barcelonnette we‘re getting close to Werner’s Biker camp.

You'll pass a small house and at the end of this road you ¹ll have to get right onto the gravel road. No worries! It looks tough but even lowered choppers have made it.

This is what Werner said on his site, so Appy and Ger tried to get up, full throttle.
Robert and Richard however already saw it was the wrong path.
The lower triple trees smashed against the front fenders time after time because of the holes and rocks, so Appy and Ger stopped halfway up. Down hill went even worse, both had sweat on more places then just their hands….
The actual path to Werner’s wasn’t so bad.

A warm welcome from Werner, with cold beer while he openend his “Kickstart bar” just for us.
After this he made us a nice meal.
On the table stood a cylinder with mayonnaise and a moldy bottle with curry.
Spoons got cleansed with tongue for more space in the dish washer.
The view is great: only some bra’s block the view on a mountain.
Ger spotted a chainsaw and told us that Werner would scare us with it at night.
Richard didn’t like this at all and decided to sleep with a knife in his hand.
After 48 bottles of beer (Werner didn’t drink with us) we went to bed around half past one.

As a standard we all wake up at half past six and because Ger finished packing first, Werner asked him to help in the kitchen. He couldn’t pick a better person….


After breakfast we got a tour on his property, he showed is self made heating system, Harley from 1920 and all his other bikes. Werner told about his life before he went to France and his custom shop with his “HOG” emblem which is very different from the factory HOG club and a much better interpretation from what it’s all about.
On the road again, an eagle flew just in front off us.

At the first stop that morning Ger’s bike won’t start, the battery seems dead.
We push start it and follow the road: Route Napoleon, again a nice piece of France with mountains, nice bends and tight tarmac. Suddenly, at a steep slope of 12%, the road deck is completely gone.
After a near heart attack everything is still okay.
To gain some lost time we get onto the highway and at a toll booth a cashier get so nervous about the noise (mostly from Robert’s bike), she returns more money then we gave her.
At Nevers we finally order Richard’s favorite food at Mc Donalds.

The surroundings are getting nicer and nicer and the highlight that day is the citadel of Sancerre, nearby our goal: the “Linkert attack” meeting organized by “Indian France”.
It seems cozy and a band plays some blues rock.
Many old motorcycles, even museum pieces, the entry fee is 50 euro for two days including all meals and T-shirt.

We meet our friend Cas from Shovel owners group, southern France and some other Dutch guys
While we’re talking small talk a deejay starts his music but it’s a strange kind of music; French, funny, cheerful sixties with organ, we absolutely don’t get it.
Richard tries to persuade the deejay to play some AC/DC but, unfortunately, what is AC/DC?
A girl asks Robert for a dance and Richard, Ger and Appy try to make the best of it but the more the French are enjoying themselves, the less the bikers from Breda understand.
Ger quits first and later Appy too.
When Robert asks about the big guy with his long grey beard, he is introduced to the chief of the French Indians. This guy likes Robert to meet his son in law but Robert doesn’t feel like it and the show is put….
After Robert went to bed Richard likes to top it up and asks about Santa Claus and pulls the big guy’s beard.
That’s the way to make friends… Richard is sleeping that night again with a knife in his hand.


Next day; no hard feelings.
Ger’s bike won’t start at all, not even with starter cables wired to a car.
After miles of pushing it finally starts, but a few villages further it stops again.
On a terrace of a bar we decide to drastically change our road plan and take a short cut to Paris.
Because of highways being boring Appy flies full throttle to the next gas station as suddenly a small explosion bursts into a black cloud: end of story for Appy.


Luckily Toon Steelbrush is able to pick up Appy, 160 miles from home. (Thanks Bro!)
The rest of the group decides to ride all the way home the same day, although it’s 20.00 hours.
Appy’s battery is put in Ger’s shovelhead and off they go.
Toon arrives at 23.00 hours at the gas station.
Richard, Robert and Ger arrive at home at 00.30 hours, Appy puts his bike in his garage at 01.30 hours

Later on  Appy’s bike appeared to have a curved valve stem and a broken valve guide.
Ger’s bike got a brand new dynamo.
We had a lot of laughs and a lot of cigarette breaks. And the average mileage per hour was 32. (instead of 44 miles/hour in 2007).

The whole trip we had nice weather and even a tan but we were not sunburned. (like in 2007)