Category Archives: Motorcycling

A new home for Tomos

I’ve been trying to find a home for Tomos for quite a while now. Tomos is a moped, originally bought for our son to ride to school when he was sixteen. It’s an AT50, built in Austria in 1991.

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Musée Maurice Dufresne

During our holiday, my brother in law saw a poster for the Maurice Dufresne Motor Museum. I have to say that I wasn’t hugely enthusiastic; from experience I imagined handing over a fistful of Euros to a grumpy peasant in bleu de travail, who would wave us into a yard to see a couple of Citroen Dianes which were clearly an active part of his puppy farming operation.

But not a bit of it. It’s a wonderland. I’m glad we went.

It’s an eclectic mix of machinery, from agricultural tractors and bean hulling machines …

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Once on a trip to France we discovered a wine called Seigneurie d’Arse. It was a just about drinkable Fitou, and we made a joke of presenting friends and family with bottles of it on our return.

This year’s amusing label is …

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La Rolandiere

A long time ago, we discovered a wonderful campsite just south of Tours, within easy reach of the Loire valley.  It was called La Rolandiere, and was run by one of the French teaching unions.  They held conferences and seminars in the chateau itself, and recouped some of their costs by letting out part of the grounds for campers and caravanners.

Alas, as with so many good things, it eventually closed.  But last October we went past it on a sentimental journey and to our surprise it had re-opened.  Not only that, but it now boasts a hotel and gites as well as the camping.  Here’s the chateau itself, all freshly painted.

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Motorcycle Live aka the Motorbike Show

We normally go to the NEC Motorbike Show, known this year as Motorcycle Live, with a shopping list. At the least we always seem to need clothing, new helmets, perhaps boots and gloves. Sometimes we’re researching a new bike for one or other of us. But this time we had nothing at all on the list, and so simply sauntered round the halls looking at whatever caught our fancy. It could be classics like these

or simply a pair of shoes. These caught Jean’s eye

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Maps & Satnavs

Since the availability of GPS, there’s been a debate amongst motorcyclists about the merits of electronic as against paper maps. We’ve come down on the side of paper for most purposes when touring. We buy a decent scale local area map, and refold it to fit in the plastic window on top of the tankbag. So it’s always there to give inspiration about possible scenic detours, or to suggest where the next fuel stop might be found.
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29-30 July: La Crosse WI

We finished the holiday by car, going to see our friends Kathleen & Tom in La Crosse. It was strange to be on four wheels instead of two. Pros: Keeping dry and cool. Cons: No longer enjoying the countryside as much.

Here we’re passing one of the many windfarms in the USA. I’m astonished that most Europeans seem to think that Americans don’t go in for renewable energy. This one in Wisconsin has only 20 towers – quite small compared with those we’ve seen in Nebraska, but very substantial by UK standards.

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Wed 28 July: Portage IN to Elkhorn WI

The final stage, albeit quite an exciting one in its way. After some debate, we decided to take the direct route, which is the I-90 Skyway and Expressway. We certainly got a good view of the Chicago cityscape, albeit shrouded in humidity and light smog. In total it was about 90 miles of urban motorway – pretty hot work on the bikes.

So, what else but … a Frappuccino!

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Tue 27 July: Maumee OH to Portage IN

The weather’s been beautiful today – too warm, even, in the afternoon. We have, as planned, stuck to the main roads to scoot across northern Indiana to our night’s destination just south of Chicago.
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Mon 26 July: Ashtabula OH to Maumee OH

The lakeside part of the tour ended in Willowick Ohio Motto: Willowick, Where Everybody Smiles

To be fair, it is a pretty place with great views of Lake Erie:

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