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Posted on 25/11/2012 at 3:23 pm by / 0

The last week-end of October, with a 3-days week-end, we decided to go for a ride-out with the bikes, the way I like it, with plenty of time to stop for taking pics.

At the beginning we had planned to go with the 2 bikes, but a coolant leak problem with the SP2 didn’t let us, and we finally went the 2 of us on my bike.

The destination was the city of Reims, in the French region of Champagne.

The bad thing of Paris and surroundings for bikers is that it is all flat, with no twisties, all straight. So that the road to the twisty places is not quite “interesting” for bikers. Even though, we kept the good habits to avoid the motorways.

We left on Friday with no rush after lunch. The day was very cloudy, with those kind of low clouds that makes feel you like it’s sunset all day long. But at least it did not rain.

We had to cover about 180km; the last part surrounded with colourful vineyards, and even with some twisties (since we live in Paris, we are now counting the bends… 😉 ).

We were staying in a kind of bed & breakfast (“chambres d’hôtes”) at about 20km from the city of Reims, with very welcoming people- and bikers also. A very nice place to stay to visit Reims and enjoy the surroundings

We arrived with enough time to get some directions to a nice place to have dinner a few kilometres away. We had a nice dinner.

On Saturday the day started with a beautiful sun, but it was chilly. We took the bike to Reims, where we visited the Cathedral.

Outside the wind was freezing cold. Juan was freezing (I wore myself more layers than an onion). After a “technical” tea/hot chocolate break to warm up a little, we went for a walk in the surroundings of the Cathedral.

And we went for lunch.

In the afternoon we went to visit a small Car Museum, founded many years ago by a Renault designer (Charbonneaux) with his private collection, which later was completed with new acquisitions by the museum and other cars lent by private people. It is not very big but it has some interesting pieces. Very few motorbikes though, some of them needing restoring.

1st steam vehicle:

Citroen Maseratti

A tandem with engine and sidecar…

After the Museum we went to the village of Epernay, where are based most of the most famous Champaign brands. We arrived too late for visiting the caves. So we went for dinner and on our way back we got lost- it was night already- into the “mountains” around Reims (which are more like hills than mountains). But we finally made it back to our accommodation, completely frozen though.

The next day we had to go back home. But with no rush. In the morning we went looking for a nice Mill we had seen in a picture and a painting in our accommodation. Thanks to the owners’ indications we found it and stopped for a while to take pictures in the middle of the colourful vineyards.

Then we went on through “la Route du Champagne“, which goes through the hills along many Champaign caves (though it’s better not to stop for tasting in each of them if you drive/ride 😉 ).

Then we stopped in the village of Gueux.


There, they used to run motor races for many years: The first time was the “Grand Prix de la Marne” in 1926, 1st “Grand Prix de France”in 1938, first official Formula One race in 1950 – and last Formula one race in 1966, and last race of the French Motorcycle Championships in 1972.

A local association restored the boxes area and the grandstand.

After quite a few more pics (most of the pics of the trip did not show quite great, as always I had my analogue camera, and it stopped working properly, making the colours quite inappropriate. The best pics were taken with my mobile phone…), we had to finally decide to start the way back home…

As a conclusion: a very nice area, to go for a ride-out and enjoy the vineyard scenery and take pics.  We will come back, though we will when it gets warmer…


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