France etc Part 2

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France etc Part 2

Post  Radar on Mon Feb 23 2009, 21:16

Day 5 - Canne and a misfiring Kawasaki

After all the intensive riding it was great to take a few days out in one spot and chill out, and where could be a better place to do it then the sun drenched South of France? The first place on the agenda was the world famous Cannes home to the internationally renowned film festival. We all leapt on our bikes eager to get there on a glorious day. Six bikes roared instantly into life…but Toggy’s ZX9R was sounding rather sick and running on three cylinders, rats!

Toggsy and I stripped off the tank and the airbox to get at the plugs, and initial investigation seemed to point at these as the source of the bad running. So we called it quits and Toggsy joined me as pillion on the Thundercat as we all headed for Cannes. We could pick up some new plugs during the course of the day.

We rode gently to Canne, leathers left in the caravans and just wearing T shirts and Jeans or shorts, not something that I would normally do, but it just felt natural here. The glamour of Canne was obvious soon as entered the town; crystal blue sea, golden beaches and a view that was stunning for whole different reason if you know what I mean. The women were just fabulous and Toggsy was just about the worst pillion I have ever carried as he constantly swiveled about to get a better look! Sorry to be a bit sexist her ladies...

Canne is a beautiful place with café lined pavements overlooked by glorious buildings and a marina stocked with dozens of jaw dropping yachts. We just wandered about taking it all in and chilled by the beach. This was proving how much this was a trip of contrasts ~ only a couple of days before we had been having a snowball fight on the top of a snow capped mountain!

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Just a selection of the Dinghys at Canne

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The crew at Canne; L to R: Prezzo(nice socks), Digger (Cool shades), Daz, Neil, Radar, Toggsy and Towcrowe

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The beach at Canne

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Just one of the beautiful buildings at Canne

After a couple of hours we headed back to site with Toggsy piloting the Thundercat so I could have a look around this time…wow, what a place I didn’t know where to look!!
We picked up some plugs on the way and once we were back at the campsite we fitted them and hoped for the best. Toggsy thumbed the starter button and the ZX responded by defiantly coughing into life on three cylinders again…bum holes!! Prezzo had a theory that it could be fueling and some experiments with the fuel tap seemed to back this up. So it was off with the carbs to clean the jets. After several sessions of removing and then re-fitted the carbs, airbox and tank the big Kwack fired up on all four. Toggsy took it for a celebratory thrash and returned with a big smile on his face! Good call Prezzo!

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Toggsy getting to grips with the ZX9R carbs etc

More beer was called for so my panniers were emptied out and Prezzo headed off to a local hypermarket to re-stock our suppliers. Those panniers might be a pain in the arse at high speed but they take two cases of lager perfectly! These were soon polished off and we off into Antibes to a local restaurant Towcrowe and Prezzo knew well. But we needed to get back to the site bar as the Landlord had agreed to put on the MotoGP on a big screen especially for us, yet again I cannot see a UK campsite being so accommodating to bikers. Anyway we all enjoyed watching The Doctor showing us all how it was really done, the boy is a genius and no mistake and only right that he rides a Yamaha.

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An audience with the Doctor

With no need to be up the next morning the beer really did flow very freely and we all had a great night, but by 2am just Toggsy, Prezzo and I remained standing well seated actually, but you know what I mean! Even the bar staff had deserted by now. Back at the vans Prezzo and I found some more beer and continued to talk rubbish for at least another couple of hours. I don’t think poor old Digger was hugely impressed, sorry bud!

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Last men standing (seated) Toggsy and Prezzo

Day Six - Monaco and the Gunfight at the OK Caravan

Day six dawned and the weather was still perfect even Digger spotting a nail in the back tyre of my bike failed to cause me any stress. The tyre was still inflated so I rode to the local Honda dealer and they sorted it quickly. I treated myself to a new AGV crash helmet too and Towcrowe fell in love with a Fireblade in French spec colours of red white and blue. It looked great, especially for a Honda! He was in there getting new pads for Blade, which Darren fitted when we got back to the vans. The clutch on Neil’s Aprilia had to be bled too as he had been struggling to get neutral for the last 100km or so. Darren and Prezzo soon had it sorted and all was well once again. The trip was going smoothly even these hassles came at a time when were at the campsite rather than struggling at the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.

With both our bikes sorted Toggsy and I decided to check out nearby Monaco while Darren, Neil, Digger, Prezzo and Towcrowe elected to stay at the campsite and chill out some more. Monaco is certainly an eye opening place, but not quite as attractive as I had been expecting despite being obviously dripping in money. However it was interesting to walk the F1 GP circuit that was in the process of being taken apart when we were there and we even managed to ride some sections of the track and blast through the tunnel at all of 30 mph in 1st gear. The marina was stocked with jaw dropping yachts that made the ones that we saw at Canne the day before look like row boats! One yacht even had a huge helicopter!

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The ZX9R and Thundercat in Monte Carlo, parked up in area used in the GP as a run off for the F1 cars

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Yachts everwhere, common as muck ~ don't you just hate new money?

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Casino square - you can almost smell the money

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Rather more mundane traffic in the legendary tunnel on the F1 circuit

We crawled back to the site through some really heavy traffic, and I was just starting to think that my filtering skills were coming on nicely only to have my ego crushed on a number occasions by a speeding moped slicing past me, normally ridden by a cute 30 something Mom with their 3 year old kid on the back!

The lads had passed the day by getting hold of some toy plastic pellet guns and staged an afternoon long running gun battle in and out of the caravans. Silly, but it sounded huge amounts of fun. At one point Digger thought it would be a good idea to moon at Darren who then proved himself a “crack” shot by neatly lodging a pellet between Digger’s cheeks!

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Duel! Gunfight at the OK caravn site...

Shame that I and Toggsy missed out, but I am glad I have seen Monte-Carlo as I have always wanted to go. The final night in Antibes was spent relatively quietly as we are back on the bikes tomorrow, just a good meal and few beers at the site bar.
Six days in now and I am having the time of my life. To be away from ‘normal’ life in a place where all that matters is the next bend, the next beer or the next laugh. Just me, my bike and few like minded mates to keep me company. No complications, no work to worry about, no news to read or terrible TV to watch. Just pure and simple enjoyment; if only more of life could be like this and tomorrow the Napoleon Pass awaits us!
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Radar
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Registration date : 2009-02-15


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