A la recherche du temps perduMotorcycle Diaries
But for one reason or another we always end up at Wheels and Waves, for a job, to make a movie or to see a client. This year we were visiting the Expo of Dimitri Costes with whom we worked on various jobs in the pasts. Just visiting we said. One day. That’s all… But that was not taking in account the silly idea Hubert came up with: Ride home from wheels and waves, and make a movie about it.
Unfortunately the only bike we could manage to ‘borrow’ had 3 wheels, technology from the past, soft suspension, a trunk, vintage looks and yeah -if all goes well - 60 horsepower!
Funny detail: using a sidecar means that we suddenly belonged to the movers and the non-movers. In the riding seat - struggling with the handlebars there is hardly any time to relax. Time and time again you wonder how to make it around the next corner While at first you hesitate you soon realize there is a trick to it. Off throttle the bike moves left. Upon acceleration it pushes you to the right. And when you switch seats to the sidecar, thereʼs a sudden change. Yes, you can assist your driver and hang out, helping to take the corner or anticipate a slide. So while at first we try to keep busy we soon give in to looking around, waving, smiling, taking pictures, reading, eating… At the end of the day being in the passenger turns us into ‘forced participants of the ‘non movers’.
We leave Biarritz and ride parallel to the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. Slow hills and medium weather accompany our travels. We have crossed France many times before, but at this slow pace we look at things differently. We see more beauty: ancient villages tucked away in secret valleys, like there is St Guilhem le desert, or Minerve. We see maple trees that give us shade, twisty roads following fast-flowing rivers. Spring-green vineyards are a constant, and we donʼt mind that! Approaching the Pic St Loup we remember a winery, Domaine de l’Hortus’ we once visited. When we knock on the door we’re welcomed with a smile and even if it’s lunch hour we get the full tour of the winery! We learn all about the ‘appellationʼ, ‘cepagesʼand where the corks come from. Taste the white gold and light red nectar. Are we in a hurry? Probably not. So why keep chasing the clock?
Crossing the Rhone valley around Avignon in busy traffic afterwards feels like hell. This is not what we really like. We long for wide open roads, small twisty stretches along rivers and waterfalls, and mountains looming in the distance. So we head back for the mountains and the Fench alps and Switzerland, where we find a pretty interesting overnight stay. Yes, sometimes wasted time in the side car and a smartphone come in handy… We found an Eco Glamping place, Whitepod, in Monthey, Switzerland, and although you can argue if a pellet heater in late spring is ecological it sure is a very nice experience!
As we are avoiding the high passes our tempo picks up. This also gives us the time to stop more often. Riding the bike makes you tired and sitting in the side makes you lazy, so why not take the time to relax and breathe, and enjoy the incredible views. Watch the cows, wonder why they carry bells. Apparently there are bells for music and bells for marching. Cows from the same herd do not all play the same tune. Farmers tend to create melodies… It has been like this for over 400 years. Bells by renowned makers are expensive. We have been in Switzerland so many times, but we never heard about this before. Luckily David from Le Foyer in Flendruz explained us all about it… during lunchtime. We seem to have a perfect view on timing during this trip… Anyway, if you pass by his shop, just stop and have a look. You’ll be amazed.
Austria is the next country. We ride some amazing roads with brilliant scenery. We enjoy the fast stretches and have lively discussions about who is the better driver. There are moments when we laugh, moments that we yell. The rider/ passenger relationship has proven to be very important in this trip. You really have to trust one another. A lot. Sometimes your passenger can be just dead weight. But not this co-driver: easy-going, smiling and supportive. We have argued for hours, even when the bike broke down after we ran out of fuel, but there was never a dull moment. Before we make the last part of the trip to Austria we cut through Germany one last time we climb the famous Rossfeldstrasse in Brechtesgaden for a long last view over the Alps. Then we hit the motorway as the last kilometres to Wels are not the most exciting ones…
It was an amazing trip. Really it was. Travelling on 3 wheels really makes you see most things differently, no matter if you belong to the movers or then non movers. When you switch 3 to 4 times a day from the sidecar to the saddle you get a different view on things. You have to adapt a slow tempo, if not you’ll never going to make it.
But if we really liked it? you ask…
Well we have an R80RT here in the garage, from 86 and we sure start to think to add a third wheel to that one….