Hi I have to say the hotel is great and the breakfast they put up is fantastic. A large jug of coffee, a medium jug of warm milk and another carafe of orange juice, a croissant, a huge baguette, 2 hot mini pancakes all just for me and then help yourself to the usual continental offerings, cakes, ham, cheese, yoghurt etc. 2 pancakes and half a croissant and I’m done, but absolutely the best continental breakfast ever. There is plenty of OJ left so I take it up to my room for later.
I make my way over to the garage and get the bike. It’s a very grey morning and there is a thick mist over the sea so not looking good 😞
I am riding to Grimaud to visit the rally site, I will wash the bike on the way if I can find a jet wash. I spot the entrance to the site so park up and walk over. I notice that bikes are being allowed on site; I reckon I should be able to go in as I have bought a ticket so I go back to the bike and set off in search of a jet wash.
The next town is Cogolin and just as you enter the town, on a roundabout, is a garage with a jet wash, there are a couple of bikes queuing to use it so I pull in behind them. It’s not a long wait and a 3 minute wash is only €2, which is plenty of time to get the shite from the flooded motorway off. By the time I have finished the sun is out and it is lovely and warm.
I am right about being allowed on site, I have to go and convert my ticket into a wrist band and once done I can ride in.
I must say there is a very good vibe here and I know this rally has a good reputation; it is extremely popular especially with the French, Italian and Swiss Hoggies of whom there are many. I only hear one or two English speakers and am quite surprised by that. I also spot some German, Belgian and Polish people so quite a good mix of nationalities. I am very surprised to see a couple of guys from El Paso in Texas, good to see that.
I have a look around, stop for some lunch, look around some more, buy a couple of bits and bobs, pick up my rally goodie bag, which includes a tee, metal pin badge and a cloth patch for my riding waistcoat. I have a look in the market area and there are at least 3 or 4 stalls where they sell patches and will sew them on. I pay €4 and have my rally patch put on… it’s better than me doing it I can tell you.
As I am only here for today I leave the rally to ride to St Tropez, I can’t miss visiting there.
It is only a few miles and the town is full of bikes… I ride around and manage to get parked in the centre. St Trop is very chi-chi indeed and I notice the shops are all high end brands with price tickets to match!
I walk down to the harbour and there are hundreds of people lining the streets… ah this must be part of the bike parade route, which I thought was tomorrow.
also note the mega-yachts cozying up to each other in the harbour, nothing under several million here dahlink!
I stop at a corner cafe and order a coffee, just then there is the sound of thousands of bikes coming up the road. I mean thousands… they are passing the cafe at the rate of about 1 per second for the 20 minutes I am there and still coming as I treat myself to a delicious ice cream,
And still the bikes keeps coming, must be half an hour at least now. As I walk up the road they are still coming.
There are lots of Hoggies lining the route, but many of the other people are standing with their fingers in their ears; can’t say I blame them, the noise is tremendous and the Hoggie crowd is egging them on to rev their engines until they scream!! (the bikes that is, not the people… well not all the people).
I just had to film this… you might want to turn the volume down!
A hoggie with their doggie, and the Village People… Who says Harley riders aren’t loopy!!
If that doesn’t convince you then take a look at this…
I return to the bike and as it is too late now to go anywhere else I ride back to my hotel. I would have liked to ride up the coast to see Cannes, Cap Antibes, Nice, etc., but not to be this time. I have really enjoyed today and I think I will return sometime… will make sure I am here long enough to have a good look around.
Back at the hotel I decide to leave the bike parked across the road, there is parking for HSBC staff and, as it’s a weekend, other bikes have parked there no problem; it will certainly make life easier tomorrow morning.