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[ST] Tour de France avec 108 bhp

Well I have arrived back from my 2 week tour of France which unfortunately
did not go as smoothly as I would have liked.

Everything started OK. We had a good trip down to Dover, me on my RS from
along with my mate David on his VFR800 and got the ferry to Dunkirk. We then
rode down Le Touquet and stopped there for the night. The next day was a
long haul across France on Auto Route to a small town just south of Dijon
called Nuits St-Georges. This went very smoothly - the French Auto Routes
are a lot less busy than British motorways and are in much better condition.
We arrived at our B&B to discover that we had been given a room with just
one double bed and all the other rooms were taken. We were so knackered that
we couldn't be bothered to try and find another place to stay, so we over
came our homophobia and just made do.

The next day was to be a much more relaxing trip south with just about 200
miles to cover. We had a pleasant morning just cruising past all the vin
yards and then had a lazy lunch. After lunch we arrived at a large town
called Chalon -sur-Saone. We arrived at a major junction and had to stop at
some traffic lights. I was just sat there when I heard a loud screeching of
brakes. Then I felt a major impact from behind. Everything went white (I
think I was upside down staring at the sky) and then I felt the thud as I
hit the floor landing on my back. After a quick pause to decide whether I
was badly hurt I got up. My bike was down on its right hand side and also
David's bike was also down. An old Peugeot 505 had ran into the back of me
and had pushed me in to David. The car had a major dent in its front and had
burst it's radiator - it must of hit me pretty hard. I was amazed that I
wasn't hurt, I had been thrown right over the top of the bike a my clothes
did their job. The driver was a little old man who looked like he should be
riding a camel not driving a car - full Muslim white robes and a little
white scull cap. I was absolutely livid but he looked so pathetic and
confused I couldn't be bothered ranting at him.

This was obviously the end of our motorbike tour. My bike has a crumpled
exhaust, right foot peg snapped off, badly damaged right handle bar, cracked
left upper fairing (where my thigh hit it - bruise from hip to knee), bent
Ventura luggage rack and brackets, broken front hooks on Baglux tank cover
and lots of scratched paint work. David's bike has smashed rear light and
front indicator, bent Non Fango luggage system and lots of scratches.

Thank god for mobile phones - we sorted everything out with them. We called
the police. The French police were excellent - very friendly and helpful.
David had European AA cover and I had RAC. The woman at RAC acted as a
translator between the police and us where necessary.

The lorries came to collect the bike within an hour. As luck would have it,
there was a Triumph dealer in town and it was right next door to a Honda
dealer. It was going to take quite a few days to get our bikes repaired so
we arranged with the insurance company to have the bike taken back to the UK
to be repaired. The bikes arrived back in the UK on Wednesday, two days
before us which I thought was impressive and also a relief as I was
wondering how long it would take.

So the rest of the holiday was spent touring France in a Renault Twingo for
a few days an then a Fiat Punto. The AA were fantastic, they sorted out the
hire cars for us, with taxis to get us to the hire car companies and a night
in a hotel on the day of the accident. They seemed better than the RAC
although the lady at the RAC was helpful she just didn't seem as efficient
as the AA.

We managed to enjoy the rest of the holiday but it was sickening every time
we drove down excellent motor biking roads with sportsbikes overtaking us.
Still, we managed to bring lots of cheap booze back which we couldn't have
on the bikes.

I will definitely arrange another trip as the roads are fantastic and the
scenery is wonderful.

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