Tag: france

Did I Ever Tell You About That Time I Went To The Roof Of The World?

Did I Ever Tell You About That Time I Went To The Roof Of The World?

The Aiguille du Mdi in Chamonix, France was a once in a lifetime experience. Teetering at the tip of a mountain peak at over 12,000ft up, it was about as much as my wimpy little heart could handle.

fuzzygalore aiguille du midi chamonix france

From the moment I stepped into the cable car and we began our first stage of the ascent my legs felt like jelly. Even so, it was something I knew that I had to experience. I stood in the gondola looking at the floor, too scared to look out at the ground fading away.

fuzzygalore going up aiguille du midi

When we stepped out of the tram and onto the first platform, I remember asking Kenny if he felt the mountain swaying too. Of course he didn’t. I think I was about to start hyperventilating. But up we went in the elevator to the upper most viewing level and out into the sunshine.

Taking in the view from the roof of the world was worth being scared.

 

Photo: Riding Along Lac Du Mont Cenis

Photo: Riding Along Lac Du Mont Cenis

Sometimes I go through periods of time where nothing seems to make any sense. I think I have mental problems. I can’t sit still, I can’t write, I can’t relax, I can’t be alone with my thoughts because I feel like I’m going to burst into a million pieces.

When these times come along, I do have the wherewithal to know I’m being a nut. And so I try to get my shit together, try to focus, try to work through whatever that underlying turbulence is.

Sometimes one of my go to things to get my head together is to write about my day. Even if it is just a sentence or two, I write down all sorts of things. (My drafts folder runneth over.) I never see these goofy tidbits as blog-worthy because they’re the peripheral pieces of my life that have nothing to do with motorcycles. And believe it or not, I do kinda-sorta try to keep things moto-related here. Even if it is something not really motorcycley but I just happened to think about while riding. When I deviate from that, I feel like I’m cheating on my own blog.

One method that helps me focus is to skim through my photos, pick one and write something that I remember about the time that it was taken.

This GoPro shot was taken along the Col du Mont Cenis. We were on our way to the town of Susa, Italy to meet our friend Pimmie. The blue of the water was surreal. Seeing something so magnificent makes you just want to cast off your suburban life and run away to stay in the mountains forever.

Do you know that feeling? The one where for a minute you contemplate what it would be to walk away from your current existence for a complete change. In that moment, you mean it with all your heart. Just ship me my kid and my dog and I’ll send you a postcard! Then logic and reason and those two fuckers guilt and responsibility come and rain on your parade. One day I want to be one of those people that tells those four jerks to go to hell.

fuzzygalore riding on col du mont cenis

I Love the People Inside My Computer

I Love the People Inside My Computer

It’s my Dutch brother from another mother, Pimmie!
fuzzygalore and pimmie on col de aravis

The internet is really amazing. But it seems that not a week goes by when I don’t read about someone lamenting what childhood was like when we were growing up in the 70’s and 80’s.

We actually went outside. Kids just stare at screens all day now!

Yea, yea, grandpa. Don’t get your sweatervest in a knot. When it comes to the internet you get out what you put in. If you use it as a tool to enhance your life, well shit, what’s wrong with that?

ed, fuzzy, kenny, pimmie in the alps

Ed, Pimmie, Kennny and I all met years ago via a motorcycle forum. And here we are… years later still a real part of each other’s lives. My dudes – I love these guys 🙂

Have you made any deep friendships via the web?

Greetings from the Highest Paved Pass in the Alps

Greetings from the Highest Paved Pass in the Alps

fuzzygalore kenny ed and drea on col de L'iseran france

Can you tell from my super-toothy grin that I was pretty excited to be at the top of the Col de L’Iseran? After seeing pictures of that dang sign on the web for years, it was incredible to be able to stand there soaking in the view with my own eyes.

We *may* have stuck one of our trip stickers on that sign. And a ZLA oval I had in my bag, just because.

Dream it. Work for it. MAKE IT HAPPEN!


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Werewolves and the French Police on the Little St. Bernard Pass

Werewolves and the French Police on the Little St. Bernard Pass

When Kenny and I decided to call it a night on Friday, we were still on the Little St. Bernard pass. As we started our descent from the top of the pass we pulled in to a hotel that our friend Ed mentioned he was going to try to stay at.

The Belvedere Hotel

fuzzygalore hotel belvedere

We were hoping to see Ed’s copper V-Strom parked out front. Instead, we found 2 dozen other bikes. All those bikes were surely a good sign about the place, right?

Though their route initially put them in front of us, somehow we’d gotten ahead of Ed and Drea. When we landed in Milan (the four of us on the same flight) we split up – Kenny and I went to Stresa, Italy to fall asleep next to the lake and Ed and Drea set off for Zermatt, Switzerland to take a peek at the Matterhorn.

Our plan was to do our own thing on Thursday and Friday and then all come together on Saturday morning. The last part of the puzzle would be meeting Pimmie in Susa, Italy. Pim, coming down from the Netherlands, was the last member of our group to rendezvous with for a week of riding.

We Love Motorcycles

The Belvedere Hotel really catered to the motorcyclist. In their lounge they had motorcycle magazines and postcards, maps of good riding in the area. They had covered motorcycle parking and even made tools and cleaning supplies available in the entryway!

Motorcycle culture is quite different in Europe.

fuzzygalore hotel belvedere fuzzygalore moto magazines hotel belvedere

Being right on a corner of the pass, you got to see bikes whizzing by all the time.

One of the most interesting things we saw right from our room was several groups of French Gendarmerie motorcycle police strafing the corner. There must’ve been 10 groups of four FJR pilots whizzing along, each in perfect unison. They looked like fighter planes carving through the turn. It was pretty awesome:

fuzzygalore gendarmerie fjr squad

Calling it a Day

After jettisoning our riding gear and having a shower, Kenny and I went down to the dining room.

We sat there in the warm light sipping beers feeling that “travel high” that you sometimes get when you realize just how fortunate you are to just float in the world. There is a period at the beginning of a trip when you feel like you have all the time in the world and you are free. We were there.

fuzzygalore belvedere hotel france

Torn between the want to stay up and shovel more delicious home-cooked regional dishes into our faces and the still nagging jet lag, we retired early to bed. We were fat, happy and excited to regroup with our friends in the morning.

What. Was. THAT?!

Awoken by an unfamiliar discordant sound, I went from dead asleep to sitting up bolt straight in bed, heart thumping in my chest. What the…?!

Through our open window came the peculiar, discordant tones of… howling. When you’re dwelling in that hazy space between sleep and wakefulness, that is a sound that is quite unsettling. That’s the state where anything that your imagination conjures up is reasonable and it’s usually f’n scary.

There is was again!

In the dark of our room, I turned and looked out the window but saw nothing. Everything beyond the reach of the lone street lamp was obscured by the envelope of blackness. Perhaps it was best that I didn’t see what was obviously a werewolf out there.

I turned and looked at Kenny who was also up now and said “Did you hear that?!”

I firmly believe that one of the less tapped into portions of our brains allows a spouse to actually hear eye rolling and the inner monologue of their partner. I have harnessed this ability.

“Yes,” he said.

Translation: “No, dummy. I’m sitting up in the middle of the night staring out into the blackness, at the very same moment you are, for no reason whatsoever.”

Because my brave protector’s inner monologue had time for sarcasm, I decided it was safe to go back to sleep.

The Belvedere was a great place to stop for the night. I would absolutely stay there again. It’s rooms were on the petite side but the beds were comfortable, the rooms were clean, the food was good and the atmosphere was lovely. And… they have werewolves. But for some reason they don’t mention that on the website.

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