by Steve White
Sunday 19th September 2004
This was the last official riding day. We started off with some bike maintenance tasks (optional for guests naturally), though there is a certain pleasure in getting your hands dirty, messing about with bikes, particularly when the bike isn't your responsibility! We dropped the back wheel out of the BSA which I had ridden on Friday, and had had the rear brake overheating. Most of the grease had gone liquid, and run out of the bearings. So the job of stripping the bearings to clean and re-grease them was started, to be finished after our return.
We were off to the Grand Luberon today, and I had the Commando until the lunch stop. Dave & Cathy were on the CB750, Bill (not with Rachel today as she was off shopping I think) was on the Indian Enfield 500, Neil on the Triumph (with new battery) and Dave B. was out again on his Kawasaki. (That website will never be ready on time Dave!). We had a nice meandering run out to the first coffee stop, and then uphill to the summit of the Col de l'Aire del Masco (696 metres), and down again.
Todays lunch stop was a bit special. Some friends of Neil & Sarah, Nick & Maggie, have been building up their B & B business in Provence. They have now moved to their third property near Cucuron, which contains 6 en-suite double rooms, a swimming pool, amazing food (I found out later) and stunning views of the Grand Luberon mountains. They have just finished renovating this property, and we were the first guests for a meal, and we got the works! I almost had to jack up the pre-load on the Honda for the afternoons return trip to Ventabren. So, we happened to have our cozzies with us, so in for a swim we went! Very refreshing.
So now I was on the Honda for the rest of the afternoon. Needless to say, I kept going for a 6th gear! It was nice for a change, but I can honestly say that the British bikes seemed much more suited to the roads in Provence, and the pace of life as well.
We had another ace meal prepared by Sarah in the evening, and said farewell to Bill & Rachel and Dave & Cathy. I was staying on for another day, and flying home next evening. So the Velo was going to be put back together in the morning, and if all was OK, I would ride it in the afternoon.