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Best European Vacation Ever

We began our trip with three days in Paris and then took the train to Aix les Bains to begin our motorcycling adventure. While in Paris we visited The Mary Celeste bar where the bar tender invented “The French Ride” drink; I can’t stress enough how good that drink was. Go there and demand a French Ride. I’ve travelled to England, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Japan and China but never got outside the typical tourist & business areas. My trip with The French Ride redefined what France is for me; not just a vacation, this was an adventure. Considering that the map of our ten day ride only covers a quarter of France, I need to go back and won’t think twice about scheduling my trip with The French Ride. Loic Labalme was incredibly accommodating. I needed custom dates, no problem. Initially I had invited enough people for 10 bikes, he would make it happen. When most of the group had to cancel, Loic made it happen anyway for three people on two bikes. The roads we travelled seemed purpose built for motorcycling. Everywhere we went, the people were some of the friendliest I’ve ever met. Even the simplest foods were a delight, but the evening meals with our guide Loic Labalme were the highlights of our dining. Loic didn’t just help us understand a menu in French, he was able to talk about the foods, tell us about items that were local specialities and made each evening a event of fine food, great wine, incredible deserts and conversation that immersed our group in local French culture. If you like to ride motorcycles, this is a “bucket list” ride not to be missed. Riding the Combe Laval Road, the highest paved pass, the highest paved road, 17 tunnels’ road, the Grand Canyon of Europe, experiencing the route of the Monaco Grand Prix, dining in Nice on the French Riviera, seeing views that go on forever; this was an experience I will never forget and will be hard pressed to surpass. I recommend that as a rider you are comfortable with all day slow speed, tight turns and can be generally self sufficient. This is a ‘pack-it-in-pack-it-out’ trip; no support vehicle follows you around with ‘nanny services’. What you need, you bring on your bike. I brought my KLIM riding gear and it was excellent for all conditions, I highly recommend bringing your own gear. My girl friend and I were able to travel comfortably and had everything we needed packed into the side panniers and the top case. The French Ride provides an excellent tank bag, a necessity for stops along the way. The late model Suzuki V-Strom 1000’s were in excellent condition, performed great and were unexpectedly comfortable. I left my airhawk seat pad behind, my girl friend took hers. Ten days of riding is rigorous, no matter how much you ride. Spending several hours a day navigating the twisties of the French Alps takes a physical, mental and emotional toll on both rider and passenger, especially if you add heat, rain and cold. Drink lots of water and realize that this isn’t a trip to a theme park, this is the kind of experience we all talk and dream about, made possible by a unique individual with a unique vision of how to present France to his guests. The cost of a trip like this is usually the impediment that cancels plans; The French Ride may be the best all around value in French Travel. The fixed price included bike rental, insurance, hotels which all served breakfast and dinners. The French Ride made the whole experience friction-less, which may be the most important benefit of The French Ride. My only complaints were that my group refused to leave me behind in the village of Bonneval-sur-Arc, and that the trip ended.