Superior UK’s Kevin Smith isn’t just passionate about funeral vehicles! He loves anything on four wheels…. or two wheels!
Kevin got his first motorcycle when he was 8 and has had one ever since. He first tasted freedom at 16 having passed his moped test, and by 18 he had moved straight onto big bikes (500cc then 600cc and then 750c) riding every day, even through winter months. He actually spent 5 years racing 1000cc superbikes – and finished 8th in the National Championships in 2005 before hanging up his race leathers to concentrate on the family.
Here he is in 2001 at a Track Day.
Superior UK’s Annual Roadtrip
In 2001, Kevin toured the American East coast – New York to Maine – on a Harley Davidson. Since then, he’s tried to get away annually for a few days of carefree riding with a group of biking friends.
2011 – off road touring in the mountains of Andalucia on a Honda CRF450
2012 – toured France, Alsace mountains on a Harley-Davidson
2012 – 2013 – various Hare & Hound Enduro events
2014 – toured the Scottish Highlands on a Triumph 800xc
2015 – toured France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland on the Triumph 800xc
2016 – toured France, Italy, Austria on the Triumph 800xc
2017 – did a French Training Tour with IAM/ROSPA
This year’s trip was touring France and into Monaco – here are some highlights.
11 hours and 543 miles of riding, starting in Calais and arriving in Macon.
A day of riding through Vercors complete with 1000ft drops and spectacular scenery. The guys headed off towards Grenoble and climbed up into the mountains, and took a little jaunt through the Vercors. They had a run over a few mountain routes, but the Col de la Machine was the most spectacular (even though the main photo point was closed for repairs).
After an overnight stop in Gap, they were getting ready to head off when they saw the first vehicle of the day… (there’s no getting away from the funeral industry!)
Started fresh at altitude (approx. 800m) and the guys climbed into the Alps Cote D’Azur. Fabulous roads, picture postcard scenery, what more could you want!
They zig zagged their way to the D900c, what a route! Headed south and picked up Route Napoleon (some of which was closed for resurfacing). The detour was a gem – and featured a great biker bar (Snack Du Lack)
As they ran down the side of the Alps, the Mediterranean Sea was looming large. They had a lovely run along the sea front through Nice and onto Monaco.
Monaco was mayhem, with roadworks, traffic, construction and the casino – and surrounding roads closed for a private function.
The guys finally reached Menton in the mountains for an overnight stop.
Brought some serious altitudes as they started to tackle the Route des Grande Alpes – which would take a few days.
Kevin says this was probably the slowest he’s ever ridden, averaging 15mph over 6hrs, but the views were amazing. He now fully understands why it’s called “Route des Grande Alpes”. With the Maritime Alpes complete – they moved into the Rhone Alpes.
A fresh start to the day (only about 5*C) as Kevin and co left from an altitude 900m.
The day’s ride was only 180miles but took 9hrs and they covered some epic roads and unbelievable views.
They topped out at just over 2,600mtrs – high enough for a dash of snow here and there. But they also passed through some big ski resorts which Kevin says looked quite strange covered in grass! (everywhere closed and deserted until December)
Then through Albertville where the 1992 Winter Olympics were held, a lovely town popular with cyclists, surrounded by plenty of nice roads.
They stopped to admire Mont Blanc, before heading to an overnight stop in Annecy, a fantastic town with excellent restaurants and its own lake.
They started to move towards home, but there was more adventure still to come.
The ride up was great, 320 miles covered in 9 hours of riding. There were no peage AutoRoutes so they got see some of Northern France.
They arrived in Epernay on Saturday evening, and unfortunately the Champagne houses were all enclosed up so they had to resort to window shopping…
Are you a motorbike fan? Have you ever ridden any of these routes?
This is a blog post from Superior UK – the main Superior UK website is here.