Supermotard Alpe d’Huez

Super Moto, Supermotard at the Alpe d’Huez

The Alpe d’Huez, 21 hairpin turns, average 8.1% grade, 13% maximum, 13.8km (8.6 miles).  Climbing the Alpe d’Huez is a regular event on the Tour de France, and played host to the bobsled events during the ’68 Winter Olympics.  Besides having a world class ski resort, what else can you do to attract summertime business?

Supermotard racing.  Supermotard combines ashphalt & dirt sections requiring riders to display 3 skills: road racing, dirt track and motocross.  Born in 1979 as “Superbikers” on the American TV show “Wide World of Sports”  The idea was to find the best all around rider.

Supermotard (aka Super TT or Super Moto) has spawned its own class of motorcycles.  (Think KTM Duke, Husqvarna, Yamaha YZ426F) These bikes are equipped specially adapted tires.  Any other type of bike will not work and attempting supermotard style is not a good idea.

It also has spawned a particular riding style.  Instead of leaning into the turns, stay on top of the bike and push it down beneath you.  Result is the back wheel slides out in a drift like fashion.  Put a boot down (appropriately called an ‘outrigger’)in the turn at redline to save yourself from disaster and soon enough you’ll be slippin’ and slidin’ with the best of them.

The racing is spectacular, drifting, passing, jumps, bumps, these guys go all out.  We particularly enjoy Supermoto racing since the Alpe d’Huez plays host to a weekend of race action every August.

We never get tired of riding up the Alpe d’Huez, all 21 turns.  The race is free, you can move to different parts of the track to see the dirt or street portion better.  It attracts plenty of riders and motorcycles and all around makes for a good time.

For more information, check the supermotard website.  You can also see Supermoto racing on our motorcycle tours in France.  The Alpe d’Huez is a regular part of our European motorcycle tours as well.

The Formula One Monaco Grand Prix

Monte Carlo

Since 1929 the Monaco Grand Prix is an annual event that draws spectators from the four corners of the globe. They come by car, motorcycle, train, plane or mega-yacht to see the best drivers in the world battle for the prestigious trophy.

The Monaco Grand Prix is one jewel in the triple crown of motor racing (Indy & Le Mans are the others). In the era of purpose built racing circuits designed for maximizing driver safety and paid attendance, Monaco has managed to stay on the Formula One circuit.

The logistics must be a nightmare. Erecting grandstands, hospitality tents, safety guard rails, etc. in a city that is still “open for business” is no small feat. Set-up for the race takes 6 weeks to complete, and post-race tear down about 3 weeks.

If you’re planning on attending here are some hopefully helpful suggestions.

-Research the various vantage points and see which you like best. There are places for sale on boats if you prefer.
-Purchase your ticket early. Think of getting different tickets for practice/qualifying/race.
-If you are planning on staying nearby, be prepared to pay a hefty price for accommodations. Reserve early. Other options include staying a little further away. Rooms are easier to find and less expensive.
-Take the train. Even with a motorcycle, traffic and parking are both impossible.
-Be prepared to walk. Your seat may be extremely far from the train station. The station itself is quite large and it might take 15-20 minutes just to exit. Put on your best walking shoes & give yourself plenty of time.
-Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses for obvious reasons. Maybe raingear depending on the forecast.
-Refreshments are available behind/under grandstands and on the sidewalk along the way.
-Ear protection. The engine noise will take its toll on your ears. You can buy some on site, sometimes sponsors hand them out.

There are plenty of large screens for seeing other parts of the circuit and statistics. If you are not a motor sports fan, you should at least go to a qualifying session to soak up the atmosphere and see the cars race against the backdrop of this iconic city.

If you are a motor sports or Formula One fan and plan on attending, you’ll be immersed in history. You’ll feel it as you approach the circuit. The sound, the vibration, the roar, it will move you. There’s something magic about racing in Monaco that you won’t experience elsewhere. Maybe you’ll have a better view at a purpose built circuit, but will you have the charm?, the ambience? and all the rest steeped in some 75+ years? (We won’t discuss the food part here, that alone is worthy of several posts).

*One of our premier events that we look forward to every year is our Monaco Grand Prix Corsica Motorcycle Tour. Whether you’re a race fan or not, this tour offers so much that you won’t see, eat or ride elsewhere.

Learn more about the Monaco Grand Prix Corsica Motorcycle tour here:

See Monaco GP on M2 MotoTours Motorcycle Tour

See Monaco GP on M2 MotoTours Motorcycle Tour