Bit of a change up today, another two days rammed into one post, but this time in full tourist mode. The bike and the body have been taking some beating (the Roubion ENDURO claiming the rear brake rotor), so its time in the EuroEnduro schedule to chill for a bit to arrive fresh as a newly shucked oyster at Trans Provence.

Waking up the day after the French ENDURO massacre and I was starting to wonder if there was a weather conspiracy going down, yes, much like the day after B.A.D, Roubion had decided to turn on a stunner. Awesome, but a day late:

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“Would have been so rad in the dry bro”

Roubion is a cracking little place to visit, emphasis on little, and not somewhere you’d probably ever come as a destination by itself. Indeed, unless you’re riding through or racing here, I expect that it won’t make it on to many people’s visit list. But, if you do happen to venture up this way from Nice, then you’ll be rewarded with some mega old school action. Main street is quite narrow mind you:

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Dropping in to town

This is as ancient mountain village as they come, as I mentioned the other day the last time I was here was two years ago, on the Nomad 2 heading through these cobbled streets as part of a massive day 4 on the TP tour. Felt weird to be cruising around their narrow ways again, I can dig why Santa Cruz named a bike after them (ok, technically its the Juliana brand, but same same). Any time you ride through here its either been an epic descent or a BIG climb:

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Rush hour is a bit feral

I decided to head through the tunnel and do some reminiscing about that day two years ago where we stopped here for lunch. Yes, it was that moment that the War Machine casually inspecting Wolf’s Tallboy LTC discovered the fatal crack in its swing arm, a game changing moment and probably reflects Wolf’s view on lunch in Roubion:

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Two very different lunch breaks

Roubion is one of those places why you have another reason to love cycling. As I said earlier, its not exactly a contiki destination and the shopping isn’t going to put it on the map. But ultimately, those are some of the best reasons to come to a place like this and cycling is the vehicle to get you off the well wanked path and to somewhere unique. Forget the cities, these tucked away off the grid spots are to be savoured.

I’m resisting the urge to enquire how the serenity is, but if road or dirt is your passion, then make the time to make your way up this climb, roadies, you’ll want to continue past Roubion on to the 1,678m Col de La Couillole summit (15.5km’s @ 8%):

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The Mon-Tons spreading to reveal the goodness

I’ll be giving a bit more of a run down on Roubion and some tips in the EuroEnduro RAP up, so stay tuned for that (lets face it, need some material for when this massive mission is over). Besides, it was time to get back on the road and ignoring my own musings and philosophical reflections, head back into touriste central.

Dirty tip – If you want to roll from Roubion, take the road to Beuil and then the awesome D28 via the Gorges du Cians, its red rock formation will give anyone a geo stiffy and the landscape is so imposing you’ll wish you’d got a skinnier rental car. Windows down, sun pumping and just another exhibit in why being in France in summer is a banger of a proposition.

Well, not all of it… I got a distinct shock when dropping by St Paul de Vence for lunch, shouldn’t have really given this is a mega tourist spot, but being back in crowds who weren’t wearing Fox or Troy Lee was a bit weird to say the least. Shops, traffic, American tourists, overpriced meals, suddenly I was wondering why I had left the Mon-Tons behind. Does look pretty choice though:

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Mint if you like overpriced sandwiches, but also the home to the best Citron sorbet found thus far

But that was just foreplay compared to what was to come in Cannes… Just the drive into the centre of Cannes was enough to make me want to pedal screaming back to single track. I’m not even going to mention how much it cost to go to the beach across from the Hotel. What the actual fuck?

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Most expensive sunburn ever

I guess it should have been obvious really, but somehow I forgot my own preaching. Its always weird to go from Mon-Tons back to civilisation, and lets face it, its been pretty rad so far in some golden spots. Compounding that feeling of big city ‘yuck’, Cannes is pretty much one of the most faux places you could rock up and complete the contrast in.

Almost as soon as I was there, I wanted to be somewhere else. Miniature dogs, 15 Euro Orange juices and people dressed like they were extra’s from the ‘Fifth Element’… Definitely not in the Mon-Ton’s any more. Can you smell the disdain wafting from my pores? SO not bringing my super yacht here next summer.

But I think that the best way to sum up Cannes was this little number above the bed in the hotel, still can’t work out if this was supposed to get things barred up or freak you out. Either way, thanks for supervising Nicole, loved you in Days of Thunder:

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Her eyes really did follow my every move…

Here’s a golden rule to live by – Any time that all the literature in the hotel is in Russian, then something is up. Seems there has been a less publicised invasion of this place by the Ruskies and it doesn’t really seem to add a lot of the value to the vibe, unless of course you dig on purple tracksuits, 80’s haircuts and jewellery best used for a kids halloween party. Best stick to the beach, just mind the CCCP Tatts, classy as bro…

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Rest week kicking into gear

OMFG – A whole post without a pedal being turned… Feels kind of weird really doesn’t it? Not sure we’ll ever get to being a proper travel blog, all this sitting around is necessary but more than a bit boring. The count down to Trans Provence is even more fever pitched than usual, not long to go now!

Have also punched the fuck out of Cannes in a glorious escape and on to much greener pastures, so stay tuned for the low down there.

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