Adventure Bike Rider

Home Forum
Welcome, Guest
Username Password: Remember me

Big Trailie Greenlaning in the Limousin
(1 viewing) (1) Guest
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2

TOPIC: Big Trailie Greenlaning in the Limousin

Big Trailie Greenlaning in the Limousin 3 years ago #346087

Hi All,

An overview of a day and a half's trail riding in the Limousin region of France on my R1200GS.

Looking for variety in green laning options, I came across 'Ride Limousin' on Google - a dedicated biker's B&B in an area of France I hadn't explored. Run by a couple, Torsten & Rowena, who'd escaped from London to set up shop in the least populated region of mainland France, their site quoted the Limousin as the "green laning capital of France".

Better go take a look, then...

The B&B is nestled in a very green and pastoral nook of a gently winding valley - an impressive three storey building, with very nice guest rooms and a huge loft conversion that is superbly kitted out for clubs and larger groups. I was met by Rowena, who greeted me and showed me to my room before offering me a drink.

After parking the GS in their bike barn, Torsten gave me a run down on the biking in the region. Although Torsten & Rowena set up to cater for all types of biker – road & trail – Torsten explained that the majority of his guests were hardcore enduro riders. Consequently he spent a lot of his spare time trailblazing increasingly challenging routes on which to guide his clients or offer corresponding gpx files for self-guided trips.

Looking for something more suited to bigger trailies, I chose to explore existing VTT (Velo Tout Terrain) routes that were set up for mountain bikers but open to motorcyclists. The VTT routes offer 25 circuits covering a total of 840km. Although Ride Limousin hire out GPS units preloaded with routes, I elected to use the 1:25000 IGN maps that I’d bought in advance of the trip. Torsten lent me a folder of laminated route print outs, which I took to my room to prepare for the next day’s ride.

With a cooked breakfast in me, I set out the following morning to start on the first 26km circuit I’d chosen.


Limousin1.jpg



This proved to be a fairly straight-forward ride largely on well-maintained gravel trails, but with the occasional rutted and overgrown section thrown in for a bit of a challenge. The scenery was really very beautiful, and the odd startled buzzard taking wing from a fence post as I passed made me think that I could almost be in an especially verdant and quiet part of Shropshire or mid-Wales. The fine weather, the total absence of any other trail-user, the French architecture of the occasional farmhouse and the almost-tropical piping of Golden Oriels in the trees told me otherwise.


Limousin2.jpg




Limousin3.jpg




Limousin4.jpg



The second circuit picked up in the same village that the first ended. Torsten had suggested the evening before that this route might add a little more challenge, and I wasn’t disappointed.
The circuit started by dropping away from the road, down towards a river, which it ran alongside through woodland on twisting and undulating single track, before eventually climbing back out of the river valley. The route remained varied and exciting pretty much throughout: winding rutted woodland tracks, rocks, tree roots, overgrown field verges, gravel, stream crossings, short but explosive climbs and corresponding drops.


Limousin5.jpg



Limousin6.jpg



Limousin7.jpg



It was perfect for the big adventure bike rider – always engaging, but without ever threatening to become overwhelming. I managed once to bottom-out on a rock, but that could have been easily avoided by being slightly less reckless and by taking a more obvious line…

Unfortunately, when you’re having this much fun it’s easy to forget the camera for the more interesting sections of trail!
Attachments:
Last Edit: 3 years ago by TeaForTwo. Reason: Botched photo insert
The following user(s) said Thank You: Alun, Paul-S, felco

Re: Big Trailie Greenlaning in the Limousin 3 years ago #346151

Part 2:

I encountered my first (and only) other trail users that day: a pair of mature gentleman out enjoying a hike. They waved and smiled cheerfully as I passed. With this much open access space to go about, people seem glad to share!


Limousin12.jpg



With 50+ km of trails covered with these two circuits, I had time to take on part of an additional route that orbited the nearby town of La Soutteraine. Having not prepped for this route the previous evening, I found it a little harder to navigate, but I enjoyed a similar mix of terrain as the previous 2 circuits, before finally heading back to the B&B for a shower and beer.


Limousin8.jpg



Limousin9.jpg



Limousin10.jpg



I had a couple of hours free the following morning before needing to move on, so I decided to pick up a route that passed only a couple of km North of the B&B. It had rained hard for most of the previous night, and the rutted woodland trails that were such fun the previous day proved to be a challenge of a different nature. Cautious clutch control and shaky balance was the order of the day as I skated and slewed my way through thick mud. My Heidenau K60 Scouts – well suited to my riding style – were pushed to their limit and beyond. To be fair, they were 7000 miles past their prime…
Inevitably, I ended up dropping the bike a couple of times and quickly regretted the full tank of fuel I put in the previous evening. Enforced breaks ensued as I stripped the luggage off the bike before floundering and straining in the mud and heat to lift it out of the gloop.


Limousin11.jpg



In the course of just under a day and a half I covered about 100km of trails in the Limousin area. With a GPS pre-programmed with routes, I would have saved a fair bit of time and probably could have doubled that, but I’m a dinosaur who enjoys the noble art of getting lost with map and compass.

So, it turns out that the Limousin region in France is a bit of a greenlaning gem. I'll be back...
Last Edit: 3 years ago by TeaForTwo. Reason: Photo add
The following user(s) said Thank You: Alun, mr cc, Paul-S, SteveR

Re: Big Trailie Greenlaning in the Limousin 3 years ago #346160

Nice write up, glad you enjoyed your time at Ridelimousin.
Owner of Ridelimousin - Trail riding holidays and guided tours
Last Edit: 11 months ago by Ridelimousin.

Re: Big Trailie Greenlaning in the Limousin 3 years ago #346182

  • Tramp
  • OFFLINE
  • 1200cc
  • Posts: 6306
Thanks for posting ..France is such a great place for trail riding few even venture there ..

Brave for riding those trails in the wet on those tyres ..will have to look into the vvt stuff..I use the Garmin france topo based on the french ign mapping info

Re: Big Trailie Greenlaning in the Limousin 3 years ago #346230

Cheers, Tramp . Compared to the UK, France feels deserted! I've also explored a fair bit of the Landes area in the SW (perhaps another post), and it's equally empty. Awesome!

I've been really pleased with the K60 Scouts on the whole - the Landes area can have quite deep sand that they blast through - but I may change to Mitas nobblies for that extra assistance in the slimey stuff.

I've resisted a decent GPS (apart from that old yellow Garmin etrex up on my dash used to cross-check grid references), but I like the look of the Viewranger app which I've since loaded onto my mobile.

Re: Big Trailie Greenlaning in the Limousin 3 years ago #346246

  • Paul-S
  • NOW ONLINE
  • 1200cc
  • Posts: 3561
Great write up and pics

Cheers

Re: Big Trailie Greenlaning in the Limousin 3 years ago #346271

Hey !!!! this is my play ground !!!! don't tell everyone
I'M HERE FOR A GOOD TIME NOT A LONG TIME

dordogneholidayvillas.com/properties/chez-jax/

Re: Big Trailie Greenlaning in the Limousin 3 years ago #346287

  • coasty
  • OFFLINE
  • 1200cc
  • BMW R1150 GSA
  • Posts: 436
Great write up ... looks like a lovely area. It's great to see a GS getting muddy too

Re: Big Trailie Greenlaning in the Limousin 3 years ago #346327

Cheers guys.

PHILinFRANCE - damn nice back yard you have there!

Coasty - I was originally going to get a much smaller (and less expensive) bike, but when I was in a BMW showroom my wife pointed at an R1200GS and said "why don't you get one of those?". How could I possibly disappoint her?!
I was initially nervous of taking it off tarmac, but not for long. The GS really does live up to the hype - balanced, well planted and nimble for the size. Although people should be free to use their GS whichever way they choose, I always feel that it's a kind of shame when owners won't stray off the tarmac - I feel like they're only getting to appreciate half of their bike's capabilities.

Re: Big Trailie Greenlaning in the Limousin 3 years ago #346366

  • The Spanish Biker
  • OFFLINE
  • 1200cc
  • Motorcycling Guide and Support Services
  • Posts: 6913
TeaForTwo wrote:
Cheers guys.

PHILinFRANCE - damn nice back yard you have there!

Coasty - I was originally going to get a much smaller (and less expensive) bike, but when I was in a BMW showroom my wife pointed at an R1200GS and said "why don't you get one of those?". How could I possibly disappoint her?!
I was initially nervous of taking it off tarmac, but not for long. The GS really does live up to the hype - balanced, well planted and nimble for the size. Although people should be free to use their GS whichever way they choose, I always feel that it's a kind of shame when owners won't stray off the tarmac - I feel like they're only getting to appreciate half of their bike's capabilities.


Hi,

Thanks for that lovely report - I must get up t Phil's on my X-Country - we were looking for a pressure cooker when Mrs s said, "Why don't you . . . "

I like your comments about the GS - just about the most sensible, balanced thing I've read in years . . .

Regs

Simon

PS - if you think France is empty . . .



Be sure to visit www.thespanishbiker.com the invaluable guide to motorcycling in Spain - plus guided rides, HISS Events* and off road touring support service

*High Intensity Sojourns in Spain
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2
Time to create page: 0.59 seconds