Background information
1. Alpine touring - the early days.
My first sight of the Alps was in 1969 when eight of us set off to Austria for Christmas and New Year. Transport was an old Ford Thames van. The Thames was not one of Ford's better efforts - three speeds, a top speed of 50mph and brakes that made that speed suicidal.. We picked up a rented caravan in Belgium, reducing top speed to 40 mph in the process and 36hrs, two gallons of oil (and two accidents!) later we arrived in Innsbruck. For someone used to the flatlands of Essex it all came as quite a shock (particularly when the brakes failed on the van), but the scenery made the bigest impact and I soon decided I'd be back on two wheels.

Six months later in the summer of 1970 a friend and I set off on his Yamaha YDS6 (a 250 pre RD two stroke). Luggage consisted of two small suitcases wrapped in a tent groundsheet and tied onto the rear rack with his mum's washing line!

1971 saw me back in the Alps on a Honda CB77, The following year it was a Suzuki T350 and by 1973 I'd progressed to a Yamaha XS2.

Over the decades since then I've been back to the Alps on many many occasions on both two wheels and four, but the joy of riding through the mountains has stayed with me. These days a base in the ski resort of Alpe D'Huez means we're in the mountains more often than ever.

I've always kept a small collection of older Japanese bikes (usually the ones I couldn't afford at the time!) as well as something modern for day to day use. It seemed a natural extension to transfer some of them out to France ...

Yamaha YDS6 in 1970
Honda CB77 in 1971
Suzuki T350 in 1972
Yamaha XS2 650 in 1973
Further early images here
2. Distant Horizons
If you've read this far, a brief paragraph to bring things up to date. Recent years has seen me further afield with a couple of overland trips across the Sahara to West Africa (and another one planned at the time of writing).

Click here for a page of images