. .

Rolling Thunder

At least, that’s what it sounded like.
The French bikers federation, FFMC, had arranged a day of protest in all, or most of the prefecture towns in France. I went to the protest in Angouleme which is in the Charente, Department 16. The protests are against the removal of speed camera warning signs, higher fines and more points, out-lawing radar detectors and also a rumor about GPS speed cam data and the biggie is – everyone will have to wear a Hi-Vis bib of some sort. What crap!

I started by going to Perigueux, in department 24, to join up with the northern Dordogne bikers that were heading for Angouleme. Around 2-300 of us set of on a showery ride to Angouleme. About 90kms.








We all arrived at the marshaling point in Angouleme and there were already lots of bikes. Time to park-up and have a look around.







There was even a Ural outfit and unlike Stans, this one was a runner. Ha-Ha!







The holding area was starting to fill up and by the 14:00 start time there must have been 10,000 bikes there. There must have been! Anyway, there were LOADS and when they all fired up the motors ready for the off, it was like…. music…
Someone had a neat number plate. I want that plate.












Getting all those bikes rolling through a single exit big enough for trucks was quite something.








Then it was off on a meandering route through Angouleme along the river and skirting the old town and then onto the by-pass and the N10 heading north to Poiters.














Photos from the N10 show just how many of us there were. Here you can see them stretched into the distance









and still more coming.







At this point, we all came to a halt while the guys right at the front stopped at a speed camera on the central divide and wrapped it in shrink-wrap before painting it bright red. The police were there which is why they had to shrink-wrap it before painting it!.

This was all a bit boring for those of us a bit further back so someone had the brilliant idea of strolling onto the other carriageway to interfere with the southbound traffic as well. Excellent!!







When that was all over, we headed back into town via the main out of town shopping area. This is where were saw the most pissed-off looking people… interfering with their shopping. How very dare we!

One poor sod came to grief on dual carriageway here. Looks like he, (she?) gave it some gas but couldn’t stop before the next bunch of bikes and lost it. Either they hit a tree or missed the trees and was collected by a car going the other way. Didn’t look go for them. Hope they are OK.

The destination was the “Chambre de Commerce et D’Industrie” right in the centre of the old town.



Here everyone parked up for a stroll, a pose, a swift beer or coffee. A good bit of nattering was done and a couple of burn-outs and much holding the throttle wide open to hit the rev limiter while hitting the kill-switch a few times to create loud bangs… No mechanical sympathy some people.


Lots of numberplate tampering going on…








… and some nice bling on show








There was one of those new VFR 1200’s there. Still don’t like the look of them and having a thick alloy plate shielding the pannier from the upper exhaust outlet doesn’t seem like the way to go to me. AND the jump from 800 to 1200 is just too big. Lots of people don’t want bike that are that big. That’s it, that’s my “old fart” comments out of the way.







A grand day out. Covered 250kms. Lots of people turned out to watch. Lots in envy, lots in awe, lots having a good old cheer. Some were really pissed-off with the delays, but that’s what protests are about, disruption, or no one would know you were there.
That’s bollocks! The noise would make them notice you.
Roll on the next one!

There’s a good link here for more background and a Youtube vid:

  • 1
    stan 19. June 2011, 13:41

    Super, i want one of those number plates,…..AND MY Ural works..only when I burn up the clutch being stupid..ha

  • 2
    Phil 19. June 2011, 17:32

    Hey John, I am green what an experience that must have been. Anyway Hi-Vis what a load bollox.

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