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15th ATiC meeting
Argeles-sur-mer / France
May 2003

Location

Argeles-sur-mer is located in the southern part of France at the Mediterranean Sea near the Pyrenaen mountains, about 30 kilometers from the spanish border.

This meeting took place from 26th of May 2003 (arrival in the evening) until 31th of May 2003 (departure).

Argeles itself is located at the bottom of hills named Les Alberes (up to 800 meters) and has 6 kilometers of sandy beaches + 3 kilometers of rocky creeks. The next big city Perpignan is 25 kilometers north of Argeles.

We stayed on Camping Les Marsouins, a very well equipped public camspite near the sea. Jean-Paul Chiono, ATiC #1719 did onsite organization for this event *thanks*. The campsite is of high comfort, offers free warm water and a pool (attention: no boxer shorts allowed :). A small shop is also included.

Report

Argeles is a perfect place for any type of holiday you expect. While the sea is only 800m from the campsite away, you can also do exhaustive trips to Costa Brava/Spain or even down to Barcelona. On the other hand you can head towards the Pyrenean mountains with great landscape and endless fun on- and off-road.

Traditionally - of course - an ATiC meeting wouldn't carry its name without celebrations and BBQ in the evening plus endless breakfasts and relaxing in the mornings. This time we had a perfect sun- and rain covered shelter which was even capable of housing our @'s for "service" purposes.

Those of us who stood up early were able to reach the beautiful coast line around Roses or Costa Brava, the others had to stay in the forrests nearby ...

General

  • The Area
    It has been French since the Pyrénees Treaty in 1789. Before it was a part of the actual “Généralitat of Cataluyna”. The French part of the old Cataluyna province match the border of the Pyrénées Orientales area and the catalan language, different from the Spanish is still in use. The Catalan culture is still strong in many part of every day life. The Generalitat of Cataluyna in Spane represent 8 million people and it is probably one of the most dynamic Spanish area. Barcelona has all the features of a real capital city. The variety of land the proximity of the sea and the Pyrénées provide an exceptional territory for bike riding. Tramuntana is our local northen west wind which very often blow at more than 100 kms. This wind is not regular and can go from 70 kms to 100kms in a second. It means be careful when passing. Also this area, like most of the land along the Mediterranean sea often suffer from huge bush fire which very often destroy hundred of thousands of acres. For us it means the need to be careful especially in off road situations where smoking should be avoided.
  • Road regulations
    Due to the huge number of dead and wounded on French roads for too many years the French government has really decided to react at its highest level. Our president has made the fight against reckless drivers national cause. New tougher law have just been voted by our House of Representative and the Police and “Gendarmerie” checks have never been so numerous.
    For the one of you who have known France in the past things have really changed and road controls by the police or Gendarmerie have enourmously increased. The stress is put on Alcohol and driving and respect of the speed limits.
    Of course everyone is responsible for his own driving but please be careful. We would hate to see anyone of you going back home by train because the driving license is suspended and the @ kept by the authorities.
  • Off Road
    Things are also changing and northern habits regarding nature protections are making constant progress in our area. It means that the off road books are probably not 100 % authorized. We advise you to use your common sense such as stopping the engine when crossing hikers, mountains bikes, or horses. One smile and simple word such as “hello” (bonjour) often help to smooth things. If you meet authorities or private owner who do want you to pass just go back the main road. Usually things go well as long as you use your @ as a trail bike most as an extreme off road bike.
  • Elderly people
    Sunny area like our are very popular with elderly people who move here once they have retired. They driving is generally slow and they often forget to look in their mirror or to use their turning lights when stopping or changing direction .
  • Maps
    Michelin 1/200000 N° 86 «Bagnères-de-Luchon Andorre Perpignan».
    Michelin 1/400000 N° 443 «Catalunya / Aragon / Baleares»
    Michelin 1/200000 N° 240 «Landuedoc/Roussillon» (for arrival)
    IGN 1/25000 N° 2549 West “Port Vendres, argelès sur Mer, Côte Vermeille» (for off road)

Tours

You may find some suggestions for tours below, roadbooks attached:

  • as a highlight we can offer an official stage of the 2003's Dakar (Tour, Garmin roadbook)
  • 450 km for a roundtrip to Andorra and the pyreneaen mountains (Excel roadbook and information)
  • Cathar ride in the Corbiere area (Excel roadbook and information)
  • Spain: Cadaques / Cape Creus (Excel roadbook)
  • Three valleys ride which link the 3 main valley of the area (Excel roadbook)
  • Collioure, 8 kms from campsite, our local Saint Tropez,
  • Perpignan 25 kms, not great but some ancient parts
  • Carcasonne, about 130 kms
  • Plenty of small villages of which the most interested will be seen in our tours
  • Barcelone, 200 kms
  • big area of wine production, especially sweet wine with strong alcohol - tastes sweet but behaves strongs :) : Banyuls, Muscat de rivesaltes, Maury (winery caves may be visited)
  • sandy beaches as well as small rocky creeks.
  • Roman art Abbaye ( saint michel de cuxa, saint martin du canigou, elne, saint genis des fontaines, arles sur tech)
  • Numerous Military architecture (because of the border) some which are quite unique ( Fort de salses)
  • Baroque church Retable ( do not know how to translate retable)

Participants

Participants for this meeting:

  1. Jean Paul Chiono
  2. Olivier Loynet
  3. Michael Dipper
  4. Nina Müller
  5. Karin Lehmkuehler on XLV600
  6. Werner Rosenthal
  7. Falk Schmal
  8. Mark Schmal on DR BIG
  9. Massimo Colurcio
  10. Frank Mueller
  11. Lory Durighello on XLV600
  12. Gian Luca Giangualano
  13. Andreas Lienhardt & Tina
  14. Francesco Gentile
  15. Thomas Mueller
  16. Bernd Wolfes
  17. Martin Bischof & Kornelia
  18. Markus Wolf
  19. Mike Krebs
  20. Francesco Mancuso
  21. Andrea Urbani
  22. Guido Marangoni e Daniela
  23. Axel Willimzig
  24. Dirk "Oph" Kroegel on XTZ 750
  25. Torsten Rack & Sandra on F650
  26. Ralph Mason
  27. Ingo Döring
  28. Adrian Burkert & Nadine
  29. Jürgen Reimann
  30. Stephan Griess (arrival 24.5.)
  31. Ulrike Albrecht (arrival 24.5.)
  32. Rainer Esser & Sigrid Beckmeyer (arrival 24.5.)
  33. Tjerk Iest (arrival 25.5.)
  34. Arjan Iest (arrival 25.5.)

Disclaimer

We as the ATiC provide only information regarding to this event. We offer roadbooks for possible tours and try to help you in finding a suitable accomodation. However, you join all events totally voluntary and on your own risk. We are absolutely not responsible for things that happen to you or to your gear. In case of an accident, damage or loss you and the involved persons are fully responsible to each other. You cannot claim ATiC for any reponsibility.

 
 
 
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