Anybody charging south next season might consider a days detour well worth it if they follow the Circuit de Monts du Cantal.
It's not killer Alpine pass storming but a damn good day out. Roads are good, the circuit is fairly well signposted, and there are plenty of places to stop and refuel.....man and machine....
For sheer excitement though, take a detour at Pierrefort and head for Mur-de-Barrez then find and follow the D13 to Aurillac. You will recognise the start of this road as it has a big warning sign in elegant French. Translated, it reads, "This road is very narrow, irregularly surfaced, twisty and downright dangerous, proceed at your Peril !"
Now who can resist a challenge like that ?
It is narrow and it is twisty and the camber is not at all what you might expect. It also runs pretty steeply downhill for the best part of 18km, through a dense forest. At the bottom you'll cross a bridge just wide enough for a couple of donkeys and to house a Troll, I'm sure. Then it's same again but uphill this time.
I used 2nd and 3rd gear nearly all the way. A real case of squirt and squeeze.
This is where a bike like a TDM comes into it's own, there's not many bikes that could be equally comfortable blasting down the A20, then cruising the Circuit de Monts du Cantal and then a bit of white-knuckle helter-skelter stuff.
Bloody good bike !