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French highway authority adds rest stops just for motorcycle riders

French highway authority adds rest stops just for motorcycle riders
Autos
One of the unabashed stars of this weekend s Vancouver Motorcycle Show is the all-new Honda Gold Wing, a next-gen tourer with a six-speed manual transmission and an electronically adjustable suspension.

The French may find common courtesy impossible, but, my Lord, they do know how to make motorcyclists happy.

It would seem the authorities for the APRR (Autoroutes Paris-Rhin-Rhône) and its AREA subsidiary (which runs the second-largest chain of service stations on French motorways) have hatched a plan to include more biker-friendly amenities.

In some cases, says Le Repaire des Motards (“The Biker’s Den”), some of the new facilities will even be exclusive to motorcyclists.

According to the Den, the APRR research revealed that six per cent of its total business is from bikers – motorcycling is much more popular in Europe than it is here – so, in conjunction with a local motorcycle accessories chain, Dafy, it created special “corners moto.” All will offer such two-wheeled essentials as chain lube, motorcycle-specific tire-repair kits, tie-down straps for hauling away waylaid motorcycles, and even rain gear for those riders caught unawares or unprepared.

Speaking of, some higher-end rest stops will reportedly also include areas where bikers can dry off their gear after an unexpected deluge, and there will even be free helmet lockers for bikers looking to take an extended rest. According to the APRR, three such facilities are already open, six more will begin receiving motards in November, and two further openings are planned for the new year.

And incredible as it may seem, it doesn’t appear this is a simple cash grab. “We offer our services free of charge or at the price charged outside the motorway,” says Veronique Tallon, the APRR’s director of client relations. “Our goal is to facilitate and accompany [riders’] trips in safety, to provide maximum pleasure!”

French waiters may be as rude as ever, but it seems the country’s motorways are the most welcoming in the world.
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