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Does anyone here drive much in France? I have a question!

Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,675
edited August 2011 in The bottom bracket
We were in France the other week for the Tour. Driving along the N85 (northbound) towards Vizille and Grenoble, the road suddenly becomes very steep at around 12%. There is a sign which tells drivers of vehicles of greater than 2.6m height to pull into an auxiliary lane, read instructions and if necessary take another route.

We're in the 3m high motorhome so I use the auxiliary lane and we're presented with a screen of French text and a barrier. Our French is not so good, so we tap on the GB flag for a translation. The text then reads that vehicles over 2.6m height may only continue along this steep road (N85 Route Napoleon) if the vehicle in question carries a "derogatory badge". This is clearly something lost in translation so we're both sat there puzzled... can we continue? Do we turn around?

Anyway the green light shows, barrier lifts and we set off cautiously looking out for tunnels and overhanging obstructions etc. Nothing.

I have looked all over the internet out of sheer curiosity for an explanation of this strange restriction and "derogatory badge", but cannot find anything.

Does anyone know of this? Or have any ideas what it could be?

Cheers!
Ben

Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
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Posts

  • GeorgeShawGeorgeShaw Posts: 764
    Can't be certain but that sounds like a bad translation of the French verb "deroger" and may translate as "exceptional".
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,675
    EDIT: here is a Google Streetview of the set up: http://tinyurl.com/3csf57v
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 25,981 Lives Here
    Derogatory badge, would that be like putting a Lada badge on the back of a Rolls? Sorry, never heard of that one.
  • inkyfingersinkyfingers Posts: 4,400
    Could possibly be to detour large vehicles (i.e. Freight) away from a picturesque area or a town that has a traffic problem.
    "I have a lovely photo of a Camargue horse but will not post it now" (Frenchfighter - July 2013)
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,675
    Thanks for the input. After some puzzling, I thought it must mean a reg plate which excepts the vehicle from the prohibition. Similar to GeorgeShaw's thoughts.

    Btw, I'm glad I was in the car - unrelenting 12% for about 4km.
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  • Yes, the word would have been ''dérogatoire'' so it would have been a sign saying the vehicle is exempt.

    Meanwhile, I came across a new French word yesterday. I was chatting with my neighbour and watching the stationary traffic jam in the road below when he commented: ''Il y a beaucoup de briage.'' I couldn't find the word in my Robert but it clearly meant the traffic was fuquède.
  • brianonyxbrianonyx Posts: 170
    It should have translation as a derogation which would have been better. You did the right thing just keeping going.
  • geoff_ssgeoff_ss Posts: 1,201
    We drive quite a bit in France with our Autosleeper Duetto, which is long wheelbase Ford Transit van based. Can't say I've ever come across a sign anything like the one you describe but the nearest we've been to Grenoble in the van is the Vercours.

    The only thing we tend to do is follow the heavy vehicle routes round towns and villages where they're signed because the medieval street plans of some towns and villages is extremely tight for even vehicles of our size. Beaune is one that springs to mind which took quite a bit of very brave driving to get through :)

    We did once wipe off the TV aerial and one of the opening skylights on a very low bridge in the middle of Sable-sur-Sarthe about 4 years ago. Wasn't bothered about the aerial (we don't have a TV at home never mind the van) but I had to buy a step ladder and roll of Duck tape to fix the skylight :)
    Old cyclists never die; they just fit smaller chainrings ... and pedal faster
  • I was chatting with my neighbour and watching the stationary traffic jam in the road below when he commented: ''Il y a beaucoup de briage.'' I couldn't find the word in my Robert but it clearly meant the traffic was fuquède.

    He probably said "il y aura beaucoup de bridage", either way you're right, they were fuquède. :D
    The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
    momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
  • I was chatting with my neighbour and watching the stationary traffic jam in the road below when he commented: ''Il y a beaucoup de briage.'' I couldn't find the word in my Robert but it clearly meant the traffic was fuquède.

    He probably said "il y aura beaucoup de bridage", either way you're right, they were fuquède. :D

    Good call, Monsieur le Taquet! One of us needs to give their ears a syringing :lol:
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,675
    Thanks for all the input folks! Looks like I was right to accelerate rather than hesitate. :D

    @Geof_SS, I wish I had followed your well-advised HGV route suggestion in Reims and old Dijon. Nightmare!
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  • AndyRubioAndyRubio Posts: 880
    Col de Laffrey? I crapped myself driving down it, scared of heights and that. Narrow too, as I recall. Sorry just typing for the hell of it.
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,675
    It's the descent along the main road from Laffrey to Vizille. Not sure it's the actual Col road as it isn't narrow. Very high and very steep though - the brakes were stinking!
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
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