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Old 02-25-2013, 09:32 AM   #1
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An Otter on the road: I'm coming up so you better get this party started!

Crazy is I believe the medical term, if you want to recover but don't want to learn. Well here we go again: the otter is back on the road.
Going from Lille to Cologne through Nimes, Grenobles, Mijoux, St Gallen and Niederschach (oh yeah, Touratech headquarters here I come!). My objectives?
  • Heal a broken heart
  • Trying to get my queen back on track so than objective N°1 gets accomplished
  • If objective N°2 fails then get wasted and spend even more money on my bike
  • Trying to test my Gopro3 (since I'm not a geek this will be complicated! Don't expect any videos before my return to safe harbor)
  • Getting a good ride report out of it since writing always helps to find oneself

Well to understand the whole philosophy of this trip I need to bore you a bit with the whole back storyline (will take about 5 minutes to get back on track, don't you worry your pretty little head about it! - or you know, just skip this part).

Well well, it all started a couple of weeks ago when destiny sent me an “happy new year bro!” by bringing me an old lost soul back. It was my old high-school friend Mady who now is in the parachute army section. Hadn't heard or seen her in 2 years. What a great day that was, but a couple of days later, since destiny is a (pardon my french) whore, it took a soul mate out of my life.
In reaction to that I took my bike from Lille to Switzerland and back in about 4 days. Funny trip, now I know that it goes up to 211kmh. ANYWAY... (now is coming the cheesy part so skip right ahead please).

To keep it short:
  • Mady wanted to meet me at Lille the weekend of the 23th february
  • I was supposed to make a trip from the 25th to the 2nd to meet her at Nimes (would have been a great Road trip too :o)
  • Instead she said that she needed to get her life back on track and concentrate more on her military career
  • I was broken again but was ready to fight to keep her in my life
  • I organized some last minute Road trip (always the best kind) to see her and to occupy my one week of holiday.
  • Told her on Friday that I'd be in Nimes the next day
  • She said that I'm crazy – The trip was ready to start!

So the actual Ride Report can start and I'll let you discover why “Loutre” will be the next synonym of EPIC FAIL on this website.

22/02 Day 0: Garage to Apartment (15kms) – Why is my bike so far away from where I live :o(
Total: 15kms

I packed all my stuff and put it on my bike. That evening I had two friends that came up for a visit and left me my birthday gift! An apron with the guiness logo on it and something like “hail to the BBQ chef”! How well they know me. Oh and of course the best thing ever, a horn for my bike... Fear me now Bamby! Well we had a couple of beers, pizza and a nice conversation about trip planning. Thanks again mates! I'm ready to rock now.

We mounted the horn to my crash bars and they went home. After all I had a contract law class that I needed to attend in the morning, oh an of course 950kms to ride. But hey that's just the gravy of the day, isn't it?

Good night everybody!

Pics of the day:

My new and favorite farkle!

(Pics of my friends to come!)

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Old 02-25-2013, 10:03 AM   #2
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23/02 Day 1: Lille to Nimes (993kms) – The day that shall be know as Epic Fail day (with such a title it has to be good, right?)
Total: 1008kms

From 8 to 9:30 I had my law lecture. We talked about how to sue societies that send you letters entitled “You are the lucky winner of our lottery! Please send back that coupon and the price is yours”. I think that I found a new life earning!

Here we go! See you on the other side!

Departure at 10 from University and according to my TomTom I'm supposed to arrive around 6 PM... if only: After only 30kms I did my first U turn, I love these modern navigation systems!

About the weather conditions: It was cold and snowing, average temperature was about -4°C. Like an onion I had 5 layers on and 3 scarves. What a highlight at every gas station! At this point I want to thank BMW for their heated grips and to the Turks for the coffee, this trip couldn't have been made without your team effort!

Most of the time I used the highway due to the snow, ice and of course the lack of time that I had. I literally crossed France that day and had no intention to waste time. I had a funny moment when I overtook a trailer... I looked at the bike on its back and it was the car from Back in the future. It was one of these “pics or didn't happen” moments and also a moment where you say to yourself, “darn should have trained the activation of my gopro before the actual trip!”. Well, I tried to, but failed, hence no pictures.

What is always fun to look at when you are taking gas at a station is the look on the people faces! “You are crazy”, well they didn't say it but the look was more than enough... oh and of course you have the look on the chick faces like “wow what a hero”, but I had no time for them.

A great remark on the bike though. The more you do highway sections, the less it vibrates. At the very beginning I remember some crazy rumbling in the handlebar at about 120 kmh, now I can go up to 140 without any problem. Maybe my own shivering did compensate the whole thing :o).

Well now comes the funny part. At about 8 pm, and 45 minutes to go, I made a stop at a gas station and got a text like “won't be there”. There it was again, that nervous laugh that I always get when I get bad news. Fuck it. Then I took a quick look at the walls and found an AC adapter! Great time to charge my phone and my Helmet. I went out again and looked through my stuff to get my usb adapters out... Well another bad news... I forgot all of them. God damned, how much worse can it get? Well... when a door closes a window opens. Two chicos came and talked to me. They went backpacking and hitchhiking from Barcelona to Berlin and are on their way back. We had a nice talk about trips and lifestyle. When they knew that I am German they took a bottle of Jägermeister out and invited me for a drink :o). Don't judge me, but at that moment I totally forgot that you aren't supposed to drink and drive. The bad news got my mind.
Anyway they told me about their trip and they are doing some mini jobs on the road like being a bartender in Amsterdam and had no fixed plans in life. When I asked them for a picture they answered me “of course, what kind of sexy position do you want us to do? Do you want us to get you those kids on the picture too?”. Great guys. After 3 shots I looked at my watch and it was time to go. I had lost another hour, but it was a constructive one! When I got all my gear on again they asked
“aren't you cold on your bike?”
“I sure am”
“So why are you doing this?”
“For the same reason you are backpacking in February from Spain to Germany, because it's fun!”.

Well on the road again! I arrived at the address that I wrote down some time in the past and there I was in front of... a strangers home. To make something clear, she lives with her brother during the weekend so I was looking for his house. I had a package to deliver that I bought for her 2 years ago but never had the chance to give it to her. Regarding the circumstances it was now or never. Well I texted her “is it normal that there is not your brothers name on his door?”... she answered me quiet a while later (but than again time passes slowly in moments of deception and of freakin' coldness) that the number was the wrong one but the street was right, but that I wouldn't find his home since it's complicated. Well that's a good answer, all that I understood was “you are in the right street but need to look a bit closer”... I called a friend who supported the whole trip and knew the story to keep my company and to help me with google to find the right place. Well after hours of searching with a flashlight in motorcycle gear I kinda gave up the idea of finding it. I think the neighbors were about to call the cops anyway, I mean you see a guy in dark motorcycle gear with a torchlight looking at names on all the doors in the neighborhood... what would you do? And of course on every door was written “this house is under video surveillance”.
My friend told me to open a beer and to search a place to get some rest. Well he was about right, it was almost midnight. What a day, 1000kms for nothing. Epic fail.
Then I got that nice text “let me do all this wrong right again and let me come to Lille”! Score! My crazy personality wasn't completely wrong!

Well anyway it was about time to find a place to sleep. I wanted to head to Mijoux thinking it wasn't that far away... well 400kms... Oh ok... well what is nearer? Grenoble? CHECK. After an hour of riding I found a nice place next to a bridge to plant my tent. Jesus, what a freaking wind! Normally I manage to build that tent up in about 10 minutes, it took me about 3 times more that night. The crosswind woke me every now and then letting me think that I wouldn't find my tent the next morning.

Pics of the day:

Who's got the best looking bike at university

Let me introduce: Coco and Martin. Hope you arrived safe and sound!

Well it's always a great idea to study a card whilst drinking. These Germans know how to brew stuff

Final destination to some strangers home. FAIL

Nice place to set up camp! (pics had been taken in the morning)

Well that famous bridge taken down by the Germans

Well the rumor says that the water went in 2002 15m high. Respect mother nature

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Old 02-25-2013, 10:35 AM   #3
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24/02 Day 2: from somewhere to Grenoble (250kms) – Time to meet friends again!
Total: 1258kms

After a couple of interrupted hours of sleep, it was 6:30 on my watch and time to pack my stuff. The good news was that the tent had resisted the night. A zip of the cold coffee from the day before and here we go. Needed to put my gloves out to dismantle the tent. My enemy the wind was still there and didn't make it any easier. I charged my phone on the bike whilst packing the tent. I enjoyed the view of the dried river and the ancient roman columns. A German woman came about and thought I was Swiss from my huge sticker on my pannier. Had a nice chat. She was heading with her husband to the French alps for skiing. She left, packed up some more stuff on my bike and a dog came jumping at me. Very playful, seemed young and as I later found out he was a crossing between an Australian Shepherd and an Husky. His owner came and some more chatting. Great I had some time to spare! He was an old soldier and biker. He picked the dog up 2 days ago from the Animal Protection Counter (or something like that in English? oO). He used to do the same kind of road trip during the winter to the Marmotte meeting. And since he was a real biker he asked me about the wind and not about the cold ;o). We agreed on the fact that everyone can ride when there is good weather. And there's no such thing as bad weather, just a bad equipment.
He left and I finished charging my bike when another man came. Seemed to be a popular spot to jog and walk your dog. He asked me if I had a problem with my bike, to which I was barely able to reply because he started chatting about the architecture of the columns and about the old bridge we were able to see, and that the Germans destroyed it during WW2. Then he got a little more racist and told me about the invasion and what so ever... I thought the Germans didn't make it further than Vichy? Anyway, after a while I was cold and heard enough of his racist blaming. I cut him off and told him that he had a German right in front of him and that he didn't mind talking to me for about 10 minutes. “What? What are you doing here in France? Didn't you made enough trouble back in the past?”... Wow OK... well I didn't even reply to that, took my helmet and left.

There were some twisties and I thought it would be a great opportunity to test my gopro. Once I'm back in Lille (this weekend) I'll upload some videos, since they are my first don't blame me for the angle!

I only rode the little roads to Grenoble and discovered that Ski socks weren't as effective as motorcycle socks. I made a stop for gas, took my boots off and changed socks... Brrr I hate that snow everywhere! Well heading to Grenoble to one of my old High-school buddies who just moved to a new place. When I say just moved I mean he did it the day before and just finished mounting his furniture with a lot of cartons lying around. But still I'd get a roof and a warm meal that night.
The snow became more and more intense and I discovered a nice feature on the GS: it's 21” front is like a snow plow! Gets through everything. I spend a great day with him and his mother who came helping him. I helped them moving stuff and later in the evening his sister came around and we all watched a movie. Since he had to wake up at 5 am and since I haven't found much sleep the night before, we went to bed around 11, like little old people.

Pics of the day:

Marcel and Baloo his dog

I simply had to stop for Europe and my studies

Nice evening, just chilling. Look at the "duvet", well as said before: he just moved in.

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Old 02-25-2013, 11:25 AM   #4
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25/02 Day 3: Grenoble (0kms) – Time to Chill and write that report!

Slept like a baby and had time to catch up with my RR! I already phoned my friend from the Volleyball team in Mijoux and he's expecting me tomorrow, lets hope that that snowplow function is still working on my GS! Today will be about discovering a part of Grenoble with my friends Mom. He came back from work during his break and had some trouble with his boss... that means drinking in the evening! Before that, I told him that I'll find someone to fix his CPU since it slid from his couch to the ground, breaking some piece inside of it and refusing to start. Dear great internet, HELP ME... Well since it let me down last time I consulted it for some information (regarding the brothers address), it didn't bother me that it let me down today too, so apparently I called a wrong number, or more likely the wrong number is listed in the yellow pages, so that I woke a guy at 9:30 am who gave me a speech and insulted me all kind of names. He seemed nice!
I finally got a real number so now I'm heading to that place and after that I have some legal stuff to do regarding his lease. Yeah since I'm specializing in European law, he gave me his lease to look up some legal stuff. When you hear someone studying law you always think, well I'm sure that guy knows about criminal law, contract law and so on.. Wrong.. it's like asking your gynecologist to perform your knee surgery. But hey since I'm a nice guy I'll make some calls ;).

So later on my friends Mom took my out for a walk along. Did you know that Grenoble is the flattest city in France? No? Yeah you're right, who cares? Anyway it's a great city with an old core which is fantastic. Everywhere you look you are surrounded by the mountains. Well since the old lady didn't sleep well last night, I did some charity work and we walked for 3 hours. I was looking for a coffee place to talk and chill with her, she's very cool and likes heavy metal. We went together to the Kiss concert in Paris a couple of years ago. Since she was undecided I told her that I needed some things for tomorrow (beer), we went looking for a shop and stumbled into some mascots. “Flash me!”... Well I took my camera out and took it literally ;o). Then I found a special Irish shop and forced her to go inside! Grouwww I love their fashion and beer! Well once inside I found a little something for my dearly beloved: a Kilt! And yes I did wear it like it's supposed to :o). Bad thing it was WAY overpriced and would cut into my fuel budget.

On our way home we got into a supermarket and got my 1rst aid kit for the rest of my trip (more beer).

Well that's about it and an update is about to follow!

Stay tuned!

Pics of the day:

Some art for the brainy guy inside you

Video Game landscape?

Flash me... So I did... I took out my penis!

Inside of Grenoble

Good enough for this site

I simply love this city for its view

Anybody knows what this is for? I guessed some feminist angry about the horse meat story?

It's magic, the next Uri Geller?

Some goodie goodie for my dearly beloved. And yeah I did wear it like it's supposed to

Took us about 5 takes to get it "right"... it means hood (insert joke here!)

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Old 03-01-2013, 07:12 PM   #5
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:38 PM   #6
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I'm back home and doing my best on updating this asap!
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:11 PM   #7
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Well here we go with the update..

So where were I?
Oh yeah! The Pub! So we planned on going down to a bar somewhere in Grenoble. Apparently my friend, well lets call him by his nickname, Fanf, knew some good old Irish pub... well sort of, I'll explain later. The first problem was he is very bad at orientation. I mean we headed down some random direction and after a while he asked me to pull out my mobile phone to ask google where we were... Since I had no AC adapter I didn't really fancy that idea and instead asked the first strangers I saw in the street, always a good idea 'n'est-ce pas'? (Thank you for that thoughtful education momy). In our luck I just aborded one of the greatest alcoholics in Grenoble 'cause his friend immediately said to me “yeah of course he knows this bar, he's always there, well in fact he's always in some kind of bars”. I'm gifted with a radar for special people I think. Anyway they told us to turn around […] and go all the way back from where we came and than simply turn left... Did I mention that my friend was bad at orientation?
Finaly we got in the bar but missed happy hour by 10 minutes, a couple of people to blame for that:
  • AmauryADV who called me with his girly problems on his GS (just kidding mate :o)
  • Did I mention that my friend was bad at orientation?

Well fair enough he paid for the first drinks. Since we needed a drinking motto for the night, we took a quick look back at the last few weeks and decided to drink on his new appartment, his job, this trip and my birthday (which was already a week old, but who cares if it involves drinking, right?). Some guys at the bar turned around as they heard that it was my birthday, gave me a big smile and congratulated me. Always nice!
Since we haven't seen each other in a couple of month we casually talked about what happened during his work week (What? We aren't women) and how much his work sucks and that he haven't met any new friends in the city. Is that all? 'Cause nothing is easier than that, like the master of Baloo said to me (don't think I've mentioned it before): “humans aren't animals”, so lets go talk to some strangers. He wasn't convinced, so I needed to prove my point. I went to the guys at the bar and asked them for a picture for my RR. Of course they agreed and we passed a good evening. I mean that is what the photos show. It kinda became fuzzy after that point. They invited us for a drink and told us that they where some kind of PhD canidates in some king of physics thingy that I didn't understood, well I understood that it had to do with water but writing a PhD about that? Well as I said it became fuzzy. Fair enough they encouraged me into doing my road trip longer and to stop giving a damn about my class on monday... They even made me a paper for my teachers: “We (quoting names) allow Thomas to miss his class to explore the known and unknown part of the universe”. If that doesn't work, then what could?! They ended up chanting “happy birthday to you” through the whole bar. Always nice to have strangers doing that for you. I think I'll have a birthday every month just to get that exciting feeling! Feed my ego!

At 2 am we went “home” and I knew the next day would be hard. Not enough sleep and new snow fallings were announced.

Pics of the night:

My note allowing me not to entend my lecture, this must have some kind of value!

Some FYYFF moments

And the last PhD.

The Bar

At the end: one satisfied face! Lets continue this epic journey!, Cheers!

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Old 03-02-2013, 04:29 PM   #8
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26/02 Day 4: Grenoble to Mijoux (170kms) – Who said that Motorcycle gear isn't multifunctional?
Total: 1428kms

I had set the alarm for 7 o' clock but as you can imagine the wake up was quiet a bit hard. I fell asleep again for an hour and needed to roll myself out of the bed. In fact I was invited to lunch by my volleyball team mate somewhere in the “Jura” area. My sat-nav predicted 3:30 for 170kms, add to that the snow and you have a 4 hour ride. Well it was clear that I'd be late. I ate quickly some stuff that was lying around in the kitchen and loaded my bike. Here we go!

It was heavily snowing and I faced the coldest day of my trip: -12°C. Good thing I use my ski-gloves. Less protection but a lot more heat. Time to test my Gopro again (as soon as I figure out how to use Cineform you'll have some clips to watch!). Well as I got out my other camera to get some shots of these beautiful landscapes, bad news came across: it refused to turn on. The camera was supposed to resist cold temperatures. Darn it. My excuses for the bad quality pics that'll follow :o).

Since bad news never come alone I had to face a roadblock. The closed the pass for bad winter conditions. What kinda pussy do they think I am? It was close to 12, I definitely was late. I took out my phone to call my friend but there was the releaving message: “Went out skiing, coming back at 2pm”. Great, he bought me time. I needed to turn around and thanks to modern technology an alternative route was quickly found. 30 min detour.

The nearer I got to Mijoux the more snow and ice there was. Add to that roads in very bad condition with gravel everywhere and you have a perfect cocktail to go down. And indeed I almost did. Luckily my Gopro was on and you'll be able to see that slippery front end moment. To my left and right the snow-walls became higher and higher. I'd be there with some time to spare, score! Well should have been the case. My TomTom and its netherland humor thought it'd be funnier to let me turn left into the ski resort. It should have been a “shortcut”... Well shortcut my ass. The ski-lift was over my head and everywhere some confused people. That's a whole new kind of “unstoppable”. A man came across my direction and asked if I was lost. “no, no I'm looking for Mijoux, it is supposed to be at the end of this “road”. I pointed to that huge 4m high wall. During summer it indeed is a shortcut, but not during the ski season. I was stock between snow and ice and my TR91 showed their limits. I had to unload my bike, turn the bike around and reload the whole thing. Due to that little thing I just arrived on time.

Pierre, my volleyball buddy waited for me with a big smile, “how about some hiking with snowshoes this afternoon?”. He knows that I'm always in for any kind of physical activity .
He introduced me to his whole famely, and since I don't want to embarrass my bad memory I won't quote any of their names (kinda big famely).
After lunch we (with his father), went renting some snowshoes for me (thanks again for inviting me at this point!) and there we went. Oh yeah I need to mention that I boiled up some water and pour it over my camera (waterproof) to reheat it. Well it worked and I was able to take some great pictures (you'll see what I mean ;). We did hike for 3 hours and where able to see the dusk over the hills. Amazing view. I think I'll buy a pair of snowshoes for my next winter trip. Didn't know that sport until that day and clearly it's a lot of fun. That'll add a bit more to that “unstoppable” feature. I made another discovery during that day: Motorcycle gear is multifunctional and can be used as ski gear. I think they even use the same material.

His father Jean Jackes insisted on letting me stay during the night and have breakfast with them. How could I refuse such a kind offer . I'm a professionnal leacher! After dinner we played some pingpong and fussball with his sisters and fell asleep almost immediately after.

Pics of the day: feel free to use as wallpaper and/or aliby :o)


What kind of shortcut is that supposed to be?

Look at the lift over the bike

Here we go!

Wasn't a piece of cake

What a view: the mont black and the alpes - where I'd be the next day

A well earned break

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Old 03-06-2013, 11:43 AM   #9
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27/02 Day 5: Mijoux to Saint Gallen (479kms) – Drawing day!
Total: 1907kms

I opened my eye a bit to see that in front of me was my friends little sister waiting with a present for me. She's about 5ish and drew me a butterfly mask with my name on it. What a quick way to give me a smile all over my face in the morning. Should that butterfly represent my inner beauty? Surely. I took a quick look at my phone and it already was 9:30am. God damn it, I'm late again! I'm supposed to meet my Swiss friend and 5pm. Well that's not going to happen. I wrote him a text... which he never received since he changed his number... always good to know when you're going to someone and he changes his number. Well I took a nice breakfast with my friend, and slowly packed all my stuff together. His parents went off to take his little sister to ski class so that I had to wait for them to return and say goodbye. Long story short I took off at 11am and according to my sat nav I should arrive somewhere around 6pm. A whole day of riding yay!
I already apologize for the few pics that I've taken that day but I just enjoyed riding and didn't want to stop. I took a couple of videos though... just have to wait for the last update for me to upload them on youtube. You'll be able to see my “almost” falling down. Next year I'll go with some knobbies and maybe if I'm nice enough santa will bring me these snowchains :o). Pierre's mother told me to be carefull since they've announced a drop of the temperatures... Well exactly the opposite happened. The first day I saw a positive sign on my onbord computer... well I say positive I mean 0°C.

As planned I arrived at 6pm and my friend was already waiting for me in his garage with his little 4 year old son. When I got off the bike his son gave me some pictures he had drawn for me. I'm a child magnet! The last time I saw him was 1,5 years ago. Man do they grow fast, can't wait to have a bunch of my own! Then he turned to my bike and his eyes became all sparkly, he had discovered my new hunting horn. He loved it and played for 15minutes with it... well that sound can get annoying, can't it. Matthias, my swiss friend helped me bringing my stuff upstairs into the guest room. I love these swiss! We waited for his wife and other son to come home, had a little chat and then he took me to a swiss restaurant to eat FONDUE =D. GREAT idea! All these Kms have been worth it. I don't think there is anything better than melted cheese with some Kirsch in it. Since he invited me for dinner I incisted on inviting him for a couple of drinks. I mean I had some CHF and needed to spent that monopoly money somewhere (it kinda looks like the canadian money, all shiny and blue, red, yellow).
We first headed to some kind of sportsbar and sat next to the bar. We had a great chat with the barman who was astonished about the fact that I came to France to see my friend.. Well sure that was one of the reasons but don't forget about the fondue! My friend told him that I needed to taste all the different kind of beers that they had in St Gallen... Well there where 3, so 3 pintes for the “little one”. You know how after a couple of drinks your ability to speak foreign languages increases? Well it wasn't the case for me here since you need some heavy duty vocal cords to speak “schwiizerdütsch”, but my ability to understand these guys increased drasticly, or so I think, because some sentences just didn't made any sense. After having finished all the draught beer, the barman offered me a bottle of some “special beer from the neighbourhood”... could have been something else I still would have drank it. He took a glass of wine himself to drink with me and we continued the storytelling. He was kinda too afraid of going motorcycling so my friend and I had to convince him that it was safer than car driving and just the feeling of it is amazing... Well don't have to tell you guys that, right?
Anyhow when we were about to take off, the bartender offered us some swiss herb shots (kinda like Jägermeister) and we went out in the cold again. Don't you worry, not for long since my friend “had to show me something”. We went into another bar and saw the highlight of my day, they had a sink with two boobs above it to throw up! And written there “let your day pass through your head again”. Classic! I had another beer and my friend some weird limonade made out of milk acid, and headed back home again. Surprise, he turned on the ignition and the screen showed “Welcome LordFridge”, kinda my nickname on the game we played a couple of years back, arf all these memories returning. Great day!
When we've got home, his wife was waiting with a surprise for him: A fishing magazine... in which they wrote an article about him! A friend of his sent them the picture and they wrote a whole page about his great catch! Well done Matthias!

Pics of the day:

Fondue Time

Even the coffee is better there

They make good beer over there


In action

"Hospital cave"


I'm proud of you, have to come back in the summer trying that boat of yours

They have a weird cat who loves to smell shoes...

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Old 03-06-2013, 12:33 PM   #10
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28/02 Day 6: Saint Gallen to Köln (579kms) – Touratech headquoters... Like X-Mass!
Total: 2486kms

A nice last breakfast all together and my hosts had to go off to work. But before Matthias and I had to help his son to build a playmobile castle. “What kind of generation is do they belong to? I mean when I was young no one was allowed to even glance at my playmobile castle, they're becoming fucking lazy”. He was right about that. Where went the creativity? I don't even want to know where this is going with all that technology out there. Well I still have time to think about that. Anyway once downstairs and ready to start I saw that my chain was loose. Had to uncharge the pig and start working on it. Is there a better feeling than getting your hands dirty in the morning? After that little adjustment off I went. Direction Touratech Niedereschach!
Well lets cut to the chase, it's an amazing place. All these shiny bikes they have with all these stories behind *.* I was like a child. Since this had to be a significant visit I wanted to buy something important... Like these new LED foglights. Grouwww.. They do look sexy.. But man what a pain in the arse to mount (look in the Parallel universe...). I seized the occasion to ask them some questions and there the disappointment started. I wanted to know the difference between O and X ring chains, I know I've read it hundreds of times here but I wanted to hear about it in my mother language. The salesman had to get the machanic to give me an answere... embarassing. Then I asked them about batteries. They told me not to use lithium and to stick with what BMW said... disappointing... then I looked at these shiny suspensions, and asked them about the shockbold design flaw. They haven't heard about it. Wow that was a surprise, and they couldn't even imagine that it was possible... well I showed them the link on ADV rider. Maybe a new farkle on the way? I doubt it.
Well after 2 hours in paradise it was time to take off. I still had a lot of Kms to do.
There it was again, the sign of Rottweil, saw that the last time in 2011... I needed to go there. My favorite german band “Die Toten Hosen” wrote a song about that city... how the singer needed some chewing gum, went into a shop and found the woman of his dreams... Well after all these women problems I could use one of these ;). Changed course to Rottweil, stopped at all 3 gasstations, bought 3 packets of chewing gum and always the same dilemma... I think the women in there were dreamy 20 years ago when they wrote the song... but now, well... I think they still wait for someone to pick them up. Well third time is a charm! See you next year!

Out of Rottweil it began to snow again and it was amazing how much snow there were in comparison to Switzerland. The child in me came out again and so I turned into a snowed in field. I think I was a bit too optimistic with my TR91. I did like 20-30 meters till I got stuck. Well impossible to move that pig and I needed to get all my stuff off again. This is when I saw that my front tire had a big slice in it. Wow darn, hope this will hold until I get home. I always flamed about the tubes but now I was happy to have them.
After getting my bike out of that snow/ice mix I was tired and ready for a nice lunch break. Took my beer and crisps out. Did you notice how everything just tastes better after a hard day of riding? After my little break I didn't want to jump on the bike again and decided to profit a bit of that snow... building an 1,90m Snowman... Took me about 1-2hours but it was worth it. The few people that came across hiking just looked at me like 'what is wrong with you?'. Fair enough I always get that look when I go riding, especially in winter. After playtime I went to my bike loading my dufflebag and a man asked me if I had some problems... well no I just got stuck in the snow and build a snowman, I'm alright mate, thanks... what? Stuck? This wasn't necessary riding in the snow, was it? Sure, but man is it fun!
… And off I went in direction of old sweet home, Cologne. My childhood friend waited for me and we had a nice evening together with a lot of beer and grilled beef. Yumm!

Pics of the day:

Where dreams are build!

A new use of the Zega's, I want the same later!

Dear santa?

Well it was comfy

I'll be back Rottweil!

Wow I look tired :o)

Who wouldn't have gone into that fun field?

Wrong tires? Too heavy? A mix of both

Best use of these boxes!

Can he join the Asylum?
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:37 PM   #11
Loutre OP
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Oddometer: 3,818
01/03 Day 7: Cologne to Lille (324kms)
Total: 2810

Well nothing special here. Went to my grandparents, helped them moving some stuff around and spent the afternoon with them. After that filled up the tank and off I went to Lille. Well one important thing happened that day: I passed the 20000Kms since I have that bike... June... I think that that is kind of an accomplishement, even for the ADV community :o). I'll open a bottle of beer for myself, and of course my little Pumpkin GS... Never let me down in these 9 month. I really love spending time on her .

Cheers to you all, I hope you enjoyed the ride!

Loutre - Tom
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:54 PM   #12
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Joined: Oct 2012
Location: Kingdom of Belgium
Oddometer: 1,201
To say I nearly missed this.
Shouldn't this be in ride reports? I know, by the book still a week, but the distance and the snow. And the fact I nearly missed it.

But what a way to spend a week.
And bloody cold it was too, with a bitter polar wind.
At least it keeps bacteria in check.

The last picture with the snowman totally captures the spirit of the ride.
Jolly good writing too. Let's bring on Spring.
Moriunt omnes pauci vivunt
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