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Old 06-02-2011, 09:56 AM   #1
Flyred OP
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Euro Joe

No worries. It's a rental Part 6

So my yearly 2+ week vacation rolls around and I'm looking at maps of the world thinking where to next. The decision gets made when I get an email from a friend from Zurich asking when are you coming here to ride?
A search of the web finds Erne's
http://www.ernes.ch/ with a new Triumph Tiger XC 800 available with side bags for 150CH and 200km a day. Since I was thinking about buying this bike I thought here is a test drive to really see if the Cub is for me.


That's me in the middle..

So I meet Stefan at Erne's and since I'm jet lagged and groggy we spend the first night in Zurich at his buddy's house. Dinner at Cheyenne's, a Mexican restaurant named after an American tribe, serving pretty respectable chow. A nice 12 hour sleep and I'm on Europe time the next morning

Lake Zurich

Away we go headed for the Alps and to Chaminox, France

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Old 06-02-2011, 10:27 AM   #2
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I was just there a few weeks ago riding with my friend. We were riding in the Black Forrest and Alsase.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:11 AM   #3
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Day 2 to Chamonix

We made an effort to stay off the Autobahns and try to ride the pass roads and I will try to post the road numbers as best as I can read my notes.
Lots of bikes on the roads. More bikes then cars



A rainstorm stops us for a coffee break with about 50 other riders at The Hof & Post Haus.


Sustenpass on Hwy 11 to Interlaken


A beautiful day crossing another pass on A8



Martigny, Sw on the climb up to the French border.










Camp 2 in Chamonix at the Hotel Alpina. Ski season is over so the hotels are having cheap rooms prices.


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Old 06-03-2011, 10:31 AM   #4
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Morning in Chaminox. Mont Blanc is up there somewhere


The top of the ski tram is right on top.



The train station. There is a great pub/ cafe right where I am standing taking this pic that has good espresso and brioche for breakfast.









The climb up Col du la Madeleine








There is a cafe (hot dog stand) on the top of every pass














Lunch break. Motorcycle parking is completely freestyle in Europe. Any sidewalk will do




The climb to Col du Glandon






Sitting at a gas station near St Jean, sipping our double shot espresso from REAL demi-tas cups on saucers, Stefan looks up and notices an old castle just across the road. No sign. No tourist attraction. Ho hum






From the "balcony" (I wouldn't put any weight on it) of our hotel in Briancon, France. Nope. No shower curtain or toilet seat








Heading to the highest pass in Europe





How the other 1% lives



Possibly the best road in Europe. Fast, clean, well maintained. Built like a race track because it is

















These paper punching posts are there to stamp your book to prove you rode the pass



Downhill all the way to the Med



This is the way down. Countless switchbacks



Almost to Camp 3 but first...



Espresso and dessert


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Old 06-07-2011, 10:16 PM   #5
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Nice to Tuscany

Day 4. It is hot in Nice. High 90'sF and traffic is bad. The GPS gets us lost numerous times because it doesn't see one way streets. We finally find the Hostel and check in, only to have an International incident. I took a French guys bed by mistake. Stefan and I went out to see the beach and have dinner. When we got back the french desk clerk wagged his finger at me and said "That's not fair! You took that mans bed!" Geez dude. Get over it.



What's the hardest thing about roller blade? Telling your parents you're gay


The Hostel was in a okay neighborhood but like any large city stuff gets taken. Chaining your bike through the easy to remove wheel isn't a great strategy.



Dinner in the tourist area (the food sucked) and a drink a few blocks inland with the locals
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Old 06-08-2011, 03:45 AM   #6
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I like your Euro tour, nice route you chose.
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Old 06-08-2011, 04:12 AM   #7
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Great pics, those Swiss passes are really something. I rode past Chamonix a few years back and I'll never forget the first view of Montblanc.
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:34 AM   #8
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Our Nice hostel




It's hot and we decide to make a high speed liason leg across the French Riveira and into Italy along the coastline. Past Genoa. Past Pisa and the tourist zones. We do make a stop in Cinque Terrace and into another International incident. We get parking tickets while at a espresso stop and find ourselves locked into a pedestrian mall with our bikes when the gate we rode through is closed and locked. Up a sidewalk and out a doorway defeats The Man.













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Old 06-08-2011, 08:33 AM   #9
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Into Tuscany

The coastline is 90f+ and I am soaked in sweat under my Tourmaster Transition Jacket. A turn inland at La Spezia up S63 to pick up a narrow winding road to Piazza al Serchio. In Italy, the local farmers offer Agriturismo. Basically a B & B only it's a dinner and a bed. Look for the Agri signs. They are useually homemade and small. The farm we found was at the end of a long gravel road. The place was closed but Stefan talked to the hosts and the farmers daughters cleaned up one room for us to stay.
Dinner was exceptional from the weather worn and mostly toothless Italian Mama. Homemade pasta, wine, then Sliced beef, salad, more wine, a slab of cheese and Grappa for dessert and a demi-tas of espresso


The Ialian Navy base in La Spezia













A view from the farm




Waiting for the dinner bell






The bathrooms of Europe in general are all about space savings. Or as we say in the states, cramming everything in. Take a shower and the floor is a swamp. Forget about sharing a bathroom at anytime



Sunrise and an early start to beat the heat. I was still soaked by the time we reached the Adriatic Sea at Ancona, Italy where we had to wait 5 hours for our ferry to Split, Croatia.




A stop in Firenze, Italy for our 3rd(?) espresso break of the morning. The women of the Tuscany are so beautiful





Motorcycle parking only





Swimming in the Adriatic. Drinking local beer and eating deep fried seafood (anything they can net, head and all) while we wait for the ferry




The over night ferry is a 12 hour ride. We got a shared inside cabin that had 4 bunks. The room had one tiny air vent that barely gave a breath of air. Imagine 4 smelly guys sharing a phone booth. I slept about 2 hours and spent the rest of the night sleeping on the deck




The ferry had about 200 Italian Harley's onboard headed to Split for some kind of black leather fetish meeting. The cult of Harley is lost on me.




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Old 06-08-2011, 09:52 AM   #10
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Setting sail at dusk from Alcona. We followed the shoreline at least three hours in the darkness








Dawn. About damn time



I found the jail. It was locked and empty




Arriving in Split




Ferries all over the harbor going everywhere. Our boat was a drive on back off type which lead to pandamonium when 200 Harleys tried to U turn on a steel deck with raised pad eyes.





Now we wait for Customs and Immigration to check passports while the drug dog sniffs at all the bags



Up the Dalmatia Coast. Like Hwy 1 only faster, no motorhomes. and the cops are in the towns with radar guns. 3X the speed limit is the norm out here






Anyone have any idea what this is?



We ate a LOT of Pizza on this trip. I thought the pie of Croatia was the best



Probably bad news... The wars here in the 1990's had all sides sowing mine fields by the thousands. Clean up will take years




Stefan trying to look cool without burning a hole in his riding pants






Senj, Croatia. This was our planned stop but the water was out in the town "is problem" so a coffee stop and smoke some Cohibas while we eat gelato





Just above Senj is this castle. You could pay to get in or....






We ended up staying in Crikvenica and rent a Appartimento-a furnished apartment-for 35Eu. Kitchen(didn't need) big bedroom with a balcony that we used to air out the gear in the sunshine, and a bathroom without a shower curtain again. At midnight, a thunderstorm started right above us and it started to pour down rain. It dawned on me that all our gear was out there!
The next morning it was still dumping out


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Old 06-08-2011, 11:00 AM   #11
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North to Slovinia

Driving in the rain until we get to The Slovinian border. Once across, the sun starts to shine and we start taking off the wet rain gear and gloves. It is Saturday now and every Taverna has a big BBQ in the parking lot and everybody has a pig on a spit.



In about 8 hours it will be done. We will be back in Italy by then




Lorenzago. A postcard town if there ever was












Into the Dolomites. WOW










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Old 06-08-2011, 11:17 AM   #12
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The Dolomites and Italian Alps








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Old 06-08-2011, 11:53 AM   #13
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Stefan making the curves that much more difficult



Pass of the chicken





Helicopter crossing





That's Stefan, waaaaayyyy down there







Passo Pordoi











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Old 06-09-2011, 03:16 PM   #14
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Bolano to Passo de Stelvio

We ran out of daylight when we reached Bolzano, Italy. Google searched for hostels and found it full, but the desk clerk said try this one and gave us a number. It turned out to be the dorms of a Catholic boarding school. My kid is in the dorms in college this year. His dorm is 1/4 of the Catholic dorm. This place had a nice private bath with heated towel drying bar. The room was large with lots of windows, two built in desks and a flat screen TV.
And I forgot to take a picture of it.....

The climb to Passo de Stelvio





Something like 44 switchbacks going up. 123454321turn23454321turn23454321turn23454321turn2 3454321turn. For about an hour.










The view back down while we have lunch.






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Old 06-09-2011, 03:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyred View Post
Setting sail at dusk from Alcona. We followed the shoreline at least three hours in the darkness


Anyone have any idea what this is?


Looks like a Opel Kapitan
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