ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-08-2014, 09:27 PM   #1
2WheelieADV OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
2WheelieADV's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: NJ
Oddometer: 338
Swiss & Italian Alps. July 2014

You can take a man out of places, but you can't take the places out of man.
I was asking myself what is more important to me in a journey: the roads or the surrounding views? My answer was the road first because I ride them and enjoy each turn, then comes the view (not to diminish the second).
Here I had to rethink it.

In 2012, me and my friend took a trip thru 13 countries in Europe.
We rode all types of countrysides, different small towns and large cities.
We did good part of Alps in France and Italy, and that was the most remembered experience we had. I said that one day I have to come back here and ride this unique part of the world.

Last year we took a trip in Pyrenees and Mallorca which was
smaller, but nevertheless left memories for life.
Flying back over the Swiss Alps, I said that that's where my next ride will be.

So, I was working on preparing this trip for many months, planning the roads and re-planning again and again. Talking to different people on ADV forum who are familiar with the area and got all the info I needed and more.

So I'll start from Milan where we landed and started the trip from.








Here are some streets of Milan.












Parking for bikes & scoots




Honda
































LaScala

2WheelieADV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2014, 11:00 AM   #2
tansinwalker
Adventurer
 
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Oddometer: 61
Nice pictures, I'm in..
__________________
Santi
Madrid, Spain
2011' BMW F650GS
tansinwalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2014, 05:31 PM   #3
GB
Mod Squad
 
GB's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto, ON
Oddometer: 56,580
Thanks for taking us along!! Italy is such a lovely place to ride and the only place I've been where in the pecking order of the road, motos rule!!

__________________
ADV decals, patches & flag? Here
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2014, 06:46 PM   #4
Roland44
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Alaska
Oddometer: 803
Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
Thanks for taking us along!! Italy is such a lovely place to ride and the only place I've been where in the pecking order of the road, motos rule!!

As a 1/4th Italian I am really happy to hear this

Seems like you had a lot of fun OP, keep the pictures coming! Subscribed.
Roland44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2014, 08:06 PM   #5
2WheelieADV OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
2WheelieADV's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: NJ
Oddometer: 338
More of Milan

I took from the hotel window. This poor guy spilled a bucket of ice-cream he was delivering, and now cleans it out




Breakfast at the hotel





I'll have more pics of Milan after coming back there from the trip.
The next morning we went to pick up the bike.
Setting it up...






So there we were on our way. Went thru different streets of Milan including the residential areas which I liked even more then the center town. Very clean and green.

Ready to go!



Short video of Milan. Mostly where locals live. We passed there first day on a way to Swiss Alps.
http://youtu.be/xqoye_1HYio




Stopped at lk Como for some coffee, wine and beer




After resting on Lake Como we continue the ride toward the Alps, but I'm making a little detour to ride parallel to the lake. It is a narrow twisty road going thru beautiful hilly little towns.



















Afrer riding for about 20 mins, I'm turning west toward the autostrada and Switzerland.

We got stopped at the check point by Swiss polizzei. Just a random selection. He saw our Italian plates and said in Italian to turn off the engine. Then switched to English. He just checked my NJ license and let us go.

Swiss border. And that's where I got the Vignette at. I think it was about 45$ for a year. Why can't they sell it for a week or even a month is beyond me... (Now it's sicked no my car's rear bumper )




This is the first day's route.
I divides it into 2 parts. First is to Lk. Como and from there to the start of the Alpine region
http://goo.gl/maps/DGVwV

And this is the ride thru Swiss Alps with several big passes on the way -
http://goo.gl/maps/VzIOk

2WheelieADV screwed with this post 11-09-2014 at 08:21 PM
2WheelieADV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2014, 03:00 AM   #6
MichaelJ
Beastly Adventurer
 
MichaelJ's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Sterling, Virginia, USA
Oddometer: 2,320
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2WheelieADV View Post
And this is the ride thru Swiss Alps with several big passes on the way -
http://goo.gl/maps/VzIOk
You rode RIGHT by some really good stuff

Guess that you'll have to go back.
__________________
Michael J. - IBA #3901
Ten years in the Alps (so far)
Alpine Trip Reports: 2006, 2007, 2009
Pictures, pictures and more pictures
MichaelJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2014, 04:19 AM   #7
Schussboelie
Studly Adventurer
 
Schussboelie's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Belgium
Oddometer: 612
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJ View Post
You rode RIGHT by some really good stuff

Guess that you'll have to go back.
Well it looks like he did the San Gottardo, Furka, Grimsel, Süsten and Oberalp.
Not too shabby I would say.
__________________
2013 KTM 1190 Adventure R
2013 KTM 1190 Adventure
2009 KTM 990 SMT
2000 Suzuki SV650
2 x 1999 Suzuki TL1000R
Schussboelie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2014, 07:17 AM   #8
2WheelieADV OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
2WheelieADV's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: NJ
Oddometer: 338
Geez, something wrong with this map . I guess cas the passes are closed by now. But yeah, these are the passes which will ride.
2WheelieADV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2014, 05:26 PM   #9
2WheelieADV OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
2WheelieADV's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: NJ
Oddometer: 338
Ok, so we're continuing toward the Alpine region, and from the autostrada the mountains are already letting you know about themselves.






Somewhere in the middle of the first half of the route the temps are getting colder. In few minutes I see a long line of cars standing with no end in sight. And in few more minutes they're coming to a complete halt. The GPS is saying that we have to take an exit soon, although I see no exits are coming up. There is a service area real close and we're getting out to use the bathroom.

The traffic gem is getting even longer now. I ride between cars and on a shoulder (the beast is wide with the sidebags) to move forward and in the end I see a traffic light just before a tunnel. This is a famous and a longest tunnel (I think like 10 miles or more, if not mistaken) cutting thru the Alps to the other side in the Switzerland. I saw it on TV some time ago. In the 90's there was a huge fire in it caused by a tanker truck, and many people melted even those who hided in the outlets, as the temps rose over 1000 degrees.
So the traffic light now allows certain cars at a time to enter the tunnel in order to prevent accumulation. Since the weekend is coming, lot's of campers are moving that way and created this huge backup.

Now, in about quarter of the way in the tunnel, I'm realizing that I'm riding somewhere where I don't need to be there in the first place. If I cross the tunnel, my route will be completely thrown off the track, and I can loose hours which I don't have, to track back. I need to u-turn. The tunnel is one lane each way and traffic is constantly moving. Luckily there are pool-over pockets several kilometers apart on both sides, so I ride to the next pocket to get off the way. Now I'm waiting for the traffic to clear, but I know that my loaded tall beast with a passenger will not have enough clearance to turn around without a broken turn, but the traffic is constantly moving in both directions. To my luck there is another pool-over on the opposite side, but just a bit forward. I wait for the traffic to clear on both sides and have just enough time to cross over before the oncoming truck.
Cool, now I'm on the other side. Letting the traffic pass, I'm riding back.
The tunnel is VERY hot, and we ride and ride until I finally see the end (or the start) of it.

Now I'm following the GPS very carefully not to miss an exit. Few turns and the REAL thing is starting.


In a few turns we're starting the Tremelo road. An old road made of cobblestones twisting its hearpinned corners upwards. It is unguarded in many places. The road is leading to the Gotthard Pass.
There is a new and faster one with fast speed turns, but this one is where the challenge is :)




Some corners are paved, I guess for more grip.







New road is on top





Temps are getting colder and finally at the top it starts drizzling. We getting off to have some coffee and take pics.







There are religious sculptures or sights at many passes. I guess they're there to keep riders safe (please correct me).




and not so religious




On the other side, going down it becomes wider and faster, yet still lot's of fun...









2WheelieADV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 01:14 PM   #10
Cooltours
Rider of passion
 
Cooltours's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2004
Location: Zuerich, Switzerland
Oddometer: 1,485
OMG, you made a U-Turn in the Gotthard tunnel!?!? Whooha! Each foot of that tunnel is under constant observation and they are extremely, I mean extremely-extremely acidified with such things like performing a U-turn.... Haa! Just to give you a taste: I was depositing my drivers license for a month back in 1990, when I cut over a solid line. And that was not in a tunnel... They'd have taken your bike, your house and your dog too in case you'd be caught performing a U-turn in THAT tunnel.... Congrats! Sure the footage of THAT moment will be finding it's way into the "100 most cocky situations in the tunnel's history"

BTW: The fire was 1999 in Montblanc Tunnel in France, a very shitty thing indeed with 39 killed, and the reason, why all tunnels in Europe have been checked on, and improved with extensiv safety features.
Cooltours is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 02:26 PM   #11
2WheelieADV OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
2WheelieADV's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: NJ
Oddometer: 338
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooltours View Post
Sure the footage of THAT moment will be finding it's way into the "100 most cocky situations in the tunnel's history"
I'll look for it on Discovery channel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooltours View Post
BTW: The fire was 1999 in Montblanc Tunnel in France, a very shitty thing indeed with 39 killed, and the reason, why all tunnels in Europe have been checked on, and improved with extensiv safety features.
Thanks for clarification.
2WheelieADV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 02:55 PM   #12
GiorgioXT
Beastly Adventurer
 
GiorgioXT's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2003
Oddometer: 1,386
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2WheelieADV View Post
I'll look for it on Discovery channel


Thanks for clarification.
There was also a big accident in October 2001 in Gotthardtunnel, with 11 deaths … that couple of years were particularly tragic, since also the Tauerntunnel in Austria had a similar accident in 1999 .

Cooltours is right, tunnels now are the most controlled stretches of road...
__________________
Giorgio Betteto "GiorgioXT" - Padova - Tai di Cadore -Italia
DRZ400 S '03 XT600 '90 XT550 '82 XT500 '81 - giorgioxt@email.it - www.polverosi.org - EchM#645
"se sei incerto tieni APERTO !
GiorgioXT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 03:28 PM   #13
2WheelieADV OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
2WheelieADV's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: NJ
Oddometer: 338
So we descent from the Gotthard Pass. The road is twisty and very smooth. It is always easier to ride down then up :)










But then the rain starts drizzling on and off, but not to the point of having the rain gear on. I'm wearing a rainproof liner under my jacket (and btw it proved itself), but for some strange reason I forgot to take with me the pant's lining. Janna's gear is not waterproofed.
Climbing back up. Road is never straight and wet at places. Looks like we managing to avoid the rain by now. The nature is stunning. Forget about the pictures, this has to be seen in person!
But this is the most I can do here - pictures.











Up and up and we're at Furka Pass. One of the coolest passes in Alps.
This hotel is in the middle of the road turn. Around the cornet the right the descent starts again.





It is late in the afternoon, around 6, and suddenly the fuel light pops up. We're deep in the mountains and I didn't see any gas station around.
Passing a small village of few houses. No gas there. We stop to check the GPS. 2 more bickers pulling up on ADV bikes. They're also American and having the same problem. We checking our GPS's and they all show the same 6 kilometers further on, in a different direction from our route. There should be one down there. Ok, nothing to do, we go there. Down and down, the indicator is blinking. 6 km passed we in a small village and there is a pump! Good... but it's a diesel.
One person is crossing the road, and we asking where is a next bensin station. He points go ride for another 8 km in the same direction toward Ulrichen. Sux, 8 more... and then I have to track back all of this... but nothing to do -we go there. Turns out that it looks like less than 8km. But it's closed for a day.


I see a machine where you can use the credit card. I don't knkow why, but I didn't see any pumps with a credit cd slot in them, but rather there is a machine like a poll between pumps where you put the pump # and pay. Good. I put the card in... and it's declined.

Now I remember the incident where me and my friend on a previous trip were looking for a gasolina in France, but our cards were declined because it works only in the attendance store and not in the machine (for some unknown to me reason).

Before I'm starting to flip out, Janna noticing a cash slot and the word like "banknote"!! Wewww, I put 20 and the comes alive and starts pumping into my tank!!!
It counts... 18euros, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23... I'm watching in amazement... I put 20eu and gas pumps non-stop... I'm happy to fill more gas, and don't even realize that it flows freely, out of beemer's tank making a nice waterfall or rather bensinfall spilling all over the rear and down on pavement...

Ok, I close the cap and think... What if I were to put 5eu in the machine, would it still give me the unlimited gasoline?? Who knows.

Now, we have gas and can ride on. Wait, I have to pee before we go. So I go behind the corner, while unzipping my pants on the way. I'm hearing something falling on the ground. Looking around, see nothing and don't pay much attention to it.

While I'm peeing, I see my wallet is laying on the asphalt few feet away...
Wow, not much cash, but my only credit card which I use here.... I realize that after paying for gas, I put the wallet in my jacket and didn't close the pocket well enough. Then, while I was walking and unzipping, I pulled up the side of my jacket and the wallet just went overboard. Geez.

Ok, we're happy everything worked out well, and the happy bike is pulling us back up the mountain the way we came from. Still lot's of territory to cover and it's getting late.

We passing the American guys who were also looking for gas at that diesel pomp. When we passed them, I'm thinking that maybe I should have stopped and point them in the direction where the gas is... But I zoomed by and don't have desire to turn around.

We're climbing the elevation and passing yet another mountain pass. (Grimsel if I remember correctly)








Continue riding and the clouds are falling on the road, bringing bad visibility, rain and cold. Janna doesn't wants to stop for the raingear, but rather continue to our destination. The GPS shows 70km left, and I'm pushing forward.





10km in, and I feel that my pants and boot penetrated by water and cold. I push ahead, but every km seems like 10 on this wet and twisty road with sharp turns and bad visibility. It's cold and wet.
Another 10 km in, and I feel my upper back is giving up. It stiff as wood and I can't feel it. 50 more km to go. Now We're both wet and cold.

Suddenly at the next curve we see a house and a parking lot. I'm pulling up to make a stop and relax. If we're to continue, we need to get the rain gear on. Too late using it against the water, but at least it will prevent the cold getting in.

Janna gets off and walks to check out the place, and if we can sit and warm up for a few mins in there. Turns out it's a hotel for rock climbers. We debating if to continue or just stay here for the night. She comes back saying that they have rooms available. While we're thinking, I questioning myself if it's wise to continue, as I know the road is really long with at least one mountain pass. Suddenly she starts shivering unstoppably...
I say, that's it - we're anchoring right here.
I feel such a relive that we do't have to continue.

Taking a room. Very interesting hotel. Climbers preparing their ropes for the next day climb. In a separate room classes with an instructor are on the way.

We drop our stuff on the floor, out of the wet cloth, and out to get food. Amazingly the jacket lining held the water out, but the jacket itself is soaked.

I can eat a horse by now, Need energy restock. What a good decision we made to stop here.






A view from our window..






Mmmmmm the radiator is warm and nice
...And it's July!



Drying out the clothes




My charging station






"Restaurant" in Swiss stile.






Janna orders "Hungarian goulash"




I order a well deserved beer and German sausage with home-made potatoes in sauce. Mmmmmm so good!



Food is superbly tasty. In general the food in Europe is much better then in the State. Maybe it has to do with the additives they pour into the food back in states.
And the food in this hotel was superb.

Another good thing is that the hotel has a washing/drying machine, so we could dry our rest of the cloth and gear.
Turns out we were just few kilometers before the Susten Pass.

2WheelieADV screwed with this post 11-12-2014 at 04:48 PM
2WheelieADV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 08:51 PM   #14
Krime
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Toronto, Canada
Oddometer: 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2WheelieADV View Post
Doh! Looks like you missed the Rhone Glacier on the Furka. This shot you took is the entrance to it... just inside that gift shop and out the back.

I did the exact same thing the first time I stopped in that parking lot in 2012 and had no idea the glacier was right there. I was so urked by it, I had to revisit it during our 2013 trip.

Great report, I remember your posts in the planning stages. It's nice to see those familiar sights, even the weather looks to be the same so far.
Krime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 09:02 PM   #15
D.T.
One wheel wonder...
 
D.T.'s Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2004
Location: Moneyapolis, MN
Oddometer: 11,185
wOOt!
__________________
Quote:
Originally posted by burgerking So?
Holland is about the most expensive country in Europe when it comes to bikes and fuel..Stop whining and go riding It's just money and you only live once...
D.T. is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 04:26 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2015