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Old 06-19-2008, 09:57 AM   #166
bLaCk 8east
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Sh*t Man

This is bloody depressing.
Having subscribed to this thread in the past, I just got an update due to the last post. It has pissed me off big time , memories of last years trip, down to Florence on the LC8 Nothing planned for this year for all kind of reasons Man, life sucks when there is not much to look forward too SHIT
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:41 AM   #167
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Thumb I am still alive !



You are so kind!

I am so lucky that I work in the tourist industry, and now is high season. And I am sorry to say that I give priority to riding (and not reporting) when I have time off. Since last time I have seen Valentino Rossi on Yamaha win MotoGP on Mugello even though Stoner had a much more powerful Ducati, I have been to The Netherlands, and generally around the place.

If it seems as the Belgian beer I had in Delft (in Low Countries) is leaning, you are right. You see, I can't report here on anything non-tuscan. Since Sicilia was a Tuscan (well, Pisan) colony until 1018 (mroe or less) I could report for there. Delft in The Netherlands heve never been Tuscan. But things are leaning (as the Leaning Tower, get it!). They even have a Leaning Tower! More to come!

I took pictures of Dutch food (well....), of Dutch girls, 17th centry towns, and quite a lot of beer. Mostly belgian, but also some Dutch.



I rode 1.500 km there, had a few beers with a friend, and rode 1.500 km back. On the way back, I passed over the Alps (as opposed to through the tunnell). In the clip above you can see a small part of the decent from San Gottardo. If you say "That road has cobble stones, no railing and a 1.000 meter fall" you are right again.

Much more to come from the ride itself.

Thank you very much (!) for your attention!

[TaSK]
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:43 PM   #168
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Thank you

I must have watched that video 3 times and each time when you made that line correction in the corner near the end of the vid it scared me I thought you were headed right for that very short barrier. Has Capa della Famiglia seen that vid? I'm sure she would have something to say about it. That ride looked like a great deal of fun, you had me accellerating, downshifting and braking through straight and corner. That was fun. Thank you for posting.

I for one would not be the least upset if you included other rides outside of Tuscany in this thread. After all you would have to ride through the Tuscan country side to get to wherever it is you are heading to, would you not? That's my reasoning anyhow. At least start another thread to tell us of those travels. 'tagesk's travels' maybe? I for one would be an avid reader.

Cheers, Guy
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Old 07-04-2008, 04:20 PM   #169
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Thumb Mugello, and other rides


Photo by Roy

The whole things started with a joke, and now it is Thursday and time for antipasto. We are gearing
up to MotoGP at Mugello. We start with traditional sott'olio and olives from the village.


Photo by Roy

The thing is, I have never been to any kind of motor-show in my life. After all, I used to be a university
professor, and we are known (and expected) to visit poetry-reading evenings with cool white wine
rather than 300 km/h things with Valentino Rossi. So it took some persuation. But here we are,
having spaghettine con vongole as primo.


Photo by Roy

The thing is, I have some friends that for many reasons are remarkably free to do as they want. Not that I
don't do as I want, but often I find that I want to make Capa delle Famiglia happy, and then spending a
weekend watching motorsport at some far-away place isn't part of the menu.
But involtini di tacchino with faggiolini cotto a pomodoro con salvie is absolutely on the menu. With a Chianti
that isn't stellar, but OK.


Photo by Roy

The my friends tell me that Rossi, Stoner and the whole MotoGP circus will arrive to a track near me, and that
they will also come, and life would be very much better for all of us if I got hold of tickets, did some decent
cooking, and were their guide in Toscana inthe weekend. As you can see from the picture; I carefully consider
if a Pellegrino Malvasia from Sicilia will go well with pecorino stagionata when the pecorino is served home-made
lemon marmelade. Nothing should be left to chance, I say.


Photo by Haukur

So while I arrange mundane things, people start arriving from all over Scandinavia. Over dinner we are very exited
about Mugello. Some have been to MotoGP before, but most of us are novices.

Here is what Wikipedia has to offer about Mugello:
Mugello Circuit (Autodromo Internazionale di Mugello) is a race track located in the Mugello region of Italy
near Firenze. Its length is 5.245 km (3.259 mi), it has 15 turns and a long straight.
I have no idea what this means (compared to other places). But we are coming along to check it out.

We get up Sunday morning, ready to go to Mugello. It turns out that we are not the only ones using this nice Sunday
morning to go to Mugello.





In fact, 144.000 people turn out to watch MotoGP that day. The little firm shows us passing a few hundred cars. It
is one of many film-strips I have showing the same thing. Morale: If you ever go to watch MotoGP at Mugello,
don't bring your car!



For me, a simple country boy, being in a crowd together with 144.000 (very!) enthusiastic Italians is a very
strong impression. Not used to it, and it makes me dizzy. Italians are not quiet. Not in general, and in
particularly not when an Italian wins the 125cc and an Italian wins the 250cc.

Now, the big question in life it this: What is best? That Rossi (on Yamaha) wins, or Stoner (an Australian) on
Ducati wins? Or, to set this in perspective, what would make you most proud: That one from your country
simply is the best MotoGP rider in the world, or that a small company from your country teaches the huge
Japanese comanies a lesson?





When Stoner came arond the corner, leading the pack, every Italian started screaming.



Here he is, the young Mr. Stoner, on a Ducati passing us at about 200 km/h.


Photo by Espen

And here is Espen's Ducati 1098 S. As he isn't Italian at all, he probably didn't give a damn about this Rossi-guy, but wanted Ducati to win


Photo by Haukur

But in the end Rossi on Yamaha won.


Photo by Roy

And we got ready to ride home.



Photo by Roy

On the way home we stopped for pizza. This one with salsicce e cipolla.

The nxt day we figured we deserved some better food, as yesterday's servings had left a lot to be
desired. The pizza was good, but a single pizza doesn't make a day, so to speak.

We deside to go to Montalcinello for lunch. The road there is suitably twisty for a Ducati 1098 S,
a Suzuki GSX-R, a Kawazaki ZX-14, a Honda of some sort, two Honda Transalp, and Bamsefar.



So here we are, all of us. We have a bucatini con ragu for primo.


Photo by Espen

And what griliata mista for secondo.


Photo by Roy

After lunch there is only one thing to do: Have a nap. I am so fortunate that I can grab one even sitting at the table. So I do.
They all snap pictures of me. They are even so kind as to place a box of sigarilli next to me. Ah, had I been awake I would
have had a sigar! Sweet dreams.


Photo by Roy

So here we are: Haukur on a Honda, Bjørn Arild on a Transalp, Espen on his Ducati 1098 S, Roy on a Transalp, Arne on his
Suzuki GSX-R, Bamsefar, and Arne on his Kawazaki ZX-14. No doubt what is the most farkled bike around here!


Photo by Roy

We rode home in not-optimal weather, stopping at San Galgano (the cathedral without a roof). To make sure the
weekend would be a sucess, we rounded it off with two kinds of Gorgonzola: Dolce and picante.

It worked well!

Thank you for you attention.

[TaSK]
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Old 07-06-2008, 02:31 PM   #170
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Great episode Task. You've great company and as ever nice food to round the whole thing really nice, especially the Gorgonzola in the end
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:11 PM   #171
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Good friends, a ride and great food. An excellent day once again. Thank you for sharing.

Cheers, Guy
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Old 07-08-2008, 01:42 PM   #172
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Thumb Pisa - Tromsø - Pisa - Delft - Pisa: Part 1

(The text beloning to a picture is always BELOW the picture).



many nice things to say about Tromsø, Norway. Among them that the midnight sun is faboulus. This picture was taken at midnight. Repeat after me: "Picture taken at midnight". However, the water is not an Alpine lake but rather the sea. And the white stuff isn't apple trees in bloom. Snow is nice on pictures. Not quite as nice if you have to live with it. Which is why I now live in Toscana!
The sun is shining, and the sky is blue. Temperature in the beginning of June with the sun shining and blue sky: 9 C.

Anyway, I show you this picture to give you an idea of the contrasts I see this week.




I have gone all the way up there to see one of my students defend his PhD dissertation. I am sure you are longing to learn more about the security-protocol programming-language Obol, but that will have to wait. I sit in the audience and harvest the glory of being adviser for such a bright student as PerM. Good for him

Then I fly back to Pisa. It is unlikely that I wil ever return to Tromsø. Goodby and the best of luck.




I have been fortunate enough to have students from several countries. One of them is Dutch. After some hesitation, he decided that when I left Norway, so would he. He has moved to Delft in The Netherlands. It would be terrible rude of me not to visit him in his new life.

Capa delle Famigla understands very well what a man needs, and does not object to me riding there

My plan was to ride from Pisa to Delft on Monday, visit my friend on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then ride home on Thursday. It is about 1.500 km each way, and it turned out that I would be unable to check in at the B&B I had booked after 21h, so riding up on one day become impossible.
Furthermore, Capa delle Famiglia doesn't like me riding 1.500 km (or more) per day. Thus I'll work at home on Sunday, have lunch and a nap, then ride a few hundred kms, stay overnight, and arrive in Delf at the B&B well before nine on Monday evening.
I took the picture by turning the camera "backwards" just after I left home and had turned onto the Autostrada.




The rain started a few minutes after I hit the Autostrada. There was nowhere to stop, and I became wet before I could put on my rain gear.



I also move the camera in behind the wind shield. That way I can take interesting pictures such as this one (autofocus isn't always what you want).



I ride without incident (or events) from Pisa north along the coast to La Spezia, turning north and crossing the Appeninni (for a suitable spelling of the name of those mountains) on the Autostrada at Passo della Cisa, crossing the Pianura Padana (Plain of Po) up to Milano, crossing the border at Como, and stopping for fuel again at the big autostop south of San Gottardo (which is a famous pass over the Alps).

I had salad simply becuase it is one of the few things that is very hard to not succeed in. The coffee, however, was awful. I'm still south of the Alps, and they spoke good Italian, but the coffee was German style. You can say many things about Switzerland, but the quality of the coffee decreases for every km you go north.




The video shows how I draw out from the Autostop and onto the A2 again.
I hate rain.




When you approach San Gottardo, you have three options: Take the A2 in a 17 km tunnel through the whole thing, take Road 2 (the new road) over the pass, or the old road over the pass.
Having passed (no pun intended) the tunnel, and started on the climb, I got to this one: Old (blue) or new (green)? I take the blue





However, the old one has cobble stones, which might not be the ideal thing to ride on when it is raining. In fact, I almost low-side in a hairpin with a several-hundred meter drop on the outside. So I chicken out, and turn back on the new road at the first possibility.



As I continue to climb, the rain intensifies and the fogs gets worse. Notice the car heading towards me here.




At one point the fog clears and I can suddenly see the old road coming up (I've just exited a tunnel on the new road). I promise: On my way back I will ride the old road!)





I descend on the north side of the Alps in steady rain. Riding like this isn't very nice. After some km I arrive at the lake Vierwaldstattersee, and I turn off the A2 Autostrada at Beckenried at random (it is here). The first thing I see is Hotel Edelweiss (webpage here). I parked Bamsefar in a locked garage, had a warm shower, some Swiss food (not worth discussing!) and three nice beers (worth discussing, but I had forgot my camera). Then off to my room in order to write a letter to a friend to tell her how nice Capa delle Famigla is to let me go on tours like this on my own.

546 km on a rainy afternoon.

Tomorrow I'll ride through Germany (in good weather!), then to Delft in The Netherlands (via Enschede).
Part 2 is here.

Thank you for your attention.

[TaSK]
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:47 PM   #173
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I want to ride that road too ... I had to laugh ... the only place I have ever had coffee get worse by the kilometer is when it's sitting in my car getting cold.

Cheers, Guy
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:29 AM   #174
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Thumb Pisa - Tromsø - Pisa - Delft - Pisa: Part 2




I get up at seven. Not because I like it, generally I don't. In fact, for me, it is much better to gain hours by staying up late
than getting up early. But I am fully awake, excited. I like to ride, and I like to ride for hours and hours.

If you like terminology with negative connotations, you would say that I am a loner. So be it. A day on the bike, a day without
interruptions, a day in solitude - that is a good day. And today I will ride through Germany and into the Low Countries. All alone.
But although it isn't raining, the clouds are low. Not as led gray as yesterday, but I want blue sky. Why do you think I moved
from Petro-dollar rich Norway (where the biggest problem is how to spend the money without driving up prices!) to Tuscany if
not for blue sky?



I go into the reception, find the key to my garage, and roll out Bamsefar. When I ride him around the daily errands, he drinks
about one liter of oil per 1.000 km we ride. But when riding more than 500 km in one go, and he doesn't even drink enough
for me to see a decrease in the glass. The day in January when I rode 1.682 km in one (very!) long day, he drank about 100
ml on the whole day. To me it seems as he uses most oil when I park him on teh side stand. At least, he makes a lot of
smoke in those cases.
After having stood on the main stand all night I let him rest on his side while I prepare for breakfast. Notice the rain
gear - I'm not confident.



It would be an outright lie to say that the coffee was the best I have ever tasted. Not revolting as in "Nescafé", and
not offending as in "American coffee", but still not something that will make the first two hours a pleasure. Not the
thing that will comfort me when my butt gets sore ( you know: "ai, ai, ai, my butt hurts, but that coffee this morning
was so pleasing I'll endure").
I am certain the bread was fresh (as in "not old"), but who wants bread for breakfast? I want a fresh svoglia con
ricotta
. That's what I want.



But it must be said that the dining room was very nice and estethically pleasing. The hotel has been extended
two times, and this is the old part. Very nice - I sat a while to savour the style and qualities of the place (and
to forget the coffee).



Time to go - I pull on the rain gear. Yesterday I was too late, and I hated it. You can clearly see the A2
higher up on the hill. Low clouds, it has rained (all night?), and I prepare for another wet day.



However - the moment I get away from the Alps, the sky opens up to my favorite colour: Blue. I stop several
times and slowly change from a rider with water-proof and well insulated gear, to one in proper summer
equipment. Ready for a fine day on the Autostrada (and Autobahn later).

I catch up with a Harley. He rides barely over the limit, and it strikes me that there might be a reason.
I decide to use him as a tug and check out if he is helpful.




He is very helpful (sorry for the crappy images). On several occations he signals for me to slow down, point at a little
green box next to the road (camera!) and then speeds up again. I ride with him from Luzern to Basel.
Thank you



As I average about 100 km/h I need to stop every second hour for petrol. Even though Bamsefar
hasn't tasted synthetic oil in his 100.000 km long life, he still runs at about 17 to 18 km on a liter of
petrol. And that is with a 202 cm tall Viking at the helm (at significantly more than 100 kg ), a
50 cm tall wind screen from Wunderlich, and side cases. I've passed into Germany and this is my
first stop there (not far from the border - the Swiss have some strange, non-compatible currency
so I don't know how to purchase things there).

Even though the coffee is German (I'll leave it to you fantasy to find words to describe a drink produced
by a German machine, in Germany, after the button labelled "cappuccino" has been pushed. In Hitch hikers
Guide to the galaxy it is described as "A drink not quite entirely unlike coffee".). I sit for several minutes
in the sun, enjoying the artifical lake and watching the fish.




Then I need to get rid of yesterdays dinner, and as I pulling up my trouser I feel something is moving behind me After having calmed down (there was noone there!) I understand I have found a marvel of German engineering: A self-cleaning
toilet with a revolving seat. And trust me - it works! The seat becomes spotless.



A sad thing to see.



But then, some fun.
If you haven't been on the German Autobahn, there is a side of yourself you don't know. Look at the sign on
both sides of the road: End of the 120 km/h speed limit. Or, in other words, no speed limit. The question is: Do
you manage to refrain from checking the maximum speed of your vehicle at least once?




If you personally manage to refrain, the film above shows you what it is like to ride a 2000 model BMW R1150GS at
185 km/h. After a few minutes the thrill is gone and I found that 140 km/h is my favorite cruising speed.
I don't know how much fuel Bamsefar uses with the throttle wide open for kilometer after kilometer, but
I expect it is quite a lot.




he German Autobahn is very, very boring. After a few hours the only thing to do is to make the passing
of trucks as eventful as possible. Not very exiting (to say the least!) but what can a man do?



Finally I arrive in Nederland. I enter at Venlo in the south. But just as I have entered I feel the urge to visit
Enschede in the west. So I turn back into Germany, ride up on the Autobahn 31, and enther Nederland again at Enschede.





Once upon a time, I used to live here. The film shows a neighborhood in the east part of Enschede, a pub
(De Toekomst), and little else. But for me, it was a place where I spent 18 exiting month. I draw to a halt
just in front of the door to the apartment where I used to live.
Oh well.



I motor on, and I recall the three most striking features of Nederland (and manages to capture them all in one
image). First there are bicycles everywhere. Not at all like it was 15 years ago when I lived there, but still
many more than what I am used to here in Italia.
Second, the bridge carries the train. WHen I lived there the Koploper (a train with a "bulb" up front just as
the Jumbo jet) was new and exiting. Now it looks old.
Third, the curved facades. I don't know what it is about the Dutch, but all building have curved facades.

I ride west from Enschede to Delft, where the Zumo directs me without hesitation to B&B Oosteinde.
Website here. Excellent service, good price, and secure parking for
the bike (what more can you ask?).




It turns out that when I arrive, there is nobody around. The reason is that Italy was being beaten by Nederland during
some sport thing. And the Dutch are even more interested than the Italians. As I don't care I had the rear part fo the
piazza (Dierenplats) all for my self. Dutch food, about which I will have more to say later.




On my way back to the B&B I came across this outstanding beautiful car. Any info out there about it?

1062 km on a nice day.

Tomorrow I'll check out Delft, eat Dutch food, drink Belgian beer, and watch the leaning tower.
Part 3 is here.

Thank you for your attention.

[TaSK]
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:04 AM   #175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaSK

outstanding beautiful car
indeed ! a volvo ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaSK
Any info out there about it?


/thierry
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:10 AM   #176
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Thumb Pisa - Tromsø - Pisa - Delft - Pisa: Part 3

[To recap: I've flew 4.000 km see some snow. Then 4.00 km back. Then I rode Bamsefar from Pisa to Delft (via Enschede). Then I saw Nederland
beat Italia in some sport-thing.]



I like to ride my bike. I like to ride my bike for hours and hours. I like to see the terrain change as I ride. I don't mind
10 hours in the saddle. So when I plan I whole day of uninterrupted riding I am excited. Too exited, it turns out.
When I wake up it is still dark. The clock at next to the bed glows nicely and keep me company. I try to sleep by
thinking about what I have seen in Delft during my two day visit.



I don't know what the Dutch think they eat, but in reality they eat patat. You can have it met of zonder. I recommend
zonder. I believe you need dedicated genes to digest that grease you'll get if you say met. I, for one, don't have
those genes.

The church in the background is the nieuwe kerk (the new church) in downtown Delft. They started on this supposedly
new church in 1351.




The thing they think they eat, but in practice don't eat, is the nieuwe haring. Now this, as opposed to the grease, is
excellent! All Dutch I know say that all Dutch eat it, but admit that they personally don't. Try it next time - excellent!



The Dutch have bicycle garages taking up precious parking lots from cars. I like that!



Delt sports a properly leaning tower, although it leans only about 1/3 of "mine" in Pisa.



Finally, you can buy Belgian beer so that inspiration can be found to write letters to friends
during the day.




And during the evening.

But it doesn't help. I don't fall back to sleep. You see, I have awfully much to do tomorrow at the office.
So I really need to get back home today. Home, fortunately, is on the other side of Europa. See for yourself here.
I am excited and unable to sleep because I need to ride a substantial leg today.

Getting up at 3 isn't my thing. But what can I do? I grab the camera and make sure I'll remember what time I got up.
Then I get up, get dressed, carry down the bags as quite as I can (if you have ever seen a typical Dutch stairs you
know you can't walk in them without making noise), and put everything on the bike. Then I push the bike out from
the back garden and onto the street (don't want to wake everyone in the neighborhood), and fire him up.







I ride off at 4 in the morning. It is cold, and I find a 24-hour gas station where I fill up the bike, buy coffee and a candy of
some sort. I'll have breakfast in a while - now I need to get going. I'ts 04:30 when I am ready and finally get going for real.
At about five the sun rises. Nederland is flat, flat, flat so I enjoy the sunrise in all it's colours.



At ten (after five hours of riding) I am in Germany on the Autobahn, and I am getting tired. Fortunately, I have inherited
from my father the ability to grab a power nap whenever I want. So I pull over at one of the service areas, find a bench,
and sleep for 20 minutes. No more. I wake up and feel refreshed. Change into summer gear, drink a bottle of water, and
I am ready for another go.




Bamsefar is in better shape today, it seems. With a 50 cm tall touring windshield from Wunderlich, a 202 cm (abotu 6'8") tall captain
who doesn't hide for anything (not even the wind, regardless of how much it is: He will not be be seen with his head
tucked in to reduce drag ) and who is a small passenger above 100 kg, with original side cases and a huge 52-liter
GIVI, Bamsefar manages 187 km/h (116 mph). For a long, long, long time.

I simply can't understand the Germans: How can you let us come and pollute your country (noise and exhaust) without
paying anyting? I means, the Swiss demand 30 euro for setting a tyre on their A2. But here I can let Bamsefar suck in
2-3-4 (?) liters per 10 kilometers without paying anything?
Do you hear me: I WANT TO PAY!


At five, a "dinner" and a lot of fuel after my nap, I suddenly can see the Apls in front of me. I have passed through
Germany without seeing anything of interest. Now I've passed through about half of Switzerland and I haven't seen
anything. But now, now I will climb the Alps!

Next installment will show you San Gottardo, the old road, how to pass over the Appeninni, and what not.
Part 4 is here.

Thank you for your attention!

[TaSK]
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:27 AM   #177
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Thumbs down Forgot lunch

I forgot this picture:




This is what a man looks like when he has ridden about 800 km (about 500 miles) and still have 600 km (about 400 miles) to go before slipping into bed with Capa delle Familgla, he is on the north side of the Alps but he knows he will ride the Old Road over Passo di San Gottardo, but he has to endure a "lunch" consisting of two industrially-made "panini" filled with "salad" and greasy "meat".
They offered me a plastic cup when I asked for a GLASS (I declined).

Part of the gloom comes from the fact that the man in question has just paid 3 euro in order to have coffee afterward, but has noticed that the coffee machine is not at all made by Pavoni or Rancilio or any other trustworthy producer of coffee machines. As far as could be determined from his side of the counter, the machine sported a badge saying SIEMENS.

Gloom.

[TaSK]
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tagesk screwed with this post 09-27-2011 at 11:04 AM
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:55 AM   #178
sfbmw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kktos
indeed ! a volvo ?





/thierry
Looks to be a 1961-62 Plymouth Valiant, i use to own this beast in a green color and had my first F^&%$^%$%$@@ in the back seat...>!!!!

ohoh excuse me...:O)..

must be the dutch in me..!
I was born in Gennep Limburg lived in Modena Italy for a few years and now live in San Francisco .

Hans
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:42 PM   #179
kktos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfbmw
Looks to be a 1961-62 Plymouth Valiant, i use to own this beast in a green color and had my first F^&%$^%$%$@@ in the back seat...>!!!!
ohoh excuse me...:O)..
must be the dutch in me..!
I was born in Gennep Limburg lived in Modena Italy for a few years and now live in San Francisco .
Hans
u're right, Mein Herr !
http://www.valiant.org/images/images.html
Vielen danke.
/thierry
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Old 07-09-2008, 04:14 PM   #180
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Great reports! Keep up the good "work"!
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