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 09-17-2014, 11:08 AM   #1
hitmanh OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
hitmanh's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Cambridge, UK
Oddometer: 163
Taking Sandy for a ride.

Hi all,

I'm currently sat in a B&B in the Vosges du Nord, drinking a beer and trying to avoid watching bloody awful French television, so now might be a good time to start on a ride report. Apologises for brevity and typos, this is being written on my smartphone and I've just started beer number 4, so this may yet go rapidly down hill.

Regards Matt

Sneak preview


Edit: Tidied up thread a little
__________________
BMW 850R
BMW K100 naked
BMW F800GSA T


hitmanh screwed with this post Yesterday at 10:51 AM
hitmanh is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 11:19 AM   #2
hitmanh OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
hitmanh's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Cambridge, UK
Oddometer: 163
So, where to begin. This all started a few months ago, when I booked three weeks off work, with the intention of heading into Europe on my '13 f800gsa, the sandy in the title and seeing how many countries I could hit. I started researching routes and reading relevant ride reports when I found an excellent ride report to the Alps (I will link to this and others when I'm home again on friday).

Edit: Krime's excellent ride report here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=984352
and http://www.alpineroads.com/ was incredibly useful in finding interesting roads to ride

I was pretty much instantly hooked on the Alps, and through away most of my current plans and started from scratch. The route would be, from Cambridge, UK, to Calais, then to Switzerland via the Lorraine national park, over the grimsel pass, furka pass, and stelvio pass to Italy, back over stelvio and head to Austria, take the gross glockner pass, and nockalm strasse, then up to Berchtesgaden, take some the Alps strasse, and head west to the southern edge of the black forest, north through the middle of the black forest, up to the Vosges due nord, up to Belgium, Calais and home. 11 days in total, and about 2200 miles.

Regards Matt
__________________
BMW 850R
BMW K100 naked
BMW F800GSA T


hitmanh screwed with this post Yesterday at 10:10 AM
hitmanh is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 11:32 AM   #3
hitmanh OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
hitmanh's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Cambridge, UK
Oddometer: 163
Kit list for this little sojourn into the wilds of western Europe.

A sand coloured (or diarrhoea brown) F800gsa
A garmin Montana gps, to be forever known as crapnav, programmed with all routes , matching tracks, plus hotel/b&b locations, nearest pubs, etc.
A set of wolfman adventure soft panniers
1 recycled plastic top box from my 850r
Pile of clothes
Tool kit, puncture repair kit
Passport
Bunch of Euros and a credit card
Fuji xpro1 camera, two lenses
Smart phone

I decided to be a true adventure and rough it in 3 star hotels and b&bs. This way I avoided the bulk and weight of camping gear and the joys of sleeping on the ground, being damp, and camp site shoer blocks. Go me.


Budget wise, I'd allowed my self 100 euro per day for hotel/B&B/fuel/dinner and snacks. I also had a small fund to cover tolls separately, as I tried to avoid tolls as much as possible, I knew I wouldn't be able to 100% and I didn't trust crapnav enough to keep it clean (I would be proven right later in the journey). There were some tolls I was very willing to pay, these would be the high roads and passes such as NockAlm Strasse and the Gerlos Mountain Road

The hotel budget was on the dot, at the end. I'd mixed it up quite a bit price wise, the cheapest was 32 euros, the most expensive 90 euros (final night treat) and my daily average came out at 49 euros for the 10 nights. Fuel was generally cheap, only the 2 commute days (the first two days) requiring more than 25 euros in fuel, the other days just requiring a top up and between 13-19 euros for the day. The GSA tank range was very handy, at around 250 miles for non-motorway riding (fully loaded bike and my rather portly arse not withstanding). Food was generally ok price wise, and very generously portioned. Most nights, less than 25 euros would get you a starter or desert, a main and a couple of beers, breakfast was included in the hotel cost at all places and all were happy for me to take an extra breadroll and make up a lunch from breakfast supplies (some even encouraged it, providing chocolate bars, fruit and drinks to take away as well).

I carried around 150 euros/swiss franks in cash, in case of problems with credit cards (in the end I only found one garage where my Visa wouldn't work) and because several of the B&Bs were cash only, and just topped up the cash reserves when required from an ATM. Several of the B&Bs where cash only.
__________________
BMW 850R
BMW K100 naked
BMW F800GSA T


hitmanh screwed with this post Yesterday at 11:12 AM
hitmanh is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 11:45 AM   #4
hitmanh OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
hitmanh's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Cambridge, UK
Oddometer: 163
Day 1

Cambridge to Nantrise, near Lorraine regional park

Simple enough journey, m11 down south, Dartmouth bridge, m20 to Folkestone. Can't go wrong, unless you pick a garage that's just been robbed and undergoing forensics, for a fuel stop. Ended driving a few miles extra, to find another garage, and came close to running out of fuel on the first day. Finally got fueled up, and down to the Eurotunnel, which is an amazing my smooth experience in several ways. As I arrived early, they allowed me to get on an earlier train, meaning I didn't have hang around for an hour.

10 minute wait and was allowed to board. Road over the the boarding area, sat to one side then myself and two other bikes drove on, parked up and ready to go. The train moved out of the station so smoothly I didn't even feel it pull of. 35 minutes later in Calais and getting ready to ride off.
__________________
BMW 850R
BMW K100 naked
BMW F800GSA T

hitmanh is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 12:00 PM   #5
hitmanh OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
hitmanh's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Cambridge, UK
Oddometer: 163
Off the train, and straight into the French road system.feeling quite nervous as this was my first time on the wrong side of the road, felt very strange. Hit the A16, and headed for the A26 which would be the majority of the days ride. Slight issue when crapnav sent me down the wrong road, but it was easy enough to circle back and crapnav got it right the second time around.
Made very good progress down the A26, the 130kph speed limit (around 83mph) was a pleasure as was the low traffic and excellent quality roads and generally very good driving habits of the French. Parts of the A26 are tolled, cost about 13 Euros for the section I did.
Came off and was onto normal roads, then some excellent back roads and eventually reached my first stop at Nantrise, around 6.30. Lovely little b&b out in the sticks, ran by a friendly Dutch couple. Highly recommended stay.

Total mileage for the day, 373miles.
__________________
BMW 850R
BMW K100 naked
BMW F800GSA T

hitmanh is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 12:05 PM   #6
hitmanh OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
hitmanh's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Cambridge, UK
Oddometer: 163
Right, the beers kicking in, the bladders kicking out, so that's me done for tonight. Destination Mons tomorrow, will add another section then. Good night!

Matt
__________________
BMW 850R
BMW K100 naked
BMW F800GSA T

hitmanh is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 06:56 PM   #7
Tom48
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Tom48's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2004
Location: Fremont NH
Oddometer: 369
Great start.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
__________________
Thomas Sells
Tom48 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2014, 02:05 AM   #8
Kalk
n00b
 
Joined: Sep 2013
Location: Cairns, Queensland, Australia, Australia
Oddometer: 6
Looking forward to next instalment
Kalk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2014, 02:28 AM   #9
Tyrepower
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Tyrepower's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Perth WA
Oddometer: 118
No pictures.................Don't believe it really happened!!!!! You could be sitting at home in your lounge room writing this. But I will follow along just in-case your not making it up.
Cheers Richo
__________________

My biggest fear is when I die, my wife will sell all my bikes for what I "told her" they cost!!!

It's all good fun until someone gets hurt......... then it's hilarious!!!
Tyrepower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2014, 08:32 AM   #10
hitmanh OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
hitmanh's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Cambridge, UK
Oddometer: 163
Oh, don't worry, have lots of pictures, just awkward to upload via smart phone. Home tomorrow, so will start then.

In the mean time I'm going to get my lips around something wet and Belgian.
__________________
BMW 850R
BMW K100 naked
BMW F800GSA T

hitmanh is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 02:26 AM   #11
Tyrepower
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Tyrepower's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Perth WA
Oddometer: 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by hitmanh View Post
Oh, don't worry, have lots of pictures, just awkward to upload via smart phone. Home tomorrow, so will start then.

In the mean time I'm going to get my lips around something wet and Belgian.

Okay, believe you now...................... Great looking country side.

PS enjoying the story so far.
__________________

My biggest fear is when I die, my wife will sell all my bikes for what I "told her" they cost!!!

It's all good fun until someone gets hurt......... then it's hilarious!!!
Tyrepower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 08:53 AM   #12
hitmanh OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
hitmanh's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Cambridge, UK
Oddometer: 163
So, finally back at home, yay.

Before continuing with sojourn around the hillier parts of europe, I shall backtrack slightly to add pics to the story so far.

First, my mighty steed, one dust coloured stock 800GSA with a furry seat and a cheap topbox recycled from an older bike. I will fit a pelicase at some point, which will be wired for power.


Here is the planned route, approximately 2500miles in total, covering France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, a slight meander in Italy, and Belgian and Luxembourg on the way home.
__________________
BMW 850R
BMW K100 naked
BMW F800GSA T


hitmanh screwed with this post Yesterday at 10:52 AM
hitmanh is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 09:02 AM   #13
hitmanh OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
hitmanh's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Cambridge, UK
Oddometer: 163
Back to day 1

The route is mainly motorway/autoroute for the majority, so I won't both posting the GPX or my actuall track. It only gets interesting once I'd leave the autoroute at Guignicourt, starting on major single lane raods and gradually getting more and more quiter routes as I get further into the country side, until eventually on single lane paved farm roads. The B&B, Chambres d'hotes Villa Nantrisé, is based in a sleepy little farm village, where not a lot happens.



The B&B, is rather nice though. Quiet, well appointed, run by a lovely Dutch couple, just what I need at close to 8 hours on the bike.



I met a German couple just coming to the tail end of their tour around Europe and had a nice chat about bikes. The owners cooked us an excellent dinner, then I retired for a few beers and to write up my notes and check out the next days travel.



Quick attempt to bribe crapnav into behaving
__________________
BMW 850R
BMW K100 naked
BMW F800GSA T


hitmanh screwed with this post Yesterday at 11:11 AM
hitmanh is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 09:52 AM   #14
hitmanh OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
hitmanh's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Cambridge, UK
Oddometer: 163
Day 2.

Up early(ish) the next morning for breakfast in the garden, then headed off. The next leg is to Meiringen, in Switzerland.

The road outside of the village takes you through the American ww1 cemetery at Romagne-sous-Montfaucon
The ride through the cemetery was very quite an experience, with a low mist and the early morning sun coming down through the trees and mist. I wished I'd stopped, paid my respects and took a few photos, but unfortunately didn't as I'd only just started out. One of the moments you look back and think "why did I do that"?

Today was another distance day at 285miles, some good roads through Lorraine regional park then mainly Autoroute, with some excellent Swiss back roads at the end.


Reached my hotel just after 6pm, after an uneventful ride, checked in, showered the road grit off and hit the bar for a pre-dinner drink, the local brew being very good indeed, the hotel also upgraded my room to a double with ensuite due to another customer not arriving, awesome!


Had dinner and reviewed the next days ride, when the proper fun riding would commence!
__________________
BMW 850R
BMW K100 naked
BMW F800GSA T


hitmanh screwed with this post Yesterday at 11:04 AM
hitmanh is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Today, 12:05 AM   #15
hitmanh OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
hitmanh's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Cambridge, UK
Oddometer: 163
Day 3 - Meiringen to Bormio

Today was the first day of the fun ridng, which meant I didn't have to be up and out early. Had a leisurely breakfast, sorted my gear out, loaded up and check out. Today's route



First stop, Grimsel Pass. Due to the nature of the Alps, ie tall mountain ranges and long valleys, you often get incredibly localised weather. The first side of the pass was in cloud and very poor visibility, 20 meters or so in some places.

But, it was dry, there was very little traffic, and the roads are in great condition, so a hugely fun ride to the top! This was my first experience with the very tight corners you get on some of the switch backs, in some places barely one lane wide and steep. The little gaps in the cloud teased you with the hints of the wonderful views you can get up high.

At the top, the view of was... limited



but slightly better in the car park



Temperature was 6.5c, so didn't hang around to long for a break in the cloud and head of, Furka pass next.

Literally roud a few hundred meters down the other side and out in bright warm sunlight, lovely!

At the next park up, I snapped these, two sides of the same mountain.





And since this was my first pass



Continued along the road and over Furka
__________________
BMW 850R
BMW K100 naked
BMW F800GSA T

hitmanh 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 01:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014