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Old 06-19-2009, 02:00 PM   #31
slartidbartfast OP
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Location: Southern Louisiana or Southern England or ...
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Highlights from 3rd day on the continent - finally in the Alps

3rd day on the continent:
  • Had a relaxed start - Did a little (window) shopping - The ladies bought some cycling gear to deal with the hotter weather
  • Curves = 1000's
  • Switchbacks (Hairpin bends) = 100+
  • Max altitude circa 7000 feet.
  • Miss bling's gearshift fell off just as we approached the top of a pass - Good job we were stopping for ice-cream
  • Ambulance passed us going down as we were going up a steep series of tight switchbacks - motorcycle crash unfortunately.
  • Pimpdaddy took a wrong turn entering the autostrada - somehow managed to get back to us but we were wondering if we'd see him again
  • Fighting with change, tickets, barriers, etc. at toll booths
  • Stopped for pizza and got chased back onto the road by a thunderstorm
  • Crossed the flattest, hottest and least interesting area between Turin and Milan on the autostrada, at high speed, in the dark
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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride

slartidbartfast screwed with this post 06-19-2009 at 02:24 PM
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:46 PM   #32
DewNmoon
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Too tired riding for a few days as well as no I net access yesterday to post and a ton of pics to go thru.

Surprised the crew with the first real ride in the French Alps yesterday as a warm up to the Italian and Swiss mountains.

French Chateaus, clean roads crossing into Italia today.

Hmmmm what is it with all these Alfas, Fiats wound out and Ducs/ Aprillias usually in a group of 2-4 with exhausts thrumming, full leather, blitzing by on any twisty section of road that resembles someone throwing spagetti at a piece of paper and calling wherever it lands a road. The turns here make the Deals Gap look like an easy cruise. Mix it up with cycling teams training on the roads sometimes blitzing by in echelon, micro cars passing (playing chicken) with oncoming traffic....

On the Auto Strada to stretch the legs of the mixed rides with Italian drivers, My GPS registers a top speed of *#@ mph on our run. I guess Pimpdaddy has the advantage on us. He raises the electrically adjustable windshield on the RT, put on the cruise and grins.

Dinner last nite via GPS and local directions in some tiny Italian village. A neighborhood place obviously.. I'm translating, ha like I can read it. A mix if broken spanish work well enough to order a bit of Spag carbonara (sp). Lightning appearing over the mountains to the west tells us it's time to move out east.

Nite at Hotel Victoria? near Novarra I think..

Next morn Slardo's GPSs gets us off the Autostrada and the associated tolls to some local twisties to challenge us again.

At a gas stop we discover a screw sticking in the rear tire of MS Bling's rear tire. Pulling and inspection reveals it fortunately went in at an angle and didn't pierce the tire. San Carlos,up up thru somewhere off the beaten path along river valleys crossing into Switzerland.

Temp immediately drops from 25-27 degrees C to 11 or so. Then the rain threatens as we approach Furca pass.

Stopping briefly to give my navigator a break (she keeps urging me on faster faster..) Oh no the clouds close in leaving me with about 30-40 ft visability on 1st and 2nd gear switchbacks where the edge of the road is marked by what looks like painted stones and occasional low guardrails. (I'll be the first to admit I'm not fond of look over the edge. Especially when a couple of oncoming busses great me leavingjust enough clearance to allow the saddlebags to clear as I paddle walk by them in the clouds..

Catching up to the others Ms Bling discovers ... not leaving the bike in gear by accident will require road side mods to the shifter...

Over the pass into Andermatt in the rain, new meaning to cold tires and wet road to check enthusiasm.
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:16 PM   #33
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Random photos

Here are a few pics uploaded while waiting for the clouds to lift a bit.

Riding between the hedgerows



Lil Melissa really wanted to be excused from school to take te ride.




Sunrise over the channel




Swiss cattle herder

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Old 06-20-2009, 01:13 AM   #34
slartidbartfast OP
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A few pics from ...uh... two days ago (Continent day 3)

My new girlfriend, Tina ...loves having her ears rubbed


Tina's home in Villard de Lans


Stopped in Les Grand Goulets (yeah, it was so good we went back to ride it again)


Pimpdaddy horsing about


Pimpdaddy reattaching Miss Bling's shifter at the top of Col du Lautaret




Picked up a hitchhiker
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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride

slartidbartfast screwed with this post 07-01-2009 at 07:24 PM
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Old 06-20-2009, 02:51 AM   #35
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Some videos from our first day in the Swiss Alps

Day four on the continent (introduction to the Swiss Alps)

The old computer I brought with me is destined for the scrap heap when I get home - pitifully slow. Spent half the morning wandering around Andermatt while it processed and uploaded just the shortest video clips from yesterday's ride.

Here's approaching the Furka Pass from the South:




...and a short clip of the very "exciting" descent in the clouds from the top of Furka. Missed the view but at least couldn't see the huge unguarded drops


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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride

slartidbartfast screwed with this post 07-02-2009 at 04:26 AM
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Old 06-20-2009, 02:06 PM   #36
slartidbartfast OP
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Expletives depleted

We've now spent a day riding around the Andermatt area and I think we've all completely run out of suitable descriptive adjectives or expletives to describe the awesome scenery and experience. I've certainly screamed my self hoarse inside my helmet. ... "Yeeeeeaaahhhh Haaaaaahhh!"

We rode three passes around Andermatt today and, still not content, Dewnmoon Pimpdaddy and Mrs Pimpdaddy went back to the top of Furkapass, where it was clear and dry today although only 1 degree above freezing at the summit. They came back with cold hands and stickers.

In an effort to manage with limited capability to post, I'm still working on yesterday's photos. Will get some posted asap.
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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride
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Old 06-20-2009, 02:49 PM   #37
slartidbartfast OP
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More photos from our first day in Switzerland

Something the Italians and especially the Swiss do extremely well is to build mountain roads and tunnels. Driving through the shorter tunnels can be a bit disconcerting as your eyes may not have time to fully adjust. This is worse if the entrance or exit is on a tight curve as you might find water just inside on the bend - this has not caused any problems so far however. The longer tunnels we went through (up to a mile or two) were deliciously cool after the heat of Italy, although I understand the very long tunnels are quite hot inside (and not nice to ride on a bike.) We deliberately avoided all the very long tunnels - they bypass the nice passes after all - but some fairly long ones were unavoidable.


I had originally intended to head to Andermatt over the San Gotthard pass but fiddling around with GPS waypoints somehow led to us following the route to the Furka pass. This was not a problem. We were also well prepared to stop on the way up and add appropriate clothing to deal with the cold rain but we had not anticipated the thick fog (low cloud) as we approached the summit


It was worse on the north side of the pass and we rode down a couple of thousand feet before we got out of the cloud.




Another thing the Swiss do very well is mountain railways. By means of tunnel systems and cog railways, the trains can go just about anywhere the roads go. It seems strange to traverse a steep mountain face and keep crossing train tracks. There is a busy rail system connecting many of the small towns and villages in the area


We did not cover a huge distance(under 200 miles) but the intense heat of Italy took its toll and it still ended up as a long day in the saddle. We were worn out when we arrived in Andermatt and still had to spend a while trying to find the best deal on a hotel. We eventually settled on the Hotel Sonne, which had good rates, including breakfast, and a secure garage to park the bikes.

Going out to eat was an adventure in itself as we encountered numerous mad Brits on some sort of rally - They were all driving beat up old cars, painted or decorated in a number of "themes". Many of the crews were also dressed up. ...but that's best left for a future post
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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride

slartidbartfast screwed with this post 07-03-2009 at 07:24 PM
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Old 06-21-2009, 05:53 AM   #38
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Looks like an amazing trip so far.
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Old 06-21-2009, 11:44 AM   #39
DewNmoon
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Days worth of passes

Furka Pass last evening at 1 degree C

Today:
Oberalp Pass
Julia (sp) Pass in the Snow
Maloja Pass
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ER: The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.

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Old 06-21-2009, 01:03 PM   #40
slartidbartfast OP
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Yesterday...

Our circuit yesterday included the Oberalp pass, Lukmanier pass and St. Gotthard pass - Where we went part way on the old cobbled pass and part on the new pass with it's wide sweeping turns.













Back in Andermatt, I went for a walk - Saw the symbol of the local Canton and came back to find a band playing in front of the hotel.



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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride

slartidbartfast screwed with this post 07-03-2009 at 07:26 PM
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:38 PM   #41
lilPIMPdaddo
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looks like i know where i am going on my next vac.be safe see you in a few days.
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:12 PM   #42
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It's midnight and 85 degrees....and the Tigers lost, used to cruise the road between Munich and Zell am See...envy,envy,envy
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:34 PM   #43
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Looking a little better today....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Badger
It's midnight and 85 degrees....and the Tigers lost, used to cruise the road between Munich and Zell am See...envy,envy,envy
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Old 06-26-2009, 06:40 AM   #44
slartidbartfast OP
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Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Southern Louisiana or Southern England or ...
Oddometer: 4,772
Internet break

Three nights in a row with no connection has obviously interrupted the trip report. Everybody still alive and well and a few more adventures have passed under our wheels.

Highlights from the last few days:
  • Curves, switchbacks, hairpin-bends, etc. Stelvio Pass - What a ride!
  • Snow, rain and Bavarian castles
  • Twisties in the Black Forest - Oh Yeah!
  • Paris at midnight
  • Hotel adventures in France
  • Normandy
  • Good old-fashioned British rain
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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride

slartidbartfast screwed with this post 06-26-2009 at 06:47 AM
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Old 06-26-2009, 02:22 PM   #45
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Thanks Phil,

I'm enjoying the ride.
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