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Old 10-21-2010, 01:30 PM   #1
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Sweden to Austria and back

7 days of riding in July through Europe: Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Czhech Republic. Some countries more than others.


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Old 10-22-2010, 04:20 AM   #2
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That's riding!! Thanks for the teasers, now let's get a full report and pics posted

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Old 10-22-2010, 09:09 AM   #3
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We knew from the start that it would be a very hot and exhausting week for riding. We had just taken a short ride yesterday into Göteborg to get a look at the ship Ghöteborg before it left port for the summer. Wearing full riding gear at about 27 deg C and very humid. That was just a taste of what was to come…

Pre “vacation ride” ride, sort of… To check out the Swedish ship Ghöteborg. It’s a massive and impressive. OK, back to the bike related.

Today is Friday and preparation night, over a few beers of coarse. My riding buddy had to install an electrical outlet on his Tiger, so that he would be able to charge the iPhone while on the road. The all important headphone sets were attached inside the helmets for communication on the road. In addition to that we made a few other improvements to the bikes (and ploughed through the latest “Motorrad” Austrian Alps special edition) so that everything would be in top shape for the ride tomorrow.

Holy shiiit! We’re ready. Notice the dark outside the garage doors… that type of darkness during Swedish summer means that it is time to stop messing around an go to bed.

Saturday was spent packing our stuff and relaxing until we set off on the first days ride.

And so we set off! Already thinking (but not confessing): -What the hell do I need all these bags for?… ;) Do I need to say that this is the first trip longer than 3 days for the both of us. My buddy got his license last spring and I got it last fall. The “motorbike thing” is still quite new and exiting.

The map shows the monumental first day ride: 7 km in the city to the Kiel ferry… hehe. An easy start.

We had decided to take the ferry from Göteborg at Saturday night to arrive in the German City of Kiel Sunday morning. Probably our best decision yet as it saved us almost a days ride on Swedish, Danish and German motorways which isn’t exiting at all. We saved our motorway stamina for the true German autobahn.

Day 1:
Sunday morning came and the ferry arrived in Kiel. Went down to car deck early to un strap the bikes and figure out how to tackle the day.

Theme of the day:

Two idiots at an autobahn rest stop. The first day went along well and we wanted to put kilometres on the clock just to get as close to Switzerland as possible. Autobahn was our friend all day, but it was no exciting from a biking standpoint at all, as expected. The choice of where to stay fell on a camping ground along the river Main in Karlstadt, a small town east of Frankfurt.

Main by night
End Of day 1 – 608 km
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:22 AM   #4
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Day 2:

Main by morning. River barge passing by on the river.

Loaded up the bikes and had breakfast at the campground restaurant. Woops! As we sat there we discovered the pool area… nice! A morning swim. And then at 11am the day on the road got started.

Getting ready to hit the road.

Unfortunatly I have no photos at all from this days riding in Germany. The autobahn A81 is actually a rather impressing motorway, built in a way that only Germans could think of. An Autobahn like everyone else: straight and flat… in a part of the country with lots and lots of deep valleys. So what did the Germans do? They built a bridge over every valley so that the traffic can continue at high speed without compromises. An astonishing view of Baden-Württemberg from every bridge, presented by road sign telling the name, length and height. And then you reach the Neckartal bridge 900m long and 125m high over Neckar river.

I found this pic of the bridge on the webb.

By the late afternoon we had reached the border to Switzerland and had to park in the sunshine in 30+ degC. The border police wouldn’t let us park in the shade. My buddy had a hard time convincing me that we would be fine without the obligatory road tax (Vignette, applies only for Swiss autobahn, 40 euros). I tend to get a little negative when I’m hungry and am melting away in the heat… Fortunately he reminded me why we’re here: to ride the nice small mountain roads. And of coarse all did work out fine.

How about that for rest stop? It was really like flipping a coin when crossing into Switzerland. The look of the surroundings changed at once.

Once again we found a camping ground, this day in Wildhaus just 9km from Liechtenstein. By the way: we ended up sleeping in the tent all week as it was such a nice weather.
End of day 2 – 441km
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:10 AM   #5
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Fantastic! Riding that country is on my Must-Do-Before-I-Die list. More, please!

"If it doesn't blow smoke and make noise, it isn't a sport!" - radio ad for shop in Bozeman, MT
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:32 AM   #6
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Day 3

What a morning! Taking in the impressions of how beautiful the mountains are while waiting for the manager to arrive so that we could check out and get on the road. Had a breakfast of fruit and bread by the tent.

Johan working on the “cool look”. I told him he should start by changing the T-shirt. But the discussion turned to another direction, and we agreed I should probably get one of those British too.

The day started by descending 1000m down the valley then heading to Davos where we would go up the Flüela pass.

Flüela pass, looking down towards Davos. It was a fantastic climb up the pass all the way from Davos through the forests and up onto the open mountain. However, my bike had some trouble climbing as I pushed it during the intense heat this day. This day and the following two would prove to be the hottest on the trip. The bike just died uphill and I barely got it to a small parking at the side of the road. After it cooled off it was fine. It would happen 5 times total during the week. Depending on the temperature and only when I pushed it hard. But it always started back up after just a few minutes rest. You could think that a bike with “Africa” in its name would be able to cope with European summer. A few days later I had an idea about the reason, which I later have found a solution for. My bike had an aftermarket fuel pump, vacuum driven. The way it was installed and high temperature made it create gas pockets at the suction port, and subsequently stopped feeding petrol to the carbs.

The bike trip just got a little more interesting as I never know when the bike could stall.

What can I say… Switzerland beats the hell out of Swedish roads. Sometimes...

Chasing next corner.

Don’t I look cool? ;)

Looking straight at... ehrm. nope!I’ve got no clue.

The ride down made me hungry and when we reached Zernez it was time for a lunch in the shade. A very expensive but refreshingly good salad at little restaurant. Across the street at the other restaurant were a battalion of goldwings and BMW cruise ships parked. Is it really any fun going up and down the alp passes on one of those?

Lago di resia, in Italy before crossing into Austria.

Tried to swap the AT for a Suzuki. No luck.
End of day 3 – 294km

beffo screwed with this post 03-20-2011 at 03:31 AM
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:30 PM   #7
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Det var ju inte helt fel! Mer?
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Old 10-22-2010, 01:11 PM   #8
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Hemlängtan eller...
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Old 10-23-2010, 07:19 AM   #9
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Day 4

Waking up at the shitty camping ground in Huben/Längenfeld, right under the power line. Had breakfast at a bakery in the village.

(Wow! I just looked at the gps log in google earth and zoomed in on Sölden. You really do get the sense of 3D when you pan over the steep mountains.)

OK then. So we passed through Sölden and aimed for Timmelsjoch Hochalpstrasse/Passo Rombo at 2525m.
mmm… I have to say: Best day ever! on a motorbike.

The ride up was not as fantastic as Flüela pass yesterday, but once we’ve reached the top and looked down the Italian side of the pass. My oh my…



yupp… simply heaven.

Johan is first out.

Soon it is my turn. I can barely make myself to wait for him to finish the first stretch and prepare to shoot some photos of me.



Watch out, a parked Fiat. It would be an even better experience to ride these roads without all the cars and motor homes.

That’s where we came from. It’s kind of a steep mountain side.

When we got to the valley in St Leonardo in Passiria it was so incredibly hot when we stopped at an Agip fuel station to fill up. From now on, I had a hard time to not overcook inside my rainproof motorbike jacket. 36deg C. No more photos today. But we did do another pass before pitching the tent. The Jaufenhaus pass, heading for Innsbruck. This was an equally fun pass and enjoyable to get up in the cooler air. But it had a bit more traffic and was more inside the forrest.

I would have my third “breakdown” uphill the Jaufenhaus pass. And by luck it was right by a restaurant at lunchtime. So an Italian place in the Italian mountains. Nice to eat some Italian food. Nope. But I had the best "gulasch mit knödel" I ever tasted and had to order in German as no one spoke English.

Once again we crossed into Austria to end up at a camping ground in Schliersee Germany, home of the “modern mullet man”. I haven’t seen such a “complete” mullet since the 80’s. And this one was modernised, almost like if Macgyver came back on TV. The guy was also the manager and didn’t understand much English. We began speaking German but he insisted on English and he had no clue what he was saying.
End of day 4 – 231km
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Old 10-23-2010, 12:26 PM   #10
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Great keep it coming
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:41 PM   #11
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what no mullet pix????
you could have added it to the mullet database.
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:01 AM   #12
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amazing pics there
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:24 AM   #13
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Great report, thanks for sharing it.
Only ride as fast as your guardian angel can fly!
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:29 AM   #14
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Great pictures and ride.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:30 AM   #15
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My cousin lives just outside Gothenburg. Maybe someday we can do the same ride. Looks like a good one.
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