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Old 10-24-2013, 03:45 PM   #1
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The Two Douche Tour des Alpes

I know this forum is littered with Alps ride reports, so here’s another. I have a few photos, but we tried to put together some fun videos.

To say there was no planning involved with this trip would be an understatement. We booked our Eurotunnel tickets 2 days before departure, and agreed a destination the night before. We downloaded the Ride Tour 2013 GPX files that night, got 3 hours sleep.

That morning I woke to find my brand new rear tire flat. Well, it was a Sunday, and there was no stopping us leaving, so pumped it up, and hoped it was a slow puncture we could get it fixed in France on the Monday morning. It held up nicely to the Eurotunnel.

Packed and ready to go:





(If embedding doesn't work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib8draUHs6E )
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Killboy screwed with this post 10-25-2013 at 01:14 AM
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:51 PM   #2
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Two showers?
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Old 10-24-2013, 04:38 PM   #3
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So a brisk early Sunday morning ride out of London, and we were on our way. We made the Eurotunnel with the small issue of being in different timeslots - I went through the automated checkin and JD had a lady help him. The staff were kind enough to let me through with him, and we boarded the train. This is always when it feels like the Holiday has begun.







Leaving the Eurotunnel, we had a short stretch of motorway before we’d be getting onto the A and B roads, away from the bastard French Tolls and boring highways. Riding along, I started to feel a vibration, slight at first, but eventually shaking the whole bike. 100km into France, with the rear wheel bouncing fiercely, we pulled in at a gas station to check it out. The tire was flat, so I pumped it, and thought it wouldn’t hurt to add some of the tire weld. Well, the tire was hard, but the vibration still just as bad. Something was very wrong. I called my Euro-Breakdown - and without picking the bike up, and likely ending this journey 100km in, there was not much they could do. I decided best bet would be find somewhere to stay, and get it fixed first thing on Monday.

We coasted to a town called Lens, checked into a Campanile hotel which was nice enough, and headed out for beers and lunch. We got slightly cornered by some “Gixxer” rider telling us about the 0-200 of his bike, and a character self acclaimed similar to Doc Brown from Back to the Future. This was not going our way.

It didn’t get much better the next morning. We went to every tire shop and car garage, to be told they cant work on bikes. Even an offroad bike shop wasn’t keen to get involved with the Tiger. And then everyone was telling us that motorbike shops are closed on Mondays. Another 24 hours here? Things were looking bleak. Luckily, we managed to get referred to Daffy Moto, which opened at 2. We got to the shop at around 12, and basked in the late summer sun waiting for the shop to open.

At 2pm, they opened, and took my bike straight in. What the hell happened here I have no idea, but the inner tube was separated in the middle, along with the valve torn off. I have yet to have words with the shop that fitted this tire the day before.











A quick test ride, and we were on our way. 24 hours behind schedule, we had a fantastic ride to Charleville-Mezieres, where he pitched our (camping) tents, grabbed some beers, and headed into the town for dinner. Great town to stop in.



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Old 10-24-2013, 04:41 PM   #4
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Aaaaand, how can one fix a typo in the thread title?
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:05 PM   #5
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And anxiously awaiting more
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Old 10-24-2013, 06:07 PM   #6
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Old 10-25-2013, 01:02 AM   #7
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Few more pics from this bit















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Old 10-25-2013, 01:10 AM   #8
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So, the start of part 2. Let me leave this right here, and will try write something at work.

If the embedding doesn't work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsBu49Sj50w

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Old 10-25-2013, 04:21 AM   #9
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Charleville-Mezieres’ municipal camp site was actually very very nice. Decent facilities, a shop that didn’t judge when we picked up a couple of beers, and in a lovely location for bikes. As the ride was broken up a bit the two says before, we were still fresh, packed up, and headed out. Next stop, Dole. We we keeping completely to back roads, no highway, and this was proving a real treat with the scenery.

We don’t seem to have any footage of this section, likely because the batteries we probably dead. We stopped for a brunch at a place called La Cousance, about two hours from Charleville, which was absolutely lovely. I think about 7 euro got us a soup starter, and a mains. Couple coffees later we were ready to roll. Off to Dole we went.

The video above actually takes place after this. Yay continuity. This is gonna be a ride report that makes as much sense as Pulp Fiction. ADHD has nothing on me.





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Old 10-25-2013, 04:37 AM   #10
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Dole was another fairly beautiful city, and nice to ride around with all the elevation changes. The Camp Site was below the main part of the city, and while not as nice as our previous nights, fairly adequate. Great service they offered was croissants in the morning. Although the disappointment was no coffee. Guess [strike]sexsheds[/strike] caravans have their purposes.

We met a german chap while setting up that was coming back from a rather long trip around Spain and Portugal. We all headed out for some food, and after much debate, ended up at a place called Pizz’up. Decent pizza, and a clingy waitress.

















Desert was fantastic too


The next morning, I headed out to find a new USB 12v charge socket, as the unit I installed on my bike has stopped working on the way into Dole. I had to settle for a car 12v adapter one, and installed it under the seat at the campsite, which proved effective for the rest of the trip. Once again, packed up the tents, and headed out. Next stop, Innertkirchen. I’ll let the Running Wild (part 2) video above do the talking for this.

Stupidly, we thought hitting Geneva would be a great idea. It was not. I think I lost part of my soul in the traffic. Eventually, exhausted, we tried to get some food around 4pm, and most places had shut their kitchens. We found a McDs nearly on the other side of the lake, and then headed into the Alps. Our pains from Geneva soon forgotten.
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:30 AM   #11
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Great story! Love the humor and the footage! Yeah whoever installed that tire did you dirt. Lousy way to start a trip, but nice response on your part to fix things and keep your spirits up. Looking forward to more installments. Stuck on the west side of the pond and seriously jealous at all the great riding at your fingertips in Euro-land. The dessert menu at the pizza joint made me laugh....it was that awesome! Dig France.
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Old 10-26-2013, 07:06 AM   #12
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I'm sure its been mentioned a few times here before, but we arrived at the Hotel Hof und Post in Innertkirchen. It seems to be pretty popular with bikers from all over. They can thank Ride Magazine for our patronage. We pulled into the parking lot, made a right to park, and promptly shone our headlights right into everyone sitting outside’s eyes. A few glances as we got off, and many people more focused on the bikes than us. Looking around, there is a wide variety of bikes – this place looked perfect.

We originally planned to only stay a night, but over beers got talking about how awesome it would be to not have to ride with luggage. This prompted us to stay for two. The beers soothing the pain of the buttrape that was Geneva, we decided to see if we could find a party in this small hamlet. Sadly, there was none to be found, but we had a great dinner down the road.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the Alps, but usually when they all white and we flying down slopes on snowboards. I was expecting this time of year to be freezing, but it was really warm. 28 during the day, and I was still in a T-shirt at the hotel outside in the middle of the night, wearing only the beer jacket.

So the next day, we woke to this:



(Direct link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFGrgtFy7Ls)

If there is one video to watch of ours, its this one.
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