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Old 09-20-2012, 03:28 PM   #31
jbar28 OP
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:42 PM   #32
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Road Tax on Stelvio

By the way, we saw a number of signs about the coming road tax on Stelvio Pass in 2013. Have confirmed this is the case on several internet sites. Don't know what it will cost, but be aware it is coming.
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:58 PM   #33
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Great area and a great report !! Thanks for sharing
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:24 PM   #34
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How much weight did you gain on that diet...!!!

Looks like some great meals.

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Old 09-22-2012, 01:18 AM   #35
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Lessons

Well, the riding part of the journey is over and now I am riding the DB Bahn train from Munich to Wittlich (with two changes) to meet up with my riding partner Jim who is riding his VStrom home and will pick me up later.



I've spent time thinking and experiencing on this trip some lessons I will apply to make the next trip even better...

1) If you have room for a laptop, bring it. I'm typing this and most of my reports on my Nexus 7 tablet. It's a great device, but no replacement for a actual computer. I had it set up so I could load photos from an SD card through the usb port which ceased functioning the day I got here. Meanwhile Jim is editing his photos and typing away merrily on his macbook.

2) My Smartwool ski socks (thin) are the PERFECT sock for riding boots. They never got smelly or uncomfortable at all. Happy feet=Happy rider!
SCORE=10/10

3) This one is a repeat from an earlier post, but but I can't stress enough how great it was to have the intercom capability between Jim and I. Instead of having conversations about all the things one guy saw but the other guy missed AFTER the ride we just pointed them out as we went along. And as I said earlier, the ability for one guy to take advantage of passing and then coach the person to the rear as to what's around the next corner was invaluable. Also, not having a boom mike stuck in between my mouth and helmet is a great thing. The HBC200s from UClear US worked perfectly.

4) The temp swings were pretty wide each day depending on where we were in the mountains. I brought a few different pairs of gloves and helmet liners (1 with a windproof neck cape) and used them all.

5) Know your route. I'm a classic type bicycle fan and the whole time we were in Italy I just knew I was riding right by some old guy's shop that still makes lugged steel frames and I missed it! I'm sure when I get home I'll figure out that, yes I did miss meeting one of those guys, and probably by only a block or two.

6) If you get the smallest urge to want a photo of something, STOP and take the photo. I can think of lots of things that I wish I had a picture of but instead decided that "Nah, I'll get one later", or "I'll live without it, I don't want to stop", etc...



7) Make yourself comfortable on the bike. I left my Crampbuster (or what Apostalos at Moto-Greek called "Automatic") and my Alaska sheepskin seat pad at home. I had to buy a new Crampbuster for 10, and the sheepskin might have helped with the F800 seat I whined about before.

8) Earlier I said I could get by on ~$100 a day. Well, I stand by that except for one thing... Switzerland. Those folks are proud of everything they have... I'd say 175-200 is about right, and and that's if you're out in the country. When we got close to (but still not in) St. Moritz the room prices spiked to 250-325 a night PER PERSON.

9) I just learned this one... My first train out of Munich was an ICE train which are quiet, and sleek, very, very nice, and well equipped. I saw they had Telekom (T-mobile) wireless so I went ahead and bought a 10 hr block for 19.95 to use during my journey today. I switched trains in Manheim to an older train and quickly learned that only the ICE trains have the wireless! So I got only about 3 hours for a little over 24th bucks. Expensive lesson indeed.

I hope a few of these help someone else out when they are planning or executing a trip. Again let me encourage anyone that's on the fence about going to the Alps to just do it. You won't regret it and it will become one of your favorite memories of all, especially when you share it with a great friend.

I've got more photos to edit and post when I get home and to a proper computer. Until then....
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:15 AM   #36
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Now that looks like the trip and ride of a life time...Truly awesome!



Jim hope to see you back here pretty soon and say Hi to the wife for me.

Pete, I'm looking forward to hear more after you get back.


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Old 09-24-2012, 02:52 PM   #37
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Thanks for the report and the great pics. I was in Bitburg in 87-88. I have never made it back. The roads have to be more fun on a bike than a 2 1/2t army truck. You have brought back memories... Thanks
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:34 PM   #38
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i loved this its where myself and a couple of riding friends are allways talking about ,i will send them this ride report to get the juices flowing. the last couple beers looked like a hand full,you will be ready for octoberfest know,thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:53 PM   #39
Wayne50
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A friend and I will be doing this trip the last two weeks of June next year. We can hardly wait. Looks like you guys had a great trip. May want to pick your brain on this when we get a little closer to the "trip of a lifetime"....
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:51 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tt100 View Post

More than anything I want to encourage anyone who can't decide to go ahead and commit.................... Now, I'm trying to figure out what I can sell at home to come back again next year!


Welcome to the addiction, wife and I went for a once in a lifetime trip in '99.

And we just got back from our 8th trip. I have spent over 6 months riding over 36,000km in the Alps and Central Italy.

We have already told our kids to expect us to move in when we retire, as we are spending the $$$ while we can enjoy it

ALPS-aholism is a wonderful addiction
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:21 PM   #41
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Nice reoprt and photos, jbar!!
We were also there in september 2012. Weather was mostly good with exception of few rain days here and there. We rode from Barcelona to Budapest thru Alps, then to Montenegro to Italy and back to Barc. All I can say is that Europe is biker's paradise... We have so many restrictions in the US.
I still have the urge to ride between cars and pass in front of upcomming traffic, park on sidewalks, and all that consider as normal for bikes... :)
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:58 PM   #42
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Great TR guys and thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:48 AM   #43
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Smartwool

Wife and I are going one up out of Franfurt end of the month. Your report is a huge help boiling down what is essential right down to the socks. Hitting the point in prep when I get a little panicked. The route and road information is great too as we are planning to be in some of the same general areas. Liked your pictures and descriptions. Just what I needed to get back on track. I was stationed in Germany for a bit too but have no language skill other than picking out stuff I like on a menu. Italy should be a real challenge. Going to look for the best translator app I can find. In any case sincerely thank you too you both.
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:01 AM   #44
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........... I was stationed in Germany for a bit too but have no language skill other than picking out stuff I like on a menu. Italy should be a real challenge. Going to look for the best translator app I can find. In any case sincerely thank you too you both.

Don't sweat it, most speak enough English to communicate and to get by. In fact most speak Italian, German, English and one or 2 other languages.

The few that don't will go get someone who does.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:02 PM   #45
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Fulfilling an old promise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Libertynh View Post
Wife and I are going one up out of Franfurt end of the month. Your report is a huge help boiling down what is essential right down to the socks. Hitting the point in prep when I get a little panicked. The route and road information is great too as we are planning to be in some of the same general areas. Liked your pictures and descriptions. Just what I needed to get back on track. I was stationed in Germany for a bit too but have no language skill other than picking out stuff I like on a menu. Italy should be a real challenge. Going to look for the best translator app I can find. In any case sincerely thank you too you both.
That's so neat that you drug up this old RR this morning. I was just showing it to a friend of mine from Nevada last night and I hadn't been on here in quite a while.

I loved this trip. I had so much fun with the GS and the food, and the scenery, and the wine, and the beer, and the curves, and the passes... ahhhhh! My buddy jbar has since ridden Spain for the second time and I think that's what I want to do next, but I got to tell you I was SO taken with the Alps that I may have to start my trip in Munich again! :)

I was in the USAF for 22 years and one day while we were riding around in the middle of those Italian Alps I said to Jim, "Where's Aviano AFB from here?" His reply was that it was about 30-45 minutes away. I was COMPLETELY dumbfounded. I could have lived HERE for FREE and had this in my "backyard!!!!!?" Man I screwed that part of my career up....

As we said in our report Passo Pordoi and Passo Gau (sp?) were probably our favorites and they are smack in the middle of the goodness. We learned on ADV in prep for our trip also. There were some guys that stayed in Arraba for a few days we gleaned some info from IIRC. Best of luck and maybe drop Jim and I a PM when you take off so we can follow your trip as it unfolds!

In the RR from last September I said I'd put up some more pictures and never did, so here are some more:

We stayed here for two days as there were TONs of great passes to ride and the people were very nice (as was the food and wine!)






Don't remember where this was as this view repeated itself over and over and over and....






I've never been more content and happy, unless of course my wife is reading this, and then this would be the second happiest I've ever been!






I've got over 500 pictures, just like this and in only 7 days....






11Am day 2 or 3..... early lunch (with Vino!). This might already be in the RR but hey, look at the spread!






I screwed this one up. I looked down at this place from our patio several times and never went down. A friend told us later the Pistachio gelato is not to be missed! (except by me apparently)






Jim carving it up. This was a little bit of joy we stumbled upon on the way down to Lake Como I think. Jim found it. This pass ended up being in the top 3-4 for me. Lots of forested area and constiantly winding ribbon of narrow asphalt with hardly any cars. Jim is better at locations, etc... than I. Maybe he will weigh in with the location in case you guys get near it






Jim getting Artsy-fartsy...




Seriously, like I said before, make sure you let us know when you start your trip report! We'd love to follow along,

Best Wishes,
Pete
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