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Old 09-09-2013, 01:26 PM   #1
KevinC OP
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Riding in the Schwartzwald

Itís nice when a plan you hadnít planned comes together.

The first part of the plan that wasnít was that myself and my brother were both going to buy new bikes this year, Iíd had my V-Strom for 10 years from new,



heíd had his one year older Sprint ST for 8 years



and we both reckoned we deserved a treat.

However his arthritic hip was getting worse and was so bad on our first ride together this year back in April that he couldnít physically lift his left foot off the peg, I has to slide it off for him. He went under the knife at the beginning of May





so we decided to put the purchase off for a year while he recovered.

Since he needs to drive for his job he was signed off work sick for 3 months and although he did some work from home he had plenty of time for the more interesting things in life. While he was down the pub he bumped into a mutual friend of ours who announced he was getting rid of his 2 year 8 month old R1200GS and offered it to either of us for a bargain price.

This was how I started July as the surprised new owner of said bike with a paltry 1945 miles on it (and 1000 of those were with me one long weekend!) and set about getting some more distance under itís wheels.

Meanwhile Iíd booked off the first week of September as holiday but had no idea what to do with it, at first Iíd hoped to head off to Italy with a mate but that hadnít worked out (maybe next year with a bit of luck) but I was damned if I was going to sit at home, anyway Iíd not had a proper holiday away for 5 years and felt the need (my annual trip up to the Keswick Beer Festival doesnít count ).

Saturday 25th August, the start of a Bank Holiday weekend and as I sat indoors while outside 2.6Ē/68mm of rain fell causing local floods, manhole covers to blow due to pressure of water, roads to buckle, I went onto http://www.mobikehotel.com, a site Iíd seen mentioned in an article in a magazine for biker friendly places to stay, to see what was available in France. I noticed a cluster of hotels in North East of France bounding the German border and some of them looked quite nice but, realising, admittedly to my eternal shame, that Iíd still never been to Germany I wondered what the other side of the border offered.

Well to cut to the chase a hotel was found in the middle of the Schwartzwald (the Black Forest) that looked perfect for my needs, secure bike parking, single room available, bike routes for the GPS to download, restaurant and, most importantly, a bar. A quick email to check availability for 6 nights and I was booked into the Landgasthof Anker, www.anker-simmersfeld.de, another quick booking and I was ready with Eurotunnel, travelling out at 06.20 on 1st September returning at 20.36 on 7th September.

All sorted and only a week away.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:29 PM   #2
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Always hoping for the Alps but sometimes one must go through Schwartzwald to get there.
Jim
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Austria '08 http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=352082
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:19 AM   #3
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Sunday 1st September.

The day dawned overcast, slightly chilly and very early. Actually since I was booked on the 06.20 I had to check in by 05.50 which meant, allowing for any delayís on the way, heading off by 04.00 so in fact well before dawn!



Down to the Tunnel terminal in plenty of time then onto some queuing,



watching the impending sunrise,



and more queuing while we waited for the cars to finish loading and they could shove us, myself and the other bike,



on at the end. It turns out the young lady on the Deauville only passed her bike test last February and was on her way to Portugal where she would be living for 6 months.

After the 35 minute journey we arrived in France at 07.55 because of the hours time difference and it was off eastish. I had told my GPS to take me from Calais to Simmersfeld by as straight a route as it felt suitable but avoiding toll motorways, this ruled out most of the French Pťage which meant it served up a real mix of Autoroute,



minor road,



very minor road,



twisty road,



wooded road,



past strange buildings in the middle of nowhere,



straight road,



and back to Autoroute,



as I headed generally south east switching between France and Belgium.

After a stop for a brief lunch, an apple, some peanut brittle and plenty of water, somewhere in Belgium,



I headed on into Luxembourg which was my first time in the country but it was just a fleeting visit as I ran through it on the Autoroute, the only stop was for petrol at an incredibly busy filling station, I was later to find out this was because fuel is about 30Ę a litre cheaper there than the surrounding countries.

Leaving Luxembourg back into France through the old border crossing, now done away with thanks to the Schengen agreement (as an aside the only time during the week anyone asked to see my passport was when I went back into Britain)



I was soon back on the lovely and very empty French roads I enjoy so much.







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Old 09-11-2013, 11:16 AM   #4
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Now, when I put the route together Iíd had to split it as my venerable GPSmap 276C, 9 years old and still going strong, couldnít handle the number of directions, or rather any more than 250 wouldnít transfer from MapSource and I got a route truncated message. So Iíd split the route and, as Iíd switched to the second one I knew I had under 110 miles / 175Km to go and was wondering when Iíd reach the German border. Rather oddly my GPS took me into what looked like a car park next to a lake which had me rather puzzled until I read the small print on it only to find it wasnít a lake, it was the Rhine so the border between France and Germany.

By now I was even more puzzled as I couldnít see a bridge anywhere when from the other bank appeared Ö..



Ah, now what my GPS was telling me made sense!



So, settling back for the crossing,



I entered Germany for the first time.



Nice looking hills ahead I thought, I wonder how close Iíll be to them? Well first I had to escape some temporary roadworks (little did I realise what the week had in store),



and found I wasnít so much going to be close to the hills as on them, still the long climb looked interesting if the sign was anything to go by.



Ducati 916 (I think) but ĎAlles im Griffí err, Alles is all or everything and im is in but Griff? Attacked?? Everything in Attack? That sounds more like an instruction rather than a warning? Oh well it was a nice road and, despite the cloud it was a pleasant evening and I was still enjoying the ride and still climbing,



now over 2600ft (this may not seem much to some but the highest public road in England is only 2057ft, add in Scotland and you still only get to 2231ft) and a bit tired after 782km (486miles) but only 35Km (22miles) to go and the roads





looked good.

Finally after 501 miles / 807km and a little over 14 hours I arrived, checked in, unloaded the bike and popped it away in the secure parking with a load of Dutch bikes, took a quick shower and headed down to the bar for some rejuvenating beer and, after a bit of translating of the menu with my rubbish German, dinner in the shape of Schnitzel.



Leaving the Dutch bikers to their last evening I headed off to bed and a relatively early night, it had been a long but very good day.



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Old 09-11-2013, 01:16 PM   #5
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:23 PM   #6
ElAirbag
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Nice report, "Alles im Griff" means "everything under control?" by the way ;)

Cheers!
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:54 PM   #7
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Your photos bring back some awesome old memories.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:18 PM   #8
Blader54
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Must be an idiomatic expression that flummoxes Google translate.

Trip is looking good so far! Great deal on the bike!!
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElAirbag View Post
Nice report, "Alles im Griff" means "everything under control?" by the way ;)

Cheers!
Ah thank you that makes much more sense!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blader54 View Post
Must be an idiomatic expression that flummoxes Google translate.

Trip is looking good so far! Great deal on the bike!!
Yes, I was using Google's offline Android translator and at first it came up with 'See everything at a handle', then I got 'everything at your fingertips'! One thing I have learnt is the capitalisation in the middle of sentences is significant.

I'm hoping to get one update a day done, damn this work thing.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MayQueen View Post


Quote:
Originally Posted by GP MX Fan View Post
Your photos bring back some awesome old memories.
Glad I can assist
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:37 PM   #11
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Monday 2nd September

The day dawned cool and overcast but no sign of rain, I could live with that, and I got the GPS routes downloaded from the hotelís web site and onto my satnav, except I started to get strange messages about my route waypoint memory being full? Odd, there was plenty of space for both waypoints and routes? Oh well I wasnít going to argue and just downloaded the short routes for the moment.

Down to breakfast and Bernd, the hotel owner, came over for a chat and to give me a copy of his map showing all the GPS routes on it, that was jolly handy!



Having decided to keep it short after the long ride yesterday and fancying some logic to the situation, route 1 seemed like a good idea so after a leisurely breakfast to allow the Dutch contingent to finish and set off back to the Netherlands, I geared up and wandered out to my now lonely bike.





So got ready, fired up the GPS, selected the route and ÖÖ. Sorry this route wasnít created with the installed maps, do you want to recalculate or just navigate it anyway. Bugger. Oh well, recalculate please. Okay, route recalculated, itís now 60 meters long and youíve arrived at your destination. Double bugger. I know I wanted a short ride but thatís a little too short. Right, I can do this, select route again but this time donít recalculate, this gave me the route as straight lines between the points but I figured I could follow it and, at first it all looked good.





and being in a forest, lots of timber yards though never fenced off, it looked like you could just turn up and Ďacquireí any prepared timber you wanted, lovely smell riding past them mind.



More climbing and now over 3000ft, crumbs, wonder if Iíll need oxygen soon?



When the views opened and the trees disappeared it looked rather nice,



but before you know it youíre plunged back into the forest and more hairpin bends.





Meanwhile the day was getting nicer and nicer, the early morning cloud burning off,





and I was having a great time albeit slightly tempered by the realisation I was doing the route backwards judging by the way the points were counting down. Then, after running through a town,



things went from good to Ö. well far be it for me to indulge in hyperbolae but Iím going with spectacular!





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Old 09-13-2013, 12:54 PM   #12
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There was a course a price to pay, firstly in a series of temporary roadworks,



followed shortly by revenge of the GPS. I had been managing, often with the eye of faith, to keep to the route but it all came to a bit of a confused standstill when confronted by this,



3 roads and 4 straight route lines all converging on the junction, so which way was the right way? Naturally as it happened I chose wrong but what the heck, I was on holiday, the day was sunny, the roads were good and, things werenít too bad at all.







Plus a sign talking about danger of falling sounds good in a so this is it then Iím going to die kind of way.



After a fun descent I re-fuelled and found that German petrol stations invariably sell ice cream (and beer, lots and lots of beer!) so I treated the inner man (just ice cream!) as well as the bike and found a nice secluded spot for a bit of a rest, oh yes, I was also given a complimentary sachet of visor wipes at the petrol station, a nice touch I thought.



But it wasnít long before the road was calling me back.





The rest of the day was more of the same, temporary trafficlights,



open roads,







wooded bits for a rest in the shade,





then back on the road,



and if you must get caught behind a lorry at least make it one delivering beer !



By now, although still relatively early, the previous day was starting to catch up with me so the GPS decided to redeem itself as I got it to navigate me,









back to Simmersfeld and the hotel.



A restful 176 miles / 283km for the day but a subtle difference between what the route looked like,



and what I actually ended up doing!

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Old 09-14-2013, 01:07 AM   #13
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After putting the bike to bed I thought Iíd take a little walk around the town just to get my bearings,







and if you like old small tractors this is certainly a place to come,







while the bike was put away in a different garage tonight.



Meanwhile, in the bar/restaurant.





Now, this night it turned out there were only 4 of us staying at the hotel, myself and 3 Germans who were working locally, so I was asked whether there was anything especially I wanted to eat, I suggested something local and was offered Maultaschen, variously translated as dumplings, Swabian ravioli and mouth pockets! Theyíre large pasta parcels stuffed with minced meat, normal and smoked plus onion and spinach. Naturally I went for the spicy version and it was very, very tasty, a bit too tasty actually as I completely forgot to take any pictures before I vacuumed them up!

After a couple of beers to finish the day I headed off for an early night, it had been a good day.



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Old 09-14-2013, 02:58 PM   #14
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Tuesday 3rd September

A pre breakfast constitutional, looks like another lovely day,







And today I got a personal breakfast since the workers had already left,



even got an egg, rather nifty little eggcup too!







Today I planned to head off on route 3 towards Stuttgart with a handy loop at the end to go visit a Louis Moto store, Iíve been shopping with them for a few years by mail order and it seemed like this was a good chance to go actually visit one.

First though I had to top up the bikeís oil, a common issue with the boxer engine during the first few thousand miles apparently, and part of the service Bernd provides is bike oil at cost price, 800ml later I was ready for the off.



After the technology problems yesterday Iíd recalculated the routes on the laptop before transferring them and things looked a lot better from the off, well the GPS did, the roads were as splendid as they had been.









Although I did catch up with what appeared to be a lot of bus for a small road.





it proved no more that a temporary photographic target.



Then things started to go wrong, the GPS directed me to turn but I couldnít as the road was barred with a yellow sign saying Umleitung, no idea what it meant so I carried on trying to work out a way around. I though things were going okay, a little longer than Iíd have liked but I seemed on the right track when I was overtaken rather unexpectedly by a tram! It seemed I had wandered into Stuttgart!



So I got the hell out as fast as I could by the simple idea of telling the GPS to get me down to the Louis Moto store as fast as possible, which is how I ended up on my first Autobahn.



I tell you they donít hang about! You check your mirror, see headlights way off in the distance and the next things you know thereís a very fast moving Mercedes right up your chuff! Still I survived the experience, found the store and was happily buying oil and a handlebar bag as well as trying on flip up helmets.
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Old 09-15-2013, 01:28 PM   #15
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For the return I decided to let the GPS take me on the shortest journey back to the mid waypoint on the route which worked quite well at first, especially when this chap was revving up behind me in a tunnel!



Anyway things were running along very nicely,



until I hit another Umleitung which I tried to convince the GPS to take me around it to the south,



but it didnít like that and tried taking me back the way Iíd come so we had an argument and I finally convinced it to take me the way I wanted. Things were looking pretty good, this was my kind of road,







Until I got to this place and another bloody Umleitung,



so I stopped and looked up what Umleitung actually meant, turns out itís not road closed as I suspected but diversion and if I followed the U signs it would take me round the obstruction which just so happened to be where the GPS wanted me to go in the first place. Iím sure I could hear it sniggering.

Well after that I finally got back onto the route and it was worth it.









There was a lovely loop up into some sort of park,









and an equally interesting descent that I wish Iíd taken more pics on as some of the views were great but I was busy trying not to fall off the road and land on someoneís roof.





Finally back down it was a simple run back to the hotel.











A total of 224 miles / 361km for the day.

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