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Old 09-09-2013, 11:22 AM   #1
Forrest6775 OP
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Need alps advice

Gonna be in Sestrierre(?) a little east of Torino next week. I've rented a BMW r1200 gs from Monday til Friday. The only thing I know I want to do is Stelvio pass and maybe cross into some of the bordering countries. For those that have been given the time frame and location where should we try to go? Any tips on traffic signs, lights, tolls etc. ? First time over seas and renting a bike is a little intimidating so any advice is appreciated.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:53 PM   #2
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Put your feet down when you stop, same as in the US.
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:02 AM   #3
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I could pass on a few things i learned from the one Edelweiss tour i did out there, but you'll get much better info from The King:
http://www.voxprof.com/kota/



(get a brat at the top of Stelvio)
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:00 AM   #4
glitch_oz
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Originally Posted by Scubatoe View Post
I could pass on a few things i learned from the one Edelweiss tour i did out there, but you'll get much better info from The King:
http://www.voxprof.com/kota/



(get a brat at the top of Stelvio)
Sadly the current edition is sold out, folks want drug-money on Ebay for a copy....and the new edition isn't out before November.
But yeah, great start.

And with only 5 days at hand, most likely the best "guide" around to pick and choose a few day rides to stitch a loop together.
I guess the hire-bike comes from Torino, not Sestriere (as there isn't much going on through summer/ non-snow season).
In Sestriere you're at the foot of one of the Euro-Alps D/S Legends, the Assietta Ridge Rd. and The Colle delle Finestre (both gravel), also the Fort de Fenestrelle for some unbelievable architecture, the whole Mont Cenis/ Lac de Cenis area and all its old forts and fortifications, spectacular gravel stretches, Col de Sommeiller from Bardonecchia/ Col du Lautaret, Galibier, l'Iseran and and and...the choices are endless.

I certainly wouldn't waste the little time available on transiting back and forth to/from the east to ride a really pretty average Stelvio, there's far more exciting stuff right around the Sestriere area alone as well as loads of cultural and historical gems in an area that's been contested for centuries.
Less glitz, more balls.
No freeways/ tollways to get somewhere, riding pure. For slightly cheaper accom and food stay in Italy.

And coming from "Rougemont", shouldn't one go to see the "real, old" Rougemont in the Bernese High Country?
The local cheese Co-Op/ Dairy will blow your mind and tastebuds!!
VERY scenic, great riding and the full "Heidi" gamut, if wanted http://goo.gl/maps/EWvAu

Or take the backroads for the in-yer-face scenic experience...
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glitch_oz screwed with this post 09-10-2013 at 03:27 AM
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:56 AM   #5
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italy

I've been driving different times in the region Piemonte and is very scenic, beatiful and cheap.

In te Turin mountain district (around Sestrerie) don't forget to drive through the most famous ravel roads of Northern Italy (you can check: http://francescomartini2010.wordpress.com/ italian only sorry)

- Strada dell' Assietta (closed to bikes on Saturdays and Wednesdays if my memories are good)

- Colle delle Finestre (for both the last 2 check http://francescomartini2010.wordpres...pi-piemontesi/)

- Forte Jafferau (http://francescomartini2010.wordpres...orte-jafferau/)

- Col du Sommelier, open to the motorbikes after 5 pm (http://francescomartini2010.wordpres...-du-sommelier/)

- Many more just keep your eyes opened!

Also the other asphalt road are great (no toll). The GS 1200 should not be too big on the gravel roads, just be very careful.

To get the Stelvio are 350 km mainly on highways (toll). Once in that district you can drive through the Furkapass, Sustenpass, San Gottardo pass and others.

Have a nice trip!
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:53 AM   #6
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Glitch speaks sooth.

Exactly where are you picking up and dropping off the bike?

Opinions to follow after I get that bit of info.

Also - will you have been in Europe for a few days when you pick up the bike, or are you fresh off the plane?
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:17 AM   #7
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Get into Milan Saturday morning. Picking up the bike Monday.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:31 AM   #8
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Just curious - who are you renting from? I've used BiancoBlu about 4 times.

So - Monday gets you out of town and Friday gets you back to the rental agency with 3 full days in between. I've done this (usually with more time to spend) quite a few times. I'll get some suggestions out later today.
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:52 PM   #9
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Bianco blu
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ttr View Post
Sadly that's closed since early August this year due to a rockslide in the tunnel. Barriers near the entrances on both sides and big signs are closing it even for hikers/ pedestrians.

Will try both other approaches in a few weeks to see what's still possible.
There's still access to Fort Pramand.
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:07 PM   #11
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OK - with 3 full riding days and 2 riding/transit days here's what I'd do.

Monday:

North to Lecco on Lake Como and up the eastern shore to Chiavenna (note: the Ristorante Da Lin in Colico at the northern end of Lake Como - a classic Chinese restaurant - makes the best pizza that I've ever had in Italy. Go figure)

From Chiavenna, east over the Maloja pass and head towards St. Moritz, taking the road to Pontresina and the Bernina Pass just north of the town. Just after the pass, is the road to Livigno. Head there and call it a day. LOTS of hotels and the cheapest gas in Europe. Try to arrive with an empty tank.

Tuesday:

Out of Livigno on the SS301 towards the Eira and Foscagno passes towards Bormio. A bit before you get to Bormio, is the SS38 and The Stelvio (can't miss it).

Over the Stelvio and down to the SS38 towards Merano. Before you get to Merano head south and go over the Passo Palade to Fondo, and then east over the Passo Mendola. and back north to Bolzano.

From Bolzano, east on the SS241 to Arabba. You'll go over the Passo Pordoi to get there.

Book into Arabba for 3 (three) nights.

Wednesday/Thurssday:

You are now in the heart of the Dolomite Alps and there is no more intense riding or better scenery anywhere in the world. IMHO. You'll have 2 days to check it out and overdose on riding.

FWIW, on July 18th, I rode 18 passes out of Arabba during daylight hours. I would have made it 21, but there were active t-storms on the last three, and I'm a bit of a coward that way.

Friday:

West over the Pordoi to Molina (just past Castello do Fiemme) and south over the Passo Manghen to Castelnuovo. Head west towards Trento, and then south to Riva del Garda. Go down the west side of Lake Garda and pick up the Autostrada at Descenzano del Garda and on to Milano.

I considered a route that would take you all over, but you'd never really get a taste of any one area. I think that the above will give you the most bang for your buck. I'd also go ahead and make hotel reservations in advance. Finding a room really isn't a problem, but on your first ride it's comforting to know where you're going to sleep that night.

I've got 10 rides of about 2.5 weeks each under my belt and still have places that I need to hit. The strange thing is that the list keeps getting longer.

The 3 nights in Arabba really aren't enough, but will let you just ride without having to pack and unpack each night. I've got a PowerPoint presentation aimed at Alps Virgins that you might find interesting.

Say "Hi!" to Renato for me (Michael Jordan*), he's a nice guy.

*No, not that one.
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:12 PM   #12
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...Say "Hi!" to Renato for me (Michael Jordan*), he's a nice guy.

*No, not that one.
... and your 'handle' isn't "Air Jordan" or "His Airness"?!? Shame on you!
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:09 PM   #13
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OK - with 3 full riding days and 2 riding/transit days here's what I'd do.
....
....
....
Great stuff!

Can't agree with the Dolomites being the "best/ intense riding in the world" but Jeez, it's pretty damn spectacular.
All sealed option, too.

While at it...going from Chiavenna east towards St. Moritz, cross the border into Switzerland (at Castasegna), the next village is Bondo, turn left up the hill to Soglio here. The road snakes through biiig, old chestnut groves. And OLD they are, some of them set up by the Romans to provide easily storable fodder for horses/ donkeys/ oxen along this old trade-route.

Soglio is easily worth a few hours of tramping around the millenia-old cobbled laneways or at least 30 mins of superficial lookaround...it's a special spot.
A "few pics" here
http://www.austouring.com/forum/show...0&postcount=63






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Old 09-11-2013, 12:21 AM   #14
ttr
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Sadly that's closed since early August this year due to a rockslide in the tunnel. Barriers near the entrances on both sides and big signs are closing it even for hikers/ pedestrians.

Will try both other approaches in a few weeks to see what's still possible.
There's still access to Fort Pramand.
Yes the tunnel is closed but is still possible to get the Jafferau from Savoulx.
I know someone forced the entrsance of the tunnel but not sure is possible to drive through
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:49 AM   #15
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I know someone forced the entrsance of the tunnel but not sure is possible to drive through
I think I wouldn't be game enough to try that, going by the reputation of some of the Italian authorities.
I'd hate to be walking home with my bike being impounded by the local polizia.
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