Author Topic: Touring Short Stories  (Read 4147 times)

Andyccu1

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Re: Touring Short Stories
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2015, 05:36:05 PM »
And believe me it really does... end of !   :rofl

 ps: Fridge was nothing to do with me.   :tongue

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Andyccu1

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Re: Touring Short Stories
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2015, 05:44:48 PM »
Taken from a write up of our tour.
Its quite lengthy, but well worth a read. Enjoy
DAY 1 – 381 miles. First thing on Sunday morning Snaffle, Andy, and I set off for the Eurotunnel in dry weather, a boring ride on motorways but it was the quickest way to get there (the Explorer has cruise control of course so I was happy). We hit heavy traffic on the M25 being a bank holiday so a lot of filtering with the wide loads we were carrying but no problems. A 25 minute trip on the tunnel and we were in France in the sun.
We headed for the first hotel in 35 degrees using main and sweeping roads as a means to get to the hotel quickly. This first day was just a travelling day to get to the area the fun started in. It was too hot to close your visor and Andy’s face even got a touch of sunburn while riding.
We discovered right from the outset that the three Tomtoms had very different ideas on what constituted our route. Myself and Snaffle had Rider 2’s and Andy had a new version so his was the one we believed and followed. This was the case throughout the tour and meant he had to spend a lot of the time in the lead. When we got to the hotel it was a tidy little place although the bar closed at 9pm but that was enough for me to get a few rounds in which snaffle and I consumed. By the time Andy got out of the shower we’d drunk his and he only had one. When we arrived and parked the bikes we were standing next to Snaffles KTM when all of a sudden there was a loud pop and the engine fired a rubber bung across the ground. We couldn’t work out there it came from and so it did the tour in Snaffles pocket.
It was at this hotel that I discovered the quaint French custom of hiding the spare toilet roll in the back of the wardrobe !!!
DAY 2 – 193 miles. Another day with temperatures in the mid 30’s. We headed for the Ardennes and roads started getting very interesting, hills, forests, tight and twisty... It was a brilliant afternoons riding. Andy’s Aprillia lost a nut of the brake pedal but I was carrying an assortment and so that was replaced in minutes and we were off again. It was in the Ardennes that I realised I hadn’t adjusted Muttley’s suspension to allow for the heavy luggage load I was carrying, the handling was… how shall I put it… interesting. A ten minute adjustment at the hotel at the end of the day transformed the bikes handling from the rest of the tour.
We eat in a local restaurant and Snaffle was horrified when his beer arrived in a glass the size of a small coffee cup. Laughter continued when my food arrived and I discovered that I’d ordered the equivalent of a happy meal… a very small meal indeed.
DAY 3 – 148 miles. We set off for the Black Forest and what a day ! It was down to 15 degrees and wet so the watrerproofs went on. The mountain roads can only be described as brilliant, even in the wet, twists turns, hairpins and all very narrow. We reached about 933 meters above sea level (Andy had an altimeter on his bike) and we stopped in the mountains at a small bar for food. At one point a gateau jumped out in front of me but it wasn’t a problem… I eat it !
Snaffle wore his bright orange waterproof suit which had a hood and he even had the hood on under his helmet, that was a source of much amusement. We had a detour due to closed roads and what a mountain road that was, so twisty and narrow there was no possibility of overtaking anything for about 20 miles. It wasn’t a problem though as the road was empty in front of us nearly all the way. The villages were really picturesque in this region and a joy to ride through.
It was today that as we passed through some roadworks a workman dressed all in orange gave Snaffle the workman’s nod… a fellow orange suit lover or did he have a KTM as well ? Who knows, but it did make us laugh. We travelled through Baden Baden and the tunnel under the city is amazing, it’s so long it even has slip roads joining and leaving it.
We spent the night in a very typical Bavarian hotel with great food and drink and a very friendly host. Andy was in his element as he speaks German quite well.
DAY 4 – 208 miles. We headed off in fog but it soon cleared and after more great roads. We were having a coffee in a small services lunchtime when a local car driver decided to make an entry by driving up over the kerb at speed and dropping down over a cobbled area into the petrol station with a considerable bang. Hysterical to see, just can’t believe he thought that was the way in.
In the afternoon we headed into Austria. What a complete change of scenery, open rolling valleys surrounded by forests and the Alps. I‘ve never been anywhere like it. Very green and lush landscapes with winding roads that had no walls, hedges, trees, or anything whatsoever to obstruct views around bends. This was heaven and the road surfaces were fantastic. In the foothills of the Alps the hills were alive with the sound of Muttley !
We finished up back in Bavaria in a hotel at the foot of Neuschwanstein Castle. Unfortunately it was very damp and foggy there and we couldn’t see the castle in the hills that well. So we got up about 5.30 in the morning and rode up there to get some outside pics before breakfast. Again the hotel was a good one even though the lady on reception seemed to be a former prison governor.
DAY 5 – 226 miles. It didn’t start well. My room didn’t have a normal window but a skylight with curtains that drew across the ceiling… different. In the morning I decided to open the skylight and take a look out at the weather. I stood on the bed and pulled the curtain to one side but unfortunately things didn’t go to plan. I pulled the curtain poles and curtains off the ceiling, they hit me on the head knocking me off the bed, and I finished up with a painful cut, bruised, and swollen ankle that is still painful now.
Today we found two of the best biking roads on the planet, fast twisty, and smooth through the high forests. Andy got quite carried away on this one as one of his video’s shows. We didn’t hand about !
When leading I followed my satnav and turned off a road and up a narrow track which immediately looked suspect. It led into a narrow gravel track with grass in the centre, deep tuts, potholes full of water, and low overhanging trees. Snaffle and Andy decided not to follow me and so as I had no choice I carried on for a quarter of a mile until I came to a tarmac road, turned around, then rode back along it again to where they were waiting. First time standing up on the pegs for me and Muttley was filthy by the time I arrived back. However I was the only bike to go proper off-toad on tour, even if it was unintentional.
We came to a junction in the mountains and our road was closed with workmen rebuilding it… so we ignored the no entry signs and went straight through anyway. Nice surface but no barriers on any bends, just drops, so not a road for heroics. We eventually came to the end at the bottom and it had sturdy barriers across it so Andy dismantled them and we got through.
In the afternoon while leading and approaching a bend Andy suddenly decided to take a right turn-off at the last minute without any warning. As second bike I had no warning and shot straight past, Snaffle at the back had time to take the turn. I tried to turn around on the main road but it was on a camber and with the weight of the bike and luggage Snaffle had to drag Muttley backwards as I got stuck… thanks for that Andy.
By the end of the day Andy’s posterior was feeling painful due to the mileage but were we going to do anything to help… I don’t think so. That evening we stayed in a nice hotel in France, it even had its own lady of the night standing on the corner. Seriously though it was really nice and we had a meal and drink in the town centre and Snaffle ordered a large beer and it came about two feet high ! Needless to say he approved.
DAY 6 – 214 miles. This was a long hard day, it started with nice fast sweepers and got twister as the day went on. We eat at lunchtime in a country workmen’s café which had a set buffet… lasagne or lasagne. We chose lasagne. Nothing like fitting in with the countryside locals. Andy lost his glasses at this point as they fell off the bike and got flattened by passing vehicles. He was also still feeling knackered and had a sore ‘seat’. We rode through some great winding roads through gorges but couldn’t get past some traffic and it was disconcerting for me to have a paramedic car following behind me for miles, it makes you very uneasy…!
When we did get clear and set up a decent pace through the blind twisty’s Andy, who was in front, came face to face with half the Porche’s in France racing in the opposite direction. They were all over the road and on the wrong side on bends which was a bit of a shock. Andy gave the later cars a few friendly gestures when he’d regained his composure.
DAY 7 – 184 miles. We were now heading into even more mountainous country with the low roads warm and the high roads getting quite cold. However today we found what we unanimously voted as the best roads of the tour. We headed up into the mountains through great roads but there was a cycle race going up them. It wasn’t a problem though as they were spread out a lot due to the steepness of the climb and there was no other traffic, but we were surprised to find the road closed at the summit as this was quite an impressive finishing line. The marshalls guided us off the road and around the finish line and back onto the road again. Snaffle was all in favour of blasting straight through but they stopped him.
From that summit of around 1000 metres the road dropped into the narrowest, twistiest road we’d come across so far. Rock face to the left, sharp drops to the right over a low wall, a sharp blind turn every 50 metres, and a very bumpy surface. Add to that a lot of cycle service vans coming up to get to the finish line and it was a steep ‘WOW’ decent to say the least. Andy and I had to back off a little as we were in danger of being bounced over the edge on the bends with the weight of the luggage but Snaffle with the lighter KTM and less luggage hurtled down it ahead of us. This road brought more sharp intakes of breath per mile than any other road on the tour. At the bottom he was still laughing and admitted to laughing all the way down loving every minute. We were now on a road through a gorge and the road through it to our next hotel stop was a gobsmacker. It wound though the gorge for miles with bend after bend after bend. We eventually stopped for a rest to take some photos and as Andy pulled up at the back we looked and his rear brake disc was actually glowing ! No question about it the sharp decent and the run through this gorge were the highlight roads of the tour.
DAY 8 – 188 miles. We headed for our two night stop in Carcassonne, we were in need of a days rest. The mountains roads took us up over 1,800 metres. Another day of steep climbs and steep descents, all with dozens of sharp first gear hairpins per mile, and out of this world landscapes. Usually wearing earplugs I can’t hear the engine but I’d now become accustomed to the loud popping and banging of the triple, particularly at high revs on engine braking on the steep descents… nice !
A few whoops moments today with me stalling in third gear on the move while leading, fortunately restarting without the other noticing though… scary amount of engine braking… gulp. Today we were also all caught out one after the other by an unexpected sharp hairpin bend but we all got around and recomposed ourselves.
Going through a town late afternoon we got separated at a set of traffic lights. Snaffle told us to carry on and he’d catch us up. However we stopped at a safe pull-in before a roundabout on the edge of the town to wait for him. We waited for ages but no sign of him, Andy though he spotted him go around the roundabout ahead of us, but we thought we were mistaken so we carried on waiting. Turned out it was him as his satnav had taken him out of the town via a different route so he was ahead of us. Eventually we decided to carry on and meet him at the hotel assuming it must have been him after all. So Snaffle was ahead of us but thinking we were ahead of him so he was blasting along trying to catch us. The route included a track that lasted for about 25 kilometers of twisty rough gorge road that was almost all first and second gear… this was a REALLY tiring road. We arrived at the hotel about twenty minutes after Snaffle which allowing for the length of time we were waiting for him, meant we were pretty much all on pace.
DAY 9 – A day off in Carcassonne. We started the day by all getting into the lift and after five minutes of standing in it realised we hadn’t pressed the button to go down… not a good start. A hot day in the medieval city which is spectacular and a must-visit if you’re in the area. We were recommended to visit a haunted house attraction which was well worth the money, most definitely not for those of a nervous disposition though. Food and drink, crepes, and beer, photos and sunshine, the perfect day off.
Today also produced the funnies incident of the tour. I’ll leave Andy to describe this but suffiicient to say that he now knows you don’t go into an automated toilet during the washing cycle…!
DAY 10 – 227 miles. The temperature was deceivingly ok to start with until we headed up towards the Pyrenees, then it was a stop to put jumpers on as the temperature dropped to 5 degrees. The mountain roads we were on went up to around 5,400 feet so not surprising it got chilly. It was another day of sweeping open roads to begin with, turning into tight twisty’s with a thousand hairpins in the afternoon. By now Andy was using the Tomtom for his speed as the speedo sensor had packed in.
On the top of one mountain road we were parked up taking pics when another lone British biker coming from the other direction pulled up. He got off cursing and swearing saying the road was very gravelly ahead of us. When we set off we could see what he meant, within a half mile were we heading downhill an a tight twisting road that had been part resurfaced along it’s entire length and was left with a heavy layer of gravel everywhere, particularly on the bends. It was an extremely slow and careful decent with first gear most of the way. We were all glad to get to the bottom. The roads through the gorges below were superb and the weather warm.
DAY 11 – 238 miles. An easier day with most of the roads smooth fast sweepers through open country with the occasional section of twisty’s to catch you unawares. In the morning we were flagged down by a police checkpoint, about a dozen police armed with machine guns, pump action shotguns and handguns. They checked our passports, the bike documents, and searched all our luggage. One asked Snaffle if he had any drugs, personally I’m sure he asked him if he was ON drugs. We were glad to be on our way as they didn’t have much of a sense of humour… particularly the guy with the shotgun who never took his eyes of us.
Our hotel that night was in a converted convent, different but very classy. Andy’s Trip Advisor app found an excellent restaurant around the corner full of locals and it was a really good evening.
DAY 12 – Just a two hour run to the ferry and then a 24 hour trip back to Portsmouth followed by the most direct route home. At Bilbao we were at the front of the bike queue for about two hours and so we wandered about chatting. I was right at the back talking when engines started up and so had to dash back to Muttley. Grabbed my helmet and gloves in a rush and put them on, jumped on, pressed the starter… nothing ! Checked side stand – ok. Checked in neutral – ok. Pressed starter – nothing ! Checked everything again… ignition on etc, then noticed one of my tour companions had flicked my cut-out off before they’d ridden off. Bastards !!! All the bikes revving up behind me waiting so no pressure on me then !
First half of the ferry trip was rough, never felt seasick before that, not funny. Second half was ok after a sleep in the cabin.
IN SUMMARY – No amount of photo’s or videos can ever do justice to the landscapes we rode through, each country was very different to the others and we never ceased to be gobsmacked by the views. The roads were 99% brilliant, the weather couldn’t be faulted as after the one early wet afternoon we never saw rain again. The hotels were very varied but all really good. We started early every day so there was no pressure to get to the hotels and we’d arrive late afternoon before the heat really built up. The whole trip was a laugh a minute and this write-up has been just a very brief idea of what the tour was like and what happened on it. We covered France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, and Spain.
I took almost 400 photos and so will get around to posting a few of my favourites soon. Andy will no doubt post a few more videos once he’s edited them.
All three bikes performed exceptionally well and were extremely reliable. Snaffles KTM just lost a rubber bung and Andy’s Aprilia just lost a nut and a speedo sensor. Muttley, being a Triumph, naturally lost nothing at all and was also the only one that truly went off-road.
Choice of bikes – The adventure bikes were the perfect choice and were comfortable and handled every different kind of road we faced. Anything else would have been a struggle to complete the tour on without feeling wrecked.
Strangest incidents - Coming around a bend and finding a bull in the middle of the road clearly challenging the oncoming traffic and refusing to move. Fortunately he was facing the traffic coming the other way so we sneaked past. Also coming around a bend to find a Sherman tank sitting on the brow in front of us.
My total tour distance door to door was 2,452 miles, the other had a bit further to go living as they do in Swansea and Wrexham.
My thanks to my tour companions Snaffle and Andy for a really memorable and enjoyable tour… bring on the next one !

HAROLD BLUERACER

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Re: Touring Short Stories
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2015, 10:56:38 PM »
You're not wrong there Andy  got there in the end   dam good read too   :thumbup2 
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Benson-1215

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Re: Touring Short Stories
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2015, 04:35:01 PM »
Short and sweet many years ago a large group of us went to The ring on the ferry some of the Virgins on Blades Gixers and other pocket rockets were taking the mick out of more mature riders on African twins saying we will stop for lunch to let you old codgers catch up . This is when the plan was hatched "Ok you boys wind it on and find us a nice hotel just inside Germany a nice place is a town called Aushfart  text us the name and we will catch you up later " I have never laughed so much watching them all peal off at the first German motorway exit (Aushfart)  :clap

NH

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Re: Touring Short Stories
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2015, 05:02:58 PM »
:lol2 :lol2 :lol2  I like that one.  :rofl
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Tonto

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Re: Touring Short Stories
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2016, 11:46:00 AM »
Never judge riders by first appearance

 
Many moons ago I rode to Assen in Holland with some enthusiastic friends to go watch the WSB.
I can’t remember the year exactly but I was around 21 at the time so most likely 1998. I remember it rained solid the entire trip, so much so we all had blue hands from the die in our leather gloves seeping out and I gave up wearing socks or pants as I dried out quicker that way.
Anyway the one clear memory I have was that the dual carriageway was proper aqua plane conditions as we all rode at 70mph and no faster for fear of death. We’d pulled up for petrol some place near to our destination when we came across a bunch of British mature riders with 12 packs of beer on the back of their seats. We got talking and they said why don’t you tag along with us? I inwardly thought “Great now we’ll be doing 50mph with these old timers”. So off we all trot onto the dual carriageway and as if they’d read my mind and to prove a point, they buggered off at an average of over 100mph in them wet conditions. So fast in fact they lost us and one of my emotionless friends actually pulled up in a lay bye and sobbed as he was convinced he was going to crash. We’d arrived at camp and just finished putting up our tents in monsoon conditions in the dark using our motorbike headlights to assist visually, when guess who pull up on camp? You guessed it the Old timers, they’d gone so fast they missed the required junction. Even though we were thoroughly soaked I look back at that trip with happy memories from the comradery, camping mayhem and the racing, even if I can’t remember who won the WSB. So don’t let a little rain put you off an adventure and don’t judge by first impressions as you may be in for a shock 

Thedarksider

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Re: Touring Short Stories
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2016, 12:29:20 PM »
Never judge riders by first appearanceSo don’t let a little rain put you off an adventure and don’t judge by first impressions as you may be in for a shock 
or hail or snow or sub zero temperatures or high winds and falling trees...
unless you're a power ranger, cos we all know they only come out in the sunshine (sort of an anti-vampire) and can only go fast in a straight line, merest hint of a corner and they wet their knickers :bgrin :hiding

I've grown up now though (honest), will soon have a sensibly slow bike for carrying a wee passenger and will no longer be taking the piss out of power rangers :bimble

My short story... went to Ireland with 4 other forum members (well 5), had a great time riding some excellent roads (until Andy took the lead), spent most of the time riding alone, cos I don't stop for scenery, and the highlight was the Ring of Kerry... even in the rain and Tony putting a forum sticker on the back of a police car outside the station... brave man :bow
oh... and the Jacuzzi bath, double beds and full breakfast for £45 a night that I had whilst Andy got the cupboard under the stairs and a porta potty for the same price... karma :rofl
and the hunt for padding cos someones arse was numb, didn't believe my wet disposable nappy suggestion, it DOES work :dunno

NH

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Re: Touring Short Stories
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2016, 12:47:13 PM »
I'd love to take the credit for putting the DB forum sticker on a police car but it wasn't me, I can't actually remember who did it ?  :rofl
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Tonto

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Re: Touring Short Stories
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2016, 01:15:38 PM »
I'd love to take the credit for putting the DB forum sticker on a police car but it wasn't me, I can't actually remember who did it ?  :rofl

Nice one. Can't beat an adventure. I'm not against power rangers just looking like one ;-)

HAROLD BLUERACER

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Re: Touring Short Stories
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2016, 06:33:41 PM »
Hey Tonto I'll be doing the run over to assen in 2 week's and yes I'm taking my gsxr , stupid maybe but it  does go around corners  will post up as I go along
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Andyccu1

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Re: Touring Short Stories
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2016, 06:41:54 PM »


My short story... went to Ireland with 4 other forum members (well 5), had a great time riding some excellent roads (until Andy took the lead),

Watched you in my mirrors.  :rofl
PMSL when your head started shaking from side to side then looking down in despair.

Didn't have tomtom then. Only my phone routing from A to B

Great trip though.

scubanesh

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Re: Touring Short Stories
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2016, 07:04:39 PM »
Someone nameless being scared by a bunch of horses on top of an Irish mountain !!!



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Andyccu1

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Re: Touring Short Stories
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2016, 07:26:32 PM »
Someone nameless being scared by a bunch of horses on top of an Irish mountain !!!

Even funnier as it was the second trip.

Go Rodeo Ron.  :rofl :rofl

Tonto

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Re: Touring Short Stories
« Reply #28 on: March 30, 2016, 12:20:28 PM »
Hey Tonto I'll be doing the run over to assen in 2 week's and yes I'm taking my gsxr , stupid maybe but it  does go around corners  will post up as I go along

Nice one. Hopefully it will be a little dryer for you :-)

HAROLD BLUERACER

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Re: Touring Short Stories
« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2016, 02:42:50 PM »
Yep fingers and toes crossed    :thumb 
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