European Tour 2013


Got any tips on touring or looking for advice for upcoming trips

User avatar

Master Pie Muncher

Posts: 10178

Images: 0

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:03 pm

Location: Cumbria

Post Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:24 pm

European Tour 2013

European Tour 2013

Image

Sorry this is very long winded but I wasn’t sure what stuff people would be interested in or want to know so just going to tell you as much as I can.

The plan
Well I think the first thing to say is we didn’t really have a plan lol but the rough idea was book a villa somewhere in France/Spain, get the wives to fly over a we would ride the bikes over.

Destination
After looking at villa prices (Private hire) in Spain and France we decided on the south of France , Bit of research and googling to decide on an area and contacted a villa owner in Collioure. After a couple of emails and a bank transfer for the deposit the destination sorted. Couple of flights booked on-line and the bints are sorted so on to the important stuff :P

The crossing
Started looking at different crossings to get the bikes over either by ferry or euro tunnel. Options where Dover to Calais but this would have meant riding the length of England and a B&B/Hotel stop, Portsmouth to Balboa but this again means riding the length of England, B&B/Hotel and not enough riding abroad. These are the same issues we had with euro tunnel which left us with Newcastle to Amsterdam crossing. Prices checked and it looks good and with an Afternoon to morning crossing it means it saves on a B&B/Hotel.

The Route
Well we now have a Penrith To Newcastle trip then Amsterdam to Collioure making a ride out distance of about 1100 miles each way (back roads) and passing through Netherland, Belgium, Luxembourg and France. We thought about planning a route and booking B&B stops but in the end decided to wing it. Deciding on about 350 mile a day stints so we would cover the route in 3 days (2 nights) with rough markers off Metz for the first night and Vienne for the second night and that’s about as far as the planning went.

The bike
Didn’t really do much prep wise to the bike apart from Oil change and a set of touring tires. went for the Maxxis Diamond sports touring tires in the end. Tried to make an informed decision reading reviews etc but if i’m honest I went for them because of the price (about £175 pair). Apart from that then not a lot really, I fitted a Sat Nav mount on the yoke nut, a fag lighter power point in the tail and an Autocom unit with PTT and radio and a Euro plate.
No real hassle with any of the fitting just fiddly with the wiring and lack of space in the tail but that’s sports bikes for you.

Luggage and packing
Kept the packing to a minimum, Pair of shorts, crocks (don’t care they are ideal lol), couple of t-shirts, skiddies and of socks, washing kit, roll matt and tent and that was it. After fucking about with panniers and tail packs but having no joy because of the underseat exhaust melting the straps managed to find (steal off Nix) a tail pack that would strap to the pillion seat securely enough to not need straps under the tail. so that was it with a small tank bag to carry money, passport and assorted crap. The only other thing I packed was food for the ferry trip as I was told it was very expensive (which it was).

Paperwork
Checked my passport and all was well, rang my insurance and I was covered for Europe so just breakdown insurance, Travel insurance and European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). All fairly painless to sort out and not to expensive really with only the breakdown insurance costing much. (At this point I should have hunted out my V5, insurance and MOT certs but I forgot so went without them oops). Informed my bank I was going abroad and changed some £ to Euro’s and I That was it.

Riding Gear
Now this is the bit that may ruffle the soap box standing OMG brigade but after considering the weather (Europe being in a heat wave) and what was going to be comfy enough for the distance I went for Boots, Leather jacket, Kevlar Jeans, gloves and of course helmet.
Image
User avatar

Master Pie Muncher

Posts: 10178

Images: 0

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:03 pm

Location: Cumbria

Post Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:24 pm

Re: European Tour 2013

So Everything prepped and planned and they day Arrives

First part of the trip was nice and easy just a 100 mile blat up to Newcastle for the ferry. Gave us a good chance to test the Autocom’s and radios out (Yes we where winging it that much we hadn’t even tested them out before lmao). Comms where working perfectly, The push to talk buttons we had fitted to the handle bars are a must so the VOX doesn’t keep kicking the radios in with wind noise. and apart from a odgy charging lead for for my Tom Tom all was working fine and our luggage where both stable and nothing fell off :P

We Arrived at the ferry and sat in the queue for about an hour then the gates opened and we filed onto the ferry. We had been told that there would be people about to help us strap the bikes down but that was bollox. As all the bikes are parked together then help is there though for anyone having trouble and after 10 minutes of ratcheting the bike was strapped down. Couple of tips for anyone in the future would be leave the bike in gear, use a bungee strap around the front brake lever to lock the brake on, leave it in gear and get someone to push down on the bike while you tighten down the ratchet strap (these are given to you).
Then off to chill on the ferry with and try and get some sleep ready for the long ride he next day, easier said than done as our cabin had a constant drum and base track playing provided by the Engines lol. We got to the port about 10 the next morning and after sorting the bikes out and refitting the luggage we got off the ferry and set off about 11am.

We set off riding through Netherland, Belgium and Luxembourg. The roads are flat with very little features to the land and probably the most uninspiring roads we rode on if I’m honest with the only real highlights being about 4 trips over the rivers on little Ferry’s and spending our first day riding in 95+ heat. You have little o no idea when your crossing borders and your only clues are the road furniture and car number plates at times. Don’t get me wrong it was still a hell of a good day riding through the countries, trying to get used to riding on the wrong side of the road and enjoying the views. With having a late set off we pushed on into the evening and once in the Metz area navigated to a camp site. Watching Nix put up his tent for the first time was funny as hell but it wasn’t long before we were all set up and chilling out after a bite to eat at the cafe.

We were up early the next morning, all packed up and ready to get back on the road trying to get some miles done before the blistering heat kicked in. Sticking to the back roads again you could instantly see that the roads were going to be better in France, plenty of curves and bends. Heading through France Nix or should I say Nix Tom Tom decided we should visit plenty or churches on route, neither of us where sure why but decided it was probably just trying to find its previous owner (Sadly deceased) . The temperatures where even higher and riding was hard work but it was an absolutely fantastic days riding with the odd stop for patisserie or coffee. We changed plans and pushed on to leave our selves just a couple of hundred miles on the third day. Our camp site for the second night was great, after chucking up our tents and sinking a couple of leffe’s and the nicest Moules-frites I had out there we retired for the night to get some well earned rest.

Next morning we set off with the sun just warming up and where straight onto some of the best roads I have ever ridden, mile after mile or billiard smooth twisty roads up and down the mountains with stunning scenery. After half a day blasting through the twisties with the biggest grin on my face we rolled into Collioure and spotted our wives on the balcony of our villa waving us in for our week chilling out at the Villa.

During the week I took a trip into Spain and the Pyrenees with Karen pillion, the roads up there are very very twisty with lots of hairpins and long tunnels carved through the mountains. We then took the coast road back through Spain into France stopping off for a wonder through the little villages.

Image
Image
User avatar

Master Pie Muncher

Posts: 10178

Images: 0

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:03 pm

Location: Cumbria

Post Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:24 pm

Re: European Tour 2013

We had to be back at the ferry by 1pm so we decided on a different strategy on the return trip, instead of purely using back roads and skirting the edge of France which meant long days in the saddle we would still take 3 days (2 nights) but take a more direct route through the middle of France and use larger roads and some of the toll roads. This would mean we could cut our riding by mid afternoon and spend longer chilling and looking around.

We set back early in the morning and left the wives to get a taxi to the airport and headed off with again no real idea, plan or route laid out lol. First day we pushed the mileage in the heat and covered about 450 miles. I was surprised how good the views were even on the bigger roads and riding over the millau bridge was impressive. We managed to get to Orleans on the first day and found a nice campsite to set up Set served Illumines orange sausages wtf lol

Next morning we set off and headed into Paris, something I don’t think either of us where keen on and it was pretty much as we expected, packed traffic and full of dicks but needed to be done but the high speed filtering was fun. We left France into Belgium and found a (what seemed to be) nice campsite, Lovely looking place but the people there were a bit “hills have eyes”/”Asbo specials”. After a meals of Garlick soup with chick (I have no idea what the hell it was) we chilled out for the night ready for the last stretch. A couple of points about fuel stops worth noting are some petrol stations make you pay before you fill, this is an absolute pain in the arse but once you know what the hell is going it’s ok. Next is if you travel on Sundays a lot of the Petrol stations close or are card payment only, so make sure you have a card that will work over there.

Having had two good mileage days we cruised through the Netherlands to the ferry, stopping in the way to fill the luggage with cans of beer for the ferry home (about £4 a can on the ferry). The Dutch at the port where about as disorganised or the must have been stoned and kept us stood in a queue for about 3 ½ hours on the docks before they finally let us on the ferry to strap down the bikes. Same score as before there was no one about to give a hand so we strapped down our bikes then helped another couple of people do theirs then off to the room for a beer and rest our weiry bones. Of the Ferry next morning we split up as Nix went to Whitby and I went back to Penrith.

The trip was absolutely fantastic and one of the best experiences I have had on the bike. Everything fell into place and worked out but with enough small hitches and glitches to make it a proper adventure. Having no real plan or places booked to stop made the whole trip stress free as we could just ride until we had had enough for the day then find a camp site (there are loads everywhere and they are cheap). The weather was incredibly hot and made some of the days a real test of indurance but again this only added to the adventure and the sense of achievement at the end of some of the days was great. I would highly recommend taking a tour somewhere to anyone and will be doing more in the future.
Two fantastic weeks on the bike I will never forget.

Image
Image
User avatar

You won't like it when i'm angry!

Posts: 2231

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:45 pm

Location: Carlisle

Post Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:19 am

Re: European Tour 2013

brillian write up matey, better than mine.

So where we going next year (-:

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2
Image
Southerner living in the land of the Northern monkeys
http://www.facebook.com/Nix68
User avatar

Master Pie Muncher

Posts: 10178

Images: 0

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:03 pm

Location: Cumbria

Post Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:40 am

Re: European Tour 2013

Might have a plan ;) lol
Image

I quite like it round here!

Posts: 1885

Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:16 pm

Post Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:06 am

Re: European Tour 2013

Nice write up matey..loads better than my euro 1 :07: Glad ya both had a good n trouble free time :grin:

RAVER
User avatar

You won't like it when i'm angry!

Posts: 2231

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:45 pm

Location: Carlisle

Post Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:47 pm

Re: European Tour 2013

Definatley got the bug now, the truth was the day before we went i was shitting myself, never ridden abroad, or done that sort of milage, but once we rode off the ferry and got ourselves sorted and on our way through the netherlands i fucking loved it, seeing all the diferent countries and cultures, all the fantastic scenery, it really was awesome.

Also having never put up a tent before was rather amusing for Carl, as i just emptied the bag and just sat down looking at all the bits until Carl relented and helped put it up, which was actually bloody easy as it turns out, once you know where to stick the poles :goon: :goon: :goon:

Having the TomToms made life a lot easier as well, whithout them i reckon we would still be over there :07: although mine does seem to be possessed and every time we got into a built up area it would lose its signal and then send me to the nearest church, the first time i thought it was a bit odd, but after it happened a few more times it got a bit weird, especially as the guy who used to have it is dead......well you cant have it back, i paid £100 for it, so piss off :05: :05: :05:

The heat was at times unreal, typical of Beavis and Butthead to ride through europe in a bloody heatwave, temps should have been 85ish most of the time it was 95+ and a few times when we got held up in traffic at lights i honestly thought i might pass out, it was that fookin hot.

A really great road trip, and as Carl said, one i'll never forget
Image
Southerner living in the land of the Northern monkeys
http://www.facebook.com/Nix68
User avatar

I quite like it round here!

Posts: 3664

Images: 0

Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:01 pm

Post Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: European Tour 2013

Sounds fucking a awesome trip!!
Something I would love to do in the future as soon as I can get the time, money and bike to do it.. So don't think that will be for a long time, but you can but dream..
Imagehttp://www.ypel.co.uk
It's not what you ride - Its how you ride it!
User avatar

I quite like it round here!

Posts: 5522

Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:59 pm

Post Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:44 am

Re: European Tour 2013

Too long and winded this time of the morning....just scrolled down looking at the pics :whistle:

Will review this epic adventure later............You're abit late aren't ya?! :pc:
Image
User avatar

Master Pie Muncher

Posts: 10178

Images: 0

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:03 pm

Location: Cumbria

Post Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:22 am

Re: European Tour 2013

Yeah I know mate, after getting back I have been working like fuck in the name of carbon bike bits lol
Image
User avatar

I quite like it round here!

Posts: 5522

Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:59 pm

Post Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:15 pm

Re: European Tour 2013

lol......carbons addictive i've heard :07:
Image
User avatar

You won't like it when i'm angry!

Posts: 2231

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:45 pm

Location: Carlisle

Post Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:19 pm

Re: European Tour 2013

Yes, it most certainly is :07: :07: :07: :07:
Image
Southerner living in the land of the Northern monkeys
http://www.facebook.com/Nix68
User avatar

Master Pie Muncher

Posts: 10178

Images: 0

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:03 pm

Location: Cumbria

Post Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:07 pm

Re: European Tour 2013

Just a couple of bits :whistle:
Image
User avatar

I quite like it round here!

Posts: 3664

Images: 0

Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:01 pm

Post Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:16 pm

Re: European Tour 2013

Bits are.good!!!
Imagehttp://www.ypel.co.uk
It's not what you ride - Its how you ride it!
User avatar

I quite like it round here!

Posts: 5522

Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:59 pm

Post Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:41 pm

Re: European Tour 2013

Just read the whole long winded story........why not just say you had a fecking blast!

:16: At Nix's Tom Tom.
Image
Next

Return to Touring Tips and Advice

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by ST Software for PTF.