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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 2 Nov 2000
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WHERE TO GO

Where would be a good place to go for my first bike trip abroad, some where with a bit of excitment off roading but not to far from civilisation. Would my ultra reliable Honda XR 250 be OK or would I did a bigger bike.
Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 3 Nov 2000
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Hi there,
Where do you live? We have to know to tell you any good places near home!
Turkey would be interesting if you live in Greece, or Mexico if you live in CA.
Peter
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  #3  
Old 3 Nov 2000
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I assume from your e-mail address that you live in the UK. In that case try France or Spain. If you want to go off road don't go to Germany as I believe there are no dirt roads there ! There are plenty in France, although I have not tried them. If you can find a copy of TBM (Trail Bike Magazine) you will see ads for trips to France. If you want to do a lot of off road work then a 250 will be fine.
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  #4  
Old 3 Nov 2000
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Thanks for the replys,
Of course it would be a good idea to say wich country I will be traveling from!!
England, in the south east.
Are there maps in other countrys to show off road lanes like we have in England to show green lanes.
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  #5  
Old 3 Nov 2000
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Also an idea of how far you want to go :-) And that can be taken two ways - on the road for 6 months or a two-week vacation, flying if needed to get there or riding to the destination?

I could suggest British Columbia, Canada for some fantastic dirt/gravel backroading, superb on a 250, or New Zealand, similar, Norway, or Morocco and Tunisia.

Anywhere in South-East Asia would be perfect also, as a bigger bike is a negative on the bad, crowded roads.

The "Green Lanes" concept is not known elsewhere that I know of.

In BC you just buy a good topo map, easily available in Vancouver, to find all the good logging roads and head off.

I'm sure other areas would be similar.

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Old 3 Nov 2000
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By the way, for all:

Click on the face with the question mark icon at the top of each message and you can see the profile for each person, which hopefully will include country etc information.

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  #7  
Old 14 Nov 2000
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Thanks for the info so far.
I am thinkig of going to Spain, from Bilbao to Barcelona. I would like to take a route through or near to the Pyrenees.I would only be going for two weeks. Is there any time of year when it is best to do this trip?
Is there a route that is suitabel for my bike and with a bit of off roading?
I no nothing.
Cheers,
Carl.
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  #8  
Old 14 May 2001
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Two weeks sounds great for that ride.
Living in Portugal, I know Spain well and have toured around that area, from Pamplona southbound, but not as far as Barcelona. Roads are good, but beware: any two towns 20km apart in a straight line will take you two hours hiking in the mountains, but the same or more on the road, as you have to go around the mountains.

I'd say Spring or late Summer are the best times to go. Being a brit, you'd suffer from the heat during Summer, plus the amount of tourists will largely increase prices and traffic, including loads of large parties in loads of large buses. Weather may vary in Spring and late Summer so be prepared for the odd heavy shower.

The scenery is unique. Camping is a good option, although sudden weather variations may be a problem if your gear is not tip top. If you book ahead, houses in the mountains are available at a reasonable price. I'd go for camping.

Apart from the mountains, briefly visit the main attractions, but try going off the beaten track. The Iberian Peninsula is full of pleasant surprises for those who dare.
Try the smallest of towns along the way, but away from the main roads. If you dabble some Spanish, perfect. If not, do learn the most basic stuff. It will make all the diference and turn a pleasant trip to a memorable journey. I know brits *usually* stick to touristy places with at least one pub around, but I'm assuming a biker will be a bit smarter:-)
I think the XR250 will do just fine, and you'll find a lot of off-roading available. Just make sure you're not going where you're not wanted. If you want to mail me at my home address ( flux.wildly@netcabo.pt) I'll find a magazine I have somewhere with the contact of a company that organizes off-roading in the Pirineus. They might give you some free advice, even if you do not enroll in their programs, I assume.
Do reserve time for two things if you value them: time to enjoy the mountains, its silence and its wildlife, and time to enjoy Barcelona. When you reach Barcelona, you'll wish you had another two weeks to stay :-)

Hope this helps. Do mail me for more specific hints or that off-roading contact.

Have a great time!

Regards,

Sergio
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  #9  
Old 17 May 2001
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Hey Grant,
I noticed you mentioned Norway in your list of places to go off-roading. I currently live in Norway and am about to buy a tenere. Originally I did not think I would be able to use it much offroad here but maybe I was wrong. Please could you be a little more specific about where to go in Norway, and what type of riding it would be?

Thanx

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  #10  
Old 18 May 2001
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John,

"Off-roading" No, I said "dirt/gravel backroading" - big difference!

There is plenty of dirt/gravel backroading in Norway from what I have been told and also what I saw when I was there.

True offroad - I dunno, two-up on a G/S I wasn't looking for little trails through the bush, but can't imagine there isn't plenty of it. Check your local dirt bike shop, you'd probably be amazed at how much there is and how close to where you live. But there aren't any big signs, you have to know.

A Tenere is more of a dirt/gravel road bike anyway, so there should be plenty of the appropriate "roads". In British Columbia, Canada, where I grew up, 95% of the "roads" are old abandoned logging roads!

The quality varies from 150kph to ducking and dodging to avoid the overgrowth and carrying it over fallen trees and landslides.

Find a really good topo map of your area, with all the little tiny roads on it that go nowhere, and start exploring. Have fun!

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Grant Johnson

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at: www.HorizonsUnlimited.com


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Seek, and ye shall find.

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