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  #1  
Old 23 Mar 2008
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UK Touring Newbie - Got 1st trip planned what do you think ?

Hello all ,

I'm planning to go to Europe in June, I've got a rough idea where I'm heading but really I'm just going to load up and take everday as it comes.

My rough waypoints so far are Germany to visit the ring for a couple of laps, then down towards Munich across the Austrian Alps, Slovenia and down to the NW Croatian coast for a days or two. Then head north across the top of Italy and back up through Switzerland, France and home.

First thing is I'm getting grief off she who must be obeyed about doing it solo , so if anyone fancies it then I'm up for a buddy or two to share the adventure

Next question how much time should I allow, I was thinking 7 - 10 days ?

How easy or difficult is it to find accomodation on spec ?

Same goes for Fuel, especially in the Alps ? I ride a Hayabusa so mileage isn't mega, probably 130 to a tank everyday riding, perhaps more on a long run.

There's probably more to think about but that'll do for now

Mike
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  #2  
Old 23 Mar 2008
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Welcome to the site Mike. Riding solo on roads you don't know is probably safer as you can go at your own pace without any pressure. If it's your first time riding on the right just put some tape on your right mirror stem to remind you where the curb should be. Make sure you look left at islands and not right like I did! I actually find riding on the right very natural and easy to get into. I only camp so I don't know about hotel accom availability. Your plan seems possible in 10 days and your suck it and see approach is good, people tend to over plan things and then rush to keep on schedule. It goes without saying to fit new tyres before you go, especially with a busa! Getting petrol shouldn't be a problem anywhere in Europe. Have fun.
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  #3  
Old 24 Mar 2008
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Mike,
That seems a lot of mileage to me in 7 - 10 days but then I like to bimble around and spend some time in some of the places.
Depends if you just want to ride or include a bit of sightseeing as well.
Petrol may be a problem certainly in France if you are going on N and D roads as on Sundays and Mondays it can be difficult to find although it won't be a problem on the Autoroutes.
Have a search on the forums as there's lots of useful information on there.
Enjoy.
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  #4  
Old 24 Mar 2008
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Yeh. Its bıg mıleage ın that tıme. I dıd ıt ın around 7 days to Dubrovnık and ıt was too too far and very expensıfe ın petrol terms and ı was on the motorway all day. For ınstance England to DoverCalaıs to Parıs ıs a long day 1 to strasbourg day 2 to germany day 3 wıth some laps squeezed ın already you are strugglıng for tıme.
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Thanks
Joe
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  #5  
Old 24 Mar 2008
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Mileages

Calais to the ring took me just under 6 hrs, mostly motorway sticking roughly to the speed limits on a GS. Upon arrival i was completely knackered, and im used to riding reasonable distances. I'd take a bit more time or cut the itinerary if i were you otherwise you wont enjoy/see, the places you are visiting and your arse definitely wont thank you. Hope you have a good time anyway.
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  #6  
Old 24 Mar 2008
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You could do that in 10 days with no problem. But I doubt you'd really enjoy it. Do you REALLY want to go to the ring? Do you REALLY want to go to Croatia? Would only going to one of them really be a disappointment? I've never been to the ring and don't really have any desire to but I have been to Slovenia and I doubt that the ring is better . I did a 10 day trip to Slovenia but that included 2 days on the ferry to and from Scotland to Belgium. We took a day off in Slovenia and just did nothing except wander round Portoroz relaxing in the sun. If you go to less places I think you'll see more.
As to your other questions about petrol and hotels. Don't worry about petrol, you'll find it everywhere, although as has been mentioned, in France on a Sunday a lot of small villages are shut BTW in the North of Italy that you're heading back thorugh a lot of places shut on a Monday morning and don't open untill afternoon. If you'r struggling you'll find the motorway stations are open. You'll get a hotel easy in June, I've only ever booked 2 hotels on my trips and I've never been homeless yet.

Tell your Other Half to relax, you'll be fine. You will be safer than you would be right here in the UK. If it's your first trip abroad on your bike, you will be very surprised how friendly the people are, especially in the small villages that you go through.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeH View Post
Hello all ,

I'm planning to go to Europe in June, I've got a rough idea where I'm heading but really I'm just going to load up and take everday as it comes.

My rough waypoints so far are Germany to visit the ring for a couple of laps, then down towards Munich across the Austrian Alps, Slovenia and down to the NW Croatian coast for a days or two. Then head north across the top of Italy and back up through Switzerland, France and home.

First thing is I'm getting grief off she who must be obeyed about doing it solo , so if anyone fancies it then I'm up for a buddy or two to share the adventure

Next question how much time should I allow, I was thinking 7 - 10 days ?

How easy or difficult is it to find accomodation on spec ?

Same goes for Fuel, especially in the Alps ? I ride a Hayabusa so mileage isn't mega, probably 130 to a tank everyday riding, perhaps more on a long run.

There's probably more to think about but that'll do for now

Mike
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  #7  
Old 24 Mar 2008
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Wow, thanks for all the feedback people, it seems like I might be biting off too much for 10 days As I say it's all very lose in my mind so can do as little or as much as I want or even change tack completely

The thought about the Ring was because I fancy diving through Belgium and then travelling down to the Alps through Germany rather than the normal French route that everyone seems to take and when I spotted it on the map I thought why not, it's certainly not a "must do" item but it's something I wouldn't mind doing if I get the chance but maybe another time

Croatia was really only because I know someone there so it's a possible target, but again it's not a must do.

The only must do item for the trip is the Alps, it's somewhere I've always wanted to go and I love big scenery. Also looking at the roads it looks like bike riding heaven

So time to downsize a little, but even so I'm sure it'll be fun...... so anyone fancy doing the Alps with me in June ?

Cheers

Mike
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  #8  
Old 24 Mar 2008
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Don't worry about company. Bikes in Europe are plentyful, friendly and you quickly pick up riding companions as you go along.
This also makes it easier to split from them whenever and whereever you feel like it, whereas it is harder to split from someone who has planned the whole trip with you.
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  #9  
Old 24 Mar 2008
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more time

Hi Mike

Sounds like you’ve a plan

I did a route similar to yours three years ago. I ended up doing 4360km in 10 days, and my furthest point south was Monaco. That was a beautiful place, riding the start finish line of the F1 grand prix, not forgetting the tunnel. Thing was, after setting myself a stupid schedule I only had about an hour sitting in the harbour, with a Mars Bar and a coffee.

Then, It was find my P***ed off pillion (a female with a sore ass) to start the long haul home. I got back to Portsmouth and wondered what the hell I did it for? It started a bit like yours “take each day as it comes” but, you’ve already got a tick list in your mind, and you’ll end up trying to do it. Sounds like a nice ride BUT give yourself extra time, about a week or two. You just won’t have time to stop and enjoy. Always laying down miles, and most will end up being on the Autoroutes.

You want to do the Ring. Then, I suggest you do it, but spend all your time in Germany. I did it last year after deciding to revisit each place I didn’t have time to stop at. Germany is full of good biking roads, the people are nice and the food and are good.

Whatever you end up doing, have a nice one m8
Regards
Shaun

PS: note about the ring, most days it opened at 5:15pm while I was there. They also have a nice track side B&B bout 45 euros a night I think. Biggest Tip….. Watch Out for the fast stuff coming up behind you. Enjoy your lap mine was 12min 25secs from the car park.
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  #10  
Old 24 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeH View Post
Next question how much time should I allow, I was thinking 7 - 10 days ?

It depends how far you are going



How easy or difficult is it to find accomodation on spec ?

Hotels are not normally a problem but we have just found out that the Euro 2008 Football thing is on when we are going to be over there so that could make things a little difficult but we will be camping anyway

Same goes for Fuel, especially in the Alps ? I ride a Hayabusa so mileage isn't mega, probably 130 to a tank everyday riding, perhaps more on a long run.
Are you sure that’s all the bike will do on a tank full it doesn’t sound like very much

Something I do with a new bike is to fill it right up then run it with a can on the back until It runs out of fuel you then know how far you get on reserve and to a tank full

If you haven’t got much gear on the bike it might be nice to have a small 5 litre can on the back just to be on the safe side if you can only do 130 miles to a tank

A lot of the filling stations have a thing you can put your credit card in to pay for fuel when they are closed which in France is most of the time if you have 3 or 4 cards you might get one to work or have cash and pay the nice local to put the fuel in for you on his card most of them will do this for you also remember to fill up before the lunch break or you could be stuck there for an hour or two weighting for them to reopen ( yes I have done that haven’t we all ?)


Mike



Hi Mike
I will be over in the Alps at about the same time as you there are 5 or 6 of us going (so far) we are going to be on the Portsmouth –La Havre ferry on Friday 6th June and will be camping for most of the trip Our plan is to spend 2 days getting down to the alps we then plan to stay in one place for a few days (4 days we think ) which might be Interlaken or Andermatt then spend a few days coming back going round Mont Blanc then back up to La Havre for the ferry home on the 16th June so that’s 10 days

As you can see we are planning to do a lot less miles that you but as this is the first trip most of us have done in a big group we think that the best thing to do is set up some were for a few days then ride out from there we might even have a day off the bikes and do a rafting trip or something

As others have said its very tempting to try and see the whole of Europe in one trip but at the end of it you will feel like you have been though some sort of computer game you might be better just doing one thing and having some time to sit and enjoy it

Its nice to have the time to stop at the top of the pass and have that second cup of coffee and take in the view and just enjoy being there without too much pressure on you to cover 500 miles a day
What ever you do have a good trip and maybe we will bump into you out there

Bob
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  #11  
Old 25 Mar 2008
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I can easily match TomTom's estimate of around 3.5 hours to the 'Ring from Amsterdam and that wasn't really pushing it. That includes re-fuelling as the roads compared to ours in the UK are brilliant. Should be a piece of cake on a 'busa.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ukiceman View Post
You want to do the Ring. Then, I suggest you do it, but spend all your time in Germany. I did it last year after deciding to revisit each place I didn’t have time to stop at. Germany is full of good biking roads, the people are nice and the food and are good.

Whatever you end up doing, have a nice one m8
Regards
Shaun

PS: note about the ring, most days it opened at 5:15pm while I was there. They also have a nice track side B&B bout 45 euros a night I think. Biggest Tip….. Watch Out for the fast stuff coming up behind you. Enjoy your lap mine was 12min 25secs from the car park.
Check the 'Ring timetable before you go as there's a lot of closed sessions just for manufacturers testing. The place is like a ghost town when there's nothing on so not really worth staying locally if you're just passing through. Cochem is about 30-40 minutes away over some great roads. I think I paid 22 euro a night for B&B in the youth hostel. The Hotel Sonneck is not far past Mullenbach and the disused Sudschliefe. It's cheap at about 35 euro's per night for B&B but it's in the middle of nowhere.

Sounds obvious but the 'Ring is huge compared to any other track and local knowledge is everything. For this reason, stick to the evening sessions and avoid the tourist weekends as there's a few locals with year tickets who will happily try to bait a UK registered sportsbike, just to prove a point. I saw a prime example of this last year where a young kid spun and stuffed his Golf GTi into the Armco, nearly wiping out a VFR800 that had just overtaken and he was trying to re-pass by outbraking him into Flugplatz.

Check the accident blackspots on the official website. If you're going at a respectable (not slow but not mad) pace, the sharp left hander before the sharp right exiting Adenauer Forst is the corner to watch out for. Just over the crest of the hill, there's huge run off area straight in front of you but the tree line means you can misjudge the entry and makes it look like you can get on the power earlier than you actually can .



BTW, Clarkson's claimed 09:59 lap time in a Jag diesel is bollocks so don't kill yourself trying to beat it. Also remember that if you have an accident and a running stopwatch is found, you'll automatically get the blame.

Like others said, there's some great roads just in Germany itself. Here's my rough plan for May/June 2008, all subject to change and I'm taking 16 days to do it. Starting from Ijmuiden, I'm heading to the HU meeting near Heidelberg then to Baden-Baden and through the Black Forest to Freudenstadt via the B500 which is supposed to be brilliant. From there, I'm heading to Lake Konstanz then the Alpine Road to Berchtesgaden. There's a private toll road running up to a place called Roßfeld, just off the road to Salzburg, which was recommended to me by someone on here and looks like sportsbike heaven on Google Earth. This is where it could all change but I want to go through Austria, maybe via the Großglockner road (if it's open) and into Italy and the Dolomites/Lake Garda, possibly Lake Como and Monza and back up over the Stelvio Pass (again, if it's open). I'll also be spending a couple of days in the Mosel Valley and a trip to the 'Ring on the way back home.
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  #12  
Old 25 Mar 2008
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Ironically, the reason I went to Slovenia was because I knew someone there One thing I forgot to mention in my original post was, on the Sloevnia trip, and also many other trips, one of the people with me had a Hayabusa. He could get up to 200 miles on a tank in Europe. If you were sitting up at 180mph all day you'd get a lor less but we weren't going slow and he still got 180ish to a tank. The 'busa was not a bad touring bike, not as comfortable as my Varadero nor my Tiger, but not bad.
Someone mentioned the Stelvio pass. I went there a few years back in June, and it was snowing, so we had to turn back into Switzerland. All was not lost though as there are MANY places to play on a bike
Just remember the old saying. When your packed up and ready to go. Lay all your gear out and all your money out. Take only half the gear and twice the money Actually an RAC card and a mobile telephone will suffice, OH and one of them puncture repair things I'm probably going back to Slovenia this year but it won't be in June and I'm taking 3 weeks about it. That's just so I can play in the Alps on the way down and play in the Vercors natural park on the way back.

BTW if you're wondering what what the Vercors park is about, check Grenoble Cycling Pages - The Vercors

Jim




[QUOTE=MikeH;181349
Croatia was really only because I know someone there so it's a possible target, but again it's not a must do.

The only must do item for the trip is the Alps, it's somewhere I've always wanted to go and I love big scenery. Also looking at the roads it looks like bike riding heaven

Mike [/QUOTE]
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  #13  
Old 25 Mar 2008
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Does using your GPS help to know what corner is coming up or is it lethal to take your eyes off the road? My mate who goes there every year still spends a month on the playstation before each visit, it's really hard to memorise it all.
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  #14  
Old 25 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimOD View Post
I

BTW if you're wondering what what the Vercors park is about, check Grenoble Cycling Pages - The Vercors

Jim
Looks awesome Jim, reminiscent of the Gorge Du Verdon.

Have to say this site is great, it's given me so many things to think about, probably too much

Keep the ideas coming folks it's real inspiring

Mike
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  #15  
Old 25 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingdoctor View Post
Does using your GPS help to know what corner is coming up or is it lethal to take your eyes off the road? My mate who goes there every year still spends a month on the playstation before each visit, it's really hard to memorise it all.
I suppose you could if you really wanted to but I think you're better off concentrating on the road and on whats coming up behind you. I had thought about something similar with separate POI files and spoken warnings for each corner to help me learn it but decided it wasn't worthwhile as one name usually covers a series of corners, Kallenhard and Pflantzgarten for example.

I'm not a gamer so your mate may agree or disagree but IMHO, the games sometimes don't reflect how severe an incline or decline is but they can give a rough idea of where the track goes. They don't include bumps or irregularities in the track surface either. If you search the internet, you can find a free demo of Grand Prix Legends for the PC and then search for the Nurburgring track layout for it. It's supposed to be fairly accurate in its altitude and camber profile, apart from using the 1960's track layout which includes what is now part of the GP track and spectator/paddock area. More modern games like Forza for the XBox use the current layout and show more accurate scenery so may be of more use. The altitude profile seems more accurate that the PS2 game (Gran Turismo) that I had a go on. I think Project Gotham Racing was criticised for massively optimistic cornering speeds too.

Despite playing the games myself, studying the maps, etc, I nearly had an off on my first ever lap at the corner I mentioned in my last post, even though I knew it was coming and especially as it regularly caught me out just playing the game! It seems to be the No.1 place if any that will catch out a first-timer. If I'd been riding something more stable and slower steering like a Ducati, ZX7R or Fireblade 900, I would have definitely been off. Basically, your first actual lap is still exactly that, no matter how many times you've done it on a games console.

For general tourist info, try Germany Tourism - German Tourist Info - Visit Germany - Information on Germany. They sent me a really nice map of the Black Forest last year.

I mentioned the Stelvio but I also want to ride the Timmelsjoch, Trento-Bondone hillclimb, the Monte Grappa road, some of the passes in the area between Cortina and Bolzano, etc, etc, so I won't be too disappointed if it closed.
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