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Thread: Round 7: Rambling on..

  1. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micky View Post
    Is that it

    FFS Rob you had better get packed up and feck of somewhere for Gawds sake, there are people on here sat waiting, watching ....

    Now feck off will ya please ...

    ... and tell us about it

    Why, no

    As we care for the environment here at Ramble HQ we've decided to reuse this thread and recycle responsibly

  2. #34
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    Romford to Baden Baden

    Fast forward one day from COUTC. It is now Monday. 3.45am.

    Alarm: Beep.

    Me: Go away.

    Alarm: Beep.

    Alarm: Louder beep.

    Me: Swearing.

    I grab and turn off the phone alarm in a daze, ready to sleep on, but lucky for me somehow I catch myself doing it and sit bolt upright. If I'd have gone back to sleep I'd have been there for hours and I definitely have things to do.
    It is fair to say I'm a little disorientated and when you're facing a pretty long day in the saddle that doesn't bode particularly well. I fill up with PG tips, and then more PG tips while slowly getting together. Lucky for me I laid everything out last night even though I felt shattered.

    Just after 4.30 I'm on the road. All to schedule.

    It's still very dark and there's not a soul about. I zip through the suburbs of town without a fuss. I float over the Dartford bridge and breeze down on to the M20. There's the merest suggestion of daylight and I am towards the emerging light. No need to rush so a gentle cruise. There's something about the cool air that works very well with the boxer twin and it purrs along at a leisurely chat.

    Fast forward an hour and the approach to dover set against the rising sun was very special. I tried to catch a picture of the splendour.. something that would do it justice.



    Yes, I failed miserably.

    I'm ushered straight on board without even stopping, I can't even take the mandatory pre-ferry entrance shot. I'm on the only bike on the boat and a friendly chap emerges with the necessary tackle to lash the beastie down.



    On board I settle out on a nice sofa in the forward starboard corner of the boat. Stretch out, relax. The ambience is shattered by arrival to the next seats along of a family with a squeaky kid who is throwing tantrums, hopping up and down and going totally bonkers. The whole lounge is goggly eyed and looking at the show. Oh, FFS, give me peace. This lasts a good twenty minutes before I'm driven to some music to drown out the noise.
    Tango in the Night, Fleetwood Mac.
    Foreground: Carolaye ayee aye aye aya aye aye ayeeeene. Background: Squeak/scream.
    Adjust volume. Sorted. Relax.



    We sail off into the direction of the Sunshine and the view is just lovely so I take it in.

    Le preperation. Set speed cameras to 'Non'.



    What with the squeak-o-rama and all I don't feel much like writing on the ferry, so I don’t.

    I have a quick look over the bike and we're off the ferry with a minimum of fuss. I was up at the front off to the side and the guy doing the unload sought me out and dragged me to the front so I was first off the ferry which is always a pleasure. Calais port quickly deposits you on the A26 so the ferry fast becomes a faded memory as I cruise through the various UK number plates, Wobbly boxes, VW T5's with bike racks, Estate cars with everything possible bunged in to it. You get the picture.

    I hadn't specifically planned a route today. The game plan was to get past aim for the Black Forest part of Germany by the end of the day. I was kind of apprehensive about the day today, a) that I was tired, b) that I had to cover a reasonable amount of ground. The difference between the rambles in this is that most days the distances have been modest, what with having no time limits as such and the riding always relatively leisurely.

    But here's the quandry. I don't like motorways. I mean on a bike who does? (ZZR1400 owners need not reply). But I've a real problem: I need to cover miles.

    So. We will take the peage to be the tarmac of choice until Cambrai, and then heading South East, skirting Belgium, and then dipping down to Verdun for a spot of lunch and then to continue South East to make Germany, again mixing up a little motorway when needed.

    Is it me, or does anyone else ride their bike according to how it 'feels'? Today the bike feels great. It is positively purring in the morning sunshine and 85-95 is just floating along. It wants to motor briskly so we motor briskly.

    Off of the peage, around Cambria and to the D roads. I always get a great feeling when heading on a trip through France. A place so near, but everything so remarkably different to home. I'm in a jolly mood, so I match with some music- cue Lester Young and the Oscar Peterson Trio, the jazz matching up to some brisk and highly enjoyable riding. Hit a village- sit pleasantly at 50. Outside the village- twist the fun handle.

    Ah, we're in Verdun now.

    A random Verdun snap.



    Strange. There are a lot of odd sorts in Verdun. I remember a night in St. Omer with my brother Nick a couple of years back where he termed a group of local 'yoofs' as 'Les Fuds'. It reminds me and makes giggle to myself. Now I'm getting a few funny looks.

    Lunch by the river.



    I buy a sticker for the bike from a man that rides a new 1200 WC. "Do you like it?" I asks. "Yes, but we'll see how it goes" is the response in a very much 'Cest La Vie' style. Curious. He doesn't seem particularly impressed. Maybe he's just very laid back.



    Bollocks. I noticed that I've lost my oil bottle and my pack with my jump leads in that were attached to the rear carrier. Where I packed at night I put them on the wrong side, the wrong rack as it were, and they've fell off the bottom. Silly, silly boy. The moral of this? Don't pack in the dark.



    I've been using some Mindfulness techniques to analyse my feelings about stuff and it helps. Normally I become very, very pissed off at doing stupid things, and that can play on my mind and affect my mood, spoiling my day. But I react quite well, philosophically thinking about how and why, and in the grander scheme of things it isn't a big deal. Very helpful. More of that later, too I should imagine.

    Out of Verdun and some Motorway, before cutting across the North of the 'Reserve Nationale de Chasse de la Petite Pierre' and the amusingly (to me) named Pfaffenhoffen. Another splendid ride and then over the border into the Deutsche Bundesrepublik as the sign says.
    I roll into Baden Baden just short of 6pm. Today is declared a success.

    Booking.com finds a hotel just outside. The owner seems a bit odd but the place was well reviewed. Dinner is an absolute cracker. Pork thingamybob.



    Just a couple short of 500 today and I finish up feeling remarkably fresh. Dinner in the restaurant and bed by 10 though as something very similar to do tomorrow. Can I get it to work tomorrow- a mix of great riding and motorway? We'll see I guess.

    Beer of the day: Hatz Dunkel. Even though the waitress completely didn't get my 'Men without Hatz' joke* when I said no more thanks. Where has she been.



    *Sorry about the 'Men without Hatz' joke. That was in aid of 'Give an elderly joke a home' week, 1st-8th September.


  3. #35
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    Roberto , glad you are back in the saddle

    Looking forward to your Ramblings , yer hatz joke made me laugh. Keep up the good work.

  4. #36
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    Good to have you back, doing what you do best!

  5. #37
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    no mick hes still out that was just toads do

  6. #38
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    Hey roberto,

    Glad your back on the road again i enjoy your reports.

    Im setting off for the ferry from hull to zebrugge in about an hour, and then heading for Schonau in the black forest tomorrow night, then off into the alps for some fun.

    If you see a lone grey 57 gsa, waving you down in your mirrors itll be me



    Cheers,
    Phil.
    /Phil - 2008 GSA

  7. #39
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    Nice one Roberto

    Safe travels old bean
    Abide with me !

  8. #40
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    Thanks folks

  9. #41
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    Baden Baden to Malta

    A good sleep. My my, I am very organised this morning. I will roll with it as it isn't going to last.



    A sumptuous breakfast spread from the weird fella.



    Packed up quick and shipped out lickety split. So being in the area, I think we'll begin proceedings with a trundle down one of the famous roads of the region.

    Patient: "Doctor, I am becoming fed up with riding my motorbike"
    Doctor: "I prescribe an early morning run on the B500 to be taken immediately"

    How right they are. I've read a few posts in places about it has been spoiled, and there's Polizei everywhere, blah blah. Well, not at 9am there's not. I only see a couple of other cars and bikes and it is incredibly quiet.

    Careful though- with the mediciation can come side effects and no one wants to end up suffering with Sturzegefahrs.



    I'm on the road just after 9. Nobody else is. The road is an absolute peach and a must do.

    The view across to France. An epic view emerging from the trees to find you're skirting around the edge of the mountains.



    Stop for a stretch and to look through a tat shop.



    And a veritable tatland it is too. The Costco of tat shops.



    No stickers though

    More fun to be had on the empty roads. Biking at its best. 'Wunderbar Deutschland' as I've heard it said

    A quick stop in Baiersbronn for an Iced Tea served by a very enthusiastic and friendly gentleman. I peer through the window and then talk to the lady in the Tourist information office. She gives me a sticker and a lapel badge. Nice!

    Back to the road, and eventually I have to break off the 500 to head East. There's still fun to be had as I work due east, towards Ulm and the Autobahn. Shortly before the motorway I stop for another quick break and a bun.

    Madame B of the parish has coined the term 'Bunning'. This is a term we at the rambles like. This is where you potter around on the bike, then stop and have a bun, and repeat the process do the same again. I believe I've developed an extension to that original concept which I now call 'Speed bunning'*. This is the same basic concept but instead of leisurely pottering it is hustling along, and not dawdling over your bun of course.

    Here I'm concentrating on keeping the stops brief and forget the bun picture. But you have my assurances it was up to standard.



    A rare non-bun related halt. Photos tend to take second place when you're in the performance bunning zone. The 10.37 to Karlsruhe.



    And so the main road is picked up and we trundle along at a decent rate. The bike seems happy to go, so again we go. Lovely.

    After a bit of time and a couple of podcasts I'm in Munich. The Allianz Arena, home of Bayern, the European Champions. Big old place.



    I'm sure it'll look a whole lot better when they whip the bubble wrap off. And when they get together to pop said bubble wrap I'm coming over for definite.



    I seem to have inspired a visiting Bayern fan to do the picture.



    South of Munich and things get sticky. The Autobahn grinds to a halt but I manage filtering and quite enjoy it. There are a few cruisers loaded up struggling to haul through the traffic. Of course the GS even loaded up has great balance and its fun. By the time I get up to the front I'm navigating open doors and people wandering out on the road and I acquire a novelty status patiently working through, exchanging a few smiles with the stranded, waving and saying 'Guten Tag' and 'Teus.'

    As I reach the front of the queue its nasty; a Lorry has rear ended another. Not good at all that.

    I'm barely there a minute before the Polizei beckon us on.

    At the Austrian border I speed bun and buy a vignette.

    'Little Red Vignette' as performed by the artist formerly known as Roberto.

    Bit of a bugger because I'm only doing a short stretch, but then again its only four quid so there's no emergency funding call to Zurich required.

    Over the border and now taking the main road down South to Kitzbuhel, before working East again. Its very busy and speed bunning just becomes plain and simple bunning for a while. As the road opens up a little a bloke on a Hungarian registered Yamaha (I think it’s the naked 1300) who goes barelling past at what must have been 130mph. Woosh. Whoa! Blimey. A short while later why what do we have here, a teetering Hungarian bike tippy toeing around the bends and my my he's bloody hopeless. Scary.. I almost feel a tiny bit sorry for him… my word.. he's diabolical. I'm a pretty run of the mill rider so that must be saying something if he looks bad to me.

    Heading East now, the road is still relatively busy but we can still get on alright. Its now getting on for 6.30 and I'm close to Zell am See. Could we have time for a cheeky run across the Grossglockner? Hell yeah.

    Oh no, wait a minute, Hell no. At a roundabout I'm beckoned to the first slip road by a Polizei. I think I'm being pulled over but it turns out to be a diversion from the main road which sends what turns into a huge convoy around a many little lanes until we finally join the main road but time is lost. Eventually, at Zell am See and the turn for the Grossglockner things don't look brilliant. The sun is already lost in the valley running to the toll booth and I hope that I'm not too late.

    A spirited ride up to the toll booth and a quick conference with the bloke inside the flap and we're off. Actually, the pass is open until 9.45, so I'm far from too late and as I climb up there's plenty of light to enjoy it, and what's more, zero traffic. Biking heaven this and it is seriously good fun. Last time up here we were mingling in amongst all of the general tourist traffic, coaches, caravans and the like and hundreds of bikes. Wonderful sights a little spoiled by the traffic. But this time, just little old me and the odd thing coming the other way.

    Time for a quick snap.



    Lovely up here.



    Erm, everyone's kind of buggered off.



    With time knocking on there's not much room in the schedule to stand around so we're off again, back down the mountain.

    Oh go on, one more stop, one more snap.



    I pass two cars on the way down and that was it.

    And then on to Winklern and the B106 taking me East.

    Traffic is sparse, almost zero. The road flows through the valleys. I wind on a little and briskly run through the beautifully typical Austrian Valleys as the sun drops down and darkness takes over. It is quite a stunning ride. I have some chilled music on and everything just works. The bike purrs, the lines are good, every overtake comes along and goes in seamless fashion, just drifiting along, bothering nobody, passing and floating away into the distance. A totally memorable ride and one I shall remember.

    I turn North and get another couple of bob out of the Vignette to on the final run to the Gasthof Hochalmpsitze and home to John of this parish. I arrive just after 8pm in darkness, lifted by a beer thrust into my hand before I can even check in. Very welcome and a nice touch .



    Dinner, some chat with the owner and some of the friendly staff and then a flop to bed for a great night sleep. Day 2: Mission Accomplished.

    Beer of the day: Muraeur. Tasty and two minutes off the bike, well, even more so.

    *No copyright infringement is intended by borrowing and modification of the term 'Bunning'. If you suffer high blood pressure you should consult with your Medical Professional before Speed Bunning. Speed Bunning may result in the following side effects: Indegestion, rapid heart rate, elation.

  10. #42
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  11. #43
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    I was wondering where you'd got to!

  12. #44
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    Excellent report.. and it reads even better when sat in the corner of the pub with a couple of pints of Sneck Lifter.. winter is a comin'

    ballistic

  13. #45
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    Roberto

    You will be on Tactical Bunning at this rate
    Abide with me !

  14. #46
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    buns are nice

    you need tarts tho

    if you come back the same way (ish) the small road from innsbruck to fussen is nice if the weathers ok

  15. #47
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    as always beautifully written for for that reason im in

    ride safe mate

  16. #48
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    A 'bun runner' hope you don't get arrested by mistake Rob

    Keep it coming .... ride safe
    Adventure.GS
    Tours, training or custom made earplugs ... it's all here.

    "If you want the rainbow then you have to put up with a little rain" Dolly Parton

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