A belated ride report of a trip we did early September 2017, my grey matter is not what it was so I may have forgotten some of the details but hopefully the pics and the info contained within should paint a picture of the great trip we enjoyed, our numbers were down on previous years as not everyone could make the dates we eventually arrived by trial and error or maybe we were just using the wrong deodorant.........
All hotels were booked via booking dot com except for the one in Austria, all mileages shown are approximate and don't allow for U turns and multiple laps of roundabouts in order to re-group, one Sat Nav was harmed in the making of this trip
Day 0 Sat Sept 2nd
Dave and I arranged to meet at Portsmouth for an overnight crossing to Le Havre, we would meeting up with others over the next day or two so it was just me and he sharing a cosy cabin for 2 on the "truck driver's special" ferry
Dave was "fashionably late" having had a bolt snap in the head of his new Rallye whilst fitting Machine Art X head cylinder head guards in the early hours, apparently the bolts are made out of "f***ing monkey metal", I took a pic of my Rallye in it's new "touring mode".

Day 1 Sun Sept 3rd
Garmin suggests a distance of 452 miles to our overnight stop in Frieburg, the day dawned bright and the weather gods appeared to be smiling on us (but for how long?) as we prepared to disembark at Le Havre.

With full tanks and empty bladders we set off and made good progress, this was the first time I had experienced a regular GS on a European tour having always had the Adventure variant with the larger fuel capacity in the past, as we were both riding identical machines fuel range proved not be an issue as we were getting over 200 miles between fill ups. We stopped briefly at Reims and had a look around and took a few pics......

We pressed on in the direction of Nancy then followed a route toward the Vosges in the hope that a few twisty roads would erase the memory of miles and miles of less interesting roads we had endured during the day, after a brief lunch stop the sky grew darker and it looked like we might get a bit wet........we pressed on making good progress and appeared to be bettering the arrival time on the Sat Nav's, then it started hail stoning, then it really started hail stoning properly with lumps of ice the size of 50p's falling, soon the dual carriageway we were on was carpeted in ice, we thought about seeking shelter under a bridge or underpass but there was no space as the sheltered areas were taken up by cars WTF We paused at a service station for the hail to stop then pressed on at a pace, the wind helping to dry our outer layers, we were soon at the Vosges and enjoyed the ride once more, it was good to be off the main roads

After riding the Col Le Bonhomme we were soon crossing the Rhine into Germany and heading for Frieburg

We were due to meet Johnny here, we knew from his texts he was already in residence and he met us in the car park when we arrived he seemed full of praise for our Hotel for the night which was the Hotel Bierhousle


The rooms were clean and spacious, the hotel had an excellent bar and restaurant, secure undercover parking was a bonus
We enjoyed a beer or four and a superb meal-possibly the best meal of the trip.

Day 2 Mon Sept 4th
Garmin suggested a route of 298 miles to Vipiteno in Italy via several passes along the way finishing with The Timmelsjoch as we neared our destination, It was going to be another long day in the saddle so were up and packed and breakfasted early and on the road at a reasonable hour, we were due to meet Oscar either this afternoon on the road or tonight at the hotel depending on his progress from Northern Germany and ours on the mountain roads.
Our route took us North of Lake Konstanz via Ravensberg we stopped once or twice for pics;

We rode The Oberjoch and Tanheim passes and paused briefly for fuel and a snack then pressed on to Oetzal and maintained a good pace and enjoyed traffic free roads, the theme continued and we rode the 2509 metre Timmelsjoch, again we stopped for a few pics, our schedule didn't allow us as much time in the museum as it obviously warranted and we had heard via text that Oscar's progress had been slow so we would be meeting at the hotel that night.
More pics from the Timmelsjoch;

The snow was early this year

Could that be JB's 1150 in this pic? A rare sight indeed

Looks fabulous doesn't it and traffic free but this was late afternoon and the temperatures were already in single digit celsius

A couple more.......

Nearing journey's end for today and not too far from our hotel for the night.

We were staying at Hotel Monschein in Vipiteno, finding it wasn't straightforward as some of the local streets had been closed for a cycle race the following day, the Hotel was fine the rooms were clean and spacious, the hotel restaurant was ok and was very reasonably priced, no secure parking though-if that matters to you.

The town itself was a charming medieval town with cobbled streets, Johnny had to attend a poetry recital or prayer meeting after dinner so Oscar Dave and I went and found a beer cellar and bagged bar side seats

Looking through my pics and I don't think I have any food shots

Day 3 Tues Sept 5th
Our route today was a somewhat less ambitious 229 miles with a suggested journey time of 6.5 hours which says a lot about the type of terrain we would be travelling, our route to Malta in Austria took in numerous passes in an area awash with fantastic roads and great passes obviously we couldn't do them all so our route followed a path that was mostly "new to us" or the passes we had ridden the least when we have passed this way before, "so many roads so little time" as JB is fond of saying, among the highlights on our route today; passes Sellajoch, Pordoi, Campolongo, Valparola, Falzarego, Passo Giau, Passo de Tre Croci.

Let's start with a few pics to whet your appetite

This was the day when one or two ailments along with a total failure of his ageing phone started to mess with Johnny's head, he was with us in person for part of the day but his quest to resolve these issues would become all enveloping and he left us part way through the day to seek a solution on his own.

Before the sun came up the temps were low and there was a light dusting of snow, again the scenery was dramatic and the roads were virtually empty, that this was a weekday possibly helped with the latter,

we stopped for a coffee and went for a little stroll, possibly Passo Sella

We pressed on to the Valparola and Falzarego where we stopped for an excellent lunch-dozens of queueing cyclists can't be wrong the food was excellent

Still no food shot

Dave; "Is Steve's Go-Pro switched on Oscar?"
Oscar; "It's flashing....doesn't he have a remote control for it? "

The 3 amigo's continued via twists and turns, tunnels and avalanche shelters for pass after glorious empty pass;

We crossed the border into Austria and nearing our destination and with the light failing stopped for 1 more pic near Seeboden

Our hotel for the next 2 nights was the rather excellent Gasthof Hochalspitze https://www.gasthofhochalmspitze.com/
it is run by an English couple both of whom are totally hospitable and helpful, both have a wealth of knowledge of the area and are keen bikers and can offer assistance with route planning and "must see" attractions in the area, the rooms are clean and comfortable, they serve excellent food, have draught beer, secure parking is a given as is a well stocked tool cabinet which can be made use of if required, paradise in Malta

More to follow............