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Thread: This year's European trip

  1. #17
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    Don't understand why people are so set against using motorways, look at the map and the route, your trying to make progress to get to your destination, when you get to a city or town and there is a motorway next to it, jump on the motorway, nothing worst than taking a wrong turn or road work's and losing a rider or two in a City, plus you are more likely for some one to have a spill, it may be a shorter distance but more time consuming
    Oh! and it's Wapping not Mr Wapping

  2. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis the Menace View Post
    Don't understand why people are so set against using motorways, look at the map and the route, your trying to make progress to get to your destination.....
    I agree. They serve an excellent purpose, as and when required. There again, I don’t mind the rural roads of north east France, which others detest.

    The French are good in that they waive their motorway tolls around cities. Anyone who stubbornly refuses to take a free motorway and would rather trog their way through Boulogne, Lyon or Nancy, must need testing for brains.

  3. #19
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    Agree re cities & motorway bypass

    Do not imagine you cannot lose riders by using the motorway. On one trip we lost one when we eventually met up, learnt he'd taken the wrong slip after the toll entry & headed north, not south. When we set off we didn't realise he was still doing his nails/hairdo or polishing his helmet & hadn't noticed which way we went.

    To further confirm his ineptitude, he later admitted that he had "updated" his sat nav prior to trip, & deleted all but UK maps.

  4. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by gazuk View Post
    Wow, cheers guys for your replies, especially Mr wrapping.

    There is normally 3 of us, but there may be an additional 2 this year. We meet tonight to get the ball rolling.

    The Friday night departure has been suggested. Not too sure myself as we are going on the weekend before bank holiday and half term week so worried about rushing in Friday night traffic, most of us work Fridays etc. It would also mean another hotel night although I have found the ibis one in St omer for 50quid so it's not off the table.

    As for routes, we'll see tonight what majority prefers. My preference would be se Switzerland as a turn around point, so just meander down there, pass through and meander back, just staying one night everywhere, but as long as I'm riding my bike and its not majority motorways I don't really care.

    Kurviger - had a look but seems that free one is not worth it so best to get paid one. Is this much better than the motorrad v5 as I have this all wired into my gsa. Plan was use paper map to find direction then use v5 to get route. I can mount my phone on my bike so if Kurviger is better I will get it

    Thanks again all for the advice.

    Sent from my LLD-L31 using Tapatalk
    OK...

    1. What was the conclusion from last night’s brainstorming cession?

    2. It’s not compulsory that you go over the night before, it’s only a suggestion. If the timings can’t work for you or the other four, so be it. If you can, great. If not, as you potentially have 600 miles of non-motorway ahead of you for the next two days, I wouldn’t be rolling off the Chunnel at 15:00 on Saturday. There again, that will all depend on what the five of you decide on (see 1 above). As regards the additional cost? You can always share rooms or just see it as ‘value’ versus the time saved.

    3. I think you are confusing the Kurviger / Scenic app’s with the free Kurviger website, perhaps? Are the Kurviger / Scenic app’s better than your Nav V? I guess you mean as navigation / route creation devices, used in conjunction with your phone on your bike? I don’t think so. That being said, others on this site have ditched their Garmin / TomTom devices and only use their phones. One possible reason is that they do not plot their own routes. Instead, they simply order their phone to: “Take me from A to B” down whatever roads the phone throws up. I suppose they did the same with their GPS devices? If that is all they want to do, then the phone alone is fine. Using a phone has it’s advantages, I guess.

    (A) GPS devices are relatively expensive. If someone already has an (expensive) phone, why not use it.

    (B) It saves them learning BaseCamp, having read that it is truly shite or getting to grips with whatever software a TomTom uses.

    (C) They want to stubbornly use their paper maps and sheets of handwritten paper, only ever turning on their phone (or GPS device) on when they get lost or are within three hundred yards of their hotel. As to why they don’t use their paper maps to plot the route along roads of their choosing and then use their GPS in tandem to display the route as they go along is, of course, a mystery. But hey, each to their own.

    In short, use whatever method you find easiest or best. Know where you want to go but don’t want to plot your own route A to B? Just ask your phone (loaded or not with third party apps like Kurviger / Scenic) or GPS device to tell you, they’ll both give you non-motorway / windy roads in moments. Are they the best roads? Maybe. Will they be perfect to get you from A to B? Maybe. Did it require no effort? Definitely. It’s the latter that makes them most attractive to many people.

  5. #21
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    Sat nav - I do rely on the garmin a little more than I should. Just put in destination, make sure it's in bike mode and just go. It does sometimes send you very narrow and twisty rows so I will be checking the routes via pape maps in future.

    As for last night , went well. We're going on Friday on a 4pm train. Once in calais we'll have a couple of hours ride to Laon or Reims for the night, then sat ride to Neiderbronn in North vogues stayed there last year and is a good stop before Germany) then Sunday onto baden baden and pick up b500 down to Switzerland. Doing 4 nights in Switzerland. Not sure about ride back, but we have 2.5 days to get back to Calais for 5pm train, probably skirt southern France.

    Sent from my LLD-L31 using Tapatalk

  6. #22
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    Haven't checked finer details with kurviger yet but that's the basic plan, but we are still flexible so it may change a little.

    Sent from my LLD-L31 using Tapatalk

  7. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gazuk View Post
    Sat nav - I do rely on the garmin a little more than I should....so I will be checking the routes via pape maps in future.

    As for last night , went well. We're going on Friday on a 4pm train....Not sure about ride back, but we have 2.5 days to get back to Calais for 5pm train, probably skirt southern France.
    Looks like you are all set. Enjoy!

  8. #24
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    Andermatt is a good location and easily doable in 2 days without motorways.

    I'm going in June and following a similar route to the last time i went.
    Heading down the french/Belgium border towards our first nights stay near the Vosges.
    Day two is heading towards Andermatt taking in some truly amazing roads on the route.

    i can send across routes if you tell me in what format you want.

  9. #25
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    It's easily doable in seven days. I normally allow two nights going down and two coming back from Zeebrugge or Rotterdam, but have done it with a one night stop before now with only a few hours on the motorway to get out of the flatlands of Holland and northern Germany. Three nights in Brienz in 2015 allowed a full day riding the famous passes around Andermatt (Furka, Grimsel, Sustan, Nufenstrasse, Tremola) and another day heading up the Jungfraujoch on the train.

  10. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant123 View Post
    Andermatt is a good location and easily doable in 2 days without motorway....

    i can send across routes if you tell me in what format you want.
    If you send them to me, I’ll put them onto Dropbox for everyone to share. PM for my email address, please.

  11. #27
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  12. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant123 View Post
    Day 1 and 2 available here...
    Thank you.

    The route / track opens pretty neatly in the Scenic app on a iPad.

    It does though show the possible danger of letting a third party piece of software (in this case Scenic) convert a gpx route, as it may well do it according to its preferences.

    Here you can see an example. The gpx track is the dotted blue line. The pink or magenta line, is Scenic’s version of it. Scenic has a default setting of ‘curvy’ so it will take every opportunity to take the rider down roads that its algorithms tell it are ‘curvy’, just for the sake of it. If the rider didn’t check what Scenic offered up, then he’d probably end each day cursing his Garmin (which did nothing wrong at all) or his phone and its Scenic app. In short, check and check again.








    You can get pretty much the same ‘Let’s go curvy for the sake of it’ phenomenon if you blindly accept and follow a route created in Scenic’s sister app, Kurviger. If in doubt check, which is best done in BaseCamp or Mapsource.

  13. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wapping View Post
    Another free tip. Lots of people cross back to the UK on the Saturday / Sunday afternoon and evening trains. If you can time your return so that you stay just short of Calais the night before, you can skip up to the train the following morning with much less traffic. Arriving home the next morning, is not much different to arriving the evening / night before.... but often less faffing about in queues.
    The guardians of the borders try to share the pain equally, and make people in the morning wait just as long even when it isn't busy. Also, on a quiet morning the customs (as opposed to immigration) officers might have more time available to give you a good once-over. Ditto the French border authorities. On the bright side, at least their one-pair-a-day purple gloves will be relatively clean in the morning.

  14. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by gazuk View Post
    Sat nav - I do rely on the garmin a little more than I should. Just put in destination, make sure it's in bike mode and just go. It does sometimes send you very narrow and twisty rows so I will be checking the routes via pape maps in future.

    As for last night , went well. We're going on Friday on a 4pm train. Once in calais we'll have a couple of hours ride to Laon or Reims for the night, then sat ride to Neiderbronn in North vogues stayed there last year and is a good stop before Germany) then Sunday onto baden baden and pick up b500 down to Switzerland. Doing 4 nights in Switzerland. Not sure about ride back, but we have 2.5 days to get back to Calais for 5pm train, probably skirt southern France.

    Sent from my LLD-L31 using Tapatalk
    have a look at https://goo.gl/maps/E8o8WV28eAy5BtBi9 - this is my preferred route to the North Vosges from Coquelles - you can do toll free dual carriageway most of the way, buy cheap fuel in Lux and tick off 4 countries.

    2 hours from the tunnel puts you at Mons which has a cluster of hotels by the train station, including the ubiquitous Ibis. Several nearby eateries, an impressive cathedral to gawp at on a post prandial walk and of course, Belgian beer which is much better than you get in France.

    We are doing something similar this year but having an overnight in Dinant (3 hours from the tunnel) then on to Obernai in the Vosges for a few days.
    This space deliberately left blank as the author writes too much pretentious bollocks as it is.

  15. #31
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    If you or your friends are set on Andermatt, I'd suggest at least two nights there. And on the day in between, you can leave your luggage in the hotel and enjoy a circular route from there. Susten, Grimsel Furka and Oberlp passes (though the Oberalp means coming back the same way. There's also a good route over the Nufenen pass and back via St Gotthard (I think). St Gotthrd gves you three choices - the tunnel (boring) the new road (fast but relatively busy) and the old road (INCREDIBLY twisty).

    The only risk is that the weather might not play ball. I did something very similar a few years ago and had a stunning ride over Susten and Grimsel, so good we decided to go home that way the next day. It was freezing cold and so foggy I could barely see my visor. So good to have a plan B in case meteorology fails you.

    We didn't buy a vignette for motorways and the slog up to Andermatt from Sion and Brig was a pain in the arse on a very busy, very slow road. For much of the time you are teased with the sight of the freely running motorway to your left. The scenery looks just as good from the motorway! And it's not like you will be taking lots of leisurely stops for coffee, because you can't afford it! I also got very frustrated and lost in Geneva through paranoia about getting on a motorway and having to pay a fine of 32 gazillion Swiss francs. If I was doing it again today, I'd buy the vignette!

    We took a route down there via the Vosges and Pontarlier, and into Switzerland over the Col de ..... can't remember! Goes to Gex. Remembered - Col de la Faucille or something like that.

    If this all sounds a bit negative, it's not meant to be. Switzerland is stunning and the passes were amazing. Just don't bank on doing much other than riding in Switzerland unless you have lots of money. Live cheaply in Switz, have some good meals and drinks in France and/or Germany.

    Maybe come back via The Rhine Falls and then Black Forest?

  16. #32
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    This year's European trip


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    Quote Originally Posted by wessie View Post
    have a look at https://goo.gl/maps/E8o8WV28eAy5BtBi9 - this is my preferred route to the North Vosges from Coquelles - you can do toll free dual carriageway most of the way, buy cheap fuel in Lux and tick off 4 countries.

    2 hours from the tunnel puts you at Mons......
    Wessie, I am not sure your link works, at least not on an iPad.

    The route comes out simply as A6 followed by A4 motorways and nowhere particularly near Mons.


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