TravellingStrom

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Archive for June 16th, 2012

Stelvio Pass = F.FUN in Capital Letters

Posted by TravellingStrom on June 16, 2012

Mayan Prophecy Countdown

Another late start as brekky was not until 8am and as I could not find anyone to upgrade my internet access I decided not to bother with any updates. I guess I could have written some stuff, but I wanted to get moving, the weather was fine, though a tad chilly at this altitude, but the view from my bedroom window was nice.

After brekky it was off like a shot, now Simon had told me to fill up with fuel in this town because it was tax free, but I had only used about 5lt after yesterdays fill up, so it was not really worth the stop. I guess if I had known where things were yesterday I could have planned my fuel stops better, but there you go, follow a purple line on a GPS and sometimes you miss out on things. Never mind, I was about 100km from Stelvio Pass and this did not take all that long to get to, with some nice rural valleys and villages to ride through once again as well as the winding roads up the sides of the mountains and lots of open sided tunnels, probably to protect the roads from falling rocks. And did I mention the weather was beautiful!

It was fun riding this pass, very tight turns which I did not perform all that well on to start with, but I am learning ;) I also try and take photos as I go and the corners catch me out sometimes :) I actually had a group of knee scrapers behind me so I waved them through then tagged on the end, they had very tuned exhaust systems which became apparent when in some of the tunnels I followed them through. But, I stopped for some photo opportunities of course so I lost them, or vica verca. You can check out some action in the movie. Just a note here, some of the reason these posts are late are because of trying to edit some movie segments to post, I did not want to post yesterdays nor todays posts without some video footage and IT TAKES TIME to just watch what I did, then select bits to upload, which is another whole new episode, but I have managed to find time to do both.

So, after the fun I stopped for a photo and video shoot, and the rest is self explanatory, FUN in caps ;) The actual pass is a bit further on, the twisties are in bunches and the second batch is above the snow line, very nice scenery up there.

Of course what goes up must come down which was a different type of fun and with all the old fashioned sports cars out on a fun race, it was interesting to listen to them and see them as well. You may also have seen many pushbike riders and people on wheeled ski type things, very hard yakka that! Um, I did have a small issue with some Italian chaps in uniform at the top of the pass, maybe Guy can tell me what he was on about, it was all Italian to me, but whatever it was he let me off :)

Sadly though it did not take long to accomplish the goal and when I got down to the valley floor, it was time to say farewell to the fun and head north, a long way north. This is where my GPS mapping software caused me grief yet again, because I had created a route from here to IB’s place in Frankfurt, it was 550km or so but the stupid machine truncated the route and I got confused with timing. I texted IB to let him know I would be there between three and four this arvo, but I did not take into account the slow driving amongst the traffic until a lot later when I entered Germany and finally found an autobahn, where I upped the pace a lot. It was around this time that I realised the route had been cut short and created a new one. Just when I thought I had 100km to go, I now had 350km, and after that I still had to get to Ingo’s place which was another 250km north of IB’s :( I am not worried about long distances, but when your mind is at the end of the journey and you find out you are 300km short, it can be frustrating.

Needless to say, I turned up the music and the throttle and settled in for the arvo. I had noticed that with the higher octane fuel, even though I was running at a faster pace, my economy did not suffer all that much, only if I went over 120 did it chew the fuel. Of course the highways were being upgrade constantly over here so I managed to encounter a lot of roadworks, but the cars here are very good and they would mostly move over so bikes could filter between them. Another side note here, apparently this is illegal at this time and I could have been booked, but they are trying to make this a legal act, all the car drivers want it too, and they are very helpful. Mind you, another thing that is TOTALLY VERBOTEN is to ride up the emergency lane, which I have done a few times, but they can take your licence away according to Ingo, so maybe I will curtail that activity ;)

As I got further into Germany the clouds started to build up, which for some reason I sort of expected! I did arrive at IB’s place, a few hours later than I said, around 5.30pm and had a quick chat and took the opportunity to re-insert all my liners as I had been getting chilly in the past hour. I only came here to pick up my birthday present. I have a Kindle Touch 3G and there were no cases for it when I left home, so my Mum bought me a solar panel charge case for it over the internet, they had only just been released, and had it sent here. Originally, IB was to bring it to the Vstrom meeting a week or so back, but his bike was not ready so he never made it. Thanks for that IB, as I head north into the rain, in fact the last time I left IBs house on day one of my journey, it was raining too!!! Just for the record, I have the same tyres on my bike that we installed back then on the 22nd April, I have ridden over 20,000kms and they still have another 4-5,000kms on them. They are Heidenau Scout K60’s. They are a brilliant tyre and the only thing I have noticed that is a slight negative is when they get squared off a bit, like mine have, when I did the mountains over the past two days they HOWLED on every corner, LOL, who cares, not me, I reckon it adds to the fun ;)

So, I had a two hour run north in the rain, and I got to try out my new riding gear and at the speed I was travelling, 140 or so, IT WORKED, yippee, I was dry for a change, about bloody time too! I did get a bit chilled though, so my electric gear can still be worn, and I was not wearing the thermals, so another layer can be added as well. Now I need sweltering heat to see how it handles that, not much chance of that up here though methinks, not until maybe late July. The rain did stop about 20 minutes from Ingos and the sun did come back out and eventually after only one stuff up(wrong address) I found the garage with a Cosmotos sign on it, welcome indeed. So, after a long day, I finally got to catch up Ingo and Cecilia and their new baby and settled into a great room, a nice beer or two and some great BBQ food. We chatted and beered on for ages, but I did bail early, I had had many long days and tomorrow was a ride day apparently ;)

Cheers from Bedburg, Germany
TravellingStrom

Posted in Around The World, Eurasia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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