This is my fourth ride report from the Old World. Chronologically, it is first. This formula worked for Lucas in Star Wars so I hope it works here as well.
My partner for this ride is MOA member, Jim Breitegan. Former motocross champion, trials rider, enduro rider, Harley, Ducati, and BMW rider, he can do it all. My riding experience is quite shallow compared to him. I had a 360 Yamaha Enduro in the mid 70's a Yamaha 750 Seca in the mid 80's and nothing for the past 20 years.
I've been reading the forum for about the past 6 months and it seems that once a month someone asks about guided tours verse self guided tours. This is the story of a self guided tour in it's purest form. I read no books, magazine articles, internet posts, or talked to anybody about this ride prior to leaving. My language skills are intermediate French, basic Spanish and both Jim and I are fluent in bad English.
Jim rented an R1150R from Moto Mader near Zurich, his ride had 12km when he picked it up. Here he is with Jo checking out the bike. Jo spoke perfect English, we had trouble understanding........
It was exciting to finally get underway. We took the small roads out of town and traveled about 10 minutes before hard rain forced us under this farmer's barn eaves to put on full rain gear.
We took more small roads heading south for an hour or two and eventually headed into Italy. We took the lake road along the north shore of Lake Como and finally found a campground. Jim had been awake for 30 hours. This is a typical European campground. Permanently parked trailers and small patches of grass for tents. Campfires are not popular. Our neighbor wasn't home so I used his terrace to repack my side cases.
We went down to pay the campground host and check out his camp store. He was a friendly guy and he told us he'd just lost a bet. He said he told his partner that we'd be back in 5 minutes to buy beer. It took us 10. He liked it when I told him that I voted for Ahnold twice for governator of CA. We started calling him "The General" and he liked that even more.
Packing up the next day.
Fiat tractor???? Must be Italy. Beautiful day on Lake Como.
We rode north east towards St. Moritz, stopping in a small town for camp supplies.
Eventually we came to the beginning of the alps that head back into Switzerland.