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Thread: Euro Ride - Barcelona-Prague-Barcelona next fall.. ideas/experiences/routes?

  1. #16
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbrick View Post
    If you're considering renting in Germany, Stefan Knopf rents not-quite current machines for a chunk less than charged by others, and provides other bike touring services as well. We've rented from and stayed with him; he's a good man.
    Hi David,

    I looked at Knopf (and he isn't off the table yet..) but his stable of bikes is really rather limited. Either too big (RT's) or too old/uncomfortable for me (K75C) - and I know people will tell us all about the BBG they did on the K75C (actually John Ryan set many of his records on his old K75T), but the bike just never quite fit me right (THE K75S..) and after about 200 miles I was in awful pain.

    The big reason I'm leaning toward an R1200R - (and you probably know the feeling since you own one) - I can get off it after a long ride and still walk around, and I actually look forward to getting back on it in the morning. That wasn't the case with the K75S, despite lots of seat tries, different bars, etc. Just wasn't the right bike for me.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  2. #17
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    My 2 cents-As you mentioned the Dolomites-I found those roads a bit like the Appalachian mtns, where I live-except much like being in Germany culture wise-my favorite part of Italy,no doubt! Riding the big alpine passes has it's serious downside for me-maybe lots of panoramic scenery but your gonna have to share those slooooooow hairpin curves with tour buses & bicycles & old farts like me looking around at stuff! The sweepers in the Dolomites are way more fun!
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  3. #18
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    A few friends and I are planning on a 15-16 day trip to ride Europe - So the plan is - rent bikes in Barcelona - spend a few days there, then head for Prague. Spend a few days in Prague, then back to Barcelona.
    So at best you will have is a total of 12 riding days. Six days to go and six days to return.

    Sorry, but based on my lots-of-experience riding there, that is far too short if you want to ride back roads and the Alps. It is doable of course, but you will be riding for the t-shirt. Everything in Europe may be around the corner, but it takes forever to get anywhere if riding interesting roads.

    Add at least an extra week and you'll enjoy it a lot more.

  4. #19
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Thanks to Kantuckid.. the Dolomites are sort of on my radar..

    And thanks to Alex. Part of my style of touring is - I plan 1 day ahead when touring. That means if I decide to do something completely different from what was originally planned, there isn't much holding us back. Happily - the other three guys sharing this adventure have all ridden on tours that I lead that incorporated that philosophy.

    I've been using your tour planning pages for lots of ideas - great pages even if the costs are a tad out of date in some spots. I'm not locked into anything - except where we'll have to pickup and drop-off the bikes, and we haven't made that decision yet (getting quotes from a number of places, and one of the chaps riding with us who is a native German has a friend who owns a BMW bike rental agency, and he's getting us some very good prices.)

    Once we figure out where the bikes are coming from - then some route thinking will be in order. This isn't a tour to shoot all the Alpine passes. Not my style. A few passes - maybe. My feeling is - you've seen one hairpin.. well, I don't need a few hundred of them to prove anything to myself. Kantuckid's description of the Dolomites sounds appealing to me - some of my most enjoyable riding is in the Appalachian mountains (hills - large hills) of the eastern US. Just as a FWIW - one of the other riders and I did a tour last fall from NJ to Cape Breton Island. Ended up being about 3,200 miles, we did it in 2 weeks, with a few days where we did little riding and a lot of sightseeing. That trip was about 3,300 miles round trip, and about 2/3rds of it was on secondary and back roads. We started riding pretty promptly at 9AM, and finished for the day at around 5PM. Seemed just about the right amount of riding in miles and time to us. There were about 3 highway days in the trip - - mostly to move us through places where there simply was no other road.

    The trip might end up being Munich to Barcelona and back, or who knows.. as I said, I never plan much more than 1 day ahead. I hate riding with the feeling that I *have* to be somewhere. We'll actually be gone about 16 days, we're giving ourselves 2 "acclimation" days at the beginning of the trip, before we even pick up the bikes. Adjust to the time zone difference, and do a bit of sightseeing.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  5. #20
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Don, once you have an idea of where you might stay, PM me and I'll see if I have any first hand experience with accommodations in those locations.

    I stay in nice comfortable hotels, but not the 5-star mega dollar establishments, if that is what you are after.

    If you can overnight in Serfaus, I know of a couple of really nice hotels that are very reasonable. Serfaus is high above the main road down in the valley.

    Don't forget to stop in at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. I finally hope to this year.

  6. #21
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Don, except maybe in far northern Sweden and Norway, there is nothing in Europe like the open spaces out to Cape Breton. If you are not on the Autobahn/Autoroute/Autostrada, you will have to slow to 30mph or lower every 2-5km as you string one village to the next. If you are on the Authobahn, then it will be like riding an Interstate.
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  7. #22
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrylri View Post
    If you are on the Authobahn, then it will be like riding an Interstate.
    And despite the speeds on them, my average speed is about 105 kph (~65 mph). You can be doing 120 mph and all that is lost to being slowed down by traffic and construction.

  8. #23
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    .........................Just as a FWIW - one of the other riders and I did a tour last fall from NJ to Cape Breton Island. Ended up being about 3,200 miles, we did it in 2 weeks, with a few days where we did little riding and a lot of sightseeing. That trip was about 3,300 miles round trip, and about 2/3rds of it was on secondary and back roads. ......................

    To reiterate what has been said, unless you spend most of your time in the valleys on the slab, this type mileage is next to impossible. If you want to do some sightseeing 250 km/day average is all I would plan, you can always adjust dependent on weather, if you are planning day to day. My highest daily average over 15 days was about 275km/day, and it was my 7th trip and I ride very spirited, start early and ride late.

    What makes the Alps unique is the roads run UP the mountains, and you look at the valleys. In the US, the roads run in the valleys and you look up at the mountains, with the exception of the BRP. Even in the Rocky's the roads take the path of least resistance, and most of your time is spent low, looking up. If you plan on lots of miles and force yourself into the Valleys to make time, you will miss what it is all about, the culture, and the beauty, that is the Alps. Hairpin after hairpin and bagging as many passes as one can is not most peoples goal, The goal is getting to a beautiful place and the roads and turns are the bonus, for us corner nuts. And if you say your best trips have been to the Smokey's, you obviously like corners.

    Either way you will have a blast, most everyone I know lust to go back, it is unlike any other riding in the world.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
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  9. #24
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    If you want to do some sightseeing 250 km/day average is all I would plan.
    That sounds about right when taking some non-riding days into account.

    2008 was an 8000 km year with exactly 4 weeks of riding less some non-riding days when I had to take care of personal matters. Except for about 1400 kms of autobahn, the rest was all back roads. So about 6600 km/21 days = 314 km/day.

    Remembering some tough days, 420 kms doing 11 passes in the Dolomites was extremely tiring. I didn't even want to see the last two passes before getting back to my home base near Sillian. At that point, all I wanted to see was flat prairie road, pizza and beer. 650 km on back and pass roads in a day was a downright killer and I never do those returning to a home base, only if I am going from A to B.

    Don will figure out his comfort level in the first few days.

  10. #25
    Global Touring
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    It's clear Don is getting lots of good advice from all you previous posters.
    This will only "end" well

  11. #26
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Thanks to Court for meeting with us for dinner last night. I have some serious reading to do now..
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

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