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A Breva at Bonneville!! (or: "the Route.." part 2))

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Holt, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. Holt

    Holt High Miler GT Contributor

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    - or "The Route" part 2.

    We (son&I) had some plans on going to the Pyrenees this year, but somehow we realized that time wouldn't allow us.
    So we went for the Rounding Switzerland” tour instead.
    Idea was to drive round the country without ever crossing the border; mainly because I won't pay that ridiculous SFR 40 fee for a Vignette. If the fat Swiss consists on that, I can consist on keeping away from that country.

    After the Czech crash last year my son, true to his brand, bought a Thruxton. Cheap in insurance, maybe not the best bike for touring, but as he’s still young the cramped sitting position seems to be tolerable. It’s an older carburettor model, with the low clip-ons.

    Early warning; there won't be very many pics here, as we mainly rode during the days, started at 9 in the morning, and stopping for the night at about 17-1730, having brakes for lunch and tanking gas and water only, all days except for one resting day at Mandello.

    With an early start from home we reached Bergen the first evening. ( No, not THAT Bergen. The Bergen known from the name of Bergen-Belsen, which by obvious reasons isn’t á la mode anymore)

    Sorry, no pics. Seems to be the largest European military practice area found, and is crowded with British military. Everybody speaks English and boiled lamb with mint sauce is the hoot down there. :p

    Next day after driving smaller country roads, we landed at a small village Gasthaus north of Koblenz, for having a riding day on the shores of the Mosel-river. It also was the beginning of the warm weather period that strikes Europé since then. After that day we didn’t experince one single day when temperatures at midday went under 35 C*. Cooler at Alp-passes, of course, but the valleys didn’t make exceptions.

    At the Mosel; having a break.

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    Really; the Mosel river isn’t too much fun to ride. Impressing and beautiful, yes, but a quite boring road. So we turned south at Sennheim and rode over the Hunsrück
    (Seen Edgar Reitz ”Heimat” series? Then You’ll know) – towards Saarbrücken/Sarreguemines in France.
    I’ve read about the ”Routes des Haute Alpes” some years ago, and following that we’d go right outside the Swiss border, and probably have a good time driving.

    So hitting Phalsbourg (right north of Strasboug,) in Alsace-Lorraine in the evening brought us on trace.

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    The ”Routes” are starting in Thonon-les-Bains, on the the south shore of the Lac Lemans, also known as the Sea of Geneva.
    We made it to Bonneville before starting the real fun.


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    So came the first day of fun and joy.

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    Basically we rode Le Grand Bornard – Flumet – Séez – Sainte-Foy Tarantaise – Val d’Isere – Larsle Villard – Modane – Saint-Martin-dÁrc – Briancon during two days. The whole Route is 680 km, and I guess you should plan for 4 days, f you want to go all the way to Menton at the Côte d’Azur.

    http://www.grande-traversee-alpes.com/m ... trail.html

    Also I’m not sure we followed the track exactly, as we rode after the GPS in the ”short track” mode, giving us some deroutes over very narrow roads.

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    It can at times be difficult to see if it’s going up or down, but you can always tell by watching the always and overall present Tour-de-France-wannabees. Pedalling like hell it’s going up; fluttering garments and white faces, it’s going down. :mrgreen:

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    Val d’Isere is really abandoned in summer, but at the Col d’Iseran it’s high life. And an impressing view, of course.

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    - but still warm; 22 C* at the pass, and still clammy trouser's.

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    Always a road down again

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    Evening at Valloire.

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    Next day we rode over the Col du Galabier, an even more impressive pass than the Iseran IMHO. Narrower, steeper roads and more – err - Je-ne-sais-Qui. :dry:

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    On the road down to Briancon we also passed the Col du Lautaret and the Col du Telegraph. It just goes on and on and on.

    From Briancon we turned into Italy for the first decent cup of coffee on the trip.

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    We went over Sestriere and Pinerolo to Torina, and from there the Autostrada all the way to Como, as the temperatures now had raised to nearly 39 C* and combined with a never before felt humidity it made slower or demanding riding nearly impossible.

    Mamma Ciccias was fully booked, alas, so we got a room at the Grigna, which was a kind of fortunate, as they’ve got air conditioned rooms. Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh…… :laugh:

    Sunday was the day of relief and resting, doing nothing but sitting under the shady trees at the shores of Lario, reading, walking around a little, and dining at Mamma Ciccias in the evening.
    Great kitchen, great wines!

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    Monday we went north again, passing Bormio and the now a days crowded Stelvio.

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    Blame the British! It’s a goat market up there! Said to be because of the road recommendations made in the ”Top Gear” programme.

    After that – we actually had the only drops of rain throughout the whole tour going down the Stelvio on the north side, but it wasn’t enough to make anything soaked – we passed through Austria, had a chat with a very sympathetic American bloke living in Japan and bicycling from Prague to Venice ( - over Landeck??? What a deroute!) – we landed in Garmisch Partenkirchen.

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    Sorry, no ski jumping. That’s the great new years day event, when everybody are a bit, err, tired. :whistle:

    But they’ve got marmots. ( I actually glimpsed one alive somewhere on the road)

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    After Garmisch we went home in 2 days, mainly by Autobahn. Done Germany too often for making any more deroutes at this stage of the travel..

    To sum up; the Breva did what it was supposed to do. Again. Consumed 0,8 liter of oil during the 4000 km ride and probably 200 liters of gas.
    Only thing; my new meshed riding gear doesn’t go well with a plastic covered saddle. Clammy in hot weather.
    Also my legs are getting a bit stiff. I’ll go practising the gym this winter, and if it doesn’t approve for the next season, I’ll need to change the Breva for something with a more upright sitting position legwise.

    AND; I'll really recommend everyone to take that "Route" tour. It's my best ride ever!
     
  2. 20001200c

    20001200c Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Re: A Breva at Bonneville!! (cross-posting)

    Looks like you had a cracking trip! An Alpine/high pass trip is on my list, I think I'll 'favourite' this one for some future tips!

    Have you thought about tweaking the pegs on your Breva? I've swapped the bars and pegs on my 1200 (Mana bars and Buell pegs) and I no longer suffer from thigh cramps and nasty pains between the shoulders even on back to back long days..... I realise your 750 is a different layout, but it's just a thought.

    Neil
     
  3. Mike.C

    Mike.C GT Reference

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    Re: A Breva at Bonneville!! (cross-posting)

    Ah mountains, we don't have many of them here so the Minister and I are shipping the bikes to New Zealand for 4 weeks blasting around the South Island at Christmas to see for ourselves what they look and feel like.

    Great story as always and has wet the appetite for them thar high and cool hills, thanks mate.


    BTW, do you have to go down a gear when going up or is it up a gear when going down :cool: :lol:
     
  4. Holt

    Holt High Miler GT Contributor

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    Re: A Breva at Bonneville!! (cross-posting)

    I have swapped the pegs on the bike; 1 " lower. Also the rebuild saddle gives me 1,5" higher and 2" far back sitting position. Has worked well since I made the mods, but I may have turned more quirky over the years... :dry:

    Thanks;

    No, the good advice is to go down in the same gear which took you up. :p :mrgreen:
     
  5. fxb750

    fxb750 Just got it firing!

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    Thanks for the report and pictures. Hope to ride there one day.
    I won't get tired of Germany, since I'll probably only get there one more time.
    Would like to spend 3 months in Europe touring on my motorcycle or a rented one.
    If only retirement wouldn't keep moving out....
     

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