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Europe tour - advice/input please

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DUCAUDI
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PostPosted: 04:34 - 12 Mar 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok I've worked out the timings, places to stop enroute, places to stay, and done a rough itinerary but it looks something roughly like this:

DAY 1:
Home to Amsterdam campsite (via Neeltje Jans for lunch)
5.5 hours riding, 280 miles

DAY 2:
Whole day in Amsterdam and stay in Amsterdam overnight

DAY 3:
Amsterdam to campsite near Nürburgring (via RAF Hospital Wegberg and a couple of tri-border photo opportunities)
6.5 hours riding, 300 miles

Day 4:
Whole day at Nürburgring and exploring the area and stay at nearby campsite overnight

Day 5:
Nürburgring to campsite in the middle of the black forest
4.5 hours riding, 230 miles

Day 6:
Black forest to Basel (stop for lunch) and on to a French campsite halfway between Basel and Luxembourg
5.5 hours riding, 210 miles

Day 7:
French campsite to Belgian campsite (via a couple of tri-border photo opportunities)
4 hours riding, 210 miles

Day 8:
Belgian campsite to home
5 hours riding, 270 miles including the bit in UK

Riding times don't include petrol/lunch/photo stops/ferries etc.

First couple of days will be long ones but I've tried to get the daily mileage down the further into the trip we get as we might be flagging somewhat.

Most days we get to the campsite between 15:00 and 18:00 (accounting for petrol/lunch/photo/exploring stops along the way) which considering the sun doesn't set until 21:00 should be fine if we've got our campsites booked in advance and we know where we're heading???

We've all got bivvy bags so there's no setting up involved. Mine is only two pegs.

Do you guys think this is realistic or am I trying to cram too much in too little time?
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A100man
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PostPosted: 11:30 - 12 Mar 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

DUCAUDI wrote:

We've all got bivvy bags so there's no setting up involved. Mine is only two pegs.


Prepare to get wet and cold.
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doggone
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PostPosted: 11:45 - 12 Mar 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

A100man wrote:


Prepare to get wet and cold.


This, bivvy bag would be Ok for a couple of nights you need a tent for a week unless you somehow get perfect weather - which you won't.
Northern Europe is often just as rainy as here and often more inclined to get frequent thundery showers in warmer months.

While the route is reasonable it's much better to be very flexible about where you aim for and how long you stay - which is much easier when camping.
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 15:53 - 12 Mar 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you arrive and the weather is a shit-show, a lot of euro campsites have pre-errected tents or glamping huts you can hire too.

Did anyone mention Belgians drive like insane, myopic arseholes with lead diving boots on? Especially on motorways where they drive at very high speed, tailgate like a motherfucker and switch lanes with no warning because they fancy a change of scene. Fucking terrifying, even on a big sportsbike. Be aware. Beware.
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MCN
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PostPosted: 17:57 - 12 Mar 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

DUCAUDI wrote:
MCN wrote:
There are coffee shops and there are coffee shops in Amsterdam.
We popped into some dens.
But there are plenty of really nice places. Very amicable people working the counters too.

If you're buying that boutique style whiffy tobacco it's not cheap.
€12 and upwards.
I don't even know if it's a metered bang-4-your-buck.
It must be a bit more regulated than buying from some kunt in a pub.
We only tried a couple of shops as we were not there to get baked. Just dabble.


Been there and done that in my youth. I think the other two want to get baked, as you put it. Not interested in the green stuff but might have a mushroom just to make things interesting as I've never tried that before.

Gonna have two night in Amsterdam to let the hangover wear off the next day as don't want to ride hanging.

As for the Nürburgring I don't think any of us have any intentions of trying to set any lap records. Would just be nice to go round it a few times at a gentle-ish pace. The more I talk to people about it the more I'm getting put off about the idea. Can't be that dangerous if you take it easy, surely?


The ring is still a public road with rules. It is not a racetrack. And edjits end up in the barriers.
It not at all dangerous.
I did 9mins bridge to gantry. But on a k1300gt. Not a track bike.
I was slowed up by cars and others on bikes. But since it was a bit of fun there was no pressure to pass. People are more than courteous and pull over to the right to let faster traffic get on with it.
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DUCAUDI
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PostPosted: 00:23 - 13 Mar 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

A100man wrote:
Prepare to get wet and cold.


This is the bivouac I bought for the trip:
https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81gIJxeIFDL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
Opens up from the side to make it easier to get in. Probably just about big enough for my sleeping bag and also storing a few clothes for drying out should the weather turn?

I think the others are using army issue bivvy bags.

How much you wanna bet we elect to find a hotel(s) half way through the trip?



doggone wrote:
While the route is reasonable it's much better to be very flexible about where you aim for and how long you stay - which is much easier when camping.


I seem to be getting conflicting advice on this.

Some people are saying not to book anything and wing it so you're not tied down to a schedule which makes it more flexible.

Others are saying don't leave anything to chance as the sites will get booked up as it's peak season and we don't want to be hunting for somewhere to put our heads down as the sun is setting.

Surely a certain amount of time wastage has to be factored into winging it in terms of searching for somewhere to camp, rather than knowing exactly where you're heading and knowing there's space when you get there.



stinkwheel wrote:
If you arrive and the weather is a shit-show, a lot of euro campsites have pre-errected tents or glamping huts you can hire too.


That's good to know. I've got a camping chair that I'm hoping will fit on the bike but yeah without a proper tent I can see us getting very early nights and sleeping through the rain for the lack of anything else to do unless there are indoor social areas etc.



stinkwheel wrote:
Did anyone mention Belgians drive like insane, myopic arseholes with lead diving boots on? Especially on motorways where they drive at very high speed, tailgate like a motherfucker and switch lanes with no warning because they fancy a change of scene. Fucking terrifying, even on a big sportsbike. Be aware. Beware.


Reminds me of Paris. I've ridden through much of France and on the whole they are extremely bike-aware and courteous to bikes, drifting over to one side to make it easier for you to pass. Puts us to shame really. 90% of UK motorists don't notice you coming up behind, of the 10% who do notice you half of them don't bother to make life easier for you and the other half intentionally make your gap smaller. Parisians on the other hand are a different kettle of fish and drive like absolute cnuts tailgating you and flashing you up if you have the audacity to be in the outside lane while overtaking another vehicle. It's a strange phenomenon because it's only in the vicinity of Paris. Once you get outside the area it goes back to normal polite quality French driving.
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Freddyfruitba...
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PostPosted: 10:35 - 13 Mar 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

DUCAUDI wrote:
This is the bivouac I bought for the trip:
https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81gIJxeIFDL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

Never seen one of those before; the only bivvy bag I've ever used (many years ago as a foolish teenager) was basically IIRC just a waterproof sleeping bag (and I was thinking you'd have to be utterly mad to go off for a week in Europe relying on one like that!).

That thing looks more like a tent with very low headroom - which begs the question, why not just get a small tent? They're very compact...wouldn't be much more to carry than that one,
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doggone
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PostPosted: 14:50 - 13 Mar 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a bike you aren't that bothered about weight (compared to hiking) so may as well get a 2 man tent, it wouldn't be much fun sharing that tube thing with soggy boots and luggage you didn't want to leave outside.
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A100man
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PostPosted: 15:15 - 13 Mar 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freddyfruitbat wrote:

Never seen one of those before; the only bivvy bag I've ever used (many years ago as a foolish teenager) was basically IIRC just a waterproof sleeping bag (and I was thinking you'd have to be utterly mad to go off for a week in Europe relying on one like that!).

That thing looks more like a tent with very low headroom - which begs the question, why not just get a small tent? They're very compact...wouldn't be much more to carry than that one,


Yeah, that's a small tent.. just cold then Wink
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DUCAUDI
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PostPosted: 23:07 - 13 Mar 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

A100man wrote:
Yeah, that's a small tent.. just cold then Wink


Cold?!

In August?!

I usually sleep naked with the covers off (indoors in the summertime admittedly, but with the heating off and the bedroom windows open) Dance!

I wonder why the turnover of cleaning ladies is so high Thinking
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2021 Honda CMX500 Rebel S


Last edited by DUCAUDI on 23:23 - 13 Mar 2024; edited 2 times in total
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DUCAUDI
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PostPosted: 23:14 - 13 Mar 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freddyfruitbat wrote:
why not just get a small tent? They're very compact...wouldn't be much more to carry than that one,
doggone wrote:
On a bike you aren't that bothered about weight (compared to hiking) so may as well get a 2 man tent, it wouldn't be much fun sharing that tube thing with soggy boots and luggage you didn't want to leave outside.


I fcuking hate setting up and packing away camp!

I'm infamous for miraculously doing a disappearing act when we go camping as a family when it comes time for setting up and packing away, leaving my wife to do it all!

I just wanted something that would keep the elements off while being the absolute minimum amount of faff possible.

Was trying to find something like a pop-up-tent-bivouac-type-sleeping-bag-shape-thing but problem with popup ones is they're round and disc-like. Not ideal for packing on the back of a bike (act like a sail rather than being tubular-like). Laying on the floor in the back of an estate car, fine, but not on the back of a bike?
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 23:45 - 13 Mar 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

I take a popup on my bike. I generally think if the diameter is less than the width of the luggage, I'm good. I just strap it on top of my luggage with bungees.

I only once had issues with sail-type behaviour going over Shap in very high winds, had to add more bungees but in fairness, the entire affair was becoming something of a handful anyway.

To me the slight nuisance of the disc format is outweighed by the speed of errection/striking.

In good weather, you literally don't need to do anything beyond throwing the thing out and putting your stuff in to hold it down. In wind/rain it needs pegging out to varying degrees. They will cope with conditions that your bike would blow over in when properly pegged out.

I use a quechua, I wouldn't see past them for a popup. The one annoying thing is lack of porch (you can jam your boots in the space between the doors) and the rain can get in if you don't have the door zipped up. Plenty space inside for you and gear even in the one man ones. I'm using one of the fresh and black 2-man ones which are great in the summer, lots of scope for ventilation and are genuinely dark inside.

Absolute 100% must-do thing is practice putting it away before you leave. It's easy, the new ones even have a guided packing system where you put some clips together and pull a string. I just fold mine away (then the clips don't need undoing to put it up again), takes about 10 seconds from standing to in the bag but there is a knack, you may need to watch a video the first time.

Actually, I did a video when I got mine, it's excessively long and waffly with poor sound quality. https://youtu.be/zviloiNToac?si=LcZZz7lECKmdIbCY
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I did the 2010 Round Britain Rally on my 350 Bullet. 89 landmarks, 3 months, 9,500 miles.
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DUCAUDI
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PostPosted: 01:00 - 14 Mar 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

stinkwheel wrote:
I take a popup on my bike. I generally think if the diameter is less than the width of the luggage, I'm good. I just strap it on top of my luggage with bungees.


I guess that's true. If the diameter is less than 1m it can probably go on the back of the bike somehow laying flat without it being too much of a sail. I guess if I packed my sleeping bag, mattress and tent between my arse and the top box it could lay flat on the top.



stinkwheel wrote:
I use a quechua, I wouldn't see past them for a popup. The one annoying thing is lack of porch (you can jam your boots in the space between the doors) and the rain can get in if you don't have the door zipped up. Plenty space inside for you and gear even in the one man ones. I'm using one of the fresh and black 2-man ones which are great in the summer, lots of scope for ventilation and are genuinely dark inside.

Absolute 100% must-do thing is practice putting it away before you leave. It's easy, the new ones even have a guided packing system where you put some clips together and pull a string. I just fold mine away (then the clips don't need undoing to put it up again), takes about 10 seconds from standing to in the bag but there is a knack, you may need to watch a video the first time.

Actually, I did a video when I got mine, it's excessively long and waffly with poor sound quality. https://youtu.be/zviloiNToac?si=LcZZz7lECKmdIbCY


Very good video! Thanks! I've had smaller popup tents the same in the past. Twist and fold, twist and fold. They go down pretty easy once you have the knack.

We're planning a trip not too far (maybe 45 to 60 minutes from here) before the grand tour to make sure we have all the gear, know how to use it and is efficient.
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PotatoHead202...
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PostPosted: 17:12 - 29 Mar 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just come back from my first euro tour on the bike.

Friday - Poperinge, Ypres, Bruges and Sint Niklaas

Saturday- Nijmegen and Arnhem

Sunday - Overloon, Nurburgring and Adenau

Monday - Wiltz, Pommerloch and Bastogne

Tuesday - Dinant and Arras

Wednesday - Home

Air B&Bs and hotels were used. Weather was all over the place, never ridden in such appallingly bad wind before. Too cold to camp.

Have to say I really enjoyed France. EVERYONE was incredibly polite and obliging. Roads were OK albeit the 80k limits drove me insane and I didn't feel comfortable enough speeding much not knowing their camera locations. Pain in the arse having to pre pay for fuel though.

Thoroughly recommend Ypres and the Sanctuary Wood Museum in Belgium. It's about 80 mins from the tunnel and an incredibly interesting experience. Belgian roads are all over the place though and the motorway a deathtrap. Having said that, i did choose to lane split around Ghent in sheet rain at rush hour and they made room for me.

Lots to see around Arnhem in Holland as well.

Germany was utterly ruined for me by the weather and the worst drivers I've ever encountered. They sit right on your and each others arse at every opportunity. Huge amount of signs warning against tailgaiting and I've never seen so many speed cameras - I definitely got flashed at least once so was hardly going slow. Closest I've ever come to dragging someone out of the car and giving them a beating tbh, never been so angry on a bike before.

UK customs were also total cunts. Pulling apart a lot of cars and I got pulled in for a search. Wanted proof of my outbound ticket and hotel stays etc. The French couldn't have been nicer.

I think your mileage might be a bit optimistic if you haven't done that before - especially when camping and if you haven't got cruise control or and a reupholstered seat.
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