welcome to the next undertaking from the noisy way round collection. 2010 brings a new dynamic, alan, aka tangak has bought himself a versys and planned a trip to como through some of the best swiss roads he can find, and is planning a return leg along the south coast of france to whatever port takes his fancy. 2 weeks of camping, riding, drinking, and recovering. so I've asked if I can tag along. some of the roads we've seen look like spaghetti draped on an alp, as the author clarksonius noted, so we'll be 'aving some of that, as they say. fingers crossed we make it back in one piece, and not at the bottom of a ravine after entering the pearly gates backward on fire!
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Post Trip update
2492miles later, and we have returned. without a doubt, this has been the most challenging trip taken in terms of the roads ridden, and the most rewarding in terms of riding pleasure. having spent no more than 3 of the 15 days touching motorways, peages, or toll roads, we have made a concerted effort to look for the road less ridden. it has paid off several fold. from original plans to include the san bernardino pass, and the stelvio pass, this has come to now include the tonale pass and the san gottardo pass to name but a few. whilst stelvio was always going to be a highlight, for its shear drop, and nearly 100 switchback turns up one side and down the other, it proved more of a rope ladder up the side of a mountain, rather than a riders road. san bernardino and tonale, as well as gottardo turned out to be the unsung heros, with long sweeping bends that you could really ride. our journey has taken us from bustling angouleme on bastille day, to the waters of lake como, from 38degreesC in roadwork traffic in reims, to chilly snow capped mountain passes at 3000m altitude. we have made camp by lakes and rivers, football fans and families, but after a long days ride, be it 300miles of motorway, or 110miles of yet another mountain pass, with a beer in hand it was a wonderful way to reflect over the day. i would strongly recommend to anyone considering any sort of road trip, to take the longer, slower, winding route rather than the straight easy way. you may only cover half the mileage, but every mile covered will be a joy to ride! things that i'll remember from this trip - watching alan hit a rock coming down the stelvio pass and watching him fight the bike away from the low wall barrier, a campsite full of KTM riders, and the one that binned it leaving the campsite the next morning, seeing snow for the first time in my first pass, roadside repairs of the buell when its gear lever fell off, or when it wouldnt run at all, pitching a tent in swealtering heat after a hard days ride, drinking beer into the night on a river sand bar, the hospitality of some of the people we met, a quick bite for lunch that turned into a 4 course meal, with a takeaway to boot, laughing with alan, and occasionally at him, and the people we encountered along the way, virginie and her sv650s at the ohama cafe, paul and nigel on the ferry home, and the hangover from drinking from nigels hip flask on the stern of the boat into the wee hour
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