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Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back

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Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Empty Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back

Post by stormbringer on Fri 19 Jul 2019, 8:30 pm

Starting this diary a bit late - july 19, so here's a catch-up:

Started off by going from Aarhus, Denmark to Munich, Germany on the first day of this roundtrip. Germany isn't much of a fun ride - it's a 1200 km transit.
Next day, destination was Pisa, Italy, crossing the Brenner pass and a bit of mountains. Nice; this is the big-mountain-roads-network and a spectacular scenery to see if 700 km worth of tourism-at-110-km/h is your thing.
Having landed in Pisa, I had a look at the architectural engineering mistake this city is famous for. And then supper, before calling it a day.
Next day, a visit to Firenze was executed. By now, the missus, who had joined me in Pisa, was riding pillion. A nice day out. Albeit hot.
Following day, a trip to Lucca, then on to Montecatini Terme to meet a colleague also on holiday in the area. Crappy (non-motorway) road network!!
Next day, moving on from Pisa to Contes in France was a pleasant surprise. Part of the trip was taken on mway, part on local roads through Sanremo, Ventimiglia, Menton via La Turbie north of Monaco to Contes. This comes highly recommended! A plethora of tunnels, bridges (really, hundreds of them!) and sweeping serpentines plastered with one view better than the other. It's mental. At some point you simply get tired of going 'Oooh...' and 'Look!'.
Today we then went to have a look at Monaco - for me it was the race track. Missus had a plan involving acquisition of some perfume. I set the satnav for 'Monaco, no toll roads' and set off. Into a veritable barrage of ittybitty backroads, littered with hairpins and a completely different set of (equally) stunning views. Imagine country lanes - in the mountains. No guardrails, steep descents, single lane - you get the idea. It got to the point where missus made noises similar to those coming from people on rollercoasters, ordering me 'not to go near that ledge'. What fun! Then we saw the city center, parts of the track and had a nonalcoholic beer at a fancy cafe. For the return ride missus requested something less drama-filled. Okay.
Back at the hotel, I had time off. Decided to poke the satnav and try out its 'Plan a kick'-function. So, I plotted a couple of random waypoints on the map surrounding the hotel, clicked 'Generate' and took off. No missus, no luggage. Just me, the bike and the satnav leading the way.
Tomtom Rider offers a 'twisties'-mode, letting you select turns and altitude change level. I had it all on max - and had it coming.

Oh boy.

It doesn't say in the brochure...
But there's a different world out there, and the satnav knows how to find it. I returned to the hotel an hour or so later, exhausted from dealing with what had elements of a badly concealed attempt at murdering me. With a big fat smile on my face. And some nice video footage.
Forget paper maps and careful planning. Dispense with the 'was it right or left here?' and just follow the yellow line on the screen.
Kudos to Tomtom for providing a 'twisties'-mode in their Rider-series.

So many different kinds of fun there is to be found, riding a motorbike.


Not sure if there'll be a followup post tomorrow, as missus has her eye set on Cannes and that don't seem like a whole lotta motorbikin' fun.

But we're not done yet...


Last edited by stormbringer on Sat 20 Jul 2019, 10:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by teamster1975 on Sat 20 Jul 2019, 2:06 pm

Sounds like an epic ride mate!
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Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Empty July 20

Post by stormbringer on Sat 20 Jul 2019, 8:29 pm

Today, rather than Cannes, missus opted for my proposal; 'Col de Turini', a seemingly harmless route found on dangerousroads.org. A wee 24 km of scenic roadscape.

Right...

I'd carefully planned the route, and riding to the starting point was an experience in itself.
And so, the landscape went bonkers. Those 24 kilometers of road deserve a label 'Not for the faint of heart'. And, not for those who suffer from vertigo. Forget guard rails - all you'd get would be 5 inches of masonry.
And some spectacular views.

Here's the GPS route outlining the course. Zooming in will make you dizzy.
Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Coldet10

Riding hairpins, we've covered some 3 vertical kilometers up and back down again.
And by now I think I've figured out how it goes. Yesterday seemed to be a badly concealed murder-attempt. Today, we went a lot slower, stopping to take in the panoramas. Major difference. Quite well-concealed murder-attempt then... Lots of 'Eeeee!!' and 'Watch out!' and 'No, dont go there!' from She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO).
I had a blast!

Anyways... The camera recorded some 30GB of FullHD video at 50 fps, now safely stored on a tiny 1TB portable drive.

I wish I could show you some of it, but my tablet-like PC is entirely incapable of processing that amount of data. It's ridiculous...
Meaning, I'll have to leave a placeholder in this post:

<video>

But here's a teaser (photos):
Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Img_2016

Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Img_2018

Yes; the big intimidating GS1200s and the Ducatis are here too.
Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Img_2017

Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Img_2019

Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Img_2020

Which brings us to the bike. It struggles. Being an inline-2, it presents the rider (me) with a relatively coarse power delivery pattern, and I could really do with a 1.5th gear as well as a less agricultural gearchange behaviour. Remember, this is literally uphill, fully laden.

Want to go the same way? Look at this Tomtom route.


Last edited by stormbringer on Sat 20 Jul 2019, 10:15 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Added GPS-route + Tomtom route)
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Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Empty July 21 - Cannes

Post by stormbringer on Sun 21 Jul 2019, 8:07 pm

Sunday.

So, we went to Cannes via main roads. Missus had a look-see at the city, but the real kicker seemed to be the beaches we passed by, as we rode the Nice-Cannes stretch.

It's Cote d'Azur allright.

Returned to the hotel just in time to not be able to shop in the nearby supermarket. In fact, the whole neighbourhood seemed intent on being unavailable. Closed for the day.

No pizzabars, no cafes, no restaurants, no supermarkets, no kiosks, nothing.

I assume the locals remember to stock up on food, cigarettes, beer/wine/milk and what else will likely be needed on a sunday afternoon, because options are indeed limited.

Oh well. We eventually found a place that had fresh pizzas.

Still, I'm writing this with neither coffee, beer nor wine within reach.
I'm a bit baffled by this, as the french are famed for their focus on food and la bonne vie.

But apparently not on sundays...
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Post by sullivj on Mon 22 Jul 2019, 10:11 pm

Jgreat write ups ans super photos. 

Looks like your having a blast. I like the sound of the twisties.
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Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Empty July 22

Post by stormbringer on Mon 22 Jul 2019, 11:00 pm

Lousy 3G-connection. Short message.

Put the missus on plane after a long day in Nice.
Now @ waypoint 1 in the vicinity of Nice, getting ready to have a go at 'the right stuff'.

This place is airbnb and blows the hotel we left out of the water. Way better - apart from the wifi.

Luckily, not much to report on the Nice-visit. Found a store called 'iCasque' selling helmets, had two sets of the proprietary french helmet-reflex-badges given for free. Apparently, riding without these stickers equals riding without a helmet, getting you into serious trouble with les flics. Major fine and instant grounding until you fix the issue - which isn't possible just like that. So, I fixed the issue before it becomes an issue.
Obviously, half of the locals don't have any stickers on their helmets; little red devil-horns seem to be more fashionable and are mostly accompanied by a riding style to match.

Oh well. Tomorrow is another day.
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Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Empty 23. july - the right stuff

Post by stormbringer on Tue 23 Jul 2019, 9:40 pm

I had a go at it.

Oh crap...

First off; I completely overestimated my abilities to 'get things done' in the mountains. It simply doesn't work like that.
Things take time, and rushing it brings no good.

Again, I'm on a lousy connection - this time in a mountaineering dorm of sorts. Communal supper, shared bathrooms and such. No problem, but it's going to be a problem if my clothes don't dry up properly until tomorrow morning.
Oh boy, did I get soaked to the skin!
Having just finished the last bit of video and en-route to overnight stay, the sky opened up on a biblical scale... I'm definitely not comfortable riding slo-mo in 10 inches of water streaming down the road, but got to destination just as it cleared up. Grrr.

Still.

I believe I've recorded ~100GB of video. No sense in trying to edit or extract. Phone is uploading and has been doing so now for quite a while. So many pictures.

If there is a god, he was on LSD as he designed this landscape. It's mad...

Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Img_2022
Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Img_2021

<placeholder video>
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Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Empty July 24 - Gorges du Verdon - oh so famous...

Post by stormbringer on Wed 24 Jul 2019, 8:35 pm

Leaving the gite (another word for auberge - a cheap sleepover-place) I headed for the oh-so-famous Verdon gorges (closely related to ravines?) all set-up with full batteries, expecting to head right into spectaculiarity.
I failed.
Not that the landscape isn't pretty, but it's not quite what I came for:
Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Img_2023

No. I didn't come to have fun at nature's pool.
I came to see - and ride - some spectacular roads.

Maybe I failed to go the right way. Dunno. But yesterday's Gorges de Daluis - prior to biblical rain - takes the prize so far. Outlandish... See:
Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Img_2024
This picture doesn't hold a candle to the real thing. 17 tunnels through red rock and views to go with that, that boggles the mind.

Oh well.

Today's lodging is different. How about your own personal garage - directly connected to sleeping quarters & kitchen:
Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Img_2025

This is an early picture - the chilled bottle of Rosé has since vanished, and the bike now serves as a 'drying station' for hand-washed socks.

And tomorrow's lodging has been secured - I hope.

Over & out.
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Post by smokingsig on Thu 25 Jul 2019, 9:23 am

Isn't it insanely hot to ride ? today its 40°C in Belgium.
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Post by stormbringer on Thu 25 Jul 2019, 8:44 pm

@smokingsig wrote:Isn't it insanely hot to ride ? today its 40°C in Belgium.

It is. Uphill and at any time when speed is low, the fan kicks in. However, the good folks at Honda did a proper job - when the fan kicks in, nothing more happens. Temp gauge stays put 2/3 of the way up.
Me? I'll just have to keep moving, and preferably at altitude. Moving down into the valleys/plains is no fun. Oh well, I came to see mountains.
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Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Empty July 25 - Gorges des Gats, Combe Laval, Col de la Machine & Route des Presles

Post by stormbringer on Thu 25 Jul 2019, 9:07 pm

Today's 300 km stint offered a total of four locations.
Two were nothing much to talk about, two were.

I've struggled to upload pics from the phone to Google and then back down again for upload to ServImg, so that you can look at a selection:
Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Img_2027
Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Img_2028
Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Img_2026
Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Img_2030
Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Img_2029
Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Img_2031

The CB figures as a still actor on four of these pictures. I doubt you can find the fourth one.

And there's a (tiny) video too:


To top it all off, my GPS took me for a ride (literally) as I told it to lead me to today's sleeping quarters. It knows I'm on a bike and that I don't mind twisties, so without further ado it served me up the most insane little single-lane-sharp-hairpins-20%-climb-gravel-path backroad that had some locals look at me passing, shaking their heads.

Tomorrow is another day.


Last edited by stormbringer on Thu 25 Jul 2019, 10:40 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Added video)
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Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Empty July 26 - Alpe d'Huez & Chamonix

Post by stormbringer on Fri 26 Jul 2019, 9:28 pm

Today was probably my last mountaineering-day.
I had little hopes for any grandeur after the gorges, so it wouldn't take much to wow me.
So, the scenery did.
Forget the touristy ski-resort. Twas the way I left Huez and the way I got to near Chamonix that was today's experience.

Grand on a different scale. Not sure I'd say better - just different. Including the unwanted - but grand - detour provided to me and everyone else as the direct route could not do without a major repair just now.

No balcons, slopey in a different way - and higher up. +2km altitude...

Got some nice pictures for later. I'm currently done taking in the view from where I'm going to spend the night. Little town near Chamonix. It's - interesting. Some people simply don't know how lucky they are - it's something to see from a comfortable stool, holding a glass of good wine while unwinding. I get to see it once; the owner of the place every day. Snow-covered mountain peaks across the valley and that sort of thing.
Sigh.

<photo placeholder>

Today the rains caught me prepared. Better to ride in the rain & thunder wearing waterproofs. Listened to Jean-Michel Jarre as lightning lit up the darkened sky and it poured down. I literally rode into the storm...
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Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Empty July 28 - Sinsheim

Post by stormbringer on Sun 28 Jul 2019, 11:18 pm

Rain.

I woke up to just that. Ewww...
With 250 km to go to today's POI, rain was not a welcome visitor. Shooo!

Oh well - off I went. And the rain faded off, at least for a while.

Buggerall!!!! I noticed something was 'off' looking at the instrument cluster... It didn't take long to see that there was no sidestand light, no blinker, no oil pressure light, no tail light, no brake light and no Neutral light.
Hmmm!

Nearest petrol station. Now!

So, aiming for the fuses, I whipped out the factory supplied toolkit from underneath the seat and got to work. And yes - the 15A fuse protecting the abovementioned functions had gone poof!

Replaced fuse with a 10A from said petrol station's selection of fuse-kits. Instruments worked. Turn left - worked. Turn right - poof!
Okay - right turn signal circuit is faulty. This made me remember that missus knocked right rear blinker (elCheapo model from Louis.de) out of position some days earlier.
Check. And yes...
Disconnected wiring; seat off, poke inside the rear cowling to find the right(!) wires and pull apart. Replace fuse. Job done, moving on...

Having negotiated a combo of intermittent rain, waterproofs that don't like going at speed and autobahn (which is all about speed - I love 'the german way') eventually brought me to Sinsheim - a couple of hours late.

Sinsheim is worth a visit. Really.

<photo placeholder>

Moved on to today's lodging. I'm now done talking with tonight's host and another guest. Fun. We had Palinka - home-distilled romanian schnapps and talked politics. Educational. Cheers.

Tomorrow's supposed to be the much-famed Nürburgring nordschleife.
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Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Empty July 29 - Nürburgring (sort of)

Post by stormbringer on Tue 30 Jul 2019, 4:38 pm

The ring was closed off for some pros to practice on this day.

So I had a go at the museum.

There's only so much to tell about a racetrack's history, but what there was, they've done a good job with. Great big 4D-kino,  scenario with a moving floor + surprisingly effective optical illusions, various simulators and several sections on history, motorsport and a bit of technology. Plus an amusing wax-museum with famous drivers.

Worth the price, but what with the track being closed off, not worth the trip/effort.
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Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Empty July 30 - Big sound

Post by stormbringer on Tue 30 Jul 2019, 5:19 pm

So, nothing more to see.

However, I'm an avid music listener, and on my way home there is a small business that I should visit on behalf of a friend to check out some rather exclusive hifi-gear he's bought.

I went there today.

The amplifiers were in perfect condition. Job done. However, this very small business specialises in something called horn speakers. And with me being a Curious George / music enthusiast combination, we got talking.
This is not mass production or anything. Just the opposite - bespoke manufacturing on a hitherto unseen scale. This guy contracts with customers for two-three months, installs a sound system based on more or less customized modules and tunes it in cooperation with customer.

So we listened a bit to his demo-system. He told me that potential customers would usually have two or three 4-hour sittings in which the capabilities were revealed and customer could get to terms with what he would have an opportunity to acquire.

I had something like one hour.

To put this i some sort of perspective:
Homemade turntable. Floor-standing!!! Four feet tall and gigantic in every way imaginable. Next to it a large collection of records. Also next to it some discrete black boxes containing the active crossover and a set of amps rated in the 10 watts range.

You read it right. 10 watts or so.

But it's all about the speaker(s) - who occupied the entire one end of the room. Wall to wall!

I was told to sit there! Right there - give or take a centimeter...

And then this guy put on a record. You know; slight hiss letting you anticipate the music is about to start.

And it did...
.
.
.
I've heard a thing or two in my time. But nothing like this.

Effortless musicality. Presence and dynamics on a scale that leaves me lacking the words to describe what my ears heard.

Horns are good - they exploit physical principles in a clever way to work with nature's laws rather than try to overcome them. And this guy had taken a good principle and applied science to it. The saying goes you should work smarter, not harder - and that's just what had happened here.

We listened to music. There were no loudspeakers in the room. The artists were there, playing their instruments. A snazzy and coarse-throated saxophone, bongos, piano and several drum-sets along with a rotary-wheel organ.

I'm still dumbfounded...

This tells - again - the old story that 90% of any stereosystem's musicality comes from the speakers.

Nothing left to say but 'German engineering'.
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Post by Crash- Elmit on Tue 30 Jul 2019, 9:39 pm

@stormbringer wrote:Today was probably my last mountaineering-day.
I had little hopes for any grandeur after the gorges, so it wouldn't take much to wow me.
So, the scenery did.
Forget the touristy ski-resort. Twas the way I left Huez and the way I got to near Chamonix that was today's experience.

Grand on a different scale. Not sure I'd say better - just different. Including the unwanted - but grand - detour provided to me and everyone else as the direct route could not do without a major repair just now.

No balcons, slopey in a different way - and higher up. +2km altitude...

Got some nice pictures for later. I'm currently done taking in the view from where I'm going to spend the night. Little town near Chamonix. It's - interesting. Some people simply don't know how lucky they are - it's something to see from a comfortable stool, holding a glass of good wine while unwinding. I get to see it once; the owner of the place every day. Snow-covered mountain peaks across the valley and that sort of thing.
Sigh.

<photo placeholder>

Today the rains caught me prepared. Better to ride in the rain & thunder wearing waterproofs. Listened to Jean-Michel Jarre as lightning lit up the darkened sky and it poured down. I literally rode into the storm...
I love JMJ, what was you listening to?
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Post by stormbringer on Tue 30 Jul 2019, 10:02 pm

@Crash- Elmit wrote:I love JMJ, what was you listening to?

Electronica 1&2 + Equinoxe Infinity. There's also a bit of Pink Floyd, Röyksopp, Rag 'n Bone Man and Yello. But for this, JMJ was perfect Smile
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Post by trevor machine on Fri 02 Aug 2019, 8:38 am

Great thread. Jealous because I'm pretty sure I don't have the stamina for such travelling. Nor the arse, for that matter.
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Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Empty Post-processing

Post by stormbringer on Sun 11 Aug 2019, 10:51 am

Bike only needed the tank-foil-wrapping removed and a thorough wash & clean. Easy.

For this diary, I'm now in the process of handling no less than 400 gigabytes of video footage, nearly 800 photos and the track&trace issue.

Where was I - and when? Stitching together a route description on a map turned out to be a challenge!

The photos are all geotagged - the videos are not. Those only have timestamps. And I threw all my pre-planned GPS-routes away as I went along, meaning the only 'breadcrumb-trail' I have is Google's location history. Combining that into nice graphics - one per day - was not straightforward. By now, I've got what may be called 'educated guesses'.

Pictures are being processed now - I'll deliver on my promise to fill in the placeholders above as I get them sorted.
Videos also turned out to be a surprise. Stitching bits together, adding text, transitions and such and in general organizing it is quite a task. By now I've got something to show the family, but unsuitable for eg Youtube - meaning 'The forum' - due to copyright issues. Can't use Jean-Michel Jarre for soundtrack; copyrighted. Also, I keep learning new tricks that I realise should really go into the finished product, meaning the process must be repeated - which isn't exactly a 5-minute job. Eventually, I'll get something ready for this diary.


Last edited by stormbringer on Sun 11 Aug 2019, 11:13 am; edited 2 times in total
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Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Empty Re: Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back

Post by stormbringer on Sun 11 Aug 2019, 11:10 am

@trevor machine wrote:Great thread. Jealous because I'm pretty sure I don't have the stamina for such travelling. Nor the arse, for that matter.

Neither stamina nor iron butt is required. Provided you spend the time.

And for you brits, it's easier; jump the channel and you'll already be in France.

Bumbling along at 50 mph for ten hours will put you 400 miles away - including a big fat lunch-break in the middle. Try planning a 400-mile route from Calais and see where you can comfortably go in a day...

Eg. Basel in Switzerland. From there, you can practically see the mountains on the horizon:
Roundtrip Denmark - Les alpes maritimes and back Calais10
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Post by trevor machine on Wed 14 Aug 2019, 2:35 pm

I regularly do 250 miles a day - every sat or sunday in fact - and even though it's not massively problematic, the idea that I don't ever have to do a further 150 is a very welcome one! ; - )
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Post by Beresford on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 9:58 am

@stormbringer wrote:This tells - again - the old story that 90% of any stereosystem's musicality comes from the speakers.
Nothing left to say but 'German engineering'.


I'm not sure about this. Though I'm not a Linn owner, I agree with their principle that the sound source is where the magic lies. The phrase "Rubbish in, rubbish out" kind of infers that no matter how good speakers may aspire to be, without a first class player, the results will always disappoint.

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