Tour of Europe 2013 – Episode 4

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Stopping in Austria for lunch

IMG_8168The view from the table was fantastic

IMG_8170Ferrari hooning by decided to turn back…obviously to check out my bike…

IMG_8171My first encounter with the constabulary in Austria…because I was changing gears too loudly…(yep). It was only 25 Euros so I decided not to argue…

IMG_8173 IMG_8172The other ride (local) was let go, the tourist (me) not so lucky…Still I love this place it is pure motorcycling heaven.

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soon I crossed the border into Croatia and Slovenia, gorgeous countries, must visit again soon and stay for longer…

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Tour of Europe 2013 – Episode 2

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Post lunch in France I wasted no time to reach the Alps. I crossed the French – Swiss border near Pontalier where the geography became very quickly…dramatic!

IMG_8124 IMG_8126Typical to Switzerland, everything is ridiculously clean, to a point that is insulting…Why can’t it be like this everywhere else as well?

Random waterfall by the side of the road…

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Biking heaven ahead…

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Note the warning sign to use common sense…I found it interesting that even with no speed cameras hidden in the bush (a la Australia) and the roads packed with bikers, I saw no-one crash. Most of the time speed is reduced in towns by displaying your actual speed as you approach which instantly makes you put the brakes on…outside towns speed is usually controlled by common sense. Even the pretend racers here know how to ride, and everyone has a great time without worrying about hidden speed cameras…I think this is due to the licensing system in Europe generally teaches responsibility from early on, which prevents stupidity instead of punishing after the fact…

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It was interesting to see other people’s faces as they arrived to the top of any random mountain pass. They get out of their car / get off their bikes and wonder out mindlessly with an ear to ear smile.

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soon I was on God’s racetrack, a.k.a Italy…

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more about that in Episode 3…

Tour of Europe 2013 – Episode 1

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The perfect opportunity came up late last year: Gorgeous Dave Milligan from Get Routed offered to take my Multistrada to Europe for this summer. Over 2 months of no bike, while in transit, sounds painful enough, however it was eased somewhat when I recalled my last Euro bike trip in 2011 and knew what was waiting for me.

The Big Red left Australia late May and arrived in Felixstowe, UK mid July and was stored there until I arrived on August 1. The reunion was sweet…

Here she is waiting for me impatiently to ride her just the way she likes it…

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I changed into my uniform faster than Superman in the phone booth! Packed the panniers and the top box and I was ready to go!!!

IMG_8099then I realised I left my shoes out…fuck! I guess it is better than leaving your jocks out and be forced to wear it over your pants like Superman…

Soon I was away to Folkestone for my Channel crossing. I pre-booked my time for 2:00 pm and I just missed it…could it be that I did not go fast enough? Surely cannot be! After a mixture of pleading and crying, they put me onto the 4:30pm train…

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This time of the year thousands of UK bikers head to mainland Europe to escape the UK “summer”. Here I am sharing the 30 minute underwater journey with some of them…

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Once on the other side, I still had almost 700kms to go before bedtime. Most of the day was spent cruising at around 150kms/hr on the freeway and eating roadhouse food.  I must confess, this would have been usually boring but I still had an ear to ear smile…I was back on my favourite playground! And the roadhouse food in Europe is actually quite nice!

I did have to phone ahead to the motel that I will be late. I arrived sometime after midnight and I was so exhausted barely made it to bed…

The next day, after breakfast (served by the farmer’s daughter…) I got on the bike straight away…I knew the real riding fun would start soon as I was at the foothills of the French Alps…I was not disappointed:

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After a quick lunch in Pontarlier…

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I was in the saddle again. Riding the French countryside is absolutely divine! IMG_8119 IMG_8121 IMG_8122I could not enjoy it as much as I wanted to, as I had to be in Italy by night and I still had to cross the Alps…in the distance Switzerland awaits!

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Transylvania tours June 2013

Here are some thoughts from Woody Daniels after his self guided 4 day tour in Transylvania…
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Hi Arpad,
Sorry for the delay in getting this too you.

Thank you for all your help and assistance with my ride through the beautiful country side of Romania and especially the Transfagarasan.

For me the quality of service you provided was great. Your information was well structured, prices I thought were very good and your suggestions and ideas were a great help.

I found the accommodation you had organised for me to be very good. Both Hotel Gonduzo and hotel Capra were nice clean and comfortable to stay in. Also your friend who runs the bike shop ( sorry I cannot remember his name .. Joseph I think? ) was a lovely guy, very helpful and he made the experience a lot easier.

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My only suggestion would be in making sure that any emails or queries sent to yourself are responded to in a shorter time frame. I personally didn’t have a problem with this as I was planning well ahead but I do know a lot of people get very turned off an idea or company if they feel they are not getting a response quickly. ( not that I am the quickest responder either )

I have written a little review for you below  I hope this is useful to you and please feel free to use any and all of it including my name on your website.

Earlier this year I decided while in Europe Iwould like to take the opportunity to ride the Transfagarasan while I had the chance. After spending some time looking into motorcycle tours and bike hire in Romania I contacted Arpad at twisted planet. Having recently returned from my Holiday I can say I am very happy that I did.

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As I was not able to be in Romania at the right time to join a guided tour Arpad went out of his way to assist with organising a bike, an itinerary, maps and accommodation for a four day solo ride.

The bike I hired was a Triumph Street Triple R and the four days I spent riding through themountains and countryside were fantastic. While I do have to say the road surface of the Transfagarasan isn’t great, the outstanding corners and scenery more than make up for this. There is not a huge amount of traffic in the mountains and in beautiful warm sunnyweather it was easy to spend the day riding up and down the mountain. I am already thinking about when I can go back and do this again. The last day of my ride was spent touring through the country side to see Bran castle and then back to return the bike. Even on this day a lot of the ride was spent winding my way through glorious mountain roads and long sweeping bends.

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The accommodation organised was great. I stayed in the Hotel Gonduzo two nights and in Hotel Capra in the mountains for two nights and both hotels were clean and warm. The staff in both places were lovely, especially in Hotel Gonduzo.

If you  are thinking of riding through Romania or just want to Tick the Transfagarasan of your bucket list I highly recommend you do so and I highly recommend you give Arpad a call first.

Woody ” pasta pastor ” Daniels

Adventure Ride – Australia for Dec 2012 – Jan 2013 is READY, yeay!!!

Thank you to those who helped me with the survey to prepare the Australian Adventure Ride in Dec 2012 – Jan 2013. Here is a summary of the findings:

1)  In terms of timing for December or January – almost 70% did not care about the timing as long as there was sufficient time to prepare. Well over 6 months of prepping should be enough for a 10 day ride…

2)  About 63% wanted 10 days to 2 weeks. I will make this a 10 day ride, but you will be able to hire the bikes for additional time. Its also worth noting that almost 25% wanted more than 2 weeks. I will look into this for the future…perhaps a ride up to the tropics, Cairns, Port Douglas, Great Barrier Reef…hmmm sounds tempting! Let me know your thoughts…

3)  For the length of daily rides, about 70% wanted either more than 350 kms or a mixture of short and long riding days. We will tackle this by staying in some places more than one night. The Great Ocean Road and The Victorian Alpine country are the perfect candidates for this. This way you can just chill, explore on foot, go the the beach, cafes, etc. Or come for a ride with us or go on your own / with your partner.

4) Whilst we are on the topic of riding with partners…only about 16% of you will bring a partner. Over 80% are either coming alone or just maybe bring a partner…maybe? I guess those partners need to accumulate some more points with you then hey! 🙂 Naturally, partners are welcome!

5) In terms of which bike you’d like to ride, about 70% chose either the Monster or the Multistrada…Hmmm ok, but I thought the Hypermotard would be more popular. The Multistrada has proven to be the most popular (42%) and over 25% of you will be riding your own bikes…Cool!

6)  Doing a bit of cost benefit analysis, over 75% of you told me that you do not want to pay for luxury accommodation. We will stay in 3-4 star places and I have to agree with you, its just a place to sleep at. That said, if some of you want to stay in luxury, contact me and I will make sure you will be accommodated, but that will cost extra of course.

7)  I am relieved that almost 80% of you do not want to pay for carrying your luggage. Hiring of a car, driver, fuel etc would have been way to expensive…Luckily though this is not as much of an issue for the Transylvanian Tour. We will make sure that our bikes have ample luggage carrying capacity.

Again, thank you to those who helped with the survey.  If you have registered your email address, and most of you have, you will get a further 5% off the tour price. This could result in up to 15% or almost $600 off the full price.  If you have any questions, issues, contact me.

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Running in the Multistrada – Episode 2

With some 3,000 kms on the odometer, the Multistrada was nowhere near run in…The motor was still tight the suspension not as compliant as I’d like…It was time to address the issue…

Great Ocean Road (GOR) is one of the best places on Earth to run a bike in. For one its seriously twisty: no constant throttle…just the ticket

And the scenery? Ah it’s OK…observe:

The day’s excitement started when I hit Lorne…

a place for many triathlon events. Great coffee and great food. It can get a bit touristy especially during Summer weekends, however nowhere near as busy as, say Southern France!.

Most stop up here and do not venture further along the GOR – huge mistake! The real ride starts now…pure motorcycling heaven awaits the ones brave enough to ride this part of the world…On the left rain forrest,

on the right…Bass Stright

there are many scenic lookouts along the way where one can pull over and play tourist…

As my travels continue to Apollo Bay, I caught up with one of the locals. I almost missed it so I did a quick U-turn…

It is not unusual to see Koala bears on the trees alongside the GOR. Occasionally one can get this close, however they mustn’t be touched – you might but they do not like it…Imagine  someone 7-8 times your size fondling you because he found you cute…

Along the way the beaches are almost empty…

no need to look for a place to put your towels…

After a perfect lunch in Port Campbell (just 10 kms from the Twelve Apostles)

12 Apostles, Port Campbell, Victoria

12 Apostles, Port Campbell, Victoria (Photo credit: sachman75)

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