Amsterdam to Paris the long(ish) way round

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by Duflul, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. Duflul

    Duflul Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    I’ve been reading rr’s for a few years but never really had anything to contribute until now. So here goes.

    A little earlier this year near the end of September I had a few days off. Well, technically I’m self employed and didn’t have a job lined up for the week.

    Looking at the forecasts it seemed like this would be one of the last weeks of properly nice weather in northern Europe. So I quickly hatched a plan to visit a friend of mine who moved to Paris a few years ago.

    Now the fastest way to get there is to just take the freeway, but that’s not really an adventure plus it’d only take me about five hours. So I took the freeway to Liege in Belgium and from there rode through the Ardennes and the roads near the Spa Francorchamps grand prix circuit. Some of the roads in the area used to be a part of the old track and make for some fine riding.
    Just outside of Stavelot (I think) I stopped for some flemish fries.

    My bike in my folks garage, just before leaving.
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    The Fries :D
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    Looking at my bike, whilst eating fries.
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    About half way through Luxemburg I started getting tired and decided to see if I could find a hotel in the city of Luxemburg, but unfortunately there was some type of event in the city, so the hotel prices were insanely high.

    Stopped here to look for hotels on my phone.
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    So eventually I decided to press on to a town just over the border in France.
    Got a room in a cheapish medium stay hotel. Took a quick shower and walked in to town in search of some food.
    I settled on a little cafe in a side street just off the town’s main square. And ordered the ham and a beer.

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    The next morning a fog had descended on to the town which made it look a bit like silent hill.
    I quickly took some pictures with my phone before getting breakfast.

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    Then I went back to the hotel, grabbed my stuff and took a selfie. (which apparently was just declared the word of the year by the Oxford dictionary, so if it’s good enough for them.)

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    The fog made for great pictures but made riding a bit annoying as my visor slowly got wet to the point that it made it very hard to see anything. I was riding through a forrest when it finally occurred to me that I packed my clear visor. So I pulled of the road to switch them out and shot a picture of my bike in the forrest.

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    The road through the forrest was awesome so I turned around and rode it up and down again. :)

    After riding for a while I suddenly came across a patch of perfect tarmac, which I hadn’t seen for a few hours. (The roads aren’t really bad in this part of the world, but they were far from pristine up until that point) I looked to my right and apparently I stumbled across an American memorial for a battle fought in the first war.

    It looked quite epic in the fog.
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    Behind it was the town that got destroyed in the battle, the only thing left standing was the church. They rebuilt the village a little ways down the road.
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    A random road just outside of the aforementioned village.
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    My bike near a field somewhere. BTW that is not a rusty chain, just a very dirty gold colored chain thank you very much.
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    At that point I got hungry and given that I’m in France I decided to just buy a baguette and some salami and have a picnic in the parking lot near the bakery.
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    That’s when I made my way to the freeway to ride the last hour into Paris.
    Immediately I ran into a problem because in France most of the freeways are tollroads. Now I’ve been to France a few times before, but always by car. And the way they work is, you take a ticket and a ways down the road you insert the ticket into a machine and pay the appropriate amount. So I line up in front of the ticket machine, take my ticket and thats when I realise that I can’t work the zippers on my jacket pockets with my full racing gauntlets on.
    There was a small que forming behind me, so I opened my visor and put the ticket between my teeth and made my way to the nearest parking lot to put it away.
    Later on I met a nice Irish dude who was coming back from Octoberfest (yes I know for some reason it’s in September) on his bike. He told me he just takes his time taking of his glove and Ignores the cars behind him. I later found out that I could just take of my glove while waiting in line and then pull into the divider just behind the ticket machines to put my ticket away and glove back on.

    I finally made it to my friends place after negotiating rush hour traffic in Paris. I could lane split on the periferique, but when I got into the city everything was completely gridlocked, with hundreds of people on scooters and bikes trying to fit in every gap. So I though, when in Rome and used every inch of tarmac, bus lanes and a bit of sidewalk to make my way there.
    When I got there I jumped straight into the shower as it was pretty warm outside and a sportsbike gets really hot in slow moving traffic.

    My friend was staying with his SO, so I had his place all to myself.
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    Paris!

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    I saw a twizy in the wild!
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    Living in the city I’d love to own one of those if they had a bit more range and were a bit faster to keep up with freeway traffic.

    I took the freeway back home as I had some business to attend to in Amsterdam before the end of the day on friday. And to take advantage of the last summer when speeding tickets won’t be sent across borders. :)

    Sitting in the shade of my bike eating a croissant I bought back in Paris while trying to shake the hangover from drinking too much with my friend the night before.
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    I got home around seven pm, had a quick shower, a sandwich and then fell asleep on my couch.
    For some reason riding on the freeway always takes a lot more out of me then riding backroads. But all in all I loved taking a multi-day ride on my bike, which up until that point I had just considered nothing more then an expensive toy and not a real mode of transportation. I’m sure I’ll go for some longer rides next summer. And bring a lot less stuff :)

    Thanks for reading,

    Daan
    #1
  2. thegreyman

    thegreyman Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    74
    Nice report. Keep it up
    #2
  3. Rutabaga

    Rutabaga Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    734
    Location:
    Southeast Lower Carolina
    Very nice looking bike. Great tool for a great trip.
    #3
  4. kitesurfer

    kitesurfer Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,685
    Location:
    north florida
    must be nice (to ride from Amsterdam to france and back in 2 days) ...looks nice :)
    #4
  5. Duflul

    Duflul Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    Thanks, as soon as summer comes back around I'm definitely planning on taking another longer ride.

    It gets a bit painful on long stretches of freeway, but otherwise she makes for a great travelling companion.

    It's very nice to be able to be in another country in a matter of hours. But having driven around the usa a bit I loved the fact that because everybody spoke a language I speak fairly well I could really pick up on the smaller cultural differences going from area to area.
    If I ever have some money to burn and time to spend I'd love to take a longer trip through the us, preferably on a bike.
    #5
  6. JamesM

    JamesM Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    133
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Thanks for sharing. Little weekend trips like these get me through the daily monotony of work.

    I'd like to hear more about the cross border speeding tickets.
    #6
  7. Duflul

    Duflul Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    Up until november 7th of this year eu countries wouldn't send speed camera tickets abroad. But if you would have been pulled over you still would have had to pay on the spot.
    But since there are a lot of speed cameras in Europe and very few radar gun checks you always had a very good chance of getting away with it.

    Unfortunately not anymore.
    #7
  8. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Jul 8, 2012
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    1,392
    Location:
    Above ground
    Nice ride, Daan, thanks for sharing. Sexy V-twin sportbike, Kriega bag, Sidi boots, too much drinking and lots of food....all in a European setting. We're twins from opposite sides of the world!
    #8
  9. Duflul

    Duflul Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    Thanks! that's most of the stuff that makes life worth living.
    #9
  10. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,201
    Very nice report. I look forward to reading about experiences on bikes that are not BMW or KTM dual sport. Nice bikes, for sure, buy not my glass of beer. Looking forward to reading more of your reports in next Spring. Hope you get the chance to come to the USA some day and ride.
    #10
  11. rdtz

    rdtz Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Meath,Ireland
    Good report,great bike!!
    #11
  12. Arte

    Arte Pata de Perro

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,576
    Location:
    LEON, Gto. MEXICO
    Very nice bike!

    Indeed they are an expensive toys but it is worth man.:clap
    #12
  13. hankgs

    hankgs Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,930
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Daan,
    Nice report, I like to hear about trips out of the A'dam area as I visit relatives once a year and usually rent a bike... Post some more going North and East!!!
    Bedankt!
    Hank
    #13
  14. Domiken

    Domiken Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    674
    Location:
    Manhattan
    Nice report, thanks for posting. Short trip but its a trip nonetheless.
    #14
  15. Duflul

    Duflul Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    Oh absolutely, it's just really nice when you start to realise it can be so much more than a toy.

    Thanks, I love short trips like this, it always feels like you've been away for weeks.

    Not much multi-day stuff in the north, you run in to water pretty quickly:D. Although you can have a couple of hours worth of fun up there.
    To the east is pretty great, you can do b-roads all the way to the veluwe and there's some pretty good riding over there. I'll try to take some pics when I ride around there next year. Feel free to hit me up for some more detailed descriptions of rides when you're going to be in the area.
    #15
  16. Duflul

    Duflul Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    Same here, I love reading about trips on very impractical bikes.
    I'll try to post some up in the spring.

    Thanks!
    #16