Chris riding for health, 16 days 16 countries through Europe

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by chrisridingforhealth, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. chrisridingforhealth

    chrisridingforhealth n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Hi guys,

    My name is Chris and I'm 22 years old. I live in the Netherlands and study economics in Nijmegen in the south-east of the country. I started riding motorcycles two years ago, bought myself a GSXR 600 which was built in 1999. I rode to the south of France six weeks after getting my drivers license. The year after I went to Italy through the dolomites.
    But this year... I went all out, I wanted to see more of the world, explore a different part of Europe I had never seen before.
    I started planning a new trip and read a lot on ADVrider.com for inspiration. I met Peter Muurman also from the Netherlands who rode his Ducati through Eastern-Europe and a big part through Russia.
    I decided I really wanted to go through Eastern-Europe after seeing all of his pictures of his trip.
    I started looking on google maps a lot and doing a lot of research about different countries I would be travelling through. This would be my first big solo trip so I wanted it to be a good one. I wanted it to be a trip that I would never forget and would take me to places I had never been to.
    Something else I really thought was important about this trip is that it would contribute to something bigger, I wanted to help people with doing this trip, so I decided to connect a charity to my trip. I chose Riders.org, Riders.org helps people in Africa in areas that would normally not be reached because they live in remote areas. They provide the doctors and nurses with motorcycles and train them on using and maintaining them, so they can help the people in the remote parts of Africa. Money on its own is not enough to help the people in Africa because there is no infrastructure.
    I am trying to raise money for the organisation through my trip.
    You can check out the organisation when you click on the link below, or just take a look on their website


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrhjKTWyIfs
    www.riders.org

    If you would like to donate money you can do that here:
    http://www.dreamordonate.nl/606-chris-riding-for-health

    You can also follow me on Facebook.
    https://www.facebook.com/chrisridingforhealth



    This is the route I will be riding in 16 days.
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    I was planning on riding my GSXR and customizing it with a superbike handlebar and adjust the footpegs, but after adding up the costs of the rebuild it seemed smarter to buy a newer and more suitable bike for the ttrip. On the picture below you can see my old and trusty GSX-R 600 srad.
    So I started looking for a more suitable candidate for my trip.

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    So I started looking around on the interwebs and in dealerships and finally chose for a v-strom built in 2009 with trax panniers, cruise control and heated grips with 52300 km's on the clock. So I was ready for the road!



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    #1
  2. chrisridingforhealth

    chrisridingforhealth n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I left for Zurich at about 8 in the morning, I left my from my parents house from s'-Hertogenbosch(Netherlands). I said goodbye to my girl and family and headed into the great unknown. I felt very excited to go on my big adventure, but also a bit anxious about what I was going to see on my trip and if I would survive the trip haha. That day I was riding about 800 km's on the bike, that I had just owned and ridden for a few days. I making stops at random at stuff which I consider interesting.

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    I didn't really have to miss my girlfriend because I kind of brought her with me in my tankbag, as a good luck charm.

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    My first petrol stop in Germany which was a pleasant surprise because in Holland we pay 1,80 for a liter of petrol, in Germany only 1,54 woohoo!

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    I rode a lot of miles on the german autobahn where I got to an amazing highspeed of 160 kilometers per hour:hmmmmm, probably because my bike is limited to 35 kw. I wanted to see some really quick stuff so I made a stop at the Nurnburgring which was really cool. The track was only open for manufacturers so I didn't get a chance to test my racing machine.

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    A nice picture of my racing beast, with some really nice beemers.

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    The track before the arrival of an army of Mini coopers, BMW's and all sorts of cool cars.

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    Next stop: Hockenheim circuit!
    When I was visiting the circuit there were only a handful of people watching and I didn't have to pay anything to get in, which is like heaven when youre Dutch haha. They were racing Porsches which were making a lot of noise really cool to see.

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    A nice panorama shot of the track.

    Made it to Switzerland! I am always mesmerized by the beauty of the country.
    When I made this picture I was almost run over by a very fanatic cyclist, because I didn't know I was on the designated bicycle path.
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    When I arrived in the hostel this was how my bunkmate greeted me, maybe a Swiss thing? haha
    He kept on snoring the rest of the night and didn't speak a word of English or German.

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    Luckily I met two amazing guys from Brazil, Ricardo and Diogo.
    They both lived in Sao Paolo and where working as lawyers in Brazil, we met in the kebab place next to the hostel were they were watching football. Later on we started looking for a place to drink some beers. This was harder than we thought on a wednesday in Zurich there were barely any bars open, so we settled for a small pub in the center. After having a little too much beers with my new amigus, I decided to call it a day and head off to bed to see my charming roommate.:evil
    #2
  3. E-man

    E-man 4-4-09, 12-6-09, 1-13-10

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,462
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Cool pics, thanks for sharing
    #3
  4. chrisridingforhealth

    chrisridingforhealth n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Saying my goodbyes to my new Brazilian friends, and heading off to my next destination in Italy, Bergamo. With a small hangover from the day before I got on my bike and drove off into the beautifull Swiss countryside. I took all my pictures with my Iphone 5s, which I bought just before I left.


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    Switzerland feels like riding through pictures from a book, I had to stop a couple of times to take some pictures of the amazing scenery.



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    Have you guys seen the Milka ad? I think these guys just escaped from set, they seemed to take liking to my pretty v-strom.

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    The cow on the left had kind of an attitude.


    Probably one of my best pictures on the trip, at this point I started really enjoying my trip, started to get really excited about what beautifull things were lying ahead.



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    I rode a couple of hours through the Swiss mountains and it got colder the higher I got but I didn't expect to see snow.

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    This is what I love about riding through Europe, one moment you can be standing next to a couple of inches of snow and an hour later you can be sitting in the sun next to lake Como in Italy.

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    Beautiful Bergamo!
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    Met two Spanish guys in my hostel David and Cristian who only spoke Spanish, good thing I speak a little Spanish myself. The girl on the left was Dutch who only spoke English, so I spent a lot of time translating between the two groups. Had a great time anyway we went to the old center of Bergamo. We ate some great pizza in a place where the waiters also take the time to speak to you. Later on they started singing and performing which was really great.


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    After the pizza I found out there was some cool people in my room. A bulgarian and a Polish guy a guy from the Ukraine and a Turkish couple.
    Heard some great stories about their travels and some very useful info about Bulgaria. The turkish couple were both engineers who were studying abroad, they told me a lot of cool stuff about Istanbul, things I should visit when I would get there.

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    #4
  5. chrisridingforhealth

    chrisridingforhealth n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Saying my goodbyes to my new Brazilian friends, and heading off to my next destination in Italy, Bergamo. With a small hangover from the day before I got on my bike and drove off into the beautifull Swiss countryside. I took all my pictures with my Iphone 5s, which I bought just before I left.


    [​IMG]

    Switzerland feels like riding through pictures from a book, I had to stop a couple of times to take some pictures of the amazing scenery.



    [​IMG]

    Have you guys seen the Milka ad? I think these guys just escaped from set, they seemed to take liking to my pretty v-strom.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The cow on the left had kind of an attitude.


    Probably one of my best pictures on the trip, at this point I started really enjoying my trip, started to get really excited about what beautifull things were lying ahead.



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    I rode a couple of hours through the Swiss mountains and it got colder the higher I got but I didn't expect to see snow.

    [​IMG]

    This is what I love about riding through Europe, one moment you can be standing next to a couple of inches of snow and an hour later you can be sitting in the sun next to lake Como in Italy.

    [​IMG]


    Beautiful Bergamo!
    [​IMG]

    Met two Spanish guys in my hostel David and Cristian who only spoke Spanish, good thing I speak a little Spanish myself. The girl on the left was Dutch who only spoke English, so I spent a lot of time translating between the two groups. Had a great time anyway we went to the old center of Bergamo. We ate some great pizza in a place where the waiters also take the time to speak to you. Later on they started singing and performing which was really great.


    [​IMG]

    After the pizza I found out there was some cool people in my room. A bulgarian and a Polish guy a guy from the Ukraine and a Turkish couple.
    Heard some great stories about their travels and some very useful info about Bulgaria. The turkish couple were both engineers who were studying abroad, they told me a lot of cool stuff about Istanbul, things I should visit when I would get there.

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. chrisridingforhealth

    chrisridingforhealth n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Netherlands
    After having breakfast with my new buddies in the hostel in Bergamo, I went out to check out the old denter in Bergamo. It had a really old feel to it and the buildings were beautifull. I treated myself to a nice real Italian cappucino. The next destination will be Venice but before I would arrive their I stopped at the Garda lake.

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    The famous Italian cappucino.
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    After the coffee break I took off to go see the Garda lake. This lake is famous in Holland, so if you go to camp on a campsite near to the lake big chance 99 percent of the people are Dutch.

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    Afterwards I drove straight to Venice on the Italian highway, which I think are one probably one of the craziest drivers in Europe.
    When I arrived in Venice I checked into the Hostel in a kind of weird neighbourhood nothing of I what I expected. Got offered drugs in my first walk through the street. Later on I discovered the ''real'' Venice was on an Island which I would have to take a train to get to.
    I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this.

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    A well earned lasagne and beer!
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    #6