European Joyride on a Caponord - IT, A, D, CZ, SK, H, SRB, FYROM, GR

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by tserts, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. tserts

    tserts Chaotic Neutral

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,750
    Location:
    Yunanistan (Stans baby!)
    Google maps refuses to plot a route through the Grossglockner, but with some creative cutting and pasting, here is the day's route, 430 saturating kms:

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    #21
  2. ekms377

    ekms377 The 2-Stroke Guy

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    497
    Location:
    Keller,Texas
    It's about damn time that I finally see a trip report with some Capos in it!!!! Thanks for sharing the great report and pics. Keep it coming!
    #22
  3. tserts

    tserts Chaotic Neutral

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,750
    Location:
    Yunanistan (Stans baby!)
    Be patient all of you caponordisti, a whole week with just a capo duo is coming up!! The lesser bikes still hold us back, but from the Czech Republic onwards, we will set the rotaxes freeeeee!!! :clap :clap :rofl
    #23
  4. Capotourer

    Capotourer CapoNoMore

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    547
    Location:
    Sarasota FL,USA o
    Bravo, bravo:clap my Capo bothers....keep it coming........
    #24
  5. tserts

    tserts Chaotic Neutral

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,750
    Location:
    Yunanistan (Stans baby!)
    Having missed the Stelvio, the Grossglockner (GG for short, that word is impossible to write, let alone pronounce) was something not to be missed, but it was completely out of the way. The easy way to Salzburg is a mere 190km on the motorway, but that was never even considered. We decided to ride up to Bruck via Haizenberg, a route which showed as “scenic”, and make the decision whether to enter the GG there, depending on the weather and the time we would reach that point.

    We paid for the hotel, and got on our way without haste, a rule that was set long before we started that trip. We wanted to take everything easy, travel at a relaxing pace, enjoy every km of the way, stop wherever we felt like it, and never follow a time-based schedule…

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    We got off the highway the soonest possible, and started to follow the gps’ directions, and soon we were riding a wonderful, quick country road, which took us by surprise with its natural beauty… At some point along the way, we reached a remarkable rest area, overlooking a serene lake, which mirrored the surrounding mountains. It was desktop-material-photos-gathering time!!

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    A little further we entered a national park, with 4 euros toll/entrance fee, and we were finding it difficult to move on without stopping every couple of minutes to get some photos…

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    We managed to reach the doorstep of the GG at 13.30h, and we all agreed to push on, ensuring that by the end of the day we would be completely exhausted, we never regretted that choice..

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    The toll is 18 euros per bike, but, since we had paid 4 at the other national park, our toll was reduced to 16 euros.

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    The GG is advertised as “motorbike heaven” and the truth is not far from that… 48 kms of spotless tarmac welcome the rider and seduce him into pushing his bike to the limits (add “her” where applies, no pun intended to the female riders), up to 2570m of altitude, in a magical blend of snow, rocky peaks, and astonishing drops on the outer side of the road…

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    I let the capo loose, which happily started to scream at every twist of the right grip handle. I was in trance, enjoying every turn of the road, until I had enough… I slowed down and I turned on the camera, set it to video mode, and started shooting, I wanted to preserve this memory… My friend Yani overpassed quickly, I knew exactly what he felt right at that moment… It was pure joy…

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    We reach the top and I notice a familiar triumph bike passing on the opposite direction, at the last moment I make out the Greek Transalp club flag… I make a U-turn and follow him into the parking lot, and, suddenly, I am back in Greece! The biggest ITT group from Greece (17 bikes), which had traveled through the Dalmatian Coast, is there, and they are joined a little while later by the “late” group (9 bikes), which were going from Venice to Salzburg in a single day’s ride, and of course our selves (4 bikes)… 30 Greek plated bikes and some 45 people turned the quiet Grossglockner peak into an Athenian rush-hour nightmare!! Loud and ecstatic, we turned all the heads of the unsuspicious travelers nearby… The other two groups had a rendezvous there, we were the cherry on top, it was really memorable…

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    We leave the others, who traveled north-bound unlike us, and had less road to travel, and continue south for the descend. A little later, we left the GG, 16 euros well spent!!

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    We had planned to eat before hitting the highway, but since everything was closed at that time (it is times like this that I feel homesick), we ended up exiting the highway to go to a random village, which was, as expected, tidy and clean beyond any reasonable comprehension… The funny thing is that Germany was even tidier, but for our Greek standards, Austria seemed like a sterilized hospital wing, an hour before the programmed visit of the minister of public health…

    We had a great lunch, with the friendliest Dutch waiter (gotta love the Dutch), had one espresso, and soon we were back on the highway…

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    It was boring now, and we were tired, so the two capos got separated and we started to go a bit fast… We would wait for them at the highway exit, or so we thought… On the way to Salzburg there is a big tunnel and the toll is a whooping 9.50 euros, on the other direction the traffic had come to a complete stop (for unknown reasons) and the queue stretched for many kms. Everyone was calm, the auxiliary right lane was clear, and we didn’t hear anyone honk. We were taking pictures of this weird sight, in Greece it would have been a different story to say the least…

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    Back on our story, there was a radar speed trap at a narrowed section of the road which had a reduced speed limit of 80, the “fast” duo was blocked by a truck and we cruised by the two policemen at the civilized and legitimate speed of 75km/h… You guessed it. The two transalps were clocked at 112km/h (they were slowing down but didn’t use the breaks as is the norm there) and received a speed ticket of 35 euros… We had a good laugh later at the hotel, saying that Yani (stop trying to follow the names, 3 of us were Yani, better stick with the bikes) the rider of the ’96 TA600, would frame the ticket as proof that he can reach 112 with the “granny”…

    The rest of the road was uneventful, except for the fact that I thought I had lost my bike key when we unloaded the bikes… Another interesting day was ending and it was nice that all Greek ITT groups (except for two individual bikers) were all staying at the same hotel.. The hotel was in Seeham , some 15 kms from Salzburg , and had been booked by another Yani (the same who had booked our Innsbruck rooms) for the unsurprising amount of 35 euros per night…

    Tomorrow we invade Germany and reach Bischosmais!
    #25
  6. Bocephous

    Bocephous Bitter Clinger

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    355
    Location:
    Smiley/Tirzah, NEPA
    I am quite literally at this moment :lurk and enjoying the heck out of this RR!
    #26
  7. tserts

    tserts Chaotic Neutral

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,750
    Location:
    Yunanistan (Stans baby!)
    We rode to Salzburg for a tour of the city, and then we took minor roads to get to Bischofsmais. We did however get a small taste of the autobahn! 186kms roughly, Germany here we come! :clap :clap

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    #27
  8. tserts

    tserts Chaotic Neutral

    Joined:
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mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} </style> <![endif]--> It was gradually becoming more difficult to wake up relatively early in the morning, as the long days on the bike were taking their toll…


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    We woke up at the Greek-infested hotel, had breakfast, and started planning the day.


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    We had little distance to cover, but Salzburg has many sights, both within the city and nearby. On top of that, we wanted to reach Bischofsmais by 19.00h, when the buffet and later the opening ceremony would take place. We decided to start with the town center and adjust the program on the go.


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    I managed to find my missing ignition key, which sat gloriously inside my tankbag, which I had turned upside down a thousand times last night (I had a spare anyway but still…), so we went through the usual loading of the bikes, and left for Salzburg.

    We parked the bikes and secured our belongings with various patents, and walked towards the good staff, the old town.



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    The “Salt City”, named after its salt mines which used to be located to the south, is a lovely town. It is also the birthplace of Mozart so everywhere you look you see Mozart-shaped things: Chocolates, key holders, stickers you name it. I bet they have Mozart-shaped condoms but I didn’t bother to ask…
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    Mozart used to play the organ in this very church until the age of 17 (from probably before he was born, those geniuses get on my nerves :lol3)

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    One can pay and tour around the old city by horse carriages, the only problem is the "emissions", which turn some road into minefields..

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    The old town is well preserved, and is ideal for relaxing walks, souvenir shopping and Mozart-related trivia. We found out that there is a lazy way to get to the castle, a nice rail lift, which costs about 10 euros for a return ticket. We had to conserve energy for the trip ahead (a good excuse to be lazy), so we decided to do just that.
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    We got to the top (fantastic view), and sat at the café-restaurant for a coffee/beer.. I didn’t catch the name, but they served a wonderful smoked beer up there, make sure to check it out if you ever go there (I will add a special beer section later on, I believe I have a good audience for that topic in here…).
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    We visited the castle which had a wonderful torture tools collection among other interesting stuff… I thought I’d get my wife one of these but they didn’t have her size…
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    How you doing?

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    We returned to the town, sat for a sausage snack (always sample the local specialties, I say), and realized that the salt mines were out of the question, we will have to wait until our next visit to see that. Thankfully Salzburg is a central passing point so I’m hoping I’ll go there again soon…


    Oh, there was a vintage car race taking place that day:


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    We returned to our bikes, geared up, and left for Germany.
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    Once again, the gps and the different colored road signs were the only way to realize that we had entered a new country (Yani, the other capo rider, thought we were still in Austria even 120kms past the “border”).
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    We stopped at a small village for a quick coffee (Yani: we are in Germany already?).
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    I had the funniest conversation with a German biker who didn’t speak any English:
    -Gesture -> “bike”, “twist of the throttle”, “thumb up”?
    - Yaa, “twist of the throttle”*2, sound “vrrrm, vrrrrm”, Gooot yaa!
    - “wave bye bye”, “thumb up”, gesture “long way”
    - “wave bye bye”, “thumb up”
    We could talk for hours like this…
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    Back on the road, we reach our first autobahn section, for only 20kms. I have IGO8 on my gps, and I have it show on the left lower corner the remaining distance, the altitude and the current speed limit. I was wondering how “no speed limit” would show, it turns out it simply blanks out, and the speed limit field is suddenly empty.

    Party time!! The truth is that there IS a speed limit of 120 when it rains, and there are signs indicating that, at the moment it’s not raining so it’s time to step on it… It’s very expensive to go really fast on the autobahn because someone will always be slowing you down, as they change lane to overpass other traffic. So you go to 200, then down to 100, then 210, back to 80 (trucks overpass too), then 190, and so on. Needless to say all that slowing down and accelerating increases consumption but, who cares for that, the bloody road has no speed limit!! It is very rare to manage to stay above 200km/h for long periods because of that fact. Even like this, the 20kms are gone before you know it, and we (the two capos) stop at the side and wait for the transalps (this will be our downfall tomorrow)… Whatever the deal, the German autobahn is still the only place on the planet (except for race tracks) where you can LEGALY have the time of your life with a set of quick wheels, and the capo falls into that category…

    We finally reach Bischofsmais, we go to the “rezeption”, get our keys, and hit the buffet immediately with ferociousness… It’s starting to rain lightly as we go back to the main building’s large balcony for beer and catching up with the others.
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    A little later, we are guided at the “campfire”, where the Germans have prepared a little opening ceremony, to get things started. Personally I leave a couple of minutes later because I’m starting to feel like I’m in church camp…
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    I head to our accommodation with Yani (the capo one), unload the damn luggage (by now its “damn luggage”, notice the climax?), and start unpacking. Teo (the TA650 guy, or “old fart” for short) joins us a little later and we have some small talk before hitting the bed…

    Another day comes at an end, and tomorrow we’re headed for an extra autobahn dose, plus a burned regulator… Stay tuned!!
    #28
  9. falcojake

    falcojake Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    24
    wow excelent....keep it coming i am looking forward to more stories of helenic 'derring doo' in germania! (dont ask me what derring doo' means but it sounds good):freaky

    as for the auto bahn i managed 150mph (245km/h) on the A81 between stuttgart and singen on my falco. funny thing was it didnt seem so fast because the other cars were doing 130mph.

    some sections are quiet enough for high speeds

    the germans also know how to have propper big motorway 'pile ups'. i have seen them happen and the result isnt pretty.

    yes an audi A8 may be able to cruise at 240kph but try stopping 2 tonnes of german steel in a reasonable distance...or maybe just plough through the car that happens to have got in the way!
    #29
  10. tserts

    tserts Chaotic Neutral

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,750
    Location:
    Yunanistan (Stans baby!)
    Yeah, the parts we rode had a bit of traffic, I guess at some other parts you'll be able to go nuts uninterrupted...

    Luckily we didn't see any accidents (apart from a minor one in Austria), it can be a real downer..

    In any case the autobahn is in a league of its own when it comes to motorways, a unique experience.
    #30
  11. tserts

    tserts Chaotic Neutral

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,750
    Location:
    Yunanistan (Stans baby!)
    A total of about 200kms on the menu today, 130 of them on the A3 autobahn. To Regensburg and back...

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    #31
  12. tserts

    tserts Chaotic Neutral

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,750
    Location:
    Yunanistan (Stans baby!)
    One of the organizers’ major shortcomings was the fact that they hadn’t translated the official route descriptions to any other language. Subsequently, anyone who didn’t speak German (more than half of the participants), could not decide on which route to choose (from the 12 available, if I’m not mistaken). Under the fear of public unrest, a simple handwritten English translation was posted on the board, but late at night. The Greeks (the vast majority of them anyway), most of us already worn out by the previous days, decided to wake up a bit late, head to Regensburg, some 90kms away, visit the two motorbike gear megastores (Polo and Louis), do some shopping, walk around the city, and return early enough for the evening buffet.

    After breakfast, a group of about 20 bikes left for Regensburg, and stopped at the first gas station to refuel. Me, the other 3 bikes from the first part of the trip and another fifth bike (also Greek), left the others in order to refuel at the next gas station, so as to speed things up. Naturally we got separated, so, after waiting at the other station for a while, we left for Regensburg independently.

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    A little later we were entering the autobahn for the second time. I went berserk once again and I got separated from the other 4 bikes (save it, I know how it sounds), as I was pushing the bike and rode pretty fast (I knew the others had gps as well). After I had enough, and about 15km from the exit, I slowed down to about 120km/h, in order to regroup with them, but still, when I got to the exit, there was still no sign of them, and, as a bonus, it started to rain, heavily this time. I later found out that “Regensburg” means “Rain City” and it did live up to its name. I had my rain-proof gear in the back, but, as the temperature was high (~20C) I decided to test the cordura jacket and pants. Luckily, they didn’t soak. I also put the rain cap on the tankbag, and secured the camera in the topcase (I always have it hang around my neck to take pictures on the go, but I bet you’ll have realized that by now)…

    I reach the center and start to look for a bike parking spot, to call the others and tell them to join me, but they arrive shortly after me (the 5th bike had left their rain gear at the hotel and they were soaked) so we stop somewhere on the side and decide to call the first group to give us directions for “Polo”. After a while we get the address, punch it on the gps and leave again towards the suburbs. From there we leave for the second store, “Louis”, and the shopping spree continues there. Both stores are turned into Bagdad Bazaars for the duration of our visit, with hysterical Greeks running around the aisles with various merchandise put on, asking the others how do they look… Besides the revenue, I bet the store owners and staff were a bit relieved to see us leave…

    All I got was a pair of enduro Alpine Stars pants and some socks, as I found the prices not as low as I was expecting compared to the Greek market. Nevertheless, both stores had an impressive variety of gear, and it felt nice to be in a “bike-supermarket”…

    We head back downtown (I went separately again, since I went back to Polo to get the pants) and we meet again at a café. I got a beer, and I was a bit hungry so I asked the waitress if they had any sausage related treat, for hungry tourists… She says no, but across the corner there is a restaurant called “Wurstkuche” (sausage kitchen), which is very famous and adored by the locals… The buffet at the hotel was not bad, but it was nothing special, and not traditional, so I suggested we go there and get some German scent into our stomachs.

    The restaurant is at the river bank, next to an old bridge. The weather was getting better (it had started to rain another 5 times in between, Rain City and all), and the mood was just as good. The restaurant has been in operation since 1320 (one thousand three hundred and twenty, no typo there, it is actually older than the bridge!) and only serves a special kind of sausage with sweet pickled onion, a mustard/ketchup sauce, and beer (or any other beverage). That’s it. I love Spartan menus, they usually have few but very special dishes, and this was no exception. We were supposed to eat lightly but we had to have an encore on these heavenly sausages, and some more beer, until we were full.

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    We went for another stroll towards the bikes through the town, which was wonderful and very well kept (this goes without saying for Germany; everything is freshly painted and well maintained, it is just insane how organized and tidy everything is). I later found out that Regensburg is actually a unesco world heritage site (the old centre), and it is definitely worth visiting, if not for the amazing gothic cathedral, then for the sausages alone!!

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    Back on the bikes and another 68kms of autobahn await us (the A3 east-bound this time). It’s just the 4 original bikes again and the same scenario happens: The capos leave to collect bug-slime on the windscreen, while the transalps follow at a slower pace. Again I enjoy the whole section in average speeds of about 200km/h, but Yani (capo), stays a bit behind and just before the exit he goes full throttle and reaches 225 (I only managed to reach 213 on the gps because of the traffic). Immediately after that we exit, we turn off the bikes, start screaming like girls with excitement, and wait for the others. :clap

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    The others eventually come, and Teo (TA650) signals me to enter the next gas station and takes the lead as they didn’t stop. There was a gas station only 100 meters ahead, and I see some bikes, enter the station, only to realize that those were some other bikes and that Teo and Yani had missed the station. Anyway since I had stopped, I fill up my tank, go and pay, and as I come out I notice that neither Yani (I know you ‘re still confused, I mean the capo one) is at the station. I hear my cell phone ringing in the tankbag, I take the call and I hear Yani (capo) shouting and telling me that he has no ignition and why didn’t I check on my mirrors when I left. I walk to the side of the road and I see him where we had stopped after the autobahn. I ride back towards him, and he shows me that indeed the capo seems to have no power to turn the engine; the ignition button makes a single click when it’s pressed and the bike is dead. I fear that these are symptoms of a failed regulator, which I have a spare, but at the hotel! There is a small downhill section where we are, so I push him and the bike comes alive when he releases the clutch.

    I tell him to ride straight for the hotel (he should have enough gas for that), and we will look into it there, where I have more tools and a spare regulator. We reach the hotel, having again lost the others (they went to the next gas station), and we get to work.

    First thing we notice is that the bike now starts normally! I check the battery’s output and the numbers are slightly off, the regulator fails to pass 14V throughout the whole spectrum of rpms. It should give up to 14,6, so we conclude that the regulator is at fault. Just to make sure, I take out my seats and check my own battery’s readings, and our assumption is verified. I start replacing the regulator, which involves cutting all the wires (5 points of contact, 10 wires in total), connecting them, and then insulating them. It seems easy but I don’t have the right tools. Thankfully a German guy who had driven with his van (with his transalp inside) to ITT had a fully equipped toolbox, which he brought us and that made all the difference.

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    Now remember this is an international transalp meeting. 90% of the bikes are transalps, africas, and varaderos, and these people think that only Hondas never break down (I call it the Honda universe, it is an isolated place where people believe that when a Honda breaks down, it’s bad luck, but when the other bikes break down it’s a sign of inferior build quality).

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    We are parked by the road next to a swarm of Hondas, and two capos with the seats off and the open toolbox placed nearby are an easy target for mockery and sarcasm… :lol3

    - Italian bikes, what did you expect…
    - I told him to get a honda…
    - Japan, I always say…
    - What’s wrong with the espresso machine?

    You get the drift… :deal

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    Anyway, despite the adverse conditions (I think every single participant walked by that spot in that hour), I manage to replace the regulator and the bike starts giving the right electrical readings. It has gotten late, and we manage to eat only because Teo and Yani had kept two meals for us from the buffet.

    Before we return to our rooms for the night, we sign our names to the participant’s list of tomorrow’s route no10. It enters the Czech Republic via small country roads and some people who had ridden it today said it had been an interesting ride…

    Next up: Multiculturalism on two wheels, the tower of Babel, and the glorious re-emergence of potholes…
    #32
  13. quicktoys2

    quicktoys2 ADVrider junkie :)

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    Patras, Greece
    Enjoying your ride report ...... can't wait for more.

    The famous Caponord Regulator rectifier problem ....... I replaced mine with an aftermarket model I got from the USA, but many guys are using a Honda Goldwing rectifier which is cheaper and charges like a bomb.

    Look forward to more.
    Soto
    #33
  14. tserts

    tserts Chaotic Neutral

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,750
    Location:
    Yunanistan (Stans baby!)
    Thanks Soto, I now have a Greek made regulator from SX electronics, which is supposed to be good. I also have an identical spare next to the toolbag under the seat, and it's ready to be clipped on, as I have attached the same connectors. IF it happens to my capo again (it had happened to the prevous owner), I'll be on my way in 5 minutes...

    The only thing I want to add is a voltage meter, in order to be able to constantly monitor the regulator's output. :wink:
    #34
  15. tserts

    tserts Chaotic Neutral

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,750
    Location:
    Yunanistan (Stans baby!)
    241 kms on the menu for the day, to the Chech Republic and back, via small, secondary roads:

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    #35
  16. quicktoys2

    quicktoys2 ADVrider junkie :)

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    Patras, Greece
    I installed this voltmeter on my bike ........ http://www.themeterstore.com/datel-voltmeter-for-motorcycle-battery-monitor-44-c.asp

    Soto
    #36
  17. tserts

    tserts Chaotic Neutral

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,750
    Location:
    Yunanistan (Stans baby!)
    We woke up the next day, had breakfast, and prepared for the ride. It was departing at 9.30h, and the Germans stuck to the plan religiously, so we tried hard to be on time (no small feat for a Greek) and managed to be at the right place (a specific section of the front parking lot) with a couple of minutes to spare.

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    There is a group leader who has a gps device with the whole route programmed, and the convoy is secured by the last bike (tail), who also has the complete route and makes sure no one gets left behind. Both leader and tail wear reflective yellow vests to stick out. Strict rules apply in order to minimize accidents and breaks of the line. Personally I have grown tired of this type of riding, but in large non-homogenous groups it is the only way to go.

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    We left on time but were guided to an open area, joined by all other groups, to get some group photos, which were to be burned on cds and were handed out for free to all participants the next day. Yani (capo) was the only one who hadn't filled his tank due to yesterday's adventure, so he went to do that, given the opportunity. We finished our modeling obligations, and left in an orderly way, under a clear sky.

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    We started to ride through the forest, on beautiful open twisty roads, and we were shocked at how chilly the air was in the dense forest. We stopped a bit later in the middle of nowhere for some pics, and us Greeks put on an extra layer of clothes since we were a bit too lightly dressed. A bit later we made our last stop before entering the Czech Republic and had coffee at another beautiful and scenic village in Germany.

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    Shortly after that we entered the Czech Republic (the border control booths are there but are not in use anymore), and immediately, we could notice the difference in the tarmac, which was in much worse shape with occasional potholes, which called for a more careful driving.

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    In all fairness, the Czech Republic has a very well maintained road network, but those areas near the border were strikingly worst than the German part. Another thing we had forgotten existed were the power and telephone lines which are exclusively subterranean in Germany... The scenery is equally impressive though and spirits were high once again.

    We stopped at a small village to eat (breakfast for us, lunch for all the others, we were laughing with the different time habits between us), and relaxed a bit more.. At around the time for departure, another ITT group stopped at the same place, coming from the other direction. We took some photos and went on our way.

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    Next stop was at a supposed "duty free" market which was in fact an Asian run market with b-rated stuff and hardly “smokable” cigarettes, we stayed there very briefly and continued our tour.

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    From there we rode back, after managing to break the convoy and get separated, as some riders failed to keep an eye on the following bike. I should mention here that we made 4 u-turns by the leader's missed turns, but, in general, Pete (the German group leader), did a good job navigating through the forest.

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    Back at the hotel, we sat at the front balcony with some other Greeks and exchanged stories from our day, as we waited for the day's barbeque dinner to start.

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    At some point I saw Dave, a lovely and friendly Dutchman, who I had met at last year's ITT in Parga, and was one of the few people who I was looking forward to seeing again this year, as we had an immediate mutual friendship, in the few hours we had spent together. He, among another 1000 people, had walked in front of the outdoor repair shop I had set up last night, but as I had my hands full, we hadn't been able to sit and chat.

    We started catching up, then later went at the campfire where the barbeque had started. After dinner, the Germans had prepared a mini show, with some Bavarian folk dances and then some undefined dance show to entertain us. I was introduced by Dave to the entire Dutch crew, who were all very sympathetic and joyous. It was funny how (almost) all of them had Africa Twins, and some more than one, so we joked about that for a while.

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    The music was getting too loud (and not to my taste) so me and Dave went to my room to copy some photos which he had brought from one of last year's official routes, which we had done together. While copying we had a nice chat (with the gentle snoring of Yani Capo relaxing us), and a bit later he headed to his tent as he had to ride 800kms next day.

    By the time he left Theo had also returned with some photos of a fireworks show, which had closed the curtain of this ITT.

    We went to bed almost immediately.

    Tomorrow, the capos head their own way, while the majority of the Greeks run for the ship…
    #37
  18. tserts

    tserts Chaotic Neutral

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    Nov 24, 2008
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    #38
  19. r-man

    r-man Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    118
    Location:
    Wherever the oil/gas is
    Beautiful thread.

    Thank you so much for sharing it :clap
    #39
  20. tserts

    tserts Chaotic Neutral

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
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    2,750
    Location:
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    I'm glad you're all enjoying this as much as I do! Next episode is coming up tonight! :clap
    #40