Being all locked up and reading all those great ride reports I started looking over the ones I wrote in the last years. I posted them all on a Dutch forum and most of them I translated and posted here as well. 2020; Taking the new Guzzi for a spin, 2019; Route Barée, 7 days through the alps and 2017 The hunt for Luigi and Jean-Pierre But this one I never came round to, so having some spare time and like I said being all inspired by all your great story's and adventures I thought lets get to it. The trip was made in May 2018 and the plan was a seven day ride, with just the first stretch of highway. The rest local roads, all the way to the south of France. Inspiration came from a 2 weekly motor magazine which had this route in one of the editions a year before. I saved the GPX file that came with that article thinking I would some day have the opportunity to ride it. The end of 2017 ended in a divorce, so spring 2018 was my time to take this trip. I have found a new love and in contrast to my ex wife, my new girlfriend only encouraged me to make these solo trips. So I did.. Day 1 Depart: Nuenen, The Netherlands Destination: Fresnes en Woëvre Route: My route app link Distance: 330km Campsite: Camping Base de Loisirs du Colvert This trip I was taking my Vespa again, but now not on the back of my campervan, actually had to sell that van due to a divorce. I am going to ride it all the way to the south of France via those brilliant local roads Before leaving I did some service, changed the oil + filter, checked and adjusted the valve clearance, changed the spark plug, cleaned and re greased the air filter and checked the drive belt and cleaned out the vario pulleys and clutch. The usual stuff, even fitted new front brake pads and a second hand used front fork because I suspected the old one to be a bit bend. Ever since I bought my (second hand) Vespa it had been pulling to the left. Tried all sorts of solutions, changed the tiers to different brands, tried all sorts of different pressures in there, changed the fork bearings, all of them (there are a lot in that ltille swingarm set up). Changed out the front shock for a better one, that started leaking after just 10.000km's so bought another one (different brand) But nothing helped. It kept steering to the left, so much that on the long rides it would really made my arms fatigue. During one trip I even attached a bungy cord to the belt around my waist and the other end on the right hand side of the handle bars. So I sourced a second hand fork, and swapped it out. Mounted my tomtom on the handlebars again with that a ugly piece of metal I had laying around, someday I will change that for a nice ramball thingy. Road the Vespa around the block for a test run and it was good to go. A few days later I loaded up all my gear said goodbye to my girlfriend who was going to Sicily with her mom for a short spring break . And rode off.. only to stop like 2 km's from my home to get a coffee, and fill up the tank. Yes all the gear has to come of.. next time I need to remember to fill her up before I load on all that gear. The Vespa failed..!! Completely packed I merged onto the highway and it maxed out at 100km /h. Holding back / stuttering.. Oh oo.. … Normally it would reach 120km'h easily.. wtf.. Turned back home, I started tinkering and checking possibilities. Nothing found, changed out the the spark plug.No changes still stuttering @ WOT So I drove to the Vespa dealer, to have the ecu checked. They came up with a suspect: the ignition coil, I bought one and went back home. There I replaced that coil. But to my sadness it turned out not to be the coil. I was out of options.. I couldn't fix the problem. So after all that I pulled all my gear that was packed on the Vespa and put it on my Yammie. Besides my Vespa I also had a 99 Yamaha Fazer 600. Having some problems getting on all the luggage, the Fazer didn't have a topbox, neither was there a under seat storage like with the Vespa. So an old Gedore tool-case, some drilling and bolting later A make do topcase was constructed. In there all my clothes. On top of that a drybag with my sleeping bag and airmatras. A small backpack with some food, drinks and electronics. And the tent strapped to the back of my saddle. I parked it in front of my house, one final check and goooo So round 3:30 pm I finally started my planned 465km day ride. Back on to the highway, this time with that Fazer. This thing really goes when I want it to, so where possible I set the speed to a nice and steady 150km/h Wanting to make up some time my first stop was just south of Liege in Belgium, a good 2 hours ride from home. Filled up the tank there and climbed back on. Just one more stop to make some phone calls. My girl and I where in the process of buying a house, so calls had to be made. Spirits where up, sun was out, the Fazer rode fantastic.. Belgium went by pretty fast and just before Luxembourg my pre made route made me exit the highway. Turned out there was a truckers bar right @ the exit so I had my self some diner there. A burger and some fries, oh and a well deserved beer.. One more hour riding after that fast meal those 465km's turned out to be a tat bit optimistic. That Saturday I reached 330km to set up camp somewhere in the north of France. To be precise: Fresnes en Woëvre It was way past 8 pm so time to stop for today. I found a campsite with it's gates open and no one there to check in with.. So rode up the site, looked for a free spot, there where plenty, and started unpacking. It was almost 9 pm, time to pitch that tent. This old thing takes about 10 minutes of work, including inflating my sleeping mattress an rolling out my sleeping bag. Okay.. day 1 to an end. Not the way I planed it, but glad I had a second bike to fall back on. To bad I lost all that time today, to get round to riding all the day routes I pre made I have to some how make up for the 130km's lost today.