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Re: [ST] Euro Trip

On 28 Aug 2006, at 20:47, Todd J wrote:

> I am heading to Yurp in the end of Sept and will be in southern  
> Germany with a possible loop that includes Switzerland and/or  
> Austria. I am contemplating riding for a day. Any suggestions? I  
> will be based east of Stuttgart in Esslingen. Any suggestions for  
> routes and bike rentals? What gear would YOU take if this was a  

I would strongly recommend the site http://www.alpineroads.com/ - it  
has comprehensive information on alpine roads in Europe, many / most  
of which have been ridden and rated by the Norwegian(?) chap who runs  
it.  Contains maps, and where possible live information on pass  
status.  I've based a couple of trips to alps around the site's  
recommendations and both were excellent.  Site also has links to bike  
hire places in the Austria / Switzerland area - http:// 

I suspect a problem you'll have is finding passes that are open -  
most seem to close early September.  But if you can squeeze in a  
couple  during your trip you should.

While in Germany you should also ensure you try out the unrestricted  
Autobahn's - there are some good straight ones near Stuttgart.  Got  
an indicated 140+ on my ST last year.  But be sure to check your  
bike / tyres / clothing etc. before going fast - you probably don't  
want to come off at very high speed... and I'm told that German  
police look grimly on you if you are found riding an 'unsafe' bike.

If you are in Austria, Salzburg is a good place to visit.  If you  
wanted to be adventurous you could drop down through Austria to  
Slovenia and back along the top of Italy - calling in at Venice along  
the way, before heading back up to Switzerland or along to the South  
of France (Monaco, Mont Blanc, etc.).  Heading due North from Nice  
takes you through some wonderful alpine landscape - and being further  
south it may be better weather conditions.

I'm in the toothbrush and amex camp myself.  I have found the Accor  
chain (http://accor.com) good for cheap hotel accommodation in Europe  
- they are a chain with several brands each occupying a price  
segment, and have a pretty functional on-line booking system that  
looks across all their available rooms in a location.  Handy for  
getting a room night before you get there (or I guess booking ahead  
from afar).

For kit, I'd recommend a good Goretex XCR type fabric riding suit -  
I've got one by Hein Gericke but I guess there are several brands out  
there (e.g. the very expensive BMW Streetguard2).  My HG is great -  
totally waterproof but able to go from torrential rain to hot sun  
without problem (or me getting too hot or cold): the XCR stuff  
actually works as intended.  If you do anything hilly in the alps  
that time of year you'll have to plan on fairly wide temperature  
ranges and rain being part of the mix.  Leathers not practicable I'd  
say.  And traditional waterproof fabric suits will do half the job  
only without stopping to add / remove layers.  I would be wary of  
renting riding kit.


Gavin Lawrie
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