Author Touring on my Crossrunner - UK to Italy  (Read 3295 times)

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  • Offline Slaine

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    Offline Slaine

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    Touring on my Crossrunner - UK to Italy
    on: May 27, 2020, 03:53:51 pm
    May 27, 2020, 03:53:51 pm
    Last year I joined a bunch of people on a trip to Italy.  There were 26 of us in total and one person had organised a hotel and put out a general invitation.  I didn't know a soul but thought that a week away with like minded people should be a lot of fun.

    In the run up to the tour I was really unsure wabout what to take, what gear to wear etc.  As it turned out June 1st-9th was spectacular weather.  I wore leathers and base layers and was very comfortable - though the heated grips had to go on once or twice on a couple of the higher passes!

    Not knowing the guys I ended up taking the route down that suited me best.  I left at about 6am on Saturday morning from Camberley in Surrey.  I was pleased that my gear all fitted in the OE panniers and small top box though they were full!  I had everything from puncture repair stuff to a spare litre of oil.  Thankfully I only needed a few of the bits but I felt a lot better for being prepared. 


    Leaving Dover

    I got a bit of sleep on the ferry.  It was uneventful and the staff helped to strap the bike down.  I realised that I didn't have enough water with me and tried to get a few bottles that I could stash around the place as it was already very warm.

    I took a route from Calais to Dusseldorf that I'd worked out beforehand using MyRouteApp - highly recommended by the way.  Just put your waypoints down and it will take you where you want to go rather than where Google Maps thinks you should be going.  I had lots of time as the train didn't start boarding until 6pm.  Yes, the train.  If I had more time I would have ridden down through Germany and Austria but with the time available I would have had to have blasted down the motorway.  That's not my idea of touring. 

    More details at: https://www.railtravelshop.com/motorail/dusseldorf-innsbruck

    So I had booked on to the train and took my time riding across to Dusseldorf in 30 degree weather.  I was melting!  When I arrived there was a bit of a wait but then everyone finally got going.  There's a video below of what the bikes look like once they're loaded.



    I went for dinner and then got on the packed train.  The air conditioning was creaky and to be honest I would have spent the extra money on a more private cabin given the choice.  I was in a 6 berth couchette and it was hot and busy.  Mostly full of Germans too.  Everyone was nice enough but you can get an idea of what it was like on board from this video.



    It was hot and busy and you got chucked about a fair bit on the faster sections.  But it did mean that 700kms happened overnight.

    The good news was that I woke up to this:



    The bad news was that when the train had turned during the night (no idea why) it had my bike facing backwards and the screen had been completely ripped off!  If it had been the standard screen I'm sure it would have been fine but it was an Ermax screen using palmer adjusters and there was obviously too much play in it for it to survive.  :013:

    Anyway, I registered the problem with the train staff so that I could get some money back, strapped the screen to my bike using a cargo net that I'd brought along and off I went.  And actually, for the vast amount of riding I was far happier without a screen!  Much less wind noise and much cooler.  Anything over 80mph was a bit of a pain but I wasn't in a rush so it was actually OK.


    An ex-screen.

    The scenery all around the place was spectacular and I couldn't have been happier.  I followed my pre-planned route through the mountains and was just stunned at the amazing scenery.  After a few mistakes where I missed turns i was well on the way.  By about 3pm I was at the hotel, settled in with a beer and waiting for the others.


    What a view.

    We were staying in Cortina d'Amprezzo which is a skiing resort really complete with skiing prices but it's a lovely place in the summer. 


    The view from my room.

    The rest of the group arrived in dribs and drabs ranging from guys who had trailered their bikes down ("the trailer trash"), big tourers and sport tourers right the way through to smaller stuff.  There was an NS400, a CB500, several BMW K1300S's, another Crossrunner, a lone GS and various other assorted bikes including an Indian Chief!

    The guys were all easy to chat to and varied in age from a couple under 40 to the majority over 60. One was nearly 80 and still very quick!

    The rest of the holiday was a mix of different routes as people joined up in to groups of 2-5.  Some wanted to do mega-miles while others wanted to take in the scenery. I did a mixture of the two and had a blast.




    I have quite a few other pictures but the forum has turned them round on their side etc so you're saved from the worst of it!

    The week's riding was a mass of hairpins (19 in a row was the record) great food, astonishing scenery, one cable car and my first time riding with others using an intercom.  Once the irritating pairing bit was done it was a revelation to be able to chat to the others so easily. I used a Sena 20S while others had Cardo Packtalks etc.  If you're riding in a group I highly recommend one.

    All too soon it was over.  I had a day to head back and was hoping that the Timmelsjoch pass would be open.  The day before I was due to leave I saw that it had finally opened on June 8th!  The traffic was much heavier than anything so far and the standard of driving was appalling as performance cars were busy trying to work their way past vans and family cars.  Not much fun.


    On the Italian side of Timmelsjoch.


    A view of the weather at the top.  There is a museum and all sorts of other stuff at the top.  Just be aware it's a toll road.


    The Austrian side of the Timmelsjoch!

    Like I said, it had only just opened.

    The otehr side was much more relaxed though the weather wasn't as good.  I wasn't looking forward to the journey back but despite the train being delayed for a couple of hours it all went pretty smoothly and at least I didn't have to drive for 10 solid hours of motorways. 

    All in all it was a tremendous experience. The group that I went with call themselves The Old Gits and you can see more of teh sort of thing that they get up to at http://old-gits.org/write-up2019.htm

    Of the 26 there was one crash due to gravel but that was it.

    And as to the Crossrunner?  It cemented how much I like the bike.  It was comfortable, has a great tank range, enough power, plenty of carrying capacity, good suspension and the guy that I rode with most spent most of his time listening to the V4 soundtrack as I accelerated up hills.

    So if you're wondering about going touring, Do It!

  • Offline Skids   gb

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    Offline Skids

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    Re: Touring on my Crossrunner - UK to Italy
    Reply #1 on: May 27, 2020, 05:38:10 pm
    May 27, 2020, 05:38:10 pm
    Thanks for that Slaine, it cheers up the dreary, if warm and sunny, days.  :031:
    98 VFR800 - 130,000 miles, 08 VFR800 - 76,000 miles, 15 VFR800X - 44,000 miles (all sold)
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  • Offline Corringdon

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    Offline Corringdon

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    Re: Touring on my Crossrunner - UK to Italy
    Reply #2 on: May 27, 2020, 05:57:48 pm
    May 27, 2020, 05:57:48 pm
    A great description of what appears to be a worthwhile tour. Many thanks, Slaine. I stopped touring quite a few years ago as I considered myself too old. It appears from the ages of some of your fellow travellers that I might well have been wrong.
    Some of my past bikes. Norton ES2 - Norton 650SS - Velocette Venom - Velocette Thruxton Venom - Kawasaki Z1100  ST - Kawasaki GPZ 1100 B2 - Honda CB500.

  • Offline Slaine

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    Offline Slaine

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    Re: Touring on my Crossrunner - UK to Italy
    Reply #3 on: May 27, 2020, 07:31:55 pm
    May 27, 2020, 07:31:55 pm
    *Originally Posted by Corringdon [+]
    I stopped touring quite a few years ago as I considered myself too old. It appears from the ages of some of your fellow travellers that I might well have been wrong.

    Get in touch with the Old Gits. They're a good crowd and open to newbies like me.

  • Offline Wrc81

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    Offline Wrc81

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    Re: Touring on my Crossrunner - UK to Italy
    Reply #4 on: May 31, 2020, 05:30:14 pm
    May 31, 2020, 05:30:14 pm
    Great post. I envy you man ☺️☺️. Keep riding

  • Online voodoo   nl

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    Re: Touring on my Crossrunner - UK to Italy
    Reply #5 on: May 31, 2020, 06:07:05 pm
    May 31, 2020, 06:07:05 pm
    Nice trip!
    I might do a post on my Spain trip from last year. Will be a copy/past jobby, so writeup will be in Dutch.
    Stop making sense

  • Offline Slaine

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    Offline Slaine

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    Re: Touring on my Crossrunner - UK to Italy
    Reply #6 on: June 01, 2020, 11:16:57 am
    June 01, 2020, 11:16:57 am
    *Originally Posted by Wrc81 [+]
    Great post. I envy you man ☺️☺️. Keep riding

    Thanks Wrc81.  It was great fun.  I'm hoping to link up with some of the same guys and do a version of the NC500 in Scotland this summer.

    *Originally Posted by voodoo
    Nice trip!
    I might do a post on my Spain trip from last year. Will be a copy/past jobby, so writeup will be in Dutch.

    Please do - plenty of photos and a Google Translate link please!

  • Online voodoo   nl

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    Re: Touring on my Crossrunner - UK to Italy
    Reply #7 on: June 01, 2020, 08:32:41 pm
    June 01, 2020, 08:32:41 pm
    Just realised that I didn't do a writeup on the Dutch ratbikeforum, seems I'm Johnny Nomates these days. ;-)

    I'll do a post of said trip anyway overhere, just have a little patience.
    Stop making sense

  • Offline NigelQ

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    Offline NigelQ

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    Re: Touring on my Crossrunner - UK to Italy
    Reply #8 on: June 02, 2020, 03:07:45 pm
    June 02, 2020, 03:07:45 pm
    Sounds great fun, I've subscribed!  :028:

  • Offline ThunderGuts   gb

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    Offline ThunderGuts

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    Re: Touring on my Crossrunner - UK to Italy
    Reply #9 on: June 08, 2020, 08:10:25 am
    June 08, 2020, 08:10:25 am
    Looks great. I bicycle-toured southern Germany and Austria about 9 years ago and spent some time in Innsbruck and the Inn valley in general. Stunning scenery around there.

     


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