Off to the Alps

Corona is forcing us to stay home, so what else can you do than finish those plans for when we can go ride again? Together with biker buddy Shih, I’m prepping a trip to the Alps. Based on the Route des Grandes Alpes we plotted a week’s trip, that currently looks like this:

(Click here to check it in detail on Google Maps)

On a Saturday – we’re hoping for June – we’ll take the highway from Belgium to just below Lake Geneva. The fun part starts on Sunday. The next Saturday around noon, we’ll say goodbye to the Alps, then ride up to Basel where we’ll spend the night, and ride back home on Sunday.

If you think we’re missing essential roads or you know great campings, good restaurants or must-see spots, drop a line in the comments below or reply to our Facebook post.

Tournée Pyrénée: ready, set …

Finally! Tomorrow morning we’ll be heading for the Pyrenees. After the first draft, we’ve updated our routes, spending a bit more time on Spanish ground. I won’t be riding my own bike but a Moto Guzzi V85 TT. If you’d like to hop on virtually, I’ll try to post something every now and then on Instagram and/or Facebook.

Click here for a bigger version of the map.

Three days of riding on Gran Canaria

The Canary Islands are my favourite last minute destination: reasonably cheap, plenty to see and do, and most of all: the weather is good year-round. They are called “the islands of eternal spring” for good reasons. I had already visited Tenerife, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura so Gran Canaria was the next logical choice.

In my search to ride a motorcycle on the island to awaken from riding hibernation, I ended up with Canary Motorcycle Tours. Martin and Joy, an English couple, offer guided motorcycle tours on Gran Canaria for groups of up to 8 motorcycles. Prices are only slightly higher than renting a motorcycle yourself.

Canary Motorcycle Tours is based in Vecindario, a small town on the east coast of Gran Canaria, fifteen minutes from the airport. It has a pedestrian street with plenty of cafeterias but altogether there’s not much to do. For touristic Canarian highlights you need to go elsewhere. If you book a tour with Canary Motorcycle Tours they offer you a 2-star or a 4-star accommodation in Vecindario. Should you stay somewhere else, they will also organise transport from and to your hotel, on the condition that it’s not too far away.

After only a few emails the deal was done and dusted: three days of riding with stay in the 2-star hotel in Vecindario. I booked my flights and a week later I set foot on Gran Canaria!

Joy picked me up at my hotel in the morning. Upon arriving at the motorcycle shop the obligatory paperwork was swiftly done and I could choose my riding gear if I wanted to. The vests, boots, helmets and gloves they offer all looked in good condition, however I had brought my own gear.

Together with Martin I decided I would ride the Honda NC750X (he has 8 bikes in total, all Honda’s, of which I had already ridden the CB500X on Madeira). The NC750X is, according to the general opinion, that somewhat boring Continue reading

Prepping for the Pyrenees

Together with my biker buddy Shih I’m planning a trip to the Pyrenees. One week in June, riding mainly on asphalt with a sporadic stretch of gravel.

We’ve already been playing around with MyRoute-app. At the moment our plans look like this:

(click here to check it on Google Maps)

Saturday will be a highway day to Valence, from Sunday till Friday we’ll do our Tournée Pyrénée and then we’ll ride back to Belgium in a day and a half.

If you know roads, campings or other spots we should not miss out on, do share them in the comments below. Thanks!

Four days in the Vosges

After last summer’s trip to the Alps, this summer I was looking for something closer to home. Less days off, sadly. Jan F advised me to go to the Vosges. He also gave me an extra suggestion: Motorhotel & Camping La Mouche in Le Clerjus, on the Southwestern edge of the Vosges. And Yamaha gave me a Super Ténéré to test during the trip (read the review here).

This year I travelled solo, just like last year. That’s what happens when you make last-minute travel plans. La Mouche had one room left. 50 euros per night including breakfast. Recalling my Alps trip, I took the deal, saving me a lot of hassle with camping equipment.

La Mouche also offers routes for day trips on their site. Came in pretty handy.

Day 1: We’re off

For the outward journey, the recently purchased TomTom came to good use. I didn’t plan a route beforehand. Just took the motorway and switched the GPS to “winding roads” after Liège. It led me through the High Fens into the Eiffel. The temperature was still bearable, barely any traffic on my path, what could you ask more for?

A few hours later, after crossing the Luxembourg-French border, I had enough of all the winding and I commanded the TomTom to guide me to La Mouche asap. ETA: 5pm. But the temperature on the highway rose so fast (with a peak of 40 °C) that after an hour I opted again for twists and turns on more shady stretches.

After almost Continue reading