- This topic has 1 reply, 3 voices, and was last updated 16 years, 9 months ago by Anonymous.
March 17, 2004 at 8:54 pm #8704imperialdataKeymaster
Some people have been asking about trips in other countries so I thought I’d start off by showing a few pics of a very well kept secret – Northern Spain.
Most UK folks think of the Balearics when they think of a Spanish holiday. Lanzarote, lovely though it can be, is not lush and green like the North of Spain (it appears positively lunar at times with its volcanic pedigree!). You can cross most Spanish islands in a few hours by road.
Not so the North of mainland Spain. With some of the best looked after, longest and twistiest roads that Europe can offer for bikers, it has got to be a great destination if you’re travelling on 2 wheels. Long swooping curves are the norm and visibility ahead is often very good.
For the mathematicians out there:
Good visibility + sweeping bends + good surfaces = big grin factor.
Take a look at these 3 photos I took of their roads.
And my personal favourite:
I did this trip in May of 1999 with my then girlfriend now wife, Véronique, and my trusty Kawasaki GPZ900R. I mentioned Véronique first in case she reads this…..
As you can see from this photo taken just before we set out we were well loaded up.
1. Magnetic tank bag – With its invaluable map pocket, no need to take your hands off the bars to see where to go!
2. Krauser panniers – Which provided adequate storage for 3 weeks although I did find that “his” pannier had clothes, tools, camping accessories, guide books and a few other essentials while “her” pannier had clothes only. Let’s not get into that shall we?
3. A homemade rack – This provided storage for the new 5 berth (really!) tent. I welded up this rack because the kevlar poles for the tent were quite long and the whole thing, when packed, was overhanging the small original rack I had by quite a bit. Looked a bit like an aerofoil on the back of the bike when all was unloaded but it was perfect to pop into town and strap a fresh baguette to.
4. A big fat chain – Useful for piece of mind. You can chain your helmets, leathers and other clothing with it. Oh and your bike as well.
5. Maps – Can’t get far without them. Michelin maps are by far the best I’ve found and if I’m planning a journey I’ll either buy them here or more likely pop into a local shop when I get there for a bigger map of that region. Note to self – Must invent a map that folds on its own.
6. Weather gear – Even in summer in the warmest of countries it can pee down and you can easily get a good set of lightweight waterproofs to slip over the leathers when required.
7. Small camera – A big one can be just too bulky when you’re juggling leathers, helmets and bike gear about. I recommend a good quality point and shoot, digital can be good but don’t skimp on the memory size if you go for a long time.
8. Disposable barbecue – Not really an essenial but to me there’s nothing like setting up camp in a beautiful site and enjoying some of the local food on a barbecue.
On that subject, we often pulled in to a campsite where there were the mandatory pipe-smoking caravanners, whose sport it was to watch new campers set up their tent. Surprised a lot of them when we quickly fixed up our 5 berth dome + awning and proceeded to eat our barbied food. Even the helmets appeared at first glance to be brilliant camping stools (although I’ve got to say I’ve sat on better seats). The bike mirror was often the other end of a portable washing line so it came in useful too. Kawasaki think of everything!
All in all it’s a great feeling, camping on a bike. You often get the better pitches as they are smaller and require no electric hook-up.
If you’re feeling like a biking holiday and want somewhere a bit special, try Spain. From the UK the 24 hour ferry is convenient and it starts the holiday off well with on-board entertainment and decent food. Santander is a nice town, some suprisingly nice beaches and lots of decent shops if you want to spoil yourself before the return journey (if you have space). Here’s a pic of Santander.
For some older, quainter towns and villages, you don’t need to travel far before you get some beautiful places.
Spain’s attitude towards bikers is great and there is always somewhere to park your bike. It helps if you speak Spanish as many places speak no other languages but it’s all part of the fun if you don’t!March 19, 2004 at 5:10 pm #18213AnonymousInactive
Great pics ID. Looks like a great biking place, love that twisty road picture!
I’ve donated to the forum, have you?
March 23, 2004 at 11:30 pm #18214AnonymousInactive
Nice pics and advice. Looks a nice bike, a friend had one and I thought it was a great all rounder. Did you say small camping pitches? Looks huge in the pictures!
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