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Topic: Planning an Alpine tour  (Read 26450 times)

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RBEmerson
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« Reply #60 on: April 13, 2016, 08:25:46 pm »

Even the Youtube Stelvio videos hint at the opportunity for ...um... excitement. While I'm looking forward to doing some of the "name" passes, they seem to be rather like the Dragon. I love the turns but don't trust some of the riders for anything but potentially lethal stupidity. There's a video of a guy racing an R1200RT up the northern Stelvio road, doing passes on blind turns, etc.  EEK! Better still, in some of the turns, it's obvious he blew the intended line. Looking uphill for descending traffic is a good idea, but not a guarantee of future success. The notion of meeting this coming the other way isn't exactly comforting.
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« Reply #61 on: April 13, 2016, 09:24:00 pm »

I would much rather ride a fast, sweeping road like La Route Napoleon or the Cherohala but, that's just me  Smile
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« Reply #62 on: April 13, 2016, 11:46:59 pm »

Heh, heh, heh... It's a little like skiing. The big GS turns at speed are fun but some days it's time for some challenging slaloms.  Wink
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« Reply #63 on: April 14, 2016, 09:47:33 am »


I agree, Gavia is better than the Stelvio.


I agree.  While Stelvio was our original "bucket list" target, Gavia was just an unknown pass to get there.  I ended up being blown away by Gavia, and it remains one of my favorite rides of all time.



What could go wrong on such a narrow road?





Love it!
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« Reply #64 on: April 14, 2016, 10:35:28 am »

When I rode Gavia in 1996, the south side was gravel, and I did it 2 up on an RT.  That was the day the guide was looking for someone to ride with in the parking lot in the morning.  It was a great day with just me, my wife and the guide hitting roads I would have never found on my own.

In 2005, I rode Gavia north to south by myself. on the south side going down (now paved), i ran into a huge line of cars stopped.  After working my way to the front, I found a box truck going up (upcoming traffic has the right of way) and a large sedan going down in a standoff.  Two men arguing loudly in language I didn't understand and gesticulating wildly, one looks at me and starts talking as I work my way by and I say "sprechen sie english" and he says "Shit!" and I keep working my way south laughing for the next 10 klicks.
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RBEmerson
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« Reply #65 on: April 15, 2016, 09:48:15 am »


[...]

What could go wrong on such a narrow road?
[...]


OK, what do you do in this situation? (Assuming this isn't a head-on collision, of course  EEK!)
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« Reply #66 on: April 15, 2016, 10:35:39 am »




OK, what do you do in this situation? (Assuming this isn't a head-on collision, of course  EEK!)


You honk your horn, listen for someone honking around the bend, proceed cautiously.

This is what it looks like coming up to that particular turn

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« Reply #67 on: April 15, 2016, 11:49:16 am »

Um... did you forget the "prayer" part?  Wink
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« Reply #68 on: April 15, 2016, 05:16:20 pm »

You just adapt.

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RBEmerson
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« Reply #69 on: April 15, 2016, 10:38:19 pm »

 EEK!
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« Reply #70 on: April 16, 2016, 02:38:44 am »

So that's also a reason to go small and leave your Goldwing home.
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« Reply #71 on: April 16, 2016, 02:55:57 am »


You just adapt.


Yep, that looks about right  Thumbsup
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« Reply #72 on: April 16, 2016, 01:20:31 pm »


So that's also a reason to go small and leave your Goldwing home.


AA's luggage limitations, notably the 50 lb. weight limit, preclude packing one in my luggage. Not owning one of these rascals is another limitation.  Razz
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« Reply #73 on: June 13, 2016, 09:32:12 pm »

OK, here's where things is at...

Edelweiss sent out the pre-tour package. It includes a booklet of the 1000+ German road signs, a pretty good map, a noodge to take the Innsbruck tour or "learn to ride Alps" class the day before the tour starts (with meet&greet and bike handover). Not for free, of course. It also includes a list of 23 participants (17 riders and 6, I assume, will occupy pillion seats) and two guides. Everyone is from somewhere in the States with the exception of a guy from Turkey and a guy from Australia. There's no hint about anyone's riding level or experience.

Also in the list of names is respective emails. There is an extend series of emails circulating. There is also a blog (themildonealps.wordpress.com). The group has dubbed itself The Mild Ones (inspired by the Brando film The Wild Ones), hence the blog name. (According to Edelweiss folks, it's unusual for a group to connect before the tour begins. I suspect most folks will be quite happy to at least have a clue, before Sunday, as to who they'll spend a week with.

The Edelweiss booklet sets out some basic rules: no drinking during the day, no overt racing, independent rides should have at least two riders (no solo rides), be home for dinner, obey the local traffic laws (for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, or Italy), and, in guided groups, stay behind the guide/leader. They also set out the traffic laws in summary form. There's a multilanguage phrase collection in the back. And it outlines the routes for each day. This part is a bit sketchy, though. There's a list of major towns (route points) and a comment about some place along the way. It's my understanding there are no fixed routes that can be inked into the supplied map or a personal GPS. That is, the guides may change things depending on traffic, weather, etc.

This tour uses a single hotel (Hotel Rezidenz Hochland - Seefeld, Innsbruck-land, Austria) and does "out and back" trips ranging from about 125-150 miles to about 300 for the Passo Dello Stelvio trip. Frankly, I'll be quite happy to settle in and not live out of saddlebags.

Edelweiss HQ is very responsive to questions. NTL, there are points that could be tuned up. The map thing is, IMHO, a significant omission (I tried building some sort of route with BaseCamp, but I'm sure it's far from accurate). A list of some of the potential stops on any trip would be nice. Day 1 includes a 3 hour(!) tour of Neuschwanstein castle (the one that looks it was designed by Disney). But that's not in the book. Another item that would be welcome is a list of local "where to get it". In emails, the question "does the hotel have washers and driers for clothes" came around. Some work with Google produced "no, but there is Tip Top Cleaners in town". If someone shows up with themselves but no bags (read "gear") or is missing something, it'd be nice to know what options exist.

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« Reply #74 on: June 15, 2016, 06:45:34 pm »

Comparison of european road signs
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_European_road_signs

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They also set out the traffic laws in summary form.

In Italy there are no laws for two wheeled motorised vehicles, only 'suggestions'  Bigsmile
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« Reply #75 on: June 15, 2016, 09:10:25 pm »

Mercifully, the signs are generally easy enough to sort out. Save for, in Germany, round signs with a red border and something like "Anlieger Frei". Literally "Resident Free" - but in this case, residents are free to use the particular road. Anyone isn't. If you don't understand German, you're stuck.

Aside from that, the biggest adjustments I've had to make is following "vehicles from the right have the right of way". That is, if you approach an intersection, and a car is about to come out of a cross street, it's their right of way. Always. Sorta, there are a few exceptions. If a side street empties on to a major, busy road, the side street traffic loses right of way. If there's a yellow diamond on a pole, side street loses again. If the side street traffic has to cross a pedestrian path (i.e., sidewalk), loser. There are no 4-way stops, period. And no right turn on red (except if a traffic signal specifically allows it).

Germans are miserable about tailgating. Someone on your bumper at 80+ is no fun. Even the cops do it. Try to leave some room and... you guessed it, someone will fill the gap. OTOH, passing on the right is seriously illegal (yea!). Inhabiting the left lane is good for abuse and few people do it anyway - just not done.  And radar cameras abound - some visible, some artfully concealed (boo).

Italy... they have traffic laws?
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« Reply #76 on: June 16, 2016, 03:04:44 am »

Fixed speed cameras always face the driver (or rider) in Germany, so are no problem on a bike  Cool

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That is, if you approach an intersection, and a car is about to come out of a cross street, it's their right of way. .....
If a side street empties on to a major, busy road, the side street traffic loses right of way. .....
If the side street traffic has to cross a pedestrian path (i.e., sidewalk), loser.

All drivers from the right have right of way, AFAIK. Here in the Netherlands 'driver' is defined as 'everyone, but pedestrians'. So you have to yield to bicycles, people on horses or people with cattle.

Never heard of the 2nd and 3rd. AFAIK with the 2nd you will always have the yellow diamond and the people coming from the right will have a 'yield' or 'stop' sign.

But the rest is common in Europe. Nowhere do they have turn right on red in Europe and the 'anlieger frei' is common in a lot of countries.
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« Reply #77 on: June 16, 2016, 04:25:48 am »


Fixed speed cameras always face the driver (or rider) in Germany, so are no problem on a bike  Cool

Not always the case in Switzerland, as proven by the tickets that arrived in the mail a couple of weeks after I noticed the speed cameras too late  Embarassment



All drivers from the right have right of way, AFAIK. Here in the Netherlands 'driver' is defined as 'everyone, but pedestrians'. So you have to yield to bicycles, people on horses or people with cattle.

Yep! And as a commuting bicyclist it still throws me off when a car stops for me  EEK!


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« Reply #78 on: June 16, 2016, 08:52:27 am »



Not always the case in Switzerland, as proven by the tickets that arrived in the mail a couple of weeks after I noticed the speed cameras too late  Embarassment

Hmmm... I can't think of any cameras that get you leaving the scene of the crime. The big pylons, somewhat camouflaged cameras on posts off the road, and camera on platforms over the autobahn (enforcing 100 km/hr in places where speed really would hurt) all look at you.

A friend was blitzed while driving with his daughter in the front seat. The copy of the picture that came in the mail had her blacked out.  Lol

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Yep! And as a commuting bicyclist it still throws me off when a car stops for me  EEK!

Well, blasting through zebra stripes is a no-no, although I often see it honored in the breach. Or I get looks from stopping to let someone cross. Meh... Deal with it, Otto.
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« Reply #79 on: June 16, 2016, 09:30:34 am »


Hmmm... I can't think of any cameras that get you leaving the scene of the crime. The big pylons, somewhat camouflaged cameras on posts off the road, and camera on platforms over the autobahn (enforcing 100 km/hr in places where speed really would hurt) all look at you.


This was entering a small village. Dan was ahead of me and I saw the flash catch him as he went passed the camera. I had enough time to scrub a couple of KMs off my speed but it wasn´t enough to go unpenalized  Lol  

Just keep in mind: Not all of the cameras are front facing, nor on the autobahn Bigsmile

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