Tag: tours

Europe 2009: Mile 1003

14th April 2009

Kriega US-10 Tailpack fitted on crash bars

Kriega US-10 Tailpack fitted on crash bars

Another 200 mile day! We started (for us) early at 9:10. Today felt much better than yesterday probably because we stopped more often. The first stop we made was at an Aldi for some food. The Kriega US-10 tailpack that we are using on the side of the bike is a really effective food carrier bag. We would prefer to buy at local shops but we don’t have anything at all.

Went over some beautiful bridges and through a few nice tunnels on the Autobahns as we went along. Once of the tunnels was over 2 km. At one stage we went from the old West Germany to East Germany according to a sign alongside the road. At one stage we came off the Autobahn and up a twisting road on the side of a mountain. It got very cold at the top (2670 ft according to the GPS) and there was still snow on the ground! I had my ventilation on my jacket open because it had been very hot lower down and I was freezing! Eventually, thankfully, the road headed back down into warmer weather.

In Gotha we become stuck at a red light on a left turn that refused to go green. Probably we were too light to trigger the mechanism (Me too light?? – must eat more before I fade away). Eventually we decided to go straight on instead. Eventually the GPS managed to catch up with our change of plans.

While trolling along one of the country roads we saw an “Eiscafe” sign (Eiscafe am straum). Because of our trips to hamburg we know all about Eiscafes. They are ice cream with attitude! The Eiscafe was nestled in the middle of a small village alongside a small stream. We eventually parked the bikes up (after going round twice looking for a place to stop) and went for the “healthy” iced yoghurt and strawberry option. It still comes with a heart stopping quantity of whipped cream though! I am still having problems parking and getting on/off the bike. Hopefully I will find an improved method soon.

From the Eiscafe we headed down some more nice roads until we came to the Stausee near Hohenfelden which is a bike lake. Off we went through some forest roads to the Stausee campsite. We booked in and pitched the tent (we are, hopefully, getting some sort of system together). Unfortunately the area we were pointed to for tents and it felt like we were just put anywhere they had. therefore this site only gets

Two sarges

Two sarges

After a look around we made food (Bockwurst, mushrooms, onions and chicory – what a glorious mixture) and had a shower which was great. Then we did some planning and then to bed.

Lessons Learnt:

  • Stopping regularly makes long distances easier
  • Eiscafes make stopping easier 🙂

Adrian & Isabel

& Mr Teddy

© 2009 – 2016, fatman-overland. All rights reserved.

Europe 2009: Mile 802

13th April 2009

Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch! 218 miles today. Not much for seasoned travelers maybe but one hell of a stint for my backside! We started slightly earlier (OK it was only 15 minutes early but it is a move in the right direction) and headed out of France and into Germany.
Initially we headed in the direction of Pont-a-Mousson. On the way we stopped at the St. Mihiel American War Cemetery. Once again a moving experience. There are 4000 soldiers buried there. A seemingly small number until you see the graves. Even sadder, to my mind, we saw graves of soldiers from all over the United States who dies on the 11th November 1918. Within a hairs breadth of the end. Tragic and pointless. We set off again in a very thoughtful mood.

On the other side of Pont-a-Mousson we stopped at a picnic place for a light meal of baguette, salami, cheese and coffee. Very nice and much needed (I have, after all, a figure to maintain!) and then off towards Faulquement. Due to my prowess in navigation we got slightly lost in the town but it wasn’t too serious and we were soon on our way in the right direction. From there it was towards Saarbrücken in Germany using some country roads and some autobahn. A most pleasant ride.

At Pirmasens my backside, which had become dead after about 150 miles really started complaining. The last 30 miles to the campsite we had decided upon at lunch was serious torture! Eventually we pulled in to the Camping Cimbria am Neckar campsite near Neckarzimmern. This is an OK campsite with basic quite nice facilities and earns

Three sarges

Three sarges

Before we put up the tent we went for a drink (it was 22° today – very hot). Isabel had a coke, and I, like Mr. Teddy, had a weissbier. Big mistake! I had forgotten how big German beers are! I think after the heat and on an empty stomach (and I am not a big drinker anyway) my legs became wobbly very quickly. After that we headed back to the bikes and it was time to put the tent up. Oh dear! For some strange reason it took twice as long as normal. Oh well, eventually we did manage to set the tent up. That completed we went back to the reception area for something to eat and to do some planning (This is becoming a habit). Hopefully we will not ride so long tomorrow although we would like to get to Poland by the end of the week. Hope that is doable.

Lessons Learnt:

  • 200+ miles is a long long way
  • A large beer on an empty stomach is not a good idea

Adrian & Isabel

& Mr Teddy

© 2009 – 2016, fatman-overland. All rights reserved.

Europe 2009: Mile 584 Pt 2

12th April 2009

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that we haven’t moved today. Well with it being Easter Sunday we decided to have an easy day (yes I know we have only just started but it is our holiday so we can do what we want 🙂 ).

Camping Les Breuils

Tent and Tarp at Camping Les Breuils

Firstly my thoughts on the campsite. Very nice! It has Wi-Fi, lake and a bar. What more does one need? So it rates

Five sarges

Five sarges

Had a breakfast of Tea/Coffee, croissant, cheese and salami under the tarp which we have decided is a very useful addition to our camping arrangements. After that we went for a walk around the area. Saw some nice houses (Isabel was particularly taken with those with traditional wooden shutters and was a bit miffed when I said that there was no way that we could have those on our own house). During our stroll we saw four statues at the end of the road which we, of course, went to investigate which lead us to 12 other statues all of French military leaders of various eras. Mr Teddy thinks that he would like to have a big statue made of him and placed in the garden. I said “over my dead body” and he replied “it can be arranged”. Not sure what to make of that!

Statues at Verdun

Statues at Verdun

This in turn led us on to the Verdun Citadel used during the siege of Verdun in World War 1. We also found what can only be described as a Poultry/Pigeon/Rabbit/Bird show in a nearby hall. As the entry was only 3 € we decided that we would go and get our cameras and money (which, due to our usual planning and organisational abilities, we had left back at the tent) and return and take a look. In the show there were some of the strangest and, I have to say, biggest poultry and rabbits I have ever seen! One of the rabbits was over 8 kg – It was a monster. After looking at these amazing creatures (and, on my part at least, wondering how to fricassee them!) we wandered over to the museum housed in the Citadel. Entry was 6 € per person and was well worth it. They have an automated train like system (sans driver – very weird until you get used to it) with automated running commentary (ours was in English) with tableau’s played out along the way. Some of the acting was over the top but effective nonetheless. A very useful insight.

After that we wandered into town and had a bite (OK more than a bite) to eat at a restaurant on the Quaes des Londres (I think that is right). We had a kebab (like ours only much much better) served by a very friendly waitress. Even though our French is non-existent (unfortunately) we managed to get what we wanted which is a result and we didn’t even have to resort to the loud slow speak that a lot of English people seem to resort to when abroad.

The meal complete we wandered back to the campsite (via a boulangerie – well the did have a special on tartlets!). Lubed the chains, did some catching up on the internet and planned (shock, horror!) where we are going tomorrow. Well sort of – we wouldn’t want to let anyone think we knew what we were doing would we?

After that back to the tent for some bread and cheese and, of course, the tartlets overlooking the lake and then a final walk around to take some photos and back to the tent and bed.

Sunset over lake at Camping Les Breuils

Sunset over lake at Camping Les Breuils

Lessons Learnt:

  • When going anywhere off the bikes always take money and cameras with you
  • 3 tartlets for 2 people is too much even if they are a) on special offer and b) very very nice (they were)
  • Adrian & Isabel

    & Mr Teddy

© 2009 – 2016, fatman-overland. All rights reserved.

Europe 2009: Mile 0 Photos

As promised some images to accompany the previous post – I haven’t put much text to them because a) they are to accompany the previous post and b) I’m enjoying myself too much in Verdun at the moment and can’t be asked 🙂

Isabels bike ready to go

Isabels bike ready to go


Adrians bike ready to go

Adrians bike ready to go


The intrepid explorers almost ready to go

The intrepid explorers almost ready to go


Mr Teddy definitely ready to go

Mr Teddy definitely ready to go

Adrian & Isabel

& Mr Teddy

© 2009 – 2016, fatman-overland. All rights reserved.

Europe 2009: Mile 0

8th April 2009

Well today is most definitely the day! Yes we are all off for our “Grand Tour” of Europe. Personally I feel sorry for the citizens of the countries we will be passing through (and especially their teddy bears if Mr Teddy ever gets loose!).
The plan is to leave from home about 10-10:30 this morning and pootle along the M4/M25/M20 to the Eurotunnel terminal and get the train under the channel. I stress that that is only a plan because we still have so much to do it is almost unreal. Now that we have come to crunch time I really think that maybe we should have planned better – Oh well – the leader of the expedition (i.e. Isabel) tells me that is all part of the fun!
At present I am trying to recover from working some late nights so don’t have any photos to show you but we will take some of the “off” (if we ever get there) and post them. We will also try and do some regular updates on the trip so you can see all the things we do wrong. Nervous? No petrified is more like it. Wish us luck!

Adrian & Isabel

& Mr Teddy

© 2009 – 2016, fatman-overland. All rights reserved.

Hello world!

Welcome to the blog for our upcoming motorcycle tours.

Who are we? Adrian and Isabel North and Mr Teddy. Possibly the most deranged and perverted teddy bear ever to set paw on this planet. Eventually we will put more details and images up so you can see who we are.

What bikes do we ride? At present I (Adrian – the “Fatman” of the title) ride a 2008 BMW F800GS and Isabel rides a 2007 Honda Transalp (XL650). Mr Teddy has given permission to Isabel to chauffeur him wherever he wants to go.

What are we planning? At present we are planning two motorcycle tours. The first which will be in April 2009 is a tour of Europe. At present we are planning to visit France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Austria but this may change if we feel like it. The second which is a much bigger enterprise is from the UK to South Africa. At present we plan to take the West coast route (Through Morocco, Mauretania etc.)

What experience do we have? None, zero, nothing. Well we can both ride but that is about it. We have never toured – not even in the UK. So this could be fun or a disaster. Or both!

What will be in this blog? This blog is intended to describe our tours, how we approach them, what we do right, what we do wrong, what equipment we are using etc. We hope you enjoy it.

Adrian & Isabel

& Mr Teddy

© 2009, fatman-overland. All rights reserved.