June 2023 Santander - Pyrenees - Nice - Roscoff - 2000 miles in 10 days - notes for o

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MrSmooth

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Hi Folks,

I just did a 2000 mile A/B road ride from Santander in northern Spain over to Nice in the south of France and took the Roscoff ferry home to Plymouth on my 2018 K46 Gen 3 with my eldest son who was riding his 660 Trident.

Notes for others riding through Spain and France.

1. When the ambient temperature hits 33-36C, the Gen 3 runs really, really hot, never saw it drop below 97C and it went to 105C without any bother when I was in slow moving traffic or at a junction. Bike still performed really well even if the cooling fan was on almost permanently.

2. 97 RON Petrol available in proper manned petrol stations in Spain in nearly all places and they take Apple Pay. Not so in France. Unmanned Supermarket stations are the norm in France, sometimes not easy to spot at the side of the road even when you are looking for one coming up with the aid of a sat nav and often just 95 RON fuel.

3. Petrol stations in villages and towns in France require a physical debit or credit card at the pump, don't be fooled by the RFID tag point, it is only used for their loyalty 'points' cards. Most are 24 hours.

4. Cash is still required in bars in France, even though it might say Apple Pay in the window as you walk in. Stand your ground and offer to use Apple Pay otherwise an evil stare makes the fookers reach for the CC machine hidden deep behind the counter.

5. There are copious numbers of mostly forward facing speed cameras on A roads between major towns. Only one warning sign (not two as in Britain) and they appear often within 1km from the first sign - we were good around those as we weren't sure if they would sell the fine to a UK debt collector - its only a brief stretch where you observe the speed limit. The French cars stick to the 80/90 speed limits, so did we. Ahem......

6. If you take slip-on wet weather gear over your leathers, make sure that the wet weather gear is recent and you tested it at home first and the seams haven't fallen to pieces - otherwise it will end up in shreds like my jacket did when it is raining hard. Doh........

7. Blew the RHS dipped headlight bulb and popped the corresponding 7.5A microfuse beneath the pillion seat - my son had some spare fuses, must get some myself too.

Ran with a 20L Kreiga pack on the pillion seat and a 10L Bagster tank bag on a Bagster universal tank bag connector - used special paint tape where I thought paint surfaces would rub underneath the baggage which might get grit (blue coloured tape on the pictures) and it worked really well, no residue to clean off afterwards. Apparently it costs ?5 per m - my son got it for me and I used about 4m

Spain.jpg

We had a great father & son trip together, lots of laughs and giggles and beautiful scenery too - this is from the Gorges du Verdon in the south of France with a local friend on his RSV4 near a 700m deep limestone gorge with a turquoise-green colour river flowing through it.

Verdun.jpg
 
Apparently my son tells me this is similar tape used for lower temps than the light blue stuff above and is called 3M 8991 Polyester Masking Tape - 66m long and only costs ?11.69 here It is marvellous tape and is very easy to apply, adjust and leaves no residue on the paint work.
 
Looks great. I love touring on my RR. I've just returned from riding to south of Portugal and back on my Gen 4. I must do a right up before I forget most of it!
 
Great stuff, thanks for sharing what you learnt. I need to find a small group to do this with. Nice to get some payback on the parenting years through experiences like this :)
 
Great stuff, thanks for sharing what you learnt. I need to find a small group to do this with.

Alex, it is easier than you think. Gather up a few mates who like to ride at the same pace as you do, plan 200-250 mile days and grab a room online or in person as you get close to the town when you feel you've ridden enough that day. Our only rule was to be on the bike, ready to go by 09:00 every morning and try to be stopped by 5 pm with the bike parked up, chain lubed, luggage unpacked and sitting with a beer in my hand with a smile on my face.

Just book a ferry, collect up a few documents including your V5C, insurance, passport, EHIC card, drivers license.

2* clean hotel twin bed hotel and apartment rooms are ?40-50 per night.

I love touring in Spain, the A/B roads in the northern and central areas are an absolute blast as are the towns. Pamplona is an absolute hoot of a party town, as is Salamanca, L?on, Burgos, Bilbao and Santander.
 

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