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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had a look through the forum and usual websites/books, but personal recommendation is always best IMO.

I am planning to slowly extend my travels:

Cambridge to Ipswich commute. Done.
Cambridge to Oxford. Booked.
Cambridge to Newport. Booked.
Cambridge to Offenburg (South Germany). Nearly booked.
Cambridge to Calahonda (South Spain). 2007?

Calahonda is between Malaga and Marbella, not far off Gibraltar/Tangier as you may know.

Doing a Google Earth 'From' 'To' provides a route: Paris>Chantily>Orleans>Tours>Poitiers>Bordeaux>San Sebastian>Burgos>Madrid>Manzanares>Bailen>Granada>Sante Fe>Malaga>Mijas>Calahonda.

This calculated by the Navteq software. It calculates the distance to be 1,478miles and an estimated time of 1 day 2 hours. I assume this means 26 hours, not one days riding and 2 hours!

So, I reckon as a semi-novice (~15,000miles a year on the AT commuting on lethal A14) I could hack 4 x 3hrs+30min break. That is roughly 4 x 200 miles @ average 60mph, or the comfortable tank range.

That gives 800 miles per 14 hour day. This keeps riding in the daylight. So two 14 hour days with 12 hours of riding would just scrape the distance in.

So, this is the preliminary workings and route. Now I have seen some forum members who have travelled out to Morocco, so I would be covering almost the same route, perhaps not through Cordoba, so slightly more east, maybe.

Obviously the Navteq software isn't thinking of motorcyclists, or considering the scenic but swift route, most likely motorways all the way. I would also like to avoid cities.

This is where the great pool of experience of the forum comes in! Perhaps someone even has a well trodden POI to download :D

Have I allowed enough time? We have a apartment in Calahonda so my wife would be flying to Malaga and I would meet her there, have a week by the pool 8) then she would fly back and I would 'do my thing' to get back.

She doesn't understand why the hell I would want to do this, so any women out there who share this passion give me your number :wink:

Any advice/URLs would be most welcome. Fuel and toll costs would also be great.

Although I haven't got dates sorted yet as I have exams/work/family/DIY to juggle, I would welcome company on a journey like this, so anyone planning a southern Spain/Morroco/Dakar trip around late June/July 2007, even 2008, and would also like company for the trip all the way to south Spain coast line along the A-387, please add to this thread/PM me.

Depending on wife and personalities :shock: the apartment can take four other people (two singles, one sofabed) so it MIGHT be possible for us to put you up for a night in Calahonda before you go on to Africa. for the cost of a decent meal!

In addition, I am planning to stay in Calahonda for a week. This COULD give someone the chance to go on to Africa, and then come back about six/seven days later, and share the journey back to shi**y Blighty.

Timing would be something like:

Day 1-2 - ride out to Calahonda.
Day 3-9 - I'm staying put. Company travels onward/elsewhere.
Day 10-11 - ride back to Cambridge.

The site has secure parking and often armed security, plus swimming pools. I think we have a washing machine in our place too.

Thanks for any advice/help.

I look forward to the avalanche of emails :wink:
 

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Wing Commander
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July 6 - 14 each year is the Pamplona bull-running festival. As my planned trip this year has fallen through, I'm definitely doing it next year. So make sure you plan to be in Pamplona (a couple of hours drive south of San Sebastian) for about mid-fiesta - 8/9 July and I'll see you there. Alternatively, feel free to join my and my mate on our drive down through France.
 

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:lol: :lol: :lol:
After a decade of touring on @T's, two years on Varadero and my first year with the Triumph I think I can safely say you must me nuts! :lol:

I tour two up most of the time, I find a 400 miles day tiring enough, one up I'd push 500 miles tops. 14hrs in the saddle? Good god! You'd not walk properly ever again! :lol:

I personally prefer to cover a couple of hundred miles a day, that way you get a chance to take in the scenery and enjoy the local hospitality. It's supposed to be a holiday, not an endurance race!

On Tuesday I set off for the Stella Alpina and I've given myself three days to cross France into Italy. So should be a nice relaxing time.

Best of luck to you mate, I must be getting old! :cry:
 

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matt said:
That gives 800 miles per 14 hour day.
Have you ever ridden 800 miles in a day?! I once rode a Transalp 400 miles through France, and I could barely walk the next day. Personally I'd 'budget' 400 miles a day and make sure I took the scenic route (i.e. not motorways).
 

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I have ridden 900 miles in a day and it took 2 days to recover :shock: .

600 miles is my limit and still feel ok.

matt
I would think twice about Morroco/Dakar in June/July it will be mad hot.
For sothern Morroco September/October onwards is a better option heat wise.

Bill :D
 

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Kymmy accepts no responsibility for this blondes c
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we worked out that for the ride outs were running next year a max of 500 miles was possible taking into account fuel and campsite build up/brake down, most the HU guys are saying 400 is the idea if your doing day after day on the bike.

Another thing you could look at is missing out france and use the Plymouth- santander ferry, at just £75 each way it works out cheaper than using most other ports when add the fuel cost but can save you a lot of miles! we have done UK- Lisbon easy in 3 days.
 

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2 consecutive days of 800 is way too much! In agreement with previous posts 400 a day gives you a chance to look around and taking it easy. With the sort of miles you are thinking about you will need to be on the motorway all the time which is boring as hell IMHO. If you are going to do 800 a day have a little practice with a 400 mile run on motorways then see how you feel when you get home and think what you are going to be like after doubling it - and then getting up the next day and doing the same again!
My concentration starts to go at about 650miles - any more makes me a foul tempered grumpy old git with an sore arse :x

If I do a big mile day I then try and follow it with an easy one.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
South Spain trip

These are the sorts of wisdom I am looking for :shock:

I often do 200+ miles in one day and I do find my mind wandering a bit after 300 miles, so fuel stops at ~200 miles on the AT are well spaced. I have managed Cambridge to Inverness in one day, which was about 600 miles. It was grim, but that was because I was riding in the dark for some of it, around March, and the weather was just a bit too cold for an entire day.

The ferry idea is a good one, and I had forgotten bikes are quite a bit cheaper than cars.

The trip to Offenburg will give me a good idea of the punishment I can still take (or not), as you are all right to say I should try 400+ miles first to see if I can hack it. Cambridge to Offenburg in one day will be nearly 600 miles.

Ten years ago I used to cycle from London to the east most point of England through the night - The Dunwich Dynamo - which consisted of 13 hours of cycling at quite a pace. I needed to sleep for about 14 hours after one of those, so I have some idea of balancing touring with punishment :lol:

I guess I was imagining sunny A and B roads with long sweeps and lined with sunflowers and vineyards.....!

Thanks again for the sanity check.
 

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Premium Member
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Matt

Two things!

1) About two weeks ago I rode my AT down to Barcelona for the MotoGP. I did about 500 miles the first day, and found this really to be the limit my poor a$$ could take. The AT saddle (on my RD04 atleast) appears to be made from wood, and slowly as the day wore on, remounting after a fuel or watering stops became a painful experience. As I neared my 1st nights stop, it's surprising how tired you suddenly feel from concentraion and heat taking their toll. I would recommend sticking to, or atleast trying your endurance over 400 miles first before committing to such long mileages, otherwise you will only find yourself off schedule, and pushing yourself too far when tiredness starts settling in.


2) I've just arrived back from La Cala near Calahonda after driving my sisters car down for her (as she stays down there for 3 months a year) and I can confirm it is very a long hack in a car. It actually took me 21 hours of driving (averaging 80mph) from Calais without rest stops to grab a few hours of shut eye. There are some lovely detours you could take en route, and you will find that gobbling up (toll) miles in France is much easier than on the crappy (but mostly free) Spanish roads. If you're interested, I will try and remember my route, as there is a lovely bit coming down through the mountains on some fast twisty sections that seem to last for ages (but aint much fun in a Range Rover!!).


Cheers


Bob
 

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Pleb
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It's not easy to average more than 60MPH unless on the motorway. At 90 the bike will drink fuel (about 50miles less per tank) and it's tempting to rest longer as the day goes on. The average usually starts high but slows as you get tired. I've done a couple of 750 mile hits and lots at 5 - 600 but never back to back. Putting a tent up etc etc is knackering when all you want is a cold shower and beer.

Now I only do big miles on the first/last day abroad. This gets the dull chunk of France out of the way, ready to slow down and get onto the scenic routes the next morning. As suggested above, you can use a ferry to get further down (get a cabin) and it doesn't work out any pricier if you take into account the bike fuel/toll costs etc.

Best of luck!
 

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Matt

Looking over the Michelin map of the route I took, I think the ace bit of road I mentioned on the drive down is on the A4/E5 near Jaen, travelling South between Almuradiel and Santa Elena. I did it at night, but my guess is it would be awesome in the daylight, although I expect there would be more traffic.

Also, once down on the costa, if you haven't tried it yet, the road up to Ronda in the mountains (from San Pedro on the N-340 costa) is excellent, although the Guardia Civil know this, and I've seen Police bikes up there on two occasions.

Finally, a bit of local news. I really hope you place isn't too near El Zoco, which burnt down just over a week ago!!!


Cheers

Bob
 

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Gelände Straße
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Yup, couldn't agree more...You're nuts! :D

Between 200 and 300 miles per day is in my opinon a comfortable distance unless you're just thashing it down the Autoroute which sort of defeats the object really. Its not the kind of thing you want to rush. You need to take the time to enjoy the ride down some A and B roads, riding hell for leather in a straight line down a motorway isn't even slightly enjoyable and you'll switch off far faster doing that than if you've got some nice twisties and scenery to keep you interested.

I'd recommend a route through Andorra to anyone who was going anywhere near. Absolutely stunning scenery and roads that must've been planned by a biker...its like heaven!

Take the time and do it right...I'd say 4 days minimum...but I'm a laid back kinda guy! 8)
 

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Kymmy accepts no responsibility for this blondes c
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I used to take cars back and forth from the UK to a test tracks in south of France, Spain and Portugal on transporters, got the chance one day to bring back just a single car from Xabier, so went up the coast to Barcelona/Badalona and then north to Vic(a152) and then over the 'bumps' via Andorra, then headed north up towards Bordaux and La Rochelle on the A10 (no tolls) fantastic drive and as robster says not one to be rushed, Barcelona to London took 3 days in the summer sun!
 

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take the ferry to santander, budget on no more than 400 miles a day if the fun is in the journey, budget 600 miles if the fun is at the end of the journey, budget 800 miles a day if there is no fun involved.
Me and me bruv rode up from santander to roscoff via pamplona, lourdes, Oradour sur glane and the Loire at the beginning of June-totalled about 16000 miles in 5.5 days. sunny weather, great empty roads, beautiful scenery. Soooooo much better than last year when it pi55ed sown all day everyday to genoa and back-over 2000 miles in 10 days with a 2 day recovery in genoa
I would do a trip report, but can't figure out how to post pictures :?
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Spain trip

..fantastic info...really what this site is all about..thanks so much..

..wife has even considered getting her leathers out from the attic, and I thought she would not be interested at all...
 

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I think you're mad too; for commuting the A14! I travelled that road on my way to Ipswich a few years ago and I've never seen such a collection of asshole drivers, Rome, Tunis and Ankara included. Maybe I just got it on a bad day!
 

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once rode my royal enfield 350 bullet in india from palolem in the south of goa to bombay to go see the rolling stones in concert on their world, forty licks tour. it was about 700km and it took about 21 hours of non stop riding. i had to be in bombay before the ticket booths closed as i only found out a day or two before the concert started that they were actually there in the first place. dont recommend such long hours in the saddle!! never had such a sore ass in all my life and it took days do recover. but have a great time anyways!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
A14

The A14 is rated as one of the top five worst roads in the UK for RTIs. It is mainly down to HGVs trying to get to the ferries and numerous foreign HGV drivers leaving Felixstowe. This causes numerous clogging up of the two lanes as truck after truck take 3Km+ to overtake one another. Then the seriously frustrated drivers put their foot down...straight into the side of a HGV that has wandered across the lanes. Balm! 15Km tailback.

Two lanes for the major HGV route from europe to Ireland..doh.

Two wheels..it's the only way to fly.
 

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Older, but no wiser!
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Robster said:
I'd recommend a route through Andorra to anyone who was going anywhere near. Absolutely stunning scenery and roads that must've been planned by a biker...its like heaven!

8)
Interestingly, (for me anyway) I have been looking very closely at a run across from Santander to Sitges (nr Barcelona) in the Spring to see my Sister who is teaching there. The aim was to have a tootle in the Picos for a day or so and then tarmac/gravel my way across to Barcelona over a leisurely day or two, enjoying what look to be some superb roads on the way.

Any recommendations on a good route please?? The journey back is likely to be a flat out blast back to Shropshire via the boat once again :-(

The ideal would be a trundle back through France to the Channel, but time constraints will make this impossible I guess.
 

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Steve

Myself and 4 friends did this exact trip last year for the MotoGP round at Catalunya. We had a great run down there, and I will try and dig out some route details for you.

When are you thinking of going down?

Sitges is quite near Barcelona and is VERY popular with many of the MotoGP racers and managers etc, with many having homes there. It's excellent for nightlife and restaurants, but you will need to be quite wary of the apparent friendliness of some of the locals if you are an attractive looking chap!! (if you catch my drift!)

Regards


Bob
 
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