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Tour of the Pyrenees 2008


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#1 teerex51

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 01:55 AM




General

This Tour of the Pyrenees has been organized especially with the US FJR Riders community in mind and may well become the first FJR Forum Meeting in Old Europe. A number of European FJR riders are also expected to join the group and make it truly international and a real bitch to manage.
Unless you want to airfreight your FJR to Europe, the best way is to rent a motorbike locally.
There are firms in or near Barcelona (Spain) that rent bikes (mostly BMWs) and this may be the best solution for you. Book the bike first and the accommodation later. (see details further down)

Dates

I am shooting for the following dates: May 28 to June 3, 2008 (That is leaving Barcelona on May 28 and returning there June 3. You will have to leave the US on May 26 and fly back on June 4) Weather for the end of May/early June is generally good and temperatures mild in the early AM. If it’s sunny it'll reach the mid-80s by midday. Waiting until mid-June or July means midday temps soaring well beyond 100F , with the hot road surface eating up your tires and becoming slippery where the tarmac “sweats”.(Let alone high-season hotel rates).

Why the Pyrenees and not the Alps?

The Alps are a massive mountain range with a total length of 1200 kms stretching over 7 different countries ( Italy, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany and Slovenia ).
So, “riding the Alps ” needs further explanation. Which section of the Alps ?
To ride the whole range by crossing and re-crossing borders is a major undertaking (while undoubtedly massive fun) and would take weeks.
Road quality is another consideration: from personal experience I can say that only a small portion of the Alpine road network could be rated “good to very good”.
Traffic is the next stumbling block. The Alps being the Alps, everybody’s out there testing (and sometime exceeding) their limits riding motorbikes.
Cagers love the Alps , too. They drive there in their tens of thousands at the wheel of little city cars, SUVs, minivans, sportsters, luxury sedans, each one giddy with the Alpine thrill and most often all over your doggone lane. Traffic has become so bad that some municipalities have started charging tolls for crossing mountain passes. Others have set up speed-traps everywhere to line their local pockets. My answer to that is: forget it.

The Pyrenees are one-third of the Alps in length and only involve 2 countries: Spain and France. (Well, three if you count tiny Andorra).
Crossing borders is invariably fast and seamless.
You can get to know the Pyrenees pretty well in about a week and fall in love with their unspoilt beauty and good roads (especially on the Spanish side). Traffic is light and bikers you encounter are the long-range rider types. They’ve covered hundreds of miles to be there, they’re not the city pukes who race the Alps and get home for dinner.
Prices, too, are a factor. The Alps are pricey almost everywhere and accommodation (while generally very good) comes at a hefty price.
The Pyrenees are more modest, fairly rural, and hotels are not expensive (sometimes, there are no hotels).



Disclaimer

I am not in business with the bike rental firms nor with any of the hotels and restaurants along the route. In fact, you’ll see me settle my bills like any other participant. I will however try to negotiate the best hotel rates for us, especially if we hit the magic number of 20 people.
I am not a professional tour leader, I’m doing this for the fun of riding together and I have every intention of enjoying this tour like everybody else. So if your hotel toilet won’t flush, please call Reception directly. (Of course, if anybody needs assistance with Spanish while we ride, I’ll be there to help out).
All routes, stops, hotels and meals listed in the program must be regarded as mere suggestions and “ride tips” for the participants’ benefit. I will not be held responsible for any problems encountered along the way or during stays. As I won’t act in a travel agent’s capacity I will not accept a travel agent’s liability for any accommodation mix-ups (while I actually expect none). The fact that I’ll be collecting deposits for hotel reservations only means that I’m reserving accommodation on your behalf and at no profit or commission for me.
You will also be individually responsible for any violation of the Spanish or French Highway Code when you ride, so please ride responsibly. You also might want to learn how to say “I’m soooo sorry, officer” “ I was only following that bald guy…” in French and Spanish…

Accommodation

I have chosen inexpensive but pretty decent accommodation on the assumption you will want to stay at the European equivalent of a Days Inn or Motel 6.
At the current dollar exchange rate, cost should be $70 to 80 per person per night including breakfast.
If you decide to join us, please specify the type of accommodation required, whether single room (SWB), double room (DWB) or if you’re traveling solo but don’t mind sharing with another rider.
I will start securing hotel rooms as soon as the first bookings come in.
Latecomers are always welcome but I can’t guarantee they’ll be staying at the same hotel and/or paying the same rate as the early-birds.
And remember: book your bike first! There’s more hotel rooms out there than there are motorbikes for rent.

Roads

Roads are good to very good in Spain (some are plain excellent). France’s a mixed bag but we’ll cover only a few dozen miles of French roads.
Watch out for gravel or cow dung as you ride. We only plan to use freeways or toll-roads for very short stretches.
Cagers in both France and Spain are not aggressive, drive considerately and many are even bike-friendly and they’ll move over to let us pass.
Truckers in Spain are the best. They’ll pull right and wave you along if the road is clear.
The degree of riding ability required is average.
On a scale from 1 (superslab ride) to 10 (riding Deal’s Gap) the roads on this tour will range between 2 and 8.



Ride Discipline

Considering the average age of the FJR rider, talking about discipline is almost an insult, but you never know…
For the sake of safety, keep your position in the group and do not pass the guy in front of you unless he rides off the road.
If you want to pass the lead bike, do so at your own risk. We may be leaving that road in a few minutes or stop for a break and you might well get lost.
All the usual common-sense riding rules apply and there’s no point in reiterating them.
If we exceed 10 bikes, we’ll split into two groups.

Police

Spain has a number of different types of LEOs: Policia, Mossos de Esquadra (only in Catalonia), Guardia Civil and Forest Rangers. They all can write you a ticket but on the roads we’ll be riding there’ll be precious few patrol cars and we’re gonna be law-abiding folks most of the time anyway.
France has only the Gendarmerie to patrol rural areas (and some bike units ride FJRs).
Stick to the rules and you’ll never have to use your high-school French or Spanish.

Price of Gas

In the summer of 2007 Spanish gas cost on average EUR 1,05 a liter (against EUR 1,40 in France).
You do the math. We will fuel up our rides before turning in for the night and leave in the morning on a full tank.
There’ll be no need to ever buy gas in France, unless your tank leaks.

Contacts

For bike rentals in Spain

http://www.bmwmotorental.com/

or

http://www.rental-mo...ona_rental.html

or

http://www.motoespana.com/


(You may choose a smaller bike than an FJR, like a 650 or 800, if you ride solo. It’ll be powerful enough to stay with the group on this tour. Hondas and even HDs are also available).

For airfares to Spain from the US, add-on tours, extra hotel bookings etc. you may want to contact Sandra Williams swilliams@travelxperts.com USA tel. 800-274-2544
Note: a $50 fee is charged for international air tickets

For further program info and bookings:

Please contact me through the Forum. I’m Teerex51 aka Stef.



Administration

In order to secure the hotel bookings I will ask all participants to Paypal funds to me sometime in early 2008. This money will cover your hotel costs and guarantee your accommodation. (Please be aware Paypal will charge me around 4% for each transaction).
Should we eventually reach a total of 20+ participants, group rates may then become applicable and you will get some cash back when you arrive. Every participant will receive an account statement showing the monies paid, the accommodation purchased and any balance left.
Food and drinks en-route and evening meals will be settled individually. You can reckon $50 a day ought to cover it. The average gasoline consumption is a bit over a tank (i.e.: 30 liters) a day.
Should you decide to cancel after having paid your deposit, the amount you will be refunded (if any) depends on hotel policy and whether your cancellation has affected our group rate.

Please be aware that I will book hotels starting the first night en-route and ending on the morning we leave for Barcelona on day 7. This means that you will be responsible for booking (and settling) your accommodation in BCN. (Once we have an idea of the group size, I may book a hotel for everyone on arrival from the US and on the last night of the Tour. We can decide to do this at a later stage. There are hundreds of hotels to choose from in BCN).

Passports

You’ll need a passport to get into Spain but there’s no need for ID when crossing inter-European borders. All border posts are unmanned or simply gone. Customs in and out of Andorra still exists and is a bit of a joke, yet I got stopped once entering Spain from La Vella on my motorbike and had to unpack a lot of stuff. If everything is neatly stowed and has a rain-cover on it, you can be sure they’ll want to search your bike. Customs agents are underpaid and this is a fringe-benefit of theirs.



Meals and Drinks

Lunch is as often as not a “baguette” sandwich with ham and cheese or assorted cold cuts on a platter or an omelette.
No fast food joints where we’re going to be, but “slow food” is also available for those who want something hot to eat.
France and Spain are home to several good brands of beer and, of course, a number of excellent wines. While ordering French champagne would be regarded as showing off, the Spanish equivalent (“cava” by Freixenet or Codorniu wineries) is moderately priced and very good, too.
Please be aware we don’t drink and ride. Anybody dying for a beer at lunchtime will probably have to die. Some folks mix beer with Seven-up with no adverse effects. You may try that if you don’t want to drink water or sodas with your lunch.
Now, evenings are a different story altogether….Bring your own Aspirin and Maalox.

Enrolments

If you want to be part of this group, just drop me a PM. I will post a list of participants every few weeks. I’ll use Forum nicknames not the real names. If anybody wants to be off the list, please tell me in your PM.



THE PROGRAM


Day 0 (May 27, 2008)

Arrive Barcelona, Spain on the airline of your choice. (You will typically have left the US on May 26 ) Head to hotel. Drop bags and crash out. Have a good night’s sleep, tomorrow we start engines.

Day 1 (May 28, 2008)

Morning free to roam the city. Early PM, visit bike rental place and pick up the bike you booked.
Around 5PM hook up with other FJR riders who arrived BCN by car-ferry or by road.
Handshakes, backslaps all around and then the group leaves for the Costa Brava.
Arrive destination at 7.30PM. Paella is a must for dinner. (fish'n'chips also available for Brits) rolleyes.gif .
First round of beers is on me.(I can't believe I just said that...) blink.gif
Our hotel is a couple of blocks from the Mediterranean’s sandy beaches. You can go for a midnight swim if you wish.

Day 2 (May 29, 2008)

Leave hotel after breakfast and head for the Pyrenees through Figueres.
Stop at scenic Besalù for coffee and an unmissable photo op. Continue to Ripoll as the twisties-to-straights ratio becomes interesting. We’re getting close to the Pyrenees… Proceed to State Road N152. Here you are treated to 50kms of pure exhilaration. This is a mountain road to remember.
Cross into France and head to Andorra. Arrive Pas de la Casa, climb the Envalira Pass and descend into La Vella, the tiny state’s capital. Shop till you drop – it’s duty free…(but check prices anyway as you would when buying cameras in NYC).Dinner and overnight.



Day 3 (May 30, 2008)

Leave hotel after breakfast and descend into Spain. From Seu d’Urgell head to Sort and angle North to Esterri and Vielha.
Take N230 due South and then N260 West to Castejon and Campo. Take A139 South to Graus. Cut West and take A130 North to Ainsa.
This itinerary does not make sense if you drive a car but when you ride a bike it’s the thing to do.
Beautiful roads and many photo ops here and maybe lunch, too, if you can stop twisting the throttle.
Ride on N260 all the way to Broto and then climb the short distance to Torla, in the Ordesa Nat’l Park. Dinner and overnight with the huge red-rock of Monte Perdido (Lost Mountain) looming above.

Day 4 (May 31, 2008)

Leave hotel after breakfast. You can leave your bags at the hotel as we’re coming back for the night. Now ride West to Biescas through Cotefablo Pass. Road’s fun but narrow. Watch out for cow dung on the blacktop. Here you take A136 to the Portalet Pass into France’s Aquitaine Region. Arrive Laruns and stop for coffee. (For God’s sake don’t buy gasoline in France! Cognac is cheaper.) Head North and then NW to Larrau.
Climb up the nasty French road D26 all the way to the pass and finally enjoy Spanish blacktop again. Roll down the wonderful Salazar valley for a few fun-filled miles and start climbing again to the Hoz d’Arbayun, an awesome canyon inhabited by eagles and hawks. Shoot a million pics and roll back to Torla via the N240 through Jaca. Dinner and overnight.



Day 5 (June 1, 2008)

Leave hotel after breakfast (this time with bags). Now ride West to Biescas through Cotefablo Pass (yep, we’ve been through here before.You want another way West from Torla, you better start blasting rock…). Once in Biescas head South to Jaca and then North on N330 to Canfranc. Stop for coffee and shoot a few pics of that huge white elephant of a train station. Climb the Somport Pass into France. Ride the E7 until it’s time to head NW to Arette. Better grab a bite here before continuing on to the Mouthful Pass i.e.:Port de la Pierre St. Martin (I told you so). This is a surprisingly good road for the French Pyrenees, but you’re in for a treat because NA172 on the Spanish side is probably even better.
Descend the Roncal valley and notice how many village names have become weird (unless you would name your own town Uztarroz or Ezcaroz). This is Spain’s Navarra region and many names are Basque. (Near here at Roncesvalles the Basques wiped out Charlemagne’s rear-guard and the fearless paladin Roland bought the farm in the process. That was in 778 AD and the spin-doctors of the time put the blame on a huge horde of 400,000 Saracens, i.e.: the usual suspects. Truth is, the Basques simply put paid to Charlemagne’s attempt to “liberate” Spain and proceeded to make hamburger of his knights and plunder his supply columns.)
Time to stop the history lecture and head for the hotel, dinner and overnight.

Day 6 (June 2, 2008)

Leave hotel after breakfast sans-bags: we’re coming back for the night. We head to France (St. Jean de Luz) and the Atlantic Coast through the Pyrenees’ NW reaches. Ride now along the Atlantic coast into Spain’s San Sebastian (in Basque-speak: Donostia). Visit city and snap away at the many targets. Coffee in San Seb’s a given. Then ride a short freeway stretch to Exit 12 and head for Zumaia. Cruise along the Atlantic shore and its huge breakers into Getaria.
This is a fishing village and seafood’s pretty good and inexpensive.
If the weather’s good, we can eat “al fresco”. You will have marveled at the greenery surrounding you, that’s because it rains a helluva lot in this area.
So we may have to eat inside after all.
Return to the hotel via the hill road to Villabona, a short freeway ride on N1 and then hit the scenic N130 through Pamplona. Dinner and overnight.



Day 7 (June 3, 2008)

Leave hotel after breakfast. We now head East to Yesa on N240 and catch bugs with our teeth as we grin during the whole ride along the Embalse de Yesa, a large man-made lake. Bends here are a bike-rider’s dream, except for some annoying grooves in the blacktop. But pretty damn good riding anyway. We will soon need to head South. Once we reach Puente de la Reina (The Queen’s Bridge), we take spectacular A132 and inevitably stop for pics every minute or so…
Our final destination’s waiting so we want to press on. After Huesca and Barbastro we head to Lerida and eventually reach Catalonia’s capital, Barcelona mid-afternoon (say around 4PM).
Some folks will leave the group tonight on the car-ferry or by road. Others will check into their hotel (not part of the tour) and enjoy a night out in BCN. You may want to return your rides to the rental company this PM, depending on the arrangements you have made at the outset.
To tour BCN you should most definitely use the subway system and/or walk.

Day 8 (June 4, 2008)

Catch your plane back to the US (or wherever).
I hope you enjoyed the tour. In fact I just know you have.

Photos of past tours here and a short video here

Stef
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#2 FJR_pig

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 02:03 AM

Gosh, this just doesn't look cool enough for me.

NOT!

This looks awesome, wish I could afford it. I'm going to have to settle for that discount trip to NAFO.

Good luck with it. I hope you have a quality turnout and a great tour. good.gif
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#3 wheatonFJR

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 05:39 AM

WOW dribble.gif


#4 airboss

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 11:26 AM

AMAZING OFFER!, Wish I could do it. Stef I think your krama just when tru the roof. yahoo.gif
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#5 wheatonFJR

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 12:22 PM

QUOTE(airboss @ Oct 9 2007, 02:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
AMAZING OFFER!, Wish I could do it. Stef I think your krama just when tru the roof. yahoo.gif


airboss is so excited...he got his fingers stuck in the keyboard... clapping.gif

#6 JimLor

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 12:36 PM

Stef, Che bella offirire! e' tu pagare i costi!! You're a prince!!

Seriously, what a great offer. I actually told Lorie about your trip and that you might offer this ride next spring. She wasn't all that enthusiastic about doing it on a bike, the trip that is. Our daughter is graduating from college next year and I'd love to take her to Italy. I'll talk with Lorie again, but we will probably miss this trip - regretfully.

If I may be so bold, do you know anyone in the Tuscany region who might rent a house for a week or so - or do you someone I could talk to about that? Right in the center of the Chianti classico region would be perfect! Thanks Stef.

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#7 escapefjrtist

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 06:57 PM

Sounds like an awesome trip Stef. Now I need to decide if the budget can afford an overseas vacation business trip..

--G

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#8 teerex51

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 09:17 AM

Jim

Tuscany's for sissies ohmy.gif ohmy.gif ohmy.gif ( j/k --- I still hope you can talk Lorie into joining our quest for higher elevations... rolleyes.gif )

--- G

No doubt in my mind you can find business contacts in the Penedès area of Spain cool.gif and later extend your search a few hundred K's further inland , a bike being the obvious means of transportation.... (nudge, nudge --- wink, wink )


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#9 beemerdons

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 11:31 AM

Hola Stef,

I truly thought that I had my 2008 foreign motorcycling perfectly planned out with Mazatlan in February, New Zealand in March, Dolomites in May and NAFO in July (Zonies view CO as alien). And then you tempt me with this beauty of a ride.

Alright, if you're developing a mailing list for the trip please add dstanley@metromechanical.com & beemerdons@aol.com

Saludos, Donaldo

#10 beemerdons

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 12:56 PM

Buenas Tardes Stef,

Que tal? Would you be far enough along in your planning for Pyrenees 2008 that I may have your permission to post this trip to www.azbeemers.org/forum I fully understand if you ask me to hold off, until Euro and FJR friends respond!

Recuerdos, BeemerDonS

#11 teerex51

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 01:18 PM

Don,

not a problem --- go right ahead and inform your BMW friends.
This is not a FJR-only event, although they will be the majority of bikes on the tour.

Even our FJR brethren from the USA will probably need to rent a Beemer in Spain and I've never believed in closed circles anyway.

Hasta la vista cool.gif

Stef

PS: Planning and dates are as set as they can be 7 months before the event.
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#12 beemerdons

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 05:53 AM

Dear Stef,

Is there one of these rental agencies that you recommend more than the others? I ride a BMW R1150RT and R1100GS, as well as my FJR, and I would like to give the new BMW F800ST a try. All the agencies rent it for about the same price.

Is one of these moto agencies closest to where our Barcelona base hotel is located? Perhaps that would make it easier.

I will fly to Barcelona from Phoenix on Saturday, May 24 so I will have a couple of extra days to revisit this beautiful city!

Is the hotel for Barcelona selected yet? Or if it is, is it located where a tourist like myself could easily jump on buses and trams to sightsee Barcelona? This is definitely going to show my age, I turn 59 on October 28: I was last in Barcelona in Summer of 1970 on my 1966 BMW R60/2 ridden to Spain from my US Army base in Augsburg, Germany.

I stayed at a nice and friendly hotel on Plaza de les Glories Catalanes. They let me securely park my BMW in the lobby.

I was within easy walking distance of the bullring, Catedral, platja, Franca station, estacio maritimo and other city sights.

Saludos, Don
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#13 JimLor

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 07:21 AM

Well Stef, Lorie said she'd actually like to make this trip. Hard part is that our daughter is going to graduate in May and we may in fact take her to Europe (don't tell her, but fat friggin' chance!), and we already have the house rented on the Outer Banks. We will see if we can shoehorn this in, but doesn't look good for 08. How about 09??
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#14 teerex51

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 10:41 AM

QUOTE(JimLor @ Oct 17 2007, 11:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well Stef, Lorie said she'd actually like to make this trip. Hard part is that our daughter is going to graduate in May and we may in fact take her to Europe (don't tell her, but fat friggin' chance!), and we already have the house rented on the Outer Banks. We will see if we can shoehorn this in, but doesn't look good for 08. How about 09??


Jim

I'm sure as hell gonna do it again in 2009. If the Pyrenees are still there, you're on bro yahoo.gif

Stef
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#15 beemerdons

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 04:33 AM

QUOTE(beemerdons @ Oct 17 2007, 06:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Dear Stef,

Is there one of these rental agencies that you recommend more than the others? I ride a BMW R1150RT and R1100GS, as well as my FJR, and I would like to give the new BMW F800ST a try. All the agencies rent it for about the same price.

Is one of these moto agencies closest to where our Barcelona base hotel is located? Perhaps that would make it easier.

I will fly to Barcelona from Phoenix on Saturday, May 24 so I will have a couple of extra days to revisit this beautiful city!

Is the hotel for Barcelona selected yet? Or if it is, is it located where a tourist like myself could easily jump on buses and trams to sightsee Barcelona? This is definitely going to show my age, I turn 59 on October 28: I was last in Barcelona in Summer of 1970 on my 1966 BMW R60/2 ridden to Spain from my US Army base in Augsburg, Germany.

I stayed at a nice and friendly hotel on Plaza de les Glories Catalanes. They let me securely park my BMW in the lobby.

I was within easy walking distance of the bullring, Catedral, platja, Franca station, estacio maritimo and other city sights.

Saludos, Don
beemerdons@aol.com



Mucho Gusto Stef,

You now have two bonafide volunteers from Arizona for Tour of the Pyrenees 2008. Dr. Bob Flanders and I are teaming up in flying and rooming together for this trip. Bob's e-mail address is: BobFlanders@aol.com & mine's: BeemerDonS@aol.com

We would like to book the bikes in the next few days and if you have a preference among the available rental agencies, please let us know which one. We are both going with the BMW F800ST's; Bob rides a R1200RT here in Estados Unidos.

With many thanks, Don
Home: 480-917-3863



#16 Checkswrecks

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 06:23 AM

I get to Europe now and then for work and family and this sounds like a GREAT trip. You've already addressed the majority of things to plan, so the following are a couple of things to add.

A bunch of the dealers rent bikes and it's as simple as calling ahead. With the internet and low international phone rates, simply find the dealers for a town and pick up the phone. If you don't speak Spanish and get somebody who doesn't speak english (most have seen enough US TV to get by with you), then ask for somebody who speaks english. Try not to rent in the middle of a city, as the traffic can be absolutely insane by our standards.

Call your insurance agent before you call the dealer to see what your coverage will do for you, both in terms of the bike and for medical. Local insurance can be pricey but you have to (law in most of the EU and common sense) have it. You'll probably have to insure the bike from the dealer.

Beemer rentals are really common (I'd be surprised if you can't find the new 800), but it's also how I got to ride a 1000VStrom in Bavaria before they came to the US. Prices usually are based on engine displacement and last time for me was something like $115/day + insurance ($30 I think?) for a used 1100cc Beemer.

BTW, there are ATM's throughout the EU and they are how I get local money. Just remember that the ATM fees are typically around $5 and can be as much as $8 so try not to withdraw frequent small amounts. Before you go, get a phone card from Sams Club or Costco and load it up for the cheapest way to use a phone. Your cell phone may or may not work, but the billing is something you want to understand before you go. If you have to have one, local rentals work.

Definitely ATGATT. Take your own helmet and personal gear. I've seen some really skanky loaner helmets. Make sure that your stuff is waterproof because rain is fairly common throughout Europe.

Most dealers and cops will accept a US license, but it's a good idea to go to the AAA and get an international one. It's just a paper exercise that you pay the AAA for. I learned the hard way that the typical US license comes from a state and not the country, and I had problems renting with just a State license a couple of times. Can't remember if this was somewhere in the EU or outside. Again, talk to the renting dealer BEFORE you go regarding what he needs to rent you the bike AND what the local laws require.

I travel for the US Government and one of the things we talk about when going into a country is where we're going if somebody gets seriously hurt. Recent example was western equatorial Africa, where I would've shot myself before going to a local hospital. You'll almost never have to use it, definitely don't worry over it, but do at least consider what you'll do when somebody breaks a leg or worse. While your plastic will get you through the EU, do keep a small stash of local cash to reimburse/pay a local to drive you to a clinic, as in some places the ambulance may take forever. If you do hit something while going down, expect to pay for whatever you damage, from a property wall to a highway sign (my wife did this one).

If you have an accident, these countries have relatively good medical systems and as in most of the EU, you just go to the hospital. Totally unlike in the US and wonderfully simple. (Let's PLEASE avoid the socialized medicine debate) I've sent one of my guys to a hospital in mainland China where he got amazingly good care that cost us nothing and personally had to see doctors in Greece (chemical burn) and Germany (xrays), but I try real hard to stay out of foreign hospitals, especially in rural areas. I'm not sure whether there'd be follow-up billing from Spain or France, so somebody will need to check beforehand or maybe a local could chime in here.

Bob


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AMA, IBA

#17 teerex51

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 10:49 AM

Thanks for the info, Bob. I'm sure the prospective participants will take due note of some of the points you raised.

Don & Bob, great to have you guys aboard. cool.gif

No, I don't know the Spanish rental firms personally.
I cannot tell you where the first one listed above (bmwmotorental) is located in Barcelona, their website curiously does not indicate a rental location's address.
The remaining two are based on the coast to the East of Barcelona, just a few Ks from the city center.
They can be reached by train + taxi or they will organize a pick-up at the airport if you want to stagger off your plane and get riding straight away (which I would frankly advise against...) unsure.gif

As I pointed out in my program, I haven't booked a base hotel in BCN and I'll wait and see if the majority of the participants really want me to do that.
I'd as soon let everybody plan their own overseas trip and arrival in Spain and I will only set up a time and place to RV on the day of departure for the Tour.

From that moment on, every accommodation will be firmly booked until we head back to Barcelona on the last day of the Tour.

To anybody who will make their own hotel arrangements in BCN I can only say: make sure your hotel is reasonably near a subway stop and you're gonna be fine for sightseeing that beautiful city. You definitely don't want to rent a car or use a rental bike for that purpose. The best parts of the city are in pedestrian zones and parking nearby is a mess. Also, petty crime and vehicle thefts are a reality in BCN ph34r.gif and I'd never leave my ride anywhere but safely padlocked in a garage.(*)

Stef

(*) This will soon change as we head into the mountains. There you can leave the key in the ignition overnight... smile.gif
Check out the Italian FJR Forum

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dogs only drink water, yet they rarely live beyond 15 years. 'Nuff said

#18 beemerdons

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 04:28 AM

Greetings Stef,

Bob and I are good to go on our rentals of the BMW F800ST's, pending our confirmation returns from Roberta of Ad-Mo. I thought that it may be helpful to others to print our invoice, very reasonable rates in my opinion; same as Knopf Moto.

Regards, Don and Bob


"Dear Don,

Subject: Confirmation/Quote for Don Stanley and Bob Flanders Barcelona Station
BCAMO
http://www.rental-mo...ona_rental.html

To book this rental, please complete our online booking form at:

https://www.admo-tours.net/booking.htm

Pick-up and drop-off location:
LOCATION
- C Torres Bages, 11-13, 08339-Vilassar De
Dalt, Barcelona
- 37 kms from BCN Airport
- 60 kms South of Girona Airport
- 10 minutes by train, then taxi

BUSINESS HOURS
- 7 days a week: 8am-8PM

INCLUDED
- Free shuttle from Airport / Hotel to rental
station, when you book your bike we will send you an invoice confirmation
with all the contact details to set up your pick-up.

Pick-up date and time: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at?

Drop-off date and time: Tuesday, June 3, 2008 same time as pick-up?

Days of rental: 6 at week rate

Motorcycles: 2 x BMW 800 ST'S

Rental Price: Euro $599.00 per week x 2=Euro $1,198.00

RESERVATION: Master Card or Visa Total due at time of booking, once bike is
confirmed.

Included:
- Unlimited mileage, taxes
- Factory side cases, top case, and lock
- Third party liability insurance
- 24 hour roadside assistance
- Travel outside Spain okay
- 2 day minimum

NOT INCLUDED
- GPS €79 per week
- Helmets €23 per rental period, gear available
- Damage deposit: 1500 euros all bikes on riders credit card
- US$35 booking fee for rentals 13 days or less per bike.

http://www.xe.com/ucc/ currency converter

Change Fee: $45.00 for any changes made after you book and we send your Invoice
(except for pick-up and drop-off times due to Airline reservations.)

This quote is valid for 7 days

Availability cannot be guaranteed until booking is received and we confirm
availability again.

If each person in your group is going to pay for their own bike, we will need a
booking for each person. If one person is going to pay for all, we will only
need one booking form filled out. Regardless of which way you are going to
book, we will need the names, addresses, date of births, and license numbers of
each person.

You can fax this to us if you wish at 760-249=5550 after you fill out our online
booking form.

Nothing will be charged to your card until the bikes are confirmed again then we
will send you an invoice, or invoices.

See our cancellation policy below
http://www.rental-mo...eral_rules.html

Sincerely,
Roberta Steward

AdMo-Tours, Inc / USA
P.O. Box 1803
1300 Highway 2 #4
Wrightwood, CA 92397
Tel: ++1-760-249-1105 / 1-800-944-2356
Fax: ++1-760-249-5550
Email: roberta@admo-tours.com
Web: http://www.admo-tours.com/

************************************************************************
FirstName: Don
LastName: Stanley
Address: 630 N. Exeter St.
City: Chandler
State: Chandler
Zip: 85225
Country: USA
::
Phone: 480-917-3863
Fax: 602-252-7612
::
EMail: beemerdons@aol.com
::
Location: Barcelona
Date: May 28 through June 3, 2008

Comments:

Dr. Bob Flanders and I would like to rent BMW F800ST's from you for 1 week;
Wednesday May 28 through Tuesday, June 3 of 2008; with available insurance
coverage's.

We will be touring the Pyrenees with Stef - teerex51 from the Italian FJR Owners
Club: http://www.fjrforum....showtopic=26910

If you would be so kind as to let us know the rate for our week's rentals and
exactly what your cancellation policy is it would be most appreciated. Thank
You!

Bob and I are very active members in www.azbeemers.org and you can go to the
Forum to see details of our Alpine trip last May and Andalucia in February of
2006. Please also copy your response to BobFlanders@aol.com"



#19 RatoneMuerto

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 05:42 AM

Talk about a tough choice!Hawaii or Spain/France?I also have the problem that I would need a bigger bike like an HD bagger or Wing for spouses comfort.Anyone with more knowledge PM me please.I will definately keep this in mind!


#20 beemerdons

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 05:46 AM

Dear Stef,

We're having so much fun now planning for the trip, that it's going to be "forever" for Bob and I to wait for May 24, 2008!

We're going to stay Sunday and Monday nights at Barcelo Hotel Sants; Plaza Dels Paisos Catalans. It is located above Sants Metro and Barcelona Central Train Station, so it's perfect for catching the RENFE train from the BCN Aeropuerto.

Hotel is between Catalonia Congress Palace and Fira de Barcelona; we'll just pick up targeta multiviatge for the Metro.

We also will spend our last night, June 3 at the Sants. We will wait to book Tuesday night May 27 in the event that the Italian FJR Crew will be riding in on Tuesday. If you are arriving Tuesday, we will book our stay wherever you are at.

I've told Roberta Steward of Ad-Mo rentals that we will be picking up the bikes at 8am on Wednesday the 28th. Bob and I will ride south to Tarragona for lunch to get ourselves familiarized with the BMW F800ST's and then meet you at 5pm.

Adios, Donaldo