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My Mugello trip 2009

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My Mugello trip 2009

Post by JT on Sun 02 Oct 2011, 19:15

Now then

Done nothing on the bike since the end of July because of the accident and been reading some old write ups of mine on the XJR site and thought some of you might like to read one. This is my write up about our trip to the Mugello MotoGP in 2009.

Mon 25th May
We arrived at our good friends Bob & Sara’s in Harlow at 12:15 for an overnight stop, prior to sailing tomorrow. 210 miles, 3 hours flat, A1,14,M11, boring but needs must. It was Bank Holiday so they were both at home waiting for us. We sat in the garden and passed the time of day then we had steak with the trimmings for Tea and some red wine, mmm, lovely. We weren’t late to bed so we were fresh for the journey on Tues.

Tues 26th
Me and Sara walked into Harlow and I got my holiday haircut which I hadn’t had time to get at home, £13, I nearly fainted but it was a decent job and I got it washed to save me a job so it was fine. The weather was good and Lesley and I set off at 11:15 and met Martin & Diane, more good friends and our holiday companions for this trip, at a transport café, Oakdene café just off the A20/M26 junction. I rang Mr Happy and he booked and paid for a chalet/lodge for us for tonight at the XJR Eurofest in Germany, top man. We arrived at Dover, filled up with cheap juice and it was 45mins before we were due to sail, perfect timing.










We got on the ferry and were treated to the best tie down arrangement I’ve ever had on a ferry. We were shown to a slot between a raised area just for bikes. The front wheel went into a wide wheel holder, there were two helpers on hand who asked me to stay on the bike. They put a wedge block under the rear wheel to stop it rolling backwards and then put a ratchet tie down from the rear footpeg hanger to a bull ring loop in the floor. They then motioned for me to compress my rear suspension as they tightened the straps which resulted in a solid bike going nowhere, spot on, I was well happy with that.












We arrived in Calais at 16:05 local time and proceeded to Kronenburg to stay for a night at the Eurofest. We were doing fine when the weather decided to turn wet and spoil it a bit but because it was the first day of our holiday it didn’t dampen our spirits. We met two French lads on Choppers at one services in Holland. They had already travelled 600 km and were going to Finland for a bike rally, huge respect on that seat Lol and an open faced helmet with some sunglasses for eye protection.











We had a quick coffee and set off again.







We found the Eurofest site thanx to a quick call to Mr Happy, after riding past the road end twice ! We were met by Mr Happy and Lisa as we rolled up to our lodge which was next to the first German XJR one, they had others. Lisa went to ask if the Germans would cook us some food on their bbq because we hadn’t had any tea bless her. We quickly unloaded our luggage from the bikes and walked along to join the gang. The German XJR group had brought everything with them in a truck and trailer, they had a proper set up. Their awning was erected outside one of their lodges and they had beer on tap, long picnic type forms and tables, tripod BBQ and a sound system set up with all the music on a computer, brilliant. We had some bbq and drink which was much appreciated, we’d have struggled to get anything that time of night in the middle of nowwhere and put some money in their gratuity tin for their kindness. We chewed the fat for a couple of hours then everyone else started to flag a bit because they’d had a heavy night on the Monday so it was about midnight and bed for us all. We met only a small amount of the Euro XJR guys, German and Dutch only that night but they were a great bunch.














Wed 27th May


Got up and we decided to wash the bikes because of the rain we'd rode through yesterday.










The accomodation was better than basic and infact would be more than worth another visit at sometime and for more than one night


Alot of the 'Eurofesters' went to The Ring and we said we'd meet up with them later.

















We had a great ride to The Ring along some top roads and got there at 13:30. We sat outside and had lunch at The Motorsport Hotel in Nurburg. I spoke to Mr Happy and they were over the other side of the Ring so we said we'd meet a bit later.
























Time passed by, we made our way to the main entrance of the track and walked around the car park filled with exotica
























Then this arrived


















It looked familiar yet different It is a four door Porsche Panamera. Now granted, it looks ugly but let me tell you, the more I looked at it, the more I liked it and when we saw it going round the track, the Guy was giving it the berries, no mistake, it went well and sounded well

We never got to meet up with The XJR clan again. They'd gone back to the Digs for a rest before coming back again and we still had 100 miles to travel so at 5 pm we set off without riding the Ring it will have to wait for another day. We had a decent run and when we got to my Uncle Rays we quickly showered, changed and were down to his restaurant for food and drink. Every Wednesday a group of local singers come choir practice in the concert room then some of them come down for a drink before heading off. We got chatting and the next thing they started to sing for us while we were eating our meals. They were fantastic no music, pure acapella, magic. The hairs are standing up on my arms as I remember them, it was one of those things that just happen and you remember for a long, long time.



Thurs 28th May

Martin and Myself were leaving the girls at my Uncle's in Germany for the w.end as we went to Mugello for the MotoGP so we said our goodbyes and set off for Italy at 13:00 in brilliant sunshine. we rode on the autobahns through Germany, past Hockenheim race track and pushed on South. Our route took us along the length of Lake Constance in Germany





























then breifly into Austria then Switzerland before arriving in Liechtenstein.

















At the border the Gaurd looked at us and asked us to pull over to the parking area. He asked us for our passports and driving licences then took them into his glass cabin. He brought them back after about 5 mins, not a smile or thanx, fook all, miserable git and we were on our way. For the record, thats the first time I've ever been stopped in Europe and checked but we were fully legal so no bother .
We stopped for the night just a short distance from the border in a nice enough hotel. They didn't have a garage but let us park in the delivery area at the back of the hotel which was locked overnight so we were happy with that.

















It was getting kinda late to go out so we ate in the hotel and got our heads down in good time, ready for the ride over the Alps into Italy.


Fri 29th

Set off for Italy and Mugello. Sat Nav took us to a vehicle transport train to go through a mountain.





























The Vereina Tunnel is situated in eastern Switzerland, and at 19,058 m is the longest tunnel on the Swiss RhB/MGB railway network as well as the world's longest metre gauge railway tunnel. In length, it is followed by the Furka Tunnel (15,442 m) and the Albula Tunnel (5,8 km).

Service is based on hourly regional trains between Scuol-Tarasp and Chur, completed every 30 minutes by shuttle trains transporting road vehicles between the two valleys linked via the tunnel and by freight trains. The tunnel is single track, with passing loops (each 2km long) in the middle and near the two portals.

We weren't sure at first but neither of us had taken the bike on a train through a mountain before so we decided to go for it. Great experience if a little daunting because they don't strap the bikes down and they do move a bit but all was fine
There were some great views to greet us at the other end too
























A quick coffee and we were off again. We went over the fluelapass























and followed the road towards St Moritz turning for Aprica just before it. At one point we passed a passenger train going up and I mean up, too steep for a train I thought, the mountain about 40 foot from the side of the road, pure magic amongst that scenery We stopped in Aprica for a lunch break where it was starting to get very warm, which was nice. Opposite the cafe was a ski run and chair lift in the distance without snow, they always look odd in the summer, snowless























We came down round Brescia and headed for Modena and Bologna. As we rode through Modena we passed the Maserati factory and then a Ferrari building, great to see but no time to stop.

We stopped at this garage for petrol and after we'd paid, the guys serving came out and had a fag on the forecourt, then a car pulled up and the driver got out while on his hand held mobile and carried on his conversation while filling up Gotta love them, good to see safety first
















We turned off the autostrada about 20 miles short of Mugello because of standing traffic and stayed in a 'One Horse Town' for the night and in the end had the best meal and local wine of all the holiday and it was for nowt dance


tbc



[b]
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JT
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Re: My Mugello trip 2009

Post by shadow on Sun 02 Oct 2011, 19:26

Epic mate. Smile
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Re: My Mugello trip 2009

Post by chilli on Sun 02 Oct 2011, 19:40

certainly is... cracker mate.

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Re: My Mugello trip 2009

Post by JT on Sun 02 Oct 2011, 21:14

Now then, Where was I ? Oh yeah

Sat 30th May

Oh, me head, woke up in the village of Piano Del Voglio with a severe hangover after a great night. Superb food and too much vino, lager and cider, seemed like a good idea at the time
After coffee and a cold pizza slice for breakfast ( i kid you not ) we gradually came round, had a walk round the village, said our goodbyes and set off to Mugello.


This is as we left the village

















We kept off the main roads and found a mega route to the circuit with very few villages and junctions. We got to the track and rode straight in without a lot of fuss. Tickets were barcode read and we were waved in to park where the hell we liked, spot on
There was a decent crowd there for a saturday and the weather was scorching
We grabbed some grub and watched afternoon qualifying then had a walk round the circuit.





























We stayed till about 18:30, there was a lot going on around the perimiter road with the crowd. Reminded us of how Donnington camp site used to be at the GP's but this was all inside the circuit There was people camping in tents and campers inside the circuit and lots of road bikes with exhaust cans removed riding round with the riders shirtless, some with just shorts and flip flops, two up, M-x bikes, scooters, you name it and they weren't tootling if you know what I mean, you had to be aware When we left, we headed back along the route we came in on because it was such a good ride. We came across a set of gates leading to a smart looking large bungalow up a drive with a B&B sign on. I pressed the intercom and between his broken English and my very broken Italian we sorted that there were two of us on two bikes, the gates opened and we were invited forward. We rode up the long drive and at the top this guy waved us to follow him, around the side and into the double garage, spot on, until he said " You are quick from telephone call"
Telephone call, we never rang , bollox, he was expecting two other Brit bikers,
Poor guy was so apologetic. Back out the garage and on a bit further till we got booked into a small hotel which was right at the side of that road. It was obviously a popular bikers road cause there was any amount of bikes up and down it. A quick shower, meal then a short walk, not so much vino that night so we could be up in decent time and to the circuit.











Sunday 31st May

Good nights sleep and woke to the sound of the odd bike riding by. What a lovely sound to wake up to, puts you in the mood for a bike related day
Downstairs for brekkie, pretty crap to be honest, two bits of funny bread each, no butter or marg and a small pot of Apricot jam not quite what we wanted or expected

The view on the other side of the road to our hotel, a lovely valley










Off we set for the track, there was cloud but it was dry. The closer we got to the track, the busier it got, as per normal on a race day no matter which country you're in, even though we were quite early. We stopped in Scarperia, the town where Mugello is and popped into a supermarket to get some cooked ham from the deli, some uncut bread which the baker sliced for us , some toms, spready cheese, crisps and water too. That was us taken care of for food and drink. Funny, there was a fag machine outside the shop with a scene from a Donnington BSB race on it, as near to Mugello as you could get, in Italy












Next we filled the bikes so we could get a quick getaway after the racing and get as far as pos back up the road to Germany as we could that night. It had started to rain, only light stuff but it was there Up to the circuit entrance and again, as saturday we showed our tickets and rode straight in . Up the perimeter road and parked at the side, with other bikes. We found a spot on the banking looking over the end of the back straight with a large screen in view There was a good crowd in already so it was a good job there was only two of us. Anymore and we would have been cramped. First things first and after a shite breakfast we cracked on and made a sarnie which stopped our stomachs rumbling.

Next thing out of nowhere came the sound, quite close, of a two stroke engine being ripped to within an inch of it's life, everyone turned in it's direction to see a mad Italian with a chainsaw (a blade but no chain thank god )above his head, flat out. Brilliant, what a sound and it woke everyone up to join in with huge cheers and clapping, love them 'Ities'

Warm up was as boring as ever but the racing was superb, all three of em, starting with the best result of the w.end and Bradders winning the 125, get in there. Stood on the banking at Mugello listening to our national anthem, Union Jack tied around my neck hanging 'cape like' down my back, Bradders on the top step of the podium, a moment to remember forever.






























The rain kept coming and got heavier. It did make the racing interesting and exciting so it wasn't all bad. there was no under card and so everyone left as one after the MotoGP podium, which was fun It was very wet when we were leaving and slow. Trying to get out of the circuit first was bad enough but once outside it didn't improve cause the roads immediately outside the circuit were narrow weren't policed well at all and we think Donnington is bad .

The stop start nature of moving very slowly in line formation was causing my XJR to get very, very hot so I started to turn the engine off each time we stopped and then start it when needed, bad move. This one time the starter button had no effect, the battery was flat Just as we came to a slight incline, spot on. Off I jumped and started to push, fook me, it was hot and wet and I was hot and sweaty. I had to keep moving because no one could get round me because of the cone system , boy was it hard work I eventually got to a slight decline, jumped on and bump started the bike, just before I collapsed
We ended up being pushed all in the same direction, not the way we wanted to go but after a detour south we got onto the motorway and headed North, halleluya. I rode for the first twenty miles with my jacket open I was that hot

The weather improved and just got better, next thing we know we had to stop to put dark visors on the sun was so bright . We made it to the Swiss border and jumped into the first hotel at the side of the motorway just inside Switzerland. It turned out to be a cracker, not cheap but not the dearest either, very smart though flat screen tv's and his and his sinks with underground safe, clean parking


















Mon 1st June

Up for a shower and a lovely breakfast, checkout, a handfull of sweets off reception, as you do, then on the road in fantastic warm sunshine

Switzerland is beautiful. We passed through it on the way to Italy and I rode through some of it about 4 or 5 years ago in the Alps and it is absolutely stunning

We came round this one bend on a motorway and I just had to stop on the hard shoulder and take these pics for & aft, it took my breath away to have scenery like this on a motorway. Martin wasn't too keen on being on the hard shoulder but it didn't take long and it was worth it

















Next was a coffee and snack stop at the last services before Germany. Again, scenery like this at a motorway services in Britain you do not see


















There were a few bikes pulling in and having the same stop. Two German sportsbikes pulled up, a Blade and a R1 and how surprised were we to see two birds take off their helmets. I wandered over and had a brief chat with them. They had been away for a few days, not to the MotoGP but just into Italy to have a blast around for the w.end and were quite happy to have their pic taken. Their tyres were well used too I can tell you we wished each other safe journey and off we were again










It was so funny when we crossed the border into Germany. The speed limits and policing is quite strict in Switzerland so everyone pretty much rides and drives at sensible speeds on the motorways where you can be easily caught but cross the border into Germany and immediately you come away from the booths it's like someone dropped a fookin flag at the start of a race, everbody is about flat fookin out, class . You have to recalibrate your brain and riding for a while, but it's brilliant

We got back to my Uncles around mid afternoon and washed the bikes after a beer











The next day we chilled out, had a wander round the village and vine yards in the blazing sun it got really hot


















There was this one house we spotted with an unusual letter box which we found very interesting









We had our last night at a local restaurant and Uncle Ray gave himself a night off to join us. It wasn't a late do because we wanted to be right for the journey on our way to the ferrry the next day.

Wed 3rd June

We got loaded and away by midday.











We were due to sail on Thursday back from Calais to Dover so took the scenic rather than the direct route. Down to Kaiserslauten then across to Saarbrucken we found some great roads and the scenery was beatifull , just what we needed, not motorway, motorway, motorway

We dropped into Luxembourg for lunch and filled the bikes up





































the weather was still lovely and making the journey back a pleasant one. The roads we were riding were very quiet and as per normal in most of Western Europe superb tarmac
All was going swimmingly until the Autocom started to play up. The first sign was the music was intermittent and the instructions from the Sat Nav were broken up. I turned the Hotel locator on, on the sat nav and dropped into Charleroi. I went for a well known chain of hotels out of the ones the sat nav was showing and pulled up outside. It was very nice looking and they had room but the price wasn’t so nice. It was around 19:00 o’clock, the weather was still very pleasant so we decided to get back on the road for another hour to make the journey tomorrow a little easier to Calais. I’d had a quick fiddle with the sat nav when we stopped but realised when we set off again that I hadn’t sorted it, very frustrating.
We kept going and finally pulled into Lille at around 21:00, no probs we thought, we’ll get a room and then just get straight to the restaurant and bar for food and drink and have a freshen up in the morning. Well, this is when the fun started! Hotel after hotel had no rooms at all. There was a huge conference or something going on and it wasn’t until our 4th hotel that the guy said he would ring another hotel he knew before we set off to it and see if they had any room. They had two rooms and at the price they quoted we thought who cares, it’ll be a goodun. How wrong we were. We found the hotel and it looked fine, it had a barrier operated car park and although the reception was small the restaurant and bar looked good enough. By the time we got booked in it was after 22:00 and we were desperate for food and a beer. Luggage upstairs and into our rooms. We got a two room, room each couple but what a bloody ‘dive’. The beds were like campbeds and the place just wanted some tlc. Anyway we just dumped the bags and shot to the bar. The restaurant we were informed as we got there was shut and there were no bar snacks apart from complimentary nuts and crisps ! Pissed off ? You bet . The receptionist saw our predicament and said she would go to the kitchen and see if she could rustle up some bread and cheese. Good to her word she brought the promised ingredients but we couldn’t eat them in the bar !!! Back upstairs into our room after a couple of beers and as much of the free snacks as we could eat in double quick time and we had a sarnie party Lol. It filled a gap.

Thursday 4th June

Up at 08:00, breakfast not included, they wanted a kings ransom and down the road to a garage for Breakfast. As they do in France and elsewhere the garage had a hot food and drink part so we didn’t starve Lol. On the road again and into Calais. It was a smooth crossing and it wasn’t long before we were at Bob and Sara’s for 13:30 and our overnight stop with great friends again. We had a full night looking at the pics from our camera and reliving the trip so soon, was unusual seen as we hadn’t got home yet. Bob made our evening meal and after a couple of drinks we got our heads down.

Friday 5th June

The forecast wasn’t so clever and so it turned out in the morning, pissing down actually ! We got all our luggage etc into the garage, had our last toilet call, locked the house up and got geared up in the garage. As you do when you’re about to ride in rain, all gaps were double checked in our clothing so there was little or no chance of rain getting in. Just as we were all sorted I wanted another piss, ‘fer christs sake’. Couldn’t be arsed to go back in the house and I was starting to boil up so routed around in Bob’s garage bin, found an empty bottle thank god and filled that up Laughing

We were on the road by 10:30 and the rain lasted for about 30 miles. It was very bad in parts up the A1, the standing water pushing the front here and there at times but eventually it cleared the further North we got and we got home bone dry around 14:30. Our textiles had dried as we rode too. That was it, another tour abroad on our XJR, CLASS dance



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JT
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Re: My Mugello trip 2009

Post by CBR Monkey on Sun 02 Oct 2011, 21:35

WOW, what a holiday, looks amazing and some of them roads look absoluetly brilliant, excellent write up, makes me want to jump on the bike and ride over to Europe.



Last time I took the bike on a ferry the bloke gave us two tie down straps and left us to secure our bikes by ourselves, spent the whole crossing worried that they would all fall over!
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Re: My Mugello trip 2009

Post by bazza on Tue 04 Oct 2011, 19:49

first class read JT, sounds and looks like a great holiday/trip.
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Re: My Mugello trip 2009

Post by wes on Tue 04 Oct 2011, 20:37

A very good write up there JT Smile
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