Monday, July 22, 2019

Grandparents Motorcycle Tour of 2019. Part One.


In 2017 Veronica and I did a tour of the Swiss Alps.  One of our good friends Julie Holland said she and her husband John Holland really wanted to do a trip like ours.  Julie’s sister and brother in law Becky and Henry Harvey also wanted to go.  This trip is a result of many months of planning, I hope you enjoy my trip report. 

This report will be picture heavy, you can click on a picture anytime to see the full-size image.

Monday, July 22, 2019.  

We flew from SFO to London on Virgin Atlantic a long but smooth flight.  

Our plane for the trip.

Through TSA and we wait with our carry on. 

We got seats together. We are ready for our adventure to begin. 

From LHR we took a van to Julie’s daughter Amanda Mountford’s home in Birmingham.  We were tired from our trip and crashed early.  We arrived on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, losing a day. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019.

Amanda and Martin took us to Warwick Castle for the day. Way more interesting than I thought it would be.  Great hunting bird  (Raptors) show and dungeon tour. We took the train to Warwick Castle. 

Henry and Becky enjoying the ride. 

Me and Veronica touring the Castle.

Julie decided she was not walking to the top with us. 

Thursday, July 25, 2019.

Took a van from Amanda’s to Silverstone circuit and Spyder Motorcycles. Everything was ready when we got there. John Holland had a BMW GS, Henry Harvey a Triumph 900 Tiger and I had Ducati Multistrada reserved. 

Derek Mountford, Martin Dad met us at Silverstone.  Riding his Suzuki GSX-S

Derek lives north of Amanda and would be leading us as we rode on the left side of the road. After unloading our riding gear we suited up and were ready to head for Folkestone.

John Holland wonders how we were getting all of this on our bikes. 

Not to worry we got more than we needed into the saddlebags and top boxes. And left the suitcases with Spyder Motorcycles for safekeeping.

Left Silverstone for London drove in temperatures above 104° and the traffic was horrible it was like driving in San Francisco. We saw one guy in his self-driving or an autonomous type car, he was weaving from one white line to the other. He looked sound asleep at the steering wheel as we passed him. Got to our hotel it wasn’t quite a Formula One hotel but no air-conditioning,  just a fan, still hot as can be. Room was so so, we asked about breakfast. Breakfast was not served until 6:30 AM and we needed to be at the chunnel at 7 o’clock. So no breakfast at the hotel for us.

Friday, July 26.

Got up the next morning headed for the Chunnel. I was following Derick and went to check my mirror and no one behind me. Tried to call John Holland on the Cardo helmet communicator, no answer. Followed Derick to get gas and waited, still no John or Henry. Decided to ride to the Chunnel and wait. After some time I heard John on the Cardo. We got together and found they had stopped to pick up Derick's cell phone. Derick did not know he dropped it.

We got through the Chunnel gate and were pulled over for a border check. The nice gentleman in the red vest with his hand up is telling me no pictures in this area. We did have to open our top boxes and show passports. 

It was an unbelievable experience seeing all the cars and trucks that were lined up to get on the train. We got in the queue and waited for our number to come up.

Julie Holland is never without snacks when she travels. She had almonds for us as we waited. 

We were one of the first ones going on with motorcycles. Riding onto the train and literally through the train was a unique experience.  

Saw An Amphicar on a trailer waiting to get on the Chunnel Train. Thought of my friend Scott Clinton who is restoring one. This one was going under the water to France. 

We parked and got off the bikes a very nice attendant came by visited quite a bit with Veronica and Julie, she took our picture in the train you see above. 

Got off the tunnel in France we are now riding on the right side of the street. We looked for a place to have breakfast found a very nice bakery.

The French do bread and pastries better than anyone in the world. Across the street was a Ducati dealer, went in to get Veronica a pair of gloves.  Left with a pair of gloves and a set of ventilated riding jeans to make it much easier ride in the heat that day.

We left a Ducati dealer headed across France it was still warm but nice and clear day. We saw clouds building in the distance. 

Every day we rode 4 to 6 hours this was one of the long days. Crossing France we decided to drive into the center of Reims and find something for lunch. Got a parking spot and found we needed to buy a parking pass and put in on the windshield of the motorcycles. We just had to hope it would be there when we got back. Still hotter than hell as we walked looking for a restaurant. WTF, every place we went to was closed or just closing. No food in Reims for us.  We went from riding in 104° to riding in the rain by the time we reached our hotel. 

The hotel was excellent and we had one of the best meals of our trip. The melon dish we started with had some of the best cantaloupe sherbets I have ever had in my life. 

The dinners were very good, but the deserts were to die for. 

Everyone left dinner and headed for a good nights sleep. Tomorrow we head for Switzerland. 

When we went to leave we found out there was a problem with the payment from Ride with Us. This is the first problem we would have on the trip; we did get this problem worked out before we left.  

Part Two next, we head for Interlaken Switzerland. 

1 comment:

  1. Looked like a great trip even though it was so hot!!!