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Old 10-13-2018, 12:30 PM   #61
jfink
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Re: Europe Second Visit

We made it to the Isle of Man, after a two day stay in the little town of Penrith. Here are some photos of our visit to Penright.

Downtown Penrith


Did someone say, "Doctor Who"?


I really enjoyed this little town, although the hotel we picked was probably the worst one of the trip.


Generally, I am pretty good at finding the best for the least. I thought I had a winner in this one, great ratings, low cost, good location. It seems someone has been padding the ratings. Only 4 ratings to be sure, but all 5's. I have updated that to add our feedback.

We had a good English breakfast both days at the Cozy Cup in downtown Penrith. Eggs, bacon we guessed pork bellies, baked beans, mushrooms, neither of us took these, toast and tomato.

The staff graciously posed for a picture.


From Penrith, we rode down to Heysham, to the ferry landing for Steam-Packet, the official line for the Isle of Man. We met a motorcyclist (Dexter) in line from the Island and had a good conversation for the three and a half hours over a couple beers.


Chuck chatting with Dexter on the topside deck.


Our digs were a little more impressive on the Island. This was a bargain at around 70 pounds for the night, with a superb breakfast that normally cost about 12 pounds each.


Ok, I am going to plead guilty here. No pictures from the ride around the island, for two reason. 1) the weather on the top was rather nasty. It got very, VERY foggy and the roads were slightly wet. 2) after the fog cleared somewhat, I was have to much dang fun. I did manage to get the old girl up over 90 in a couple of the straight aways at the top of the hill. I can't imagine how much fun this would be on something a little more sport, like my Superduke.

We made two trips around the course. First Counterclockwise then Clockwise. One of the locals told us that we would only be able to ride 99.9 percent of the course because with left hand, we wouldn't be able to drive the traffic circle right side where we started. We fixed that by riding both ways and got the whole circuit in.

As a reminder, here's what the circuit looks like.


After the Island, we rode back to Liverpool on the ferry. We scarfed a pretty nice place in Chester for a very good price. It was the last night for Chuck and my trip together. He headed towards Ireland and I headed towards Germany. I will have some more about my adventures under the English channel and on to Heidelberg, Germany. May be Chuck can contribute some wet and soggy stories from his ride to Cork.
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Last edited by jfink; 10-14-2018 at 09:17 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:55 AM   #62
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Re: Europe Second Visit

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Old 10-14-2018, 11:07 AM   #63
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Re: Europe Second Visit

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Old 10-16-2018, 01:09 AM   #64
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Re: Europe Second Visit

Here's jfink's helmet cam after the weather cleared

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Old 10-16-2018, 06:33 AM   #65
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Re: Europe Second Visit

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Originally Posted by StromXTc View Post
Here's jfink's helmet cam after the weather cleared

ummm ... not so much. LOL More like a wild tractor ride. It was fun though, even on a tractor.
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'04 Goldwing (ich bin eine Deutschlander) (US States and Canadian Provinces)
'11 KTM 990 Dakar (all 23 countries in South, Central and North America)
'14 KTM 500 Exc
'14 BMW GTL Exclusive
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:53 AM   #66
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Re: Europe Second Visit

My favorite picture of both European rides so far. Notice the road gator coming up to take a chunk of the bike. LOL

Somewhere in Luxembourg:
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'04 Goldwing (ich bin eine Deutschlander) (US States and Canadian Provinces)
'11 KTM 990 Dakar (all 23 countries in South, Central and North America)
'14 KTM 500 Exc
'14 BMW GTL Exclusive
'17 KTM Super Duke GT

Where I have ridden

Last edited by jfink; 10-18-2018 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 10-18-2018, 08:02 AM   #67
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Re: Europe Second Visit

After Chuck and I split up I rode across the entire length of England, the long way, in a day. For those of us who live in Texas it is a little hard to grasp that you can easily ride across an entire country and still have time left over.

When I started it was overcast and cool, comfortable riding weather. Then the rains came. It rained for about two hours. I started on back roads which were crowded and progressed to highways, which were also crowded. Everyplace I went in England, it was crowded. Even with the rain and the crowds there were other riders. No pictures were taken, as I didn't want to get my camera out in the rain.

Finally out of the rain and on the highway, I made good time. My destination was the EuroTunnel the following morning. I had found a place called the Royal Norfolk in Folkestone, near the tunnel departure. I can highly recommend this place if you are traveling and want to stop for the night to wait for the tunnel train. Sorry, no pictures, but the room and bar/restaurant were both very comfortable.

The next morning I was on to the train to take me through the EuroTunnel. I don't know what I was thinking for a number of years, but I guess I believed you drove through the tunnel. No so much! They put trucks, cars, vans, and motorcycles on a train that ferries you across.

Waiting to get on the train. The boarding agent took this picture. I found that they get upset when you try to take a picture of them. The agent at the Isle of Man got on my case about a picture I tried to take there. I don't really understand this restriction in these days as so many people take movie cameras (GoPros) and film with their phones from their cars when boarding. No state secrets are being shared.


Picture looking down the train and the entrance to the train. (pssst, that's the agents shoulder there on the left, don't tell!)


Stowed away comfortably on the train:


I parked behind this Carrera, but most the passer bys wanted to look at the Wing!


Once off the train, it was a pretty unassuming ride to Bastogne, Belgium where I had made a reservation. Because of the easy miles involved, I had decided to take a longer route through the Netherlands, to add that country to countries I had visited. I tried to do backroads but this turned out to be somewhat of a mistake. It put me through a town called Sint Niklaas Belgium. For those of you who ever may decide to ride through this area, avoid Sint Niklaas. Miles of city traffic, traffic lights, pedestrians, etc. Fortunately it wasn't too hot and I just relaxed and enjoyed it. Finally stopping for gas.



I walked in to pay. In Europe there is almost NO pay at the pump. You have to walk inside to pay. But they trust you, and let you pump first then pay. I left my helmet and jacket on the bike and walked in to pay. Three guys were eating at a table and began talking too me. They speak French in Belgium. I don't speak even a little French. One of the guys spoke a little English, and said they will fine you fifty Euros ($65) if you don't have a moto jacket. I explained I had one, but that was interesting information.

My final destination in Belgium was Bastogne, to visit the war museum and the battle of the bulge. The museum was very, ummm, slick. Lots of information and artifacts, but as I told my wife there was limited emotional evocation. It wasn't like the Vietnam memorial in DC where you are left to yourself in quite to feel the impact. Even so, there were a lot of interesting displays, photos and video.

What would WWII be without a Harley or two?




101st Airborne, Screaming Eagle memorial:




Not exactly New York but a good representation. I didn't get anything for perspective but this is about 25 feet tall:


Thank you, thank you very much! For those of you who don't know the flag on the left is the European Union flag, which is having it's share of struggles right now.


The WWII War Memorial:


Texas on the inner ring:


A view from the top:


I stayed an extra day in Bastogne and walked around the city. Even for being a little bit touristy, Bastogne was an enjoyable city. The city square had a bust of General McAuliffe, who's famous response to the Germans demand for surrender was "NUTS!".


A Sherman tank that was disabled during the battle.


From Bastogne, my last day was through Luxembourg and on to Heidelberg, were I would drop my bike and get the flight back home. Let me tell you about northern Luxembourg though. I was completely surprised. I plotted a course that stayed off the main roads figuring if I got in trouble I could find a highway somewhere. BUT ... the little roads were Immaculate... Perfect... Wonderful...

No traffic at all. I got the impression that any road I chose in that area would have been the same. I could go there and spend days riding these roads, but ... Superduke if you please! Here are a few photos I took, when I decided I needed something to remember this by.


The roads were SMOOTHHHH! And it wasn't just here that it was smooth. No reducing radius curves, smooth like glass, let me put the wing into a turn and feel the peg make that smooth metal contact with the pavement and hear the swishing sound that gave no impression of danger. Wonderful ...






Traffic was almost non-existent!


I spent hours on these roads and probably could have spent days, never duplicating the same road. But I moved on to Heidelberg. Once into the boarder towns in Luxembourg and into Germany, the roads got crowded. It was just a commute at this point. Finally arriving at Stefans. After cleaning the bike and getting things arranged for storage, I walked around taking some pictures.

Lot's of others at Stefans, bedding down for the Winter:







The KLR on the right in the picture above belongs to Evan Greenlee from Albuquerque. He had already been on the road for three years and done 85,000 miles on that KLR. Evan had his KLR stolen in England, near Manchester. There was plenty of damage done by the thieves and he was spending time repairing it. He was one of the few just starting out again, not storing. Evan was headed down through Spain to Gibraltar then across to Morocco to ride through Africa. Two more years of riding. Good luck Evan!!!

The Wing waiting for it's place in the mix, now with 143,176 miles on the clock:


Chuck and I plan at least two more visits, probably next year. We are barely in the planning stages for that right now. We may take a ride up to the Hill Country in the next few months for some deep dive strategy sessions that may involve beer!



After another great month in Europe, the next morning I caught the 10 hour flight home. I am so fortunate and privileged to have the health, time and means to do this. Thanks for following along.
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'04 Goldwing (ich bin eine Deutschlander) (US States and Canadian Provinces)
'11 KTM 990 Dakar (all 23 countries in South, Central and North America)
'14 KTM 500 Exc
'14 BMW GTL Exclusive
'17 KTM Super Duke GT

Where I have ridden

Last edited by jfink; 10-18-2018 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 10-18-2018, 08:27 AM   #68
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Re: Europe Second Visit

Awesome report. and yes you're very blessed!
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Old 10-18-2018, 08:28 AM   #69
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Re: Europe Second Visit

Hey, I'm headed out in a little while to look at the cheeseburger roads since the floods, might be interesting if you haven't ridden enough yet. lol
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Old 10-18-2018, 08:46 AM   #70
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Re: Europe Second Visit

Hey Joe. I can't help you with the 🍺 but I can help you with the strategy when you go to the Hill country. I have extra days this year to take off. Hint hint. LOL.
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Old 10-18-2018, 08:56 AM   #71
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Re: Europe Second Visit

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Hey, I'm headed out in a little while to look at the cheeseburger roads since the floods, might be interesting if you haven't ridden enough yet. lol
915 at Waverly Burger King with Terry!
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Old 10-18-2018, 09:01 AM   #72
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Re: Europe Second Visit

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915 at Waverly Burger King with Terry!
There are a couple things that stopped working while I was gone. My job today is to repair those things which aren't working AND to catch up on some missing sleep. Maybe I can join you guys for breakfast then head out to finish up my chores.
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'04 Goldwing (ich bin eine Deutschlander) (US States and Canadian Provinces)
'11 KTM 990 Dakar (all 23 countries in South, Central and North America)
'14 KTM 500 Exc
'14 BMW GTL Exclusive
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Where I have ridden
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Old 10-18-2018, 09:01 AM   #73
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Re: Europe Second Visit

great report, thanks


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Old 10-18-2018, 09:03 AM   #74
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Re: Europe Second Visit

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There are a couple things that stopped working while I was gone. My job today is to repair those things which aren't working AND to catch up on some missing sleep. Maybe I can join you guys for breakfast then head out to finish up my chores.
I figured it was a long shot!! But have to include you.
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Old 10-18-2018, 09:04 AM   #75
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Re: Europe Second Visit

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Originally Posted by JMZ View Post
Hey Joe. I can't help you with the 🍺 but I can help you with the strategy when you go to the Hill country. I have extra days this year to take off. Hint hint. LOL.
Hey JM, you know the deal. Nothing in life is for free! Bring your favorite beverage and come along. I'll post something up.
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'04 Goldwing (ich bin eine Deutschlander) (US States and Canadian Provinces)
'11 KTM 990 Dakar (all 23 countries in South, Central and North America)
'14 KTM 500 Exc
'14 BMW GTL Exclusive
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Where I have ridden
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Old 10-18-2018, 09:34 AM   #76
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Re: Europe Second Visit

Shoot me a note if you are coming down to the hill country to ride and drink beer! Although the forum says Plano, I actually live in Fredericksburg, am retired, and have an FJR that doesn’t get ridden enough. I should figure out how to update that...
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Old 10-18-2018, 10:43 AM   #77
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Hey JM, you know the deal. Nothing in life is for free! Bring your favorite beverage and come along. I'll post something up.
Nothing good anyway
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Old 10-18-2018, 01:01 PM   #78
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Although the forum says Plano, I actually live in Fredericksburg, am retired, and have an FJR that doesn’t get ridden enough. I should figure out how to update that...
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Old 10-18-2018, 01:10 PM   #79
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Re: Europe Second Visit

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great report, thanks
Thanks!
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'04 Goldwing (ich bin eine Deutschlander) (US States and Canadian Provinces)
'11 KTM 990 Dakar (all 23 countries in South, Central and North America)
'14 KTM 500 Exc
'14 BMW GTL Exclusive
'17 KTM Super Duke GT

Where I have ridden
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Old 10-18-2018, 01:11 PM   #80
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Re: Europe Second Visit

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Shoot me a note if you are coming down to the hill country to ride and drink beer! Although the forum says Plano, I actually live in Fredericksburg, am retired, and have an FJR that doesn’t get ridden enough. I should figure out how to update that...
I will probably post something up on here. I love those FJR's.
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'04 Goldwing (ich bin eine Deutschlander) (US States and Canadian Provinces)
'11 KTM 990 Dakar (all 23 countries in South, Central and North America)
'14 KTM 500 Exc
'14 BMW GTL Exclusive
'17 KTM Super Duke GT

Where I have ridden
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