I have just received the extremely sad news from Australia that my best mate Ken Bacon has passed away today (3:30pm Sydney time).
Many of you would have read about Ken’s 7yr battle with cancer via the giving page on this website. I thank all those who have donated as we need to find a cure for this terrible disease as soon as possible.
Ken was a wonderful person, someone I am immensely proud to have called a friend.
You will be missed and may the new adventure you are now on, be one hell of a ride!
Sunday marked the 2 week mark for our Mad Ride! Steve is still in Venice with Jo, his wife and I and enjoying time in Nasice, Croatia. Today was another family day, lunch with relatives which involved lovely home cooked Stuffed Praprika and mashed Patato. I struggled after lunch as the food, relaxed lifestyle created the perfect environment for an afternoon nap! In the evening I caught up with a neighbours and went out for a casual drink, ending up at their place for a bite to eat. As you can see from the picture meet features heavily on the menu. It is lovely I must say. This is home made cured and really is yummy! Got home late (around) 10:30pm which was not bad as I had only intended a quick drink with friends at 5:00pm.
Steve met his wife Jo all Ok in Venice and has been happily sight seeing while I am in Nasice with the family. After creating a stir by camping in the town unannounced and my Mother In Law telling me I should have knocked on her door (it was 02:00hrs when I arrived).
Nasice is a relaxed Croatian town with approx 10,000 residents who are friendly and very welcoming. The centrepiece of the town is the wonderful old Pejacevic Castle.
Today I took the opportunity to wash everything I could, including my riding outfit and the bike itself as I am sure that we will not have the relaxed easy access to facilities as we progress. Besides that I noticed that my riding gear was learning to walk by itself!
Nice easy day all in all. The day finished off with drinks and conversation with family, which with my very limited Croatian skills was interesting but fun.
Friday was a different days for Steve and I as Steve was off to Venice to meet his wife who is flying over to meet him (my wife will be over shortly) and I was off to Croatia to spend some time with the “in-laws”, more specifically the Mother in Law. In total the ride through to Nasice, Croatia was approx 875km meaning I arrived well after mid night.
We rode through to the outskirts of Venice together and it was (this is getting boring) another great day of riding! The Euro roads and mountain passes taking road riding to another level.
Even muscling our 290kg rides through mountain passes was fantastic and the capability of the BMW’s to cover ground at a very good pace is a credit to their design. It is when you pull up and try to manoeuvre them that the fun begins!
Steve and I will be catching up on the 1st July to continue our Mad Ride and in the mean time Steve will have quality time with the wife and I shall be earning “browny points” with the mother in law.
Como to Trento, with some of the best riding we have had to date. Mountain passes, snow capped mountain ranges, quaint and beautiful villages somehow hanging on the side of the steep terrain. the highest peak we crossed was approx 2,000metres.
We have camped at a working orchard that is flanked by high mountains either side. We are certainly getting into the European way as having dinner at the local restaurants along the way certainly form a major social high for the day, and the food is always well tasty!
The day went well overall with no navigation issues and the only downside was a slug found in the luggage!
We got off to another reasonable start (before 09:00hrs) today and headed to Como. While stopping off at a town called Bra (yes, that is the correct name), David managed to become distracted and left the Spot Tracking device sitting at a petrol station! Only trouble was we did not realise until we were 65km away in Asti!
So a brisk ride back to Bra and the petrol attendant had the tracker thankfully. Major fail on David’s part!
after the “cock up” we headed through to Como and hit camp around 6:30pm. Unfortunately the camp site last night was rubbish to say the least!
We headed into town and had the most wonderful view of the rip while sitting eating a pizza alongside Lake Como. If you visit Italy, take time to Visit Como!
The ride today was from Menton, France to Cuneo, Italy. We got off to a reasonably early start 08:50hrs after packing up camp.
On the way we passed through Monaco managing to ride most of the track.
We met a captain of one of those motor launches (34m) and he explained a few facts about owner inc a vessel like those you see by the dozen along the riviera. So a typical vessel of this size will cost between 10 ~ 15m€, parking costs approx 1,000€ (plus a bag of cash) per day in Monaco and 8,000€ at Capri. Fuel usage is 600litres per hour and up to 10,000 with diesel costing a 1€ per litre. So there you go, if you are thinking of buying a boat for your summer you have a rough idea of the costs!
Cuneo is a lovely regional town and we had the best camp site yet with excellent facilities which made a big difference.
In making our way to Cuneo we actual crossed over the boarder between France and Italy 3 times weaving through the mountain passes.
Today was a rest day, giving us the opportunity to do our washing and tend to a few house keeping items.
Steve and I wondered the streets of Menton looking for the laundrette (not so romantic that bit) and took the opportunity to stop for a coffee and a bite to eat.
Our first statistics for our Mad Ride; over the first week of riding we have covered 1,863km. The bikes are averaging around 5.5L/100km which means we can get around 550km between stops which is not bad for something as un aerodynamic as our bikes, weighing in at around 290kg without the rider.
Tomorrow it is off to to a lap of the Monaco GP circuit and then head up towards Turin, Italy.
Today marked the end of the first week on our Mad Ride. We are pleased to have had a trouble free ride through to Menton, on the riviera today. Stopped off at Saint Tropez for a nice cool drink along side the Very impressive motor launches that were docked.
We are now camping and will have a rest day tomorrow as we have washing to do along with a ensuring the simple, but important things like tyre pressures and oils are checked on the bikes.
We finished the evening off at a great local restaurant. One thing we have found is how easy a beer goes down after the end of a day’s ride in 30 plus deg temps!
Now check our location page to exactly where we are and we would love to here your comments
After getting back on track this morning after yesterday’s mix up we headed off to Aix En Provance for lunch. We both feel we must have missed the good bits after hearing so many positive stories about this town. The down side of being on a bike is having to walk wearing heavy bike gear, especially when temps are around 30degC. This limits your exlporing at times.
After lunch we made our way to Marseille for a well earn cold drink along side the harbour. Marseille is a large shipping town and also heavily catering to tourists.
Weather was was perfect again however the Mitral wind was still blowing hard till later in the day making the riding harder going.
As we approached our destination for the day (Toulon) we came across the famous (well to petrol heads) Paul Richard race circuit. It was an opportunity not to be missed as the roar of engines sucked us in. As we approached the entry we got talking to an official to promptly ushered us through the gates and allowed us grand stand seats when he we explained about our Mad Ride. A bit of self promotion does help at times!
After finally making Toulon we found a simple hotel and ate out at a wonderful local place called Pizzaria Taormina for a well earned beer and Pizza.