Trip into Continental Europe for May 2009 (France, Spain, Italy...) Advice/Interested?

Hi everyone,

I’m new to this forum so my apologies if I am going about this the wrong way.

Anyway, I am planning on doing a trip in May 2009 from London into France and through to Spain. The plan for the moment is to go along the coast towards Bourdeax and Biarritz and then across the Pyrenees. I haven’t decided how much time I’ll spend in Spain yet so there’s a possibility I may drive all the way south or maybe just to Barcelona. From there I plan on heading along the southern coast of France and into Italy. After a trip throughout northern Italy the plan is up to Lake Como and then through the Alps and eventually back up towards London. The trip is still in the planning stages but I am looking at maybe camping along the way combined with stays at a hotel as well. Ideally, I’m looking to do this trip in about 3 weeks to a month.

I’m riding a 2008 Triumph Bonneville T100, and although it may not be the ideal touring bike, it’s something I have always wanted to do and I couldn’t imagine it any other way than on my Bonnie!

I’d be happy to hear of any advice that any of you may have and if you’re interested in coming along that would be great as well. I was laid off from my job in the finance sector only last week and I’ve decided to take my new found freedom to enjoy some time on my bike before starting my next job in late summer.

Sounds like it could be an amazing journey - wish I could join in with it but ah well.

No real advice though other than be sure to pack clean underwear :stuck_out_tongue:
Good luck with it :smiley:

Fair play to you mate would love the time to do something like that, maybe next year :slight_smile: only advice I can give is make sure you have european recovery and good medical insurance, take a good camera and just enjoy the ride :slight_smile:

let us know how you get on, We will be in France beginning of May and Italy end of August keep an eye out for us :slight_smile:

Well I’d be tempted but the race season coverage means it’s a no-no. But for advice, based on my solo adventure around Europe in 05 ( I’d say:

a) lay out all the proposed luggage, remembering that it’s not hard to wash clothes during the trip nor expensive to buy cheap stuff and discard it. Once you’ve made your final selection for packing, leave half of it behind.

b) Have several copies of your insurance, MOT, v5, passport and international driving licence. Distribute sets of these through your luggage in case one bag goes missing. When I went the only original item I took was my passport, the rest I left at home. Losing them en route just isn’t worth thinking about.

c) carry some reserve fuel in a specialised container - easily found in camping shops and hold a litre or two. Enough for that peace of mind, not so much to be a burden.

d) pack your luggage in order of use - the most regularly used items always on top.

e) Leave room on the bike for your jacket and possibly trousers, if it gets hot you’ll want to shed layers.

f) don’t ever think you’ll have enough bungee cords and cargo nets. Likewise cable ties, clippers and chain lube.

g) don’t plan a route too carefully. It’ll lead to stress.

h) stay locally, Europeans love bikers and you should not be afraid to take advantage. I’ve had people move their cars out of their garages to allow my bike to spend the night there instead. Avoid hotels who won’t care as much.

i) learn the words for chain, tyres, motorcycle, garage etc. You won’t need much lingo skills, but it will help if you are in need. My chain went belly up in the space of 24hrs in northern Italy and I was in desperate need, to be able to talk (or draw as I did) for directions is vital. Euro recovery would be an absolute last resort.

And of course enjoy it, potentially it’ll be the best thing you do all year.


sounds like potential for a fantastic time, especially on a classic.

did 3 weeks on an enfield bullet in india in Feb 2008.

i intend doing likewise in europe but cant get time off til june/july !

if you delay or go again then get in touch !