Tuesday, September 11, 2012
I had a nice breakfast at eight o'clock in the morning. Before breakfast, I had loaded my panniers and
tankbag on the bike so soon after I checked out, at about half past eight, I was on my way North.
Breakfast before the ride home
I was wearing my rain overall over my leather bike jeans and my BMW jacket over my overall and
I hoped to stay dry that way.
Unfortunately it was raining when I left an soon it started raining even harder. Well, that is the
reason I am riding home today.
It was raining when I left Pontorson
After almost two hours and 130 km I wanted to fill up again so I stopped at a cheap (Euro98 was € 1,64)
gasstation in Argences (near Caen).
Gasstation in Argences (near Caen)
It was raining cats and dogs for a few hours and I found out that my rain overall was not good enough. My
leather bike jeans were soaking wet.......
At half past twelve, I had covered another 200 km and stopped at a gasstation along the A28 in Bosc Mesnil
(between Rouen and Abbeville).
Fortunately after a few hours the rain stopped. My S3000 compact camera that I had in my jacket had
got wet and I wanted it to dry so I mounted in on the RAM mount on the handlebar to dry ( and to
take some pictures while doing that) but first I made a picture of the wet bike in a small village.
A wet bike (You don't see the wet owner)
Because of roadworks, I had to find another route and the Tomtom GPS showed me a route on a narrow
Narrow country lane
I was happy it did not rain anymore but because all my clothes below the belt were wet and my gloves were
falling apart and my hand were blue from the paint of my gloves, I did not want to go to a restaurant
anymore so I decided to push on until I was home.
The roads in Normandy and Bretagne were nice and going through some nice villages but I liked
the mountainroads in the South even more.
Through a small village
Road through the rolling hills
At about three o'clock, I filled up again at a BP station at Seclin, not far from Lille.
The last part of the highway to Lille was one big traffic jam. First I did not want to filter ( ride
between the lanes of cars) because of my wide panniers but when my engine was getting hotter
and hotter, I dicided to do it anyway and with the alarm lights blinking, I made some progress.
In Lille, traffic was a mess too. A truck that was to high for the tunnel through the center of town, had
stopped just for the tunnel entrance and blocked all other traffic to the tunnel.
It took quite some time to get through Lille, but after that, I had no real traffic jams again.
The road to Antwerp past Gent was full but riding along at a normal speed and at half past four I
was in Belgium and wanted to stretch a leg so I stopped at a parking and had some water and
Quick stop in Belgium to stretch a leg
At Antwerp, I used the toll-tunnel to avoid the traffic on the road around Antwerp and at about half
past five I arrived at my house and unloaded the bike before I parked it in the garage.
Back home, ready to put the bike in the garage
Although it was my intention to ride to Gibraltar, I changed my plans when I was in Spain because in
the time and with the budget I had, it was an endurance challenge and not a fun holiday.
I was glad I went to Barcelona, Montserrat, Andorra, Carcassonne and Mont Saint Michel. The ride from Andorra
to Carcassonne was one of the best rides I ever made in my life and this BMW is for sure the best bike
to do it with. It was really interesting and fun to visit these places.
Someday I will make that trip to Gibraltar and Tarifa but for now I am happy with the nice trip I made.