THE IRON SIDE RIDE 2018-Day 02-Part 1

“FORMER LINES – PART 1”

*Scratch*, *scratch*, *scratch*, …, …, *plonnng* *crinkle* *crinkle*
… that are just a few noises which you can hear while lying in a tent, trying to sleep. Often fine needles, leaves or branches from a tree falling down onto the tent sheet, or some insects are rummaging around make this noises.
During the first camping night from the Iron Curtain Ride a mouse or something similar “big” found its way underneath the groundsheet of my tent and caused an uncommon annoying noise. Normally I’m not the person which is paying attention to these noises, but this time that thing had stamina and came back again a few times during the first camping night of this ride. Sadly I wasn’t able to get this little disturber. -_-

But now enough of this, here’s the first part of the ride report of the second day of the Iron Side Ride 2018 …

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THE IRON SIDE RIDE 2018-Day 00

“THE UNDERTAKING”

During one of my day rides in 2017 I was following a short part of the Iron Curtain in eastern Austria. There I got the idea that it would be interesting to plan a ride along this former border, which found its end 1989, when the USSR began to fall apart.
So the plan for the Iron Side Ride 2018 was made, which followed the remnants of this former, continent dividing and human made continental breach. Here’s the story behind this undertaking …

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THE LATE SPRING RIDE 2018-Day 04

“BACK”

Plans are always good, but most of the time they didn’t work. This ride showed me that fact well. First the accident of my riding and support buddy, second: due to the heavy winter remaining and route blocking snow in Friuli’s heights and here on the last day of the ride: the real bad weather. But hey! No reason for wailing around –> When things go wrong the adventure starts and each step out of the comfort zone is gaining the riders abilities.

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THE LATE SPRING RIDE 2018-Day 02/1

“THE INCIDENT”

The plan was to ride with a buddy some Slovenian Gravel, the Mangart Pass Road, two Italian high alpine connection trails and parts of the Slovenian Trans Euro Trail aka TET. The thing with plans is that sometimes they aren’t working as estimated.
The Late Spring Ride 2018 showed me well that sometimes a whole plan can go awry … .

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THE LATE SPRING RIDE 2018-Day 01

“LATE START”

Normally I start my tours in the early morning and ride the whole day from short after dusk til nearly dawn.
Due to a big birthday party of a family member, a friend of mine and I started this tour just in the late afternoon this day.
So lets start with the ride report no.1 of this short adventure …

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THE LATE SPRING RIDE 2018-Day 00

“THE IDEA”

This is the ride report of another short adventure, which a good friend of mine and I undertook in the late spring of the year 2018 with our 690tys.
With the beginning of 2018 I started to plan a new short adventure with its focus within the alpine areas around north-eastern Italy and western Slovenia. Especially the part in Slovenia was interesting due to some parts of the Trans European Trail have been included in this plan. Here’s a short overview of the planned route

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2017-THE LONG WEEKEND RIDE IN THE ALPS-DAY 04

“HOMEWARDS”

Each trip finally find its end. And so did the “Long Weekend Trip in the Alps” on the riding day number four.
Staying the last night in my homeland was nice. It started with the first views of the familiar surrounding, then the parental home, the good food and last but not least the most important point: The great sleep. I don’t know why but nearly nowhere else I sleep that well. Strange. So the last day of this ride began quite well rested …

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2017-THE LONG WEEKEND RIDE IN THE ALPS-DAY 03

“TIROL”

During my rides I often try to implement something special. On day number three of “The Long Weekend Ride in the Alps” my black beauty and I aimed for the highest point of this trip – another cable car peak station in Tirol, which is known from one of the latest James Bond movies. Besides an old construction track there is no official road leading up to this station, but that shouldn’t be a problem with a proper dual-sport-adventure-motorcycle. Here’s the story about the whole day and climbing with a motorcycle to one of the highest vehicle-reachable points in the Austrian Alps.

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2017-THE LONG WEEKEND RIDE IN THE ALPS-DAY 02/2

“UPWARDS – PART 2 of 2”

This ride report here is the second part of the second day of “The Long Weekend Ride in the Alps”!
For those of you which already know the first part: Continue reading here on this page.
For all other people: The first part of this ride report you’ll find at …

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2017-THE LONG WEEKEND RIDE IN THE ALPS-DAY 02/1

“UPWARDS – PART 1 of 2”

“Overwhelming!”

There is not much more to say about this idea.
The second day of the “The Long Weekend Ride in the Alps” was a real eyeopener. It showed pretty well what is possible in over regulated Austria apart from well known tourism sights and often dense crowded tourism areas.

Have a look …

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2017-THE LONG WEEKEND RIDE IN THE ALPS-DAY 01

“START”

For a little breakout of the everyday life I like it to go for a ride. Sometimes smaller ones – mostly for a whole day – but sometimes also for bigger ones – like this ride here.
The most important thing for me about such rides is to leave behind the usual annoying stuff and do something exiting, challenging and uncertain. In my opinion that is what makes life worth living. This ride is such a little escape from my daily routine …

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2017-THE LONG WEEKEND RIDE IN THE ALPS-DAY 00

THE PLAN

In May/June 2017 I’ve done a big dual-adventure-ride along the Carpathian and Balkan Region for ten days and nearly 5000km or 3100mi. Only two months later the desire for another little adventure was again itching.
It wasn’t long before the next ride was planned. On a long weekend at the end of August 2017 I took the opportunity and went with my trusty black beauty Чернотa right into the Austrian- and a short piece of the Northern Italian-Alps.

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 10

“HOME”

The last day of the Project Carpathian Balkan was a short one. To my hometown Vienna only a few km have been left over.
On one hand side I was happy that the trip found on this day its end. I was pushing hard each day of this tour to make some mileage and was a bit exhausted because of that; on the other hand I was looking forward to coming back to my beloved ones. As often in life there are two sides on the same coin. If I hadn’t pushed so hard the last days, I won’t be now so close at home … . Interesting thoughts! But hey, I’m not the homesick guy! Believe me! ^_^

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 09

“NORTHWARDS”

Only two riding days are left until this trip – “The Project Carpathian Balkan” – is over. Two days earlier than planned. Memo to me: Next time ride and hurry less! But I know myself and I don’t think that I will take a slower pace in the future. That’s not related to my being, which wants to use the given time properly.
So my exhausting riding style, with a high amount of mileage each day will likely stay with me. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. Overall I really like to see the landscape passing by, sitting on the back of my trusty black beauty. The time is flying away …

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 08

“THE ADRIATIC COAST”

Spending a few days out only equipped with a tent and the stuff which is stow-able on a dual sport motorcycle always make me wondering about how less gear is needed for a trip like this. We are living in a world of things. In this world we are often defining our self through these things, which seems somehow stupid. Isn’t it? Whatever: After a long ride on the day before through the enduro paradise Albania, this day was a relaxing ride along nice coastal scenery.

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 07

“ALBANIA”

​Albania is a great country. Especially for little adventure riders like me, which were trying to find the small adventure with their motorcycle out there. But no planned remote trips at this journey for me and Чернотa.

Because I’ve already done parts of Macedonia and Albania a few years before, I used both countries on this trip just for transit. Few people would now think that’s sad, but I don’t think that it is. Due to the usage of mostly back country roads also a transit ride through Albania has its highlights. Trust me, you will find them further down below … ^_^

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 06

“BULGARIA”

Memo to me: Don’t use a Swiss knife with a foldable blade (and no mechanical catch) for drilling holes into the sturdy fabric of a soft luggage bag. While doing this the day before to repair the bag, I put too much pressure on the knife to get a hole in it. Due to a bad move while drilling, the knife collapsed while my hand was tightly closed around it’s handle. So my right index finger got cut between the collapsing blade and the handle. Instantly I’ve stretched quick the instantly heavily bleeding finger above my head. In this position I ran to the motorcycle for the first aid kit. With it, some additional plasters from the luggage and some electrical tape I made a working pressure bandage for the incoming night …

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 05

STRATEGICA

​While planning the Project-Carpathian-Balkan-Tour I wasn’t sure how much gravel tracks I should do per day. So I set the focus on some for me important points along the planned route and tried to make a well-balanced mix of on- and off-road riding per day.
This day my personal highlight was surely the “Strategica”. When I first read about it on the internet, this about 50km or 30mi long hilly off road track amazed me. So it was instantly added to my plan for the PCB-route.
Finally, on this riding day I put the so called “Strategica” to the test …

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 04

“ROMANIA”

Due to the little odyssey the day before (closed border, big detour, corrupt police) I was a bit behind my schedule. But day four has been an easy on, less gravel, surprisingly good asphalt and many good views were offered.
The last time before this trip I was in the year 2013 in Romania. Now, 4 years later I have to say the streets overall got better. It also looked for me like the people have more money. Not comparable with the wealthy west but the progress was clearly noticeable. Keep it up!
Now, enough of this blabla! Let’s start into this beauty of a riding day:

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 03

“UKRAINE”

Memo to me and all the other wild campers out there: When crawling plastered into the tent, don´t forget to snap off grass stems which could get in contact with the tent. Because of that I was held awake surely for about 30 minutes.
The wind was gently pushing grass stems to the outer hull of the tent. The noise in the tent sounded like a animal which was rummaging around in the close surrounding. It took some time until I was able to find out that the grass stems are the source of the noise. Besides that, I slept well, which was necessary: The incoming day in the Ukraine was a lot more exciting than expected …

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 02

EASTWARDS

​Somewhere in Slovakia – it´s short before midnight:
I am wrapped in my sleeping bag and was awoken by the sound of a distant engine noise. It seemed to get louder. Suddenly I see light beams touching the tent!!! o_O
At latest now I am alerted. The engine noise is coming closer. The light beam is now permanently pointing at the tent. The noise is now so close to the tent that the vibrations of the big diesel engine where clearly noticeable. Probably a big off road vehicle, I am not sure. I thinking to myself: “WTF is happening now here in the middle of Slovakia’s nowhere?” I slowly open the zip of the tent door and look directly into the bright light of a flash light …

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 01

“LET’S START!”

As always before such a trip, I was a bit nervous the night before. I was thinking about answers to questions, which i can´t know before i finished the planned trip. Will everything go well? Where would I stay over the night? Is the planned route doable alone? Do you have packed all the things which are necessary? So why I think about it again and again and destroy therefore the refreshing night rest before the incoming adventure? I don´t know … .
The only thing I know is that there will be some nights during the trip, where I surely will sleep like a stone, due to the exciting incoming adventures out there. So let´s start!

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 00

“THE IDEA”

In the winter time from 2016 to 17 I was thinking about a longer journey with Чернотa. In the summer 2016 I already did a nice trip to the 5 highest legal ridable points of the Alps (Col de Sommeiler, Col de la Bonette, Col de Ilseran, Stelvio and Col de Agnel). That trip was about 3500km / 2200mi long mostly on well built streets. Loads of curves, nice wild camping, but a less amount of gravel is a short summary of this trip. In 2017 I intended to do some more challenging. After a few glances at the terrain maps the next adventure quickly was found. Start and ending in Austria with a few assorted off road passages:

Continue reading 2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 00