Newbie incompetence - sympathy and help requested

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MellowYellowDavey
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Newbie incompetence - sympathy and help requested

Post by MellowYellowDavey » Sun May 19, 2019 7:00 pm

Hi There,
Can I start by saying I'm not very savvie with computers or sat navs. It's taken me ages to even navigate and post here.
Anyway I'm a reasonably fit 60 year old fella with a 2003 Suzuki DRTZ400 fitted with town and country tyres, who would like to ride the Great Northern Route across the Pyrenees. I plan to do some roads as well unless the route can be tackled in a couple of weeks?
So that's my first question, how long does it take?
Someone at work has downloaded the trails on to my Garmin satnav, but there seem to be so many detour or special interest trails, how can I make sure I stick to the main one from east to west?
Are town and country tyres up to the job?
The main post by Simon talks about Mechanics along the route and accommodation, how do I find out where these are located?
I presume I should also take paper maps, any recommendations which maps?
Any help and assistance from someone who understands and is sympathetic towards 'dynosaurs' like me :-)
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Nico-D
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Re: Newbie incompetence - sympathy and help requested

Post by Nico-D » Sun May 19, 2019 9:50 pm

Do you want to do all the great northern route across n spain from Coustages on Fr border to Orense over in Galicia on Portugal border ? That is around 2900 km using the summer route via Andorra but not including Bardenas side trip. As to how long that will take I'll leave it to you to work out as only you know your own pace, but imho thats a lot to do in a couple of weeks if your not used to it.

As to the mechanics, places to stay etc. , they're included in the Spain TET gpx file you downloaded and installed on your device. On my Montana they're located in " waypoint manager ".

Tyres. Never heard of town and country tyres. On my DRZ I've used Mitas mc 23, 644 army special fronts, e09 rear. maxiss IT enduro, pirelli mt21....all biased to dirt use but to be honest in dry conditions any decent trail ( dual purpose ) tyre will do the job, you'll get countless opinions on tyres..don't sweat it too much.

Paper maps as you already realised are a good back up. I've always used michelin.

Hope this helps a bit. To be honest if this is your first attempt at following a track on a gps I'd take time to learn the basics of your device beforehand, they take a bit of getting used to, I didn't get one until 4 years ago and it took a couple of trips before I was fully competent with it and still make mistakes now.
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MellowYellowDavey
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Re: Newbie incompetence - sympathy and help requested

Post by MellowYellowDavey » Fri May 24, 2019 12:26 pm

Hi Nico,
Thankyou so much for taking the time to reply and the valuable insight you have given me!
I appreciate the trail is too long to do in a couple of weeks, that's why I plan to do some road, some trail. Any particular sections you can recommend doing on the dirt that are not too challenging? :P
For info. Town & Country tyres are just another name for dual purpose tyres :P
Dave
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Simon_100
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Re: Newbie incompetence - sympathy and help requested

Post by Simon_100 » Sat May 25, 2019 5:54 am

Hi there, sorry to come in so late ...

Your 'town and country' tyres will be OK s long as it's dry. If not then most trails in the Pyrenees will have sections of dense, sticky clay* that makes them impassible to anything other than serious knobblies, but these are less good in better conditions as most trails are more gravelly and rocky which wear them out quickly.

Obviously of you plan road sections - good idea, the roads in the Pyrenees are ace! - then dual purpose tyres are a plus - that's why I use Heindenau K60 Scouts! :)

For maps the Pyrenees have the Michelin Zoom series available so although the trails are marked you should be able to draw them in yourself before you set off. This makes planing on the route easier as you can envision your progress more effectively.

As Nico says, mechanics and accommodation are Waypoints on the files along with POI's. But these are by no means a definitive list, just a few personal recommendations. I wanted to find 'centres of excellence', e.g. Tremp, where there is good choice of accommodations plus mechanics, tyres, parts, etc.all within a few yards of each other, i.e. you can leave you sick, broken bike and chill while it's being fixed, e.g. waiting for parts - or for yet another Fiesta to finish! Other places for this level of service haven't materialized, but that's not to say they're not out there ...

You'll see other WP's for 'hazards' these would seem to be sections that are sensible for you to avoid given your criteria in the OP. But it's impossible to claim that the rest are OK as the condition of the trails can change overnight, including being washed away entirely!

Cheers

Simon

* this clay dries like reinforced concrete!
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MellowYellowDavey
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Re: Newbie incompetence - sympathy and help requested

Post by MellowYellowDavey » Sun May 26, 2019 6:19 pm

Hi Simon,
Thanks for your valuable input, I really appreciate all the feedback.
Sorry for my ignorance but what do you mean by 'You'll see other WP's for 'hazards' ? Do you mean some kind of warning will flash up on the sat nav indicating it may be wise to avoid a particular section?
Also forgot to ask which travel insurance company would you recommend for this kind of odyssey?
Finally do you know if there is phone signal on most of the Northern Route?
Kind Regards,
Dave
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Paul C
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Re: Newbie incompetence - sympathy and help requested

Post by Paul C » Mon May 27, 2019 12:15 pm

PM sent Dave.
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CipherF15
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Re: Newbie incompetence - sympathy and help requested

Post by CipherF15 » Mon May 27, 2019 5:17 pm

I'm in the market for a travel insurance for a motorcycle trip through Spain as well! I'll be starting from Perpignan, France, all the way south to go and visit these houses in Alicante for the company I work for; it's a business trip, but I found a way to make it fun! I know it's not a cross-country trip, but you guys are knowledgeable about insurance, so I figured I should ask and see what you'd recommend...
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Simon_100
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Re: Newbie incompetence - sympathy and help requested

Post by Simon_100 » Tue May 28, 2019 9:58 am

MellowYellowDavey wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 6:19 pm
Hi Simon,
Thanks for your valuable input, I really appreciate all the feedback.
Sorry for my ignorance but what do you mean by 'You'll see other WP's for 'hazards' ? Do you mean some kind of warning will flash up on the sat nav indicating it may be wise to avoid a particular section?
Also forgot to ask which travel insurance company would you recommend for this kind of odyssey?
Finally do you know if there is phone signal on most of the Northern Route?
Kind Regards,
Dave
Hello Dave, as I said in my post, you'll have to work out how your own satnav works, but anyway you should see all of the hazards, POI's , etc. on whatever mapping app you have on your PC, in my case Basecamp:

Image

I really have n idea whatsoever about insurance, apart form anything else I haven't lived in the UK for over twenty years but also your insurance should cover you for Europe anyway, or it did last time I had a UK policy ...

Please read my post above and blog, er phone signals!
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Tipmethewink
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Re: Newbie incompetence - sympathy and help requested

Post by Tipmethewink » Tue May 28, 2019 12:16 pm


MellowYellowDavey wrote:... which travel insurance company would you recommend for this kind of odyssey?
I've not had to put them to the test so I can't provide a review but I have an annual policy with Bemoto that seems very reasonable considering they cover exactly this sort of travel and even events (I think, need to check). https://www.bemoto.uk/blog/dirt-bike-tr ... -insurance

Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk

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mspenz
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Re: Newbie incompetence - sympathy and help requested

Post by mspenz » Thu May 30, 2019 7:12 pm

CipherF15 wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 5:17 pm
I'm in the market for a travel insurance for a motorcycle trip through Spain as well! I'll be starting from Perpignan, France, all the way south to go and visit these houses in Alicante for the company I work for; it's a business trip, but I found a way to make it fun! I know it's not a cross-country trip, but you guys are knowledgeable about insurance, so I figured I should ask and see what you'd recommend...
Hi, Try Navigator Motorcycle Gold or Silver for off road travel, Gold has higher cover and also covers routes only passable by 4x4 or similar vehicle.

I'm also heading out to travel west / east to Tremp from Bilbao and then north through France and eventually home to Scotland...2 weeks duration. I'll do what I can while travelling north but intend to use as much Spanish TET as practicable on the way to the border..need more time :handgestures-thumbup:

Mike.
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