June 20, 2024

Chapter 8 – trying to get away for a day

August 2023

I had a plan to get away for a few days with the bike and my (new) tent. Originally, the plan was to leave on my first holiday day but I was so exhausted by the last few weeks that I decided it would be better to have two days’ recovery then to do a short trip with one overnight. So having got various jobs and shopping done at home I packed up my stuff and got it all on the bike and set off.

I decided to go for a quick trip down to Glurns/Glorenza in Alto Adige / Südtirol in northern Italy:

I chose to do a different route from Kempten:

The route started by going south from Kempten down the B19 to Fischen and then to turn right onto the smaller road there towards Balderschwang. This is a fun but also “hairy” road with a pass that catches you out at least once each way so be careful! The route then continues on into Austria going into Vorarlberg and down to Dornbirn via the quietish route. So far so good, it was about here that my power supply mounting to the navigation device failed so I did the rest by memory resp. guesswork. Dropping down into the valley and beyond I went through Dornbirn which was larger than I expected and then did some miles on the autobahn towards Innsbruck.

It was here than I noticed a small acively-dripping pool of oil under the left cylinder… my left boot had also had a free waterproofing upgrade and there were traces of oil down the left side of the bike and on the aluminium bin (left-side). The oil-warning light hadn’t been on and by the looks of things it appeared to be a recent development.

This was the first technical issue with the bike so far and this is always a bit of a test moment for rider (and, of course, the bike). It’s a bit of a “faith-and-trust moment” and all sorts of things can spill out in situations like these. Fortunately, as a long time Guzzi owner I have a whole list of events from the past in which parts fell off, cables tore, cylinders stopped firing et cetera and I always made it back home. Thus, I have a general “positivity-in-adversity” attitude with Guzzi’s.

Still, I was standing next to the bike with a slow drip-drip-drip out of the left cylinder so a decision had to be made. Continue with risk of getting stuck a long way from home or find a shortish way back so that I could end the day with the bike in the garage… I decided to go for the “nice route back but make it home today” variant.

This is why the route goes up around the back of Oberstdorf via the 198 in Austria through Lech and Warth and it is quite a beautiful route and well worth doing on its own. Interesting roofed roads and then come down through Lech and slowly down further to the river of the same name and up following its course. Really nice roads for Guzzi’s – i.e. plenty of long sweepers.

“And eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.”

Hunter S. Thompson

A mighty downpour cooled me down but the Guzzi rumbled on back in Germany and got me back to Kempten… so now time to call my fovourite Guzzi garage and see about an appointment for repairs. It’s looking like the “cheap” valve-cover gasket and not the expensive one below but needs a look. When the tank is off we can also revise the wiring for the Zumo-holder.

Anyway, I’m off with the two smaller kids (OK, they’re not actually that small anymore but the name has sort of stuck) for a week or so to Croatia which should be great. I will update this page when I get back with a few details and photos.

Update: am back from a lovely few days in Croatia and Slovenia with the two (smaller) kids. We spent some time near Zadar on the island of Pag (Otok Pag) which was great but also really hot weather-wise. We all decided that we’d like to get back to Croatia and to see more of it 🙂 .

I also had some success with getting my Garmin navigator to work with traffic info and without Google!! More here for those interested in that sort of thing:

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2wheels, adventure, ecology, dad and husband, green, news, tech-fan, trauma- and orthopod, engineer and human. https://mstdn.social/@MarkDW

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