Today we planned to get from Dijon to Interlaken in Switzerland, not many motorway miles before getting on smaller roads to enjoy the scenery.
Our first problem came while in the alpine foothills, in the middle of nowhere Russ pulled over with a dead spark plug, when he removed his side panel to change the plug he noticed that his frame had cracked around the engine bolt tube. I’m sure many of the others thought the same as I did, that his trip was over, or would soon be over as it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere.
However, Russ has always been lucky with his Euro breakdowns, a few years ago his exhaust split and needed welding and low and behold two miles down the road we found a garage who welded it for him. This time though I looked around and thought there was no way he would strike lucky twice.
He strapped the frame together with a luggage strap, Curt volunteered to carry his panier bags to help reduce the weight and we set off again. To my utter amazement just over one mile later we got to a junction and on the corner was a garage, Russ went in and asked if they had a welder in his best “allo allo” French. They did and agreed to weld it if he took his petrol tank out.
Lucky Russ lol
A couple of hours and 30 Euros later we got underway again, you just couldn’t make it up!
We rode through some lovely scenery before crossing the border into Switzerland where it had started raining hard, we had planned to stop on the border and buy the swiss motorway vignette passes but due to the rain and the fact we were not on a motorway we didn’t stop. Around the next bend the road we were on turned into a motorway though so we were all now worried about getting pulled and receiving fines.
We stopped at the first services we came to but they had sold out of vignette so had to again join the motorway at risk of being fined.
Shortly after re-joining word passed down that Scotty had stopped as he left the services, those that hadn’t stopped with him carried on to the next services where he caught us back up after changing another stator.
We now all had our vignette and were legal at last.
The weather was beginning to turn for the worse, we could see the Alpine mountains covered in snow in the distance and we were traveling towards a huge thunder storm. it was quite dramatic.
I was at the front when a GTS passed me, my first thought was to chase it down but thought better of it for a minute or so until the temptation got the better of me. I told Paula to duck down and I picked up the speed to try and catch the GTS which was now a small dot in the distance. After ridding at over 70 mph for a while reality struck that I was two up carrying shit loads of luggage in a thunder storm on a motorway on the edge of the Alps so I eased off and decided to look for a bridge to park under to allow us to put our waterproofs on under cover. As I decelerated to pull over I felt the back end of the scooter try to overtake the front and immediately thought I had a puncture.
When we came to a stop I found I had broken one of the hub studs that hold the rim to the hub, the rim had opened up enough to pinch the inner tube and the tyre was low on air, very lucky escape considering the speed we had been doing.
A short while later after a hub change we all set off again and soon arrived at our hotel in Interlaken. The three problems over the day meant we arrived a lot later than planned, but the most important thing was that we were all there and that we would all start the real mountain climbing the next day.
We had a few beers and had to get the hotel to order us pizza delivery due to the restaurant at the hotel finishing for the night.
Day four track