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2020 Alpine Road Trip

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OK lads, sorry to keep you in suspense :) 

As the 503 persists on the other thread I while repeat what I saved of the other post.  There seems to be a fair bit of interest - and this is good.  Don't take it the wrong way, but it also has issues.  I will try to describe...

Problem with an IB wide invite on these trips is that it turns into a massive amount of work for whoever organises it (in this case, me).  If (and I repeat, if) I open our proposed 2020 trip to a wider group then it will be a take it or leave it offer - meaning this is the date, this is the route.  We have a settled small group that has done multiple long trips together and the recipe works.  There will be some absolute non-negotiables - like you would have to buy/own a Garmin satnav in order to have the route files downloaded in every car.  And I am very open that its a driving trip with a certain expectation of pace and punctuality, which means any passengers have to be "up for it".  Otherwise it screws it up for the original group.  Our core group of roadtrippers are now very comfortable with the routine and the pace, so any newbies would have to fit in, but we are a fairly broad church.  We have been 3.2, 930, 964, 993, 987, 997TT, BMW M Roadster and will likely be 914-6 as well.

I am happy for people to register interest (and will aggregate that interest later), but for now lets add a little spicey detail.  The general outline of the trip at the moment is:

- meet in Zurich (allowing options to cannonball thru France on autoroutes or enjoy the black forest roads if time permits)
- Zurich to Lemoos (5 mountain passes incl Hahntenjoch)
- Lemoos to Salzburg (2 passes including Gerlos)
- Salzburg to Cortina (3 passes including Grossglockner)
- Cortina to St Moritz (4 passes including Stelvio)
- St Motritz to Zurich (3 passes including Albula and Klausen)

We have tried to do "reasonable" on accommodation costs which might mean staying in places near Zurich, St Moritz etc, but this is the general idea.  For this trip, I am unashamedly copying a commercially offered trip vs creating a bespoke one.  Costs work out a lot cheaper than paying a travel company this way.

I know some of the wider group showing interest and have driven with some.  Others not at all.  I am not a control freak and we are very relaxed on the road now that we all trust each other and take turns leading and following etc.  That may not be the case with newbies on day one and with increased numbers I would be more demonstrative about how things run.  Will explain more later...

Picture to wet appetite -


Edit - its 5 days of passes + get there and get back + possible day in Salzburg if desired in the middle.


Edited by Richard Bernau
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Approx 1750km plus the to/from Zurich bit.  Daily distances are circa 350 km with the shortest day being 260km and the longest 400km.  The Calais to Zurich bit is ~750km/9hrs IIRC.

We have most often gone in June as all the passes are open and you are still before peak summer traffic (2 and 4 wheels).  Its impossible to please everyone though.  You also want to avoid the grand cycling tours - so June means you are after the Giro.

What else have I missed?

- We eat well, but its wholesome rather than Michelin stars and champagne.  Evening meals are arranged in the itinerary but we each pay as we go.  In this itinerary, I can see a mountain food/fondue night, a pizza night, an Italian night etc.

- Lunch stops not generally planned, but suggested in the itinerary.

- Photo stops and coffee breaks encouraged, particularly at the top of passes.  Likewise, stops for drone photography.

- Hotels will be on the itinerary, but each person books their own and settles their own bill.  Places with decent parking preferred, but not guaranteed.

- Best to get petrol each evening and start the day full tanks.

- We have had a T-shirt made for each trip.

- We have used commercial walkie talkies, which are ace, but illegal in most of Europe even with a headset.  So whether we do that again remains to be considered.

- We hit the road at around 9am, but it depends a bit on what the route is for the day.

- Generally, avoid liquid lunches and anything that resembles Gumball type behaviour.  Respect given to cyclists, motorbikes etc.  Speed limits considered a rough guide, but be careful in Switzerland in particular.

- If we had more than say 7 cars, I would split driving into 2 groups with a dedicated leader who can then decide how they want to run things, but everyone has the same route loaded in their Garmin so the theory is that everyone is self sufficient, but people still make mistakes.

- Some coordination around tools and spares carried and its opposite of Top Gear rules, so breakdowns have meant that we stop and wait for a fix or solution.

- Routes are semi-flexible, not set in stone.  Breakdowns necessitate change and sometimes fastest route to the pool/beer means we ditch a twisty bit.

Can't think of anything else for now :) 

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I thought the walkie talkies were just banned in France? or has that extended now? Such a stupid rule, they improve safety (as we know from experience!) not detract from it. Guess they don't want us to be able to forewarn each other of hidden Gendarmes :P

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It's ludicrous, unclear, inconsistent and contradictory.  Yes, we have been warned in France and told it was ok in Spain.  However, now we have been fined in Spain and told it was like using a mobile while driving.  Arguments that it is handsfree were to no avail.  I also note that motorbikes riders use them extensively in helmet and with boom microphones - so exactly the same but seemingly not a problem.

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17 hours ago, World Citizen said:

SP72, the mountains are calling you

the hills should be alive with the sound of your engine 😀


Hello dude, I’m interested and will track progress.

I think I’m at a disadvantage though with my single (RHD) door mirrored car, driving on the RHS 👀

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We don't use mirrors - nothing comes past us....

You are actually at an advantage.  How so?  Instant throttle response + 3.5 litres of grunt = possibly the best overtaking weapon of an IB that I can think of.

:) :) 

Edited by Richard Bernau
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