Shortly after we got back, my brother and I chatted about the trip, what we liked and disliked and our next trip to Mandello. 2021 will be Moto Guzziís centenary so it seems like a perfect time for another visit.
But itís going to be different next time - pandemics and finances permitting. We decided that Switzerland has some very pretty scenery but itís boring. Itís like a theme park. So weíre going to give it a miss. Nul point Suisse.
The next thing is that once we cross the channel, we wonít use any motorways. Weíll aim to cruise along at 50mph. Talking of the crossing, I am not adding half a day each way by taking the ferry to Dunkirk. Weíre going in the tunnel, anyone who doesnít like it can meet us in Calais.
So, cruising at 50 and avoiding Switzerland is going to take a little bit longer, two weeks. Although now Iím thinking that it would be nice to have a couple of days just to enjoy the scenery around Lake Como, so we might have to add a few more days.
Our route will take us across northern France and down towards Dijon, weíll spend a day visiting Chateau de Savigny-les-Beaune. The owner, a retired racing driver, has his collection of cars, motorbikes (250) and fighter jets there.The French chateau with the worlds largest private collection of warbirds
Then down past Annecy to Bourg-Saint-Maurice to climb over into Italy and down into the Aosta valley. Depending on time and weather this will either involve wiggly roads or extremely wiggly roads.
Heading towards Aosta the road goes through the tunnel where, in the opening of The Italian Job, the Muira crashes into the bulldozer and is then pushed out and into the river watched by the mafia.
If the weather is good (it will be early September after all) and we have half a day to spare then from Ivrea we can ride up to here
This is the corner where the final scene in the Italian Job was filmed - the coach hanging over the edge. Itís about 8,500 feet up, the lakes are at about 5,500 and if you look on streetview the road is narrow and there is absolutely nothing to stop anybody going over the edge.
For the return journey we'll come back through Austria, then Germany. Stopping at the Zeppelin museum at Friedricshafen and then through the Black Forest and maybe back through the Ardennes.
There will be at least three of us because my son is coming on his V7 Classic. Talking of whichÖ
It would be rude to go to the centenary celebrations and not be riding a Guzzi. My brother said that he would keep an eye out for something suitable and affordable. He found me something affordable, but Iím still not entirely convinced that itís suitable.
A V35 TT, 350cc of mighty power, or not. It will soon (I hope) be going off to a Guzzi specialist to have a thorough going over, after which I hope it will deliver something approaching its rated power.
Despite the lack of power (and 20 year old tyres) itís an absolute hoot to ride. It weighs 160kg, and has a low centre of gravity. Gearing is a little on the low side at about 10mph per 1000rpm - but at 50 thatís fine as the engine revs happily. Anything more than 60 and you become a human parachute so I wonít bother changing the gearing.