Black Forest & Vosges Mountains Tour 13 – 19 August 2013

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The group in the Black Forest – a fabulous trip with great weather, riding & company.
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“Yet another great bike tour with Bike Normandy…initially my wife was quite apprehensive about riding pillion for 8 days on her first European tour but the result was conclusive…she loved it! Fantastic scenery, brilliant roads, great hotels with superb views, impeccable organisation and management by “Mr & Mrs Bike Normandy” the infamous John & Jen…and finally a big thanks to “Parker” who transported “Yes My Lady” and all our luggage in the Thunderbird rocket ship. See you soon”
Geoff (4 trips) & Jacqui Bristow, Kawasaki GTR 1400
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Most of the group arrive in Calais the night before…an apprehensive Jacqui…who soon becomes a real Biker Wife!
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“Another excellent and impeccably organised tour. I have been away with John & Jen twice now and have spent three long weekends at their house. If you like riding at your own pace then these are the tours for you as the group spreads out nicely and you can overtake in the middle. If you prefer to gaze at the beautiful scenery then you can happily sit at the back and watch the world go by. Routes are incredibly well planned and marked, always including the best riding roads the area can offer. Particular highlights were the B500 in the Black Forest, the Vosges Mountains and the Ardennes in Belgium. I’m already planning next year’s holiday. Comedy moment was John doing an unintentional dance when leading the ride as a wasp got into his helmet!”
Doug Lothian (5 trips), BMW C600
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We start with a pre-tour briefing at Calais…the bikes lined up at lunch stop
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“What a great week we had with Bike Normandy. As organised tour “virgins” we weren’t sure what to expect, but couldn’t have wished for anything better. Everything was…well, fantastic: the organisation, the countries, the routes, the roads, the pace, the scenery, the weather, the accommodation, the food and the company. Even the shuttle was a doddle…Thanks to Gordon & Sue for a great recommendation and hopefully (once the penny jar is full again!) we will see you again soon”
Marian & Chris Kaye, Honda Pan European 1100
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Gorgeous scenery in the Belgian Ardennes
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“Hi John & Jen, thanks for another ace trip! Fantastic quaint hotels, stunning routes, good food, good beer, good company, and as ever it was really well organised and well paced. Definitely coming back next year for my 3rd trip. Thanks for being fantastic hosts!”
Simon Bristow (2nd trip), Triumph Daytona 955i
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“Another great trip from Bike Normandy, well organised (despite Jen’s broken elbow) with some amazing new roads. Great hotels and food and lots of entertaining people (with some very poor jokes). I would give it a neufty-neuf out of a hundred!” 
Ian Butler (2nd trip), BMW R1200 GS
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Our 4* hotel in the Ardennes
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Time for a few drinks before dinner
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“Both Sue & I had a really good time. The roads were great in each country and the views in the Black Forest were to die for. We really enjoyed the welcome into Baden Baden and the view of Merlin’s Castle as we entered the town on the last night was fantastic. Really pleased that Jen was able to join us despite her injury and that Surrey got his bike going. “Parker” was a great addition to the trip. What else is there to say…great roads, great people, great times, we will be back. Thanks very much for an excellent time” 
Gordon & Sue Bishop (2nd trip), Moto Guzzi Breva 1100
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Dinner our first night…Surrey, Geoff K and Brian – a.k.a. “Trigger”
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Jacqui with Barry…Sue & Ron opposite Ian & Pete
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“Thank you both for a truly great week. Bruce and I are agreed, by far the best biking week we have had. I am working on him to book a trip next year! [since booked on Monte Carlo 2014!]
Peter Richards (3rd trip), Triumph Explorer
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“Thanks again to you both for another wonderful biking experience. The trip obviously reflects all the hours of research and hard work that goes into the planning and execution of the tour. Very well done…trust we will be biking together again soon”
Bruce Hay (2nd trip), BMW R1200RT
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“Parker” takes van duty very seriously even bringing the keys along to dinner!  Helen & John
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Early morning mist in the valley…always a morning briefing before we set off
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This is how it all started…Thunderbird 1, 2, 3 or 4?  No – it has to be “Parker”, Lady Penelope’s chauffeur!
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“Dear Mi Lady & John! Thank you for a wonderful week. The group was great, the hotels were good and the company in the van could not have been better. As we say in Essex “Wot a larf we did ‘av”. I was really honoured and pleased that I was able to accompany you all and hope to see you soon. Thanks again”
Paul Poulton (4th trip – though only this one as chauffeur!) forever to be known now as “Parker”
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Picturesque coffee stops…we always regroup before a stretch of motorway and tell you which exit to take
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Sue & Ron…Surrey with Marian & Chris
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“Just thought we would add to the glowing remarks made to you two. We have read them and think that ALL of them are more than justified. Anyway, here are ours…even without Jen in the saddle to keep you John, on the straight & narrow, you did it again…how do you do it? Terrific roads, terrific hotels…why does not every Brit biker ride with Bike Normandy? Everything is sorted by you two. All you need to do is put petrol in and follow the bike in front. Even the system of marking the junctions is so good, so easy. If you are reading this and have not ridden with John & Jen before, stop reading this and e-mail them. You will NOT be disappointed. The only problem you will have is deciding which trip to go on next”
Ron & Sue Hutchinson (4th trip), Yamaha FJR 1300
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Gordon & Sue…Doug tries practicing his German on the locals
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Our hotel in Baden Baden with local accordion player
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Welcome beers on our arrival…Geoff & Jacqui our “back-markers” on this tour
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The bikes parked up in Baden Baden…Breakfast in the pretty cafe opposite
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Morning briefing before we fill up at the start of the famous B500
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Stunning roads…Geoff waves Simon through
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We regroup after a section of the B500
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The prettiest coffee stop
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Iced coffees all round…Simon can’t resist a sundae as well!
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Our next stop, the largest cuckoo clock in the World!
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Our hotel for two nights in the Southern Black Forest
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Ron & Sue…Geoff & Jacqui
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Trigger & Geoff K…Marian & Chris
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Drinks before dinner…Doug, Simon & Parker…Trigger arrives with the beers!
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Warm enough for dinner outside…Helen & John…Sue & Gordon, Marian & Chris
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Jacqui & Geoff…Barry, Surrey, Trigger, Geoff K & Ian
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Doug, Craig, Simon & Parker…Ron, Peter, Bruce & Sue
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A free day to wander round the town, take a boat trip, have a haircut (Jen!) or join the ride-out
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Doug with his trademark parasol (see Monte Carlo 2012!)…Ron & Sue at the High Rhine Waterfalls
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Bruce & Peter…Sue & Gordon
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A family affair – Geoff, Jacqui & son Simon…Craig, Trigger & Doug
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Barry…Marian & Chris
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Doug…Surrey
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Relax with a few drinks
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Parker dares to interrupt Mi Lord!…Note how chilled-out Sue becomes…
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We head out of Germany passing underneath a ski-run!
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There’s always a marker pointing the way (that is unless it’s Geoff K!!)
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Note where Gordon’s hands are !!!
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Plenty of photo opportunities
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The bikes get ready to roll…leaving the Black Forest behind
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Back-markers Geoff & Jacqui
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Another picturesque coffee stop where we spot Doug’s next scooter!
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What a choice! Peter just can’t decide which gateau to have!   Marian & Chris enjoying their cakes
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Sue & Gordon…Barry
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Trigger…Geoff K
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Heading into the Vosges Mountains
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At the top of the Col the brave ones take the ski lift to then descend in toboggans (Doug decided to go too!)
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Our own Marco Marquez! Geoff (with bodyguards in tow!) manages to get his elbow down!!
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Ian’s BMW in need of some oil…The view in the Vosges Mountains
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The group in the Vosges Mountains – sorry Ian, yet another group photo!
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Jacqui & Geoff with the view in the Vosges
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Hairpins & twisties heading out of the Vosges
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Drinks in Epinal
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At the fist (and only) drop of rain Surrey dons his 1980′s shell suit!  You can’t miss Simon either!
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FAB 1 – A brilliant surprise! Parker turns the van into Lady Penelope’s Rolls Royce!
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Parker with Mi Lady Jen…Peter, a.k.a. “Phil Tufnell” with John
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Drinks before dinner at Pierrefonds…Doug tells his “Parker” joke
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Dinner in two minutes! Trigger & Geoff K try to down it in one…
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Only one succeeds!
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Dinner our last night in Pierrefonds
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On behalf of all the group, Peter thanks Parker for his services! Then the jokes start – Parker kicks off the entertainment
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Even with Surrey’s support, Jen can’t help cracking up!
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Sorry about the blurred photo Gordon!
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Trigger’s next followed by Geoff B
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Then Ian and “Phil Tufnell”
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John wants to know “ith it dithco or wrock & wroll?”     Simon takes to the stage
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Followed by Craig and Barry
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Sue’s had a great holiday…
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Our hotel in Pierrefonds
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The fabulous view from our hotel
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Our last stop, the 1916 War Museum at Albert
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Surrey’s fireblade finally gives up the ghost & finishes the tour in the back of the van!
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Parker is distraught at having to go home!
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The End
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A FAB tour, this has to rate as one of our best thanks to a fantastic group of people who made it such fun. Special thanks to Paul Poulton – whom everyone now knows as “Parker” – who dropped everything with just one day’s notice to drive the luggage van and look after “Mi Lady” Jen. We look forward to seeing many of you again on future tours. Regards to all, John & Jen.