The ride south, going to Como, Italy

On the first 2 day of my tour to the 19th European HOG Rally in Lugano I drove first to Luxembourg, leaving the UK through the Eurotunnel, and then on to Como, Italy, where my Chapter, the Hogsbacks, had reserved 20 rooms at a hotel.

Small groups of Hogsbacks organized their way down to Italy themselves, but as I had not much time, I rode solo the 320 and 420 mile journeys. For some, the Lugano HOG Rally was in the middle of a 2 week holiday trip, I rode down and up again in as few days as possible, I had no choice.

The weather report was fully hedged, as usual, with possible rain here and there. Did you ever hear a weather report saying that it will not rain at all? Never, no chance, so I left as usual overdressed, expecting the worst, and taking off some clothing every 100 miles.

At the end I drove in my T-shirt, I know, not the safest way, but then getting unconscious due to overheating isn’t exactly safe neither.

Some of the pictures show me driving, and they are all taken with a Hero GoPro HD camera. As I had trouble with the video sound during my first tests, video is very storage intensive and the editing is very time consuming, I selected the photo mode, which lets the camera taken 1 picture every 2 seconds.

Arriving home I had 4407 pictures on the memory chip, it took hours to go through them all and  select the best ones for editing and these posts. But t was worthwhile, I think the the quality is much better and the process is much faster then the capture of a video frame.

On a sunny day you meet many bikers on the road, and some were Harley Davidson motorcycles clearly looking like on their way to the same event I was trying to reach in Switzerland. But forget trying to find them later, with 15.000 bikes visiting Lugano on this single weekend individual nuances blur into a single mass of metal and chrome.

Antje and Marc, thank you for letting me stay with you in Luxembourg on my way south and on the return ride.

I do not regret using highways, actually I like eating miles. It may not be as picturesque as side roads, but has its merits if you want to reach a distant goal within a certain time window.

On thing I regret however, and will try never to do again, is using the 17km long Gotthard Tunnel with a motorcycle. It was like in a furnace, it got hotter and hotter, and worst, the air became non breathable and my eyes started to hurt.

Actually, you were not in a furnace, more in the exhaust muffler of a large truck.

On my ride home, I will definitively use the pass.

Once I arrived in Como, checked into the hotel, other Hogsbacks arrived, and we had good dinner… although some say the advertised tomatoes in the Calzone Pizza were hard to find.

Our Hotel, the Albergo Firenze

And during the night, 16 Harley-Davidson were safely parked in the basement, waiting for action the next day.

to be continued…

Home >> Luxembourg: 334 miles

Luxembourg >> Como: 431 miles

This is the 1st part of the 5 part report of my trip to the 19th European HOG Rally in Lugano.

Part 1: The ride south, going to Como, Italy
Part 2: Visit to HOG village in Lugano
Part 3: Ride along lake Como to the HOG Rally Lugano
Part 4: HOG Parade in Lugano
Part 5: The long ride home from HOG Rally Lugano


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