Friday, 24 November 2017

New Flyer - Road trips

Revised the flyer template to include some of the more recent trips, a version of this usually sits on the windscreen at Stoneleigh. The map in interactive form is on the Road Trips Page.

I thought I'd bought a kit of parts to build a sports car, turns out I bought a lifestyle which re-kindled my love of the outdoors.

Friday, 17 November 2017

LED Tail lights

A little for the sake of it - but also a general effort to reduce power consumption at low revs. I especially get short on juice with all lights on and engine on tick-over - eventually I'll start to lose stable idle as the voltage drops and typically it happens at the end of a long drive in city stop/start situations.

First step - easiest step is some replacement LED tail lights. Offically marked for off road only - so I'll run a few tests until I'm comfortable running them permanently.

The P21/5W compatible bulb has no trouble with the exact same location - all round illumination and in line with the normal reflector. I purchased a red led one so shouldn't have any issues of white light bleed through.

The central ring of LEDs lights for when the main headlamps are on, all 3 rings light with the brakes.

Not scientific - but comparing LEDs on the right, and normal filaments on the left there doesn't seem to be much in it so installed on both sides. Hopefully helps my voltage/current budget into the bargain.

Headlamps are next - but thats a slightly more complex mod.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Cake Day pictures!

My birthday rather than GN13's. 
This picture was commissioned and printed as a present from my wife.

Love it!
It even has my bonnet badges, vents and wind deflector details.


Perfect spot for it in the hall.

No kick-backs to me, but if you want a copy of the above or to contact the artist - all the information can be found on RedBubble - 3pedaldriving.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

What is it like to drive a Zero?

I was discussing with someone/somewhere what it's like to drive the Zero.

On one hand its just a car, an open top car, very/too low and impractical by any measure of a transport mechanism in the 21st century.

On the other - It makes me feel like this....

The 'Maxell Man' from 80s telly - the concept of being overwhelmed by the power of moving air/music. I get it now, for me its just more fun to get this 'hold on and enjoy' experience when the seat is moving!

The more sweeping curves in the road - the singular focus on the machine, its feedback through the wheel, pedals and seat - the more enjoyment.

The freedom, the simple freedom to look in any direction and view unconstrained by a roof or fixed framing of the windscreen, as well as the freedom to take any route which happens to look more interesting at that particular moment.

Just a thought.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Vienna - best trip yet

Success!

Got back from Vienna on Tuesday 3rd October evening as planned.
Austrian and Swiss mountains the jewel of the trip - but to be honest, Germany and the Black Forest and France with its open country on the outbound and return legs - all combined to make a great experience.

This really was a road trip with a reason: a journey to/from Vienna. 
Places to visit had to be generally en-route with a little license to visit some interesting waypoints. No dawdling, but at the same time as few motorways and autobahns as possible - all A roads.

Top down all the way!

Numbers

Days: 9
Crew: out 2, return 1 (my wife flew back I didn't leave her behind!)
Countries: UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland
Mountain Passes: Grossglockner, Stelvio, Gotthard, Furka, Grimsel
Distance: ~2,546 miles round trip
Altitudes: 40m below sea level to 2,757m above
Route Plan

Souvenirs

A few souvenirs - some of which may end up on the car, I have an idea for the walking stick badges on the roll-bar diagonals, the Edelweiss badge has some family meaning too.

Car

One trusty Zero back in the garage - needs a wash!
A few items to look at, nothing failed on the drive, but something is amiss with the driver's seat runners, the heater switch illumination isn't working and front suspension/shocks don't seem to have even bounce. (all minor!)

Crew

My Wife and me on the loop south prior to the Grossglockner run,

..and one windswept but very happy driver about 20 minutes after getting home. I love mountains, I love driving this car, with it's 360ยบ views, over mountains!

More to follow - I have some video footage and photos of various waypoints to post in due course.

Video

Various clips of the major passes are in this Youtube Playlist


Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Headed home

The route home through France via Nancy (overnight), Verdun and then Calais.
Its noticeably cooler through France I guess a combination of October & being that bit further north.

Arrived at Eurotunnel station in plenty of time - although my satnav made hard work of the last bit. I've programmed the Satnav to avoid large roads/motorways etc - so a destination which is only accessible from a motorway is a sort of paradox for it.

Safely on the train - the voice messages and sign indicating I should leave my windows open half way - got that covered!

This is what a few hundred miles of French roads does - GN13 isn't pristine in any way - she's a driver not a concourse car.

Home

Arrived home late evening, parked up all in one piece. Only permanent damage is something up with the drivers seat runners: some movement that wasn't there before which I need to look in to.

Liked that one - French, German, Austrian, Italian and Swiss roads and scenery all different - all with something to offer the touring driver. A few places earmarked to re-visit too.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Lake Lungern

After Grimsel my next stop to swap out the camera SD card - stop virtually anywhere around here, chalets, mountains...


Miles behind a roadsweeper forcing me to just chill and watch the scenery, then - a chance to overtake! - but within 500m compelled to stop here and absorb the view back across lake Lungen, there is just no point trying to rush without absorbing this environment. 


Leaving the mountains now - one more stop to look back up the valley,


Headed north towards Germany then France.

Grimsel Pass 2,164m

Bright morning, found the single petrol pump in Oberwald, and headed back up the Furka road, under the bottom end of the narrow gauge railway this time to turn left and over Grimsel Pass. 


I'd seen the zig-zag of the road on the descent from Furka yesterday - but what was to come was a surprise.

Ascent

Early start means I have the road to myself - even time to pause and take some pictures without fear of getting stuck behind traffic. The stop also let me look properly at the view I could only glimpse over my shoulder while driving.

Furka road on the right, the road I'd just driven in front - the perfect mix of hairpins and wide enough road to safely hit the speed-limit.

The hotel half way up Furka just visible as a grey box on the distant mountain.

Green Rocks

At the summit, hotels and restaurants closed after the summer season and closed up or being repaired. Then round the corner - everything turns green - not the ground - the rocks!


The valley beyond contains a couple of reservoirs - again - strange green water - total opaque and still like its paint!

The road runs down, around the reservoirs then ducks down behind the dams, at one point it looks like you're going to drive right into the water!


The road doubling back beneath the dam on the left.

Beautiful Autumn Colours

Then nearer the bottom the green rocks give way to the colours of Autmn, vivid red/orange/green of foliage, my pictures cannot really capture the full feeling of this place. I wandered around for a good while just taking in the scenery.

Looking back towards the pass,

 ..and towards my onward route,


I Love this place!

Thats all for high mountain passes, my route leading north/ish now to lowlands and towards home.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Furka Pass 2,429m

Furka pass - my favourite so far!

The run in from Gotthard still in the clouds, following a nice old Porsche - black and white plates so must have been 60s - then the roads emptied, cloud cleared and just jaw dropping scenes. Start with the parking spot cut through convoluted rocks,

...then THE view, I stopped here for a while and recorded a short live sequence to Facebook, I just could not believe what I was seeing. 

My road along the right weaving down into the valley then crosses over. That is around a 1,000m drop to my hotel in Oberwald. Grimsel pass is in the distance weaving up the right hand side - that is for tomorrow!

Incredible view - I stopped here for a while and just watched those clouds ever so slowly rolling off the mountainside. A picture cannot do justice to the scene - the scale of these places has to be seen in person.

The run down relatively clear with a view around every corner.
These pictures from the bottom showing the pass - with the hotel part way down on the far mountain.

 Some narrow-gauge workings at the bottom,

The road down in the distance again - late afternoon and the cloud looks like its clearing from the top now.

Hotel Ahorni

My hotel 'Hotel Ahorni' about 10-15 minutes down the road in Oberwald, really friendly place with great food. The staff doing their best with my absence of German! I lucked out with a balcony room - views even from here fantastic.

Next door this traditional chalet, looks like it has been modernised inside.
 

Love the unfinished board lengths on the side.

This street, save the tarmac & streetlight, has probably looked the same forever!

The view from the edge of town.

Great driving day - first the rather slow ascent to Gotthard in the cloud, but then the clear run from Gotthard to Furka - and the Furka descent! Wow.

I Like Switzerland.