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Travels and motorcycles of Sylvia Stuurman

 

BMW R1100GS stuck in the mud
Stuck in the Yorkshire Moors, UK

The site of Sylvia Stuurman is about motorcycles, traveling and birds. Here, you find links to the individual pages.

Er is een -> nl  Nederlandse versie nl van deze pagina.

Travelogues

Here, you find an overview of my travel stories.
Most of them are illustrated with photographs, and most of them are motorcycle travel stories.

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USA

Being a European, entering the USA for the first time is a strange sensation: everything is different, and at the same time, caused by movies, books and tv, it feels like you have known it all your life.
It's an ideal country for travelers: it's very easy to get involved in a conversation (not only because of the language), and there are enormous supermarkets everywhere, with everything you can imagine, and very diverse.

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New York

In july 2000, Ernst, Wouter, Karin, Pieter and me stayed one week in Manhattan. Ernst got ill, but all the same, we have been to the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Central Park and Coney Island, and have roamed through Manhattan.
On this page, you find some of the highlights.

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Utah

In july and august 2000, Wouter, Karin, Pieter, Ernst and me went to the US. After a first week in New York, we flew to Las Vegas, and drove to Zion.
We camped at the rim of the Grand Canyon, and finally got into Bryce Canyon.

To  Utah...

 

Four Corners

Leaving Bryce, we reached the Valley of the Gods, the starting point for the Four Corners Area.
Like I had expected, it was hard to really get a feeling for how life is, here, but it proved to be harder and more complicated than I thought. In fact, you enter a third world country; the sour history of this place comes to the surface, and is more complicated than I had learned in history books.
We needed to read more about this area, and come back later.

To  Four Corners...

 

New Mexico

From the Four Corners area, we drove to Santa Fe (and visited the Bradbury Science Museum), were we spent a few days in the beautiful La Fonda hotel.

After that, we drove to Albuquerque, Cloudcroft and Columbus, and admired the landscape and the ghosttowns that we drove through. On this page, you will find the highlights of this trip.

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Arizona

From Columbus, New Mexico, we drove into the southern eastern part of Arizona, where we enjoyed the valleys, the desert, and Tucson.

Arizona is a very diverse state, and it is my personal favourite one.

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Texas

In February 1999, I was asked to attend a conference in San Antonio, Texas. I am very grateful to the program committee that they chose San Antonio, because, as you will see, I fell in love with Texas.
We drove through Hill Country, and enjoyed the Big Bend area.

To  Texas...

 

Florida

In November 1998, I was asked to attend a conference in Orlando, Florida. We discovered Florida on a rented Harley Davidson.
Florida proved to be a great bird country.

To  Florida...

 

Spain

Spain is a very diverse and big country. There are landsapes that you don't associate with Europe: deserts, canyons.
When you keep away from the coast, it's empty, and you often will have the road for you alone. That road gets you often through the many mountains of Spain, or over the dry meseta, from where you will descend unexpected into a canyon.
The cities of Spain show souvenirs of history, in the form of castles, Moorish buildings, or churches and cathedrals.
The people of Spain are as diverse as the landscape, but wherever you are, you will be welcomed when you try to speak some Spanish, and you will eat and drink deliciously.
In short, Spain is a country that never fails to impress.

To  Spain...

 

Biskaia

To  Biskaia...

 

Andalucia

To  Andalucia...

 

Ronda

To  Ronda...

 

Bilbao

To  Bilbao...

 

SW Spain

To  SW Spain...

 

Special Hotels

On our page on Spain, we have described the possibilities for accommodation in Spain in general; on this page, we suggest specific places where to spend the night in Spain.

First, we show you some of the places we found especially worthwhile during our trips to Spain. You also find links to advertising hotels.

Of each place, we give you a short description of the rooms, the restaurant, the surroundings, and a map. For each place where we did spend the night ourselves, you will also find a page where we give you a review.

This photo shows the Monasterio de Valvanera, where you can sleep. There are many unique places to sleep in Spain!

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United Kingdom

Everything is different, at the other side of the North Sea. That excentric habit of riding at the wrong side of the road, to queue without pushing people aside, to celebrate everything old...
The nicest aspect is that it makes a great motorcycle country: narrow roads everywhere, many hills and mountains, and people who not only love motorcycles and cars, but also are very good drivers. Of course, the English way: always a gentleman...

To  United Kingdom...

 

Exmoor

To  Exmoor...

 

Greenlaning

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Italy

I've always had a hate-love affair with Italy: the food is delicious, the people are great to watch (a very important aspect), there is plenty idyllic mountaineous landscape, there isn't another country on earth where you can find as many historical buildings together as in Italy, but on the other hand, it's crowded in many places, it's a rather expensive country, and, when you are blonde, Italians can become intrusive in a very unpleasant way. However, all in all, it's a great motorcycle country, if possible on an Italian bike, of course.

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Tuscany

In the end of may, beginning of june 2001, Ernst and me rode from the Ardeche, through the French Alps, to Tuscany, where I had to attend a working group meeting for my work, in San Miniato.
The Alps are fantastic during that time of the year (just open or still closed, with plenty of snow), the Appennines are a real motorcyclists area, and Tuscany has, I must say, very much that is very beautiful.

To  Tuscany...

 

Bimota

In may, 2000, we rode up and down towards Rimini, Italy, in order to have Bimota check the Mantra. The Mantra showed severe jittering when braking. Ernst didn't take many photographs during the trip itself, so I did put photographs of the Bimota factory throuhgout the page.
A beautiful, small factory: I was very sorry when I heard that it would be closed. Fortunately, at the end, a buyer has been found, so the factory is functioning again. Anyway, we were very lucky to have been there, that's for sure.

To  Bimota...

 

France

In France, there are still many people who love driving, and besides, it's just a beautiful country. Maybe the French Alps are the most beautiful part of the Alps, and France has many regions that are worth a vacation.
The only thing is that it's such a big country when you are traveling to Spain...

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Ardeche

In may 2001, we spent a few days in the Ardeche, camping in the gardens of a friend, with some fellow motorcycle riders. The Ardeche offers many great road for motorcycling.

To  Ardeche...

 

Alsace

In July 1999, we spent a few days in the French Alsace: the Vosges, after a short trip to Germany (Trier). Cosy hotels, very good food, and above all: a great variety of roads, with the Route des Cretes as the road of all roads.

To  Alsace...

 

Scandinavia

Scandinavia is vast of course, and we only saw small peices of it.
Here you find a view on how pleasant Sweden is for motorcyclists, and how Denmark was for us.

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Denmark

At the end of March '98, Ernst and me decided to have a holiday, on the PP. We had only 5 days.
Legoland in Denmark seemed a nice goal (maybe we could see the new robot-Lego).

To  Denmark...

 

Sweden

This was my very first motorcycle trip. I went on my own, on my (brand new) Suzuki VX800. Sweden is a wonderfull country: it was a very good choice.

To  Sweden...

 

Eastern Europe

The eastern part of Europe is part of the EU, nowadays. I can't imagine a better place to see that Europe stands for variety.
Slovakia has a bustling energy: everywhere, you see houses made into shops and restaurants. And it has a beautiful nature. Hungary is champion in delicious food and wine; the country is flat for the most part, but as a compensation, birds like it a lot.
Romania is a country with which we fell in love, and I think every motorcycle rider will feel the same, once having ridden there. It is incredibly beautiful, with completely preserved Middle-age towns, many beautiful mountaineous regions, and a landscape, formed by farmers, on a small s cale, that has a loveliness that you won't find anywhere else.

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Poland

In the beginning of September, 1997, I had to be in Berlin anyway, so Ernst and me decided to go together, on my good old loyal Bumble Bee. This plan didn't succeed entirely, because Ernst's PC caused problems (as his PC always does), and he had to finish a booklet for his Baggerraggerrij (as he always has), so I left by plane to Berlin, and Ernst would follow the next day.

After a while, he did appear, and together we rode through Poland and Slovakia.

To  Poland...

 

Middle Europe

Germany, like France, is not only a lovely country to ride (and not only on the Autobahn!), when you're on your way to for instance Italy, but it's also, like France, a great goal for a journy on itself.
The roads are very good, there are many hilly or mountainous regions, there are many places that are not crowded at all, you can eat and drink deliciously, and the Germans are much nicer than the (Dutch) prejudices say.
Austria and Switzerland don't need an introduction, with their Alps!

To  Middle Europe...

 

Intermot and Alps

In september 2004, we decided to visit the Intermot in München, Germany.
And when you're nearby, you might just as well ride on to the Alps. Our friend Pim happens to live in Switserland, and we never visited him over there, so it was clear that those Alps would be the Swiss Alps.

To  Intermot and Alps...

 

Mecklenburg

In 1996, I visited Mecklenburg Vorpommern, looking for White-tailed Eagles. We still did encounter many remnants of the communistic period.

To  Mecklenburg...

 

the Alps

For motorcycle riders, the Alps are probably the most beautiful mountain range to be found in this world, and from where we live, they're just around the corner!
On these pages, you find some stories that are situated in the Alps, a page on books covering the Alps, and a description of the passes where we made photographs.

To  the Alps...

 

Hairpins

My first motorcycle trip with a lot of hairpins took place in April 1996, in the French Vosges and the Swiss Jura (the Alps were still covered with snow). I was on my BMW R1100GS.
The second one was in August 1996, right after I -> lost my keys, when I rode some real Alpine passes: the Furka, the Nufenen, the old Gotthard, the Susten, and some smaller ones.
Because these were my first hairpin-experiences, I learned a lot!

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Switzerland

In November 1994, one of my brothers moved to Basel in Switzerland, and this event was a nice excuse to plan a motorcycle trip (with free bed and breakfast in Basel). My motorcycle was a Suzuki VX800.
I searched for some green crinkly roads on the map, to make this a real motorcycle trip instead of spending hours on the Autobahn. There were some stretches of Dutch highway and Autobahn in between.

To  Switzerland...

 

Keys

What happens when you loose your only set of motorcycle keys in Switzerland?

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Matterhorn

A hiking trip near the Matterhorn

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Motorcycle pages

Here, you find an overview of the motorcycle and riding pages.
There are tips for motorcycle riders, there is information about the (BMW) GS and other motorcycles, there are adventure stories, and there are links to interesting sites.

To  Motorcycle pages...

 

Adventures

When riding motorcycle, things don't always turn out the way you expect: adventures belong to motorcycle riding.
Unfortunately, going down from time to time also seems to belong. Here you find my adventures.

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Collision

In juli 2005, an oncoming car decided to steer to the left, at the moment that my front wheel was next to his car. I'd never thought something like that would ever happen to me, but it did: I was hit, and thought I would die. That didn't happen, and I recovered reasonably well, but is was and will always be a far-reaching event.

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Hechlingen

In November 1997, I visited the BMW enduro-course in Hechlingen, Germany, together with Roland, Pim, and Ernst. The course is organised by Richard Schalber. We hired BMW R11GSses at the site (as you will see below, this is recommended because of several reasons).
Our instructors were Gregor (for the advanced enduro riders: Ernst) and Winfried (for the beginners: Roland, Pim and me).
Most fellow-riders rode on BMW R11GSses; a few had hired an F650, and several advanced riders did it on XR's (if I remember correctly). At the end of the course, I was riding the BMW R80 Basic which you see here.
Below, I will summarize what we learned, and I will explain the modifications on the Beemers. (Oh, and the pictures you see are from Pim).

To  Hechlingen...

 

BMW R1100GS

I did own (and still own two) several BMW Gsses. It's simply the best allround motorcycle you can find.
Here are portraits of the GSses, and experiences with tires.

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the BMW R1200GS

Because the Roadrunner was getting old (300.000 km on the clocks), and especially because I thought the R1200 would be perfect, I decided to buy a BMW R1200GS. On paper, it seemd the ideal bike. Here my review.

To  the BMW R1200GS...

 

the Roadrunner

The roadrunner is my third R1100GS, and I still own and ride it.
It has almost 300.000 kilometers under its wheels, and it's still alive and kicking. The roadrunner proves that the R1100GS is just the best motorcycle overall imaginable.

To  the Roadrunner...

 

the R3B

The R3B is the first R1100GS that I owned. It is not original at all: I once crashed it, it was declared total-loss, and it got a new life under the hands of Ernst.
It has become a very special BMW R1100GS.

To  the R3B...

 

the Pink Panther

The Pink Panther is my second R1100GS, an anniversary model.
We didn't relate: it was much slower than my first, and the gearbox kept giving false neutrals.
I traded it in (for a Bimota Mantra) after half a year.

To  the Pink Panther...

 

R1100GS tires

I did not use every tire which is available for the R1100GS, but have experience with some of them. Here is a review of the tires I used.

To  R1100GS tires...

 

Yamaha Tricker

I bought the Yamaha Tricker when I tried to get back in the saddle again after my -> severe motorcycle accident. The Tricker is light, and very easy to ride.
I have got so far that I have bought a -> Derbi Mulhacen, but I decided that the Tricker will not be a temporary motorcycle: I will keep him. It is much fun to ride him on small roads, and it is very easy to ride beside the road as well.

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Yamaha Tricker

After my ->  accident, I had to find a way to get used to the traffic again, as soon as possible. The Yamaha Tricker is a very light, low 250cc motorcycle, and is very much fun to ride as well.

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Derbi Mulhacen

After my -> severe motorcycle accident, riding my BMW R1100GS appeared to have become too difficult. It's too heavy and high for my now stiff joints.

I saw the Derbi Mulhacen for the first time as a prototype, and was very pleased to see him almost unchanged in production. I bought one as a replacement for the BMW.

Here are pages with information and experiences.

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Getting acquainted: Derbi Mulhacen

I saw the Derbi Mulhacen for the first time as a prototype on the ->Intermot. I was smitten. The prototype has come into production, and has stayed almost as beautiful as the prototype. I have made a test ride, and it rides superbly. I did buy one in spring, 2007.

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Ride report: Derbi Mulhacen

In march 2007, I bought the Derbi Mulhacen, a modern Scrambler. At this moment, the Derbi Mulhacen is still rarely seen on the street.

It is a motorcycle which is manufactured with high quality components, and with a very lively engine (the same angine as is used in the Yamaha XT660).

Here are my impressions during the first and subsequent rides: a rider report.

To  Ride report: Derbi Mulhacen...

 

Other Motorcycles

After my first motorcycle, the R1100GS has always been my "main motorcycle" .
Here are portraits of other motorcycles that I own or did own.

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Bimota Mantra

The Bimota Mantra is a very special motorcycle. I even did use mine one year (including winter) to ride to work and home again. Here some photographs and some words about mine.

To  Bimota Mantra...

 

the XT500

The Yamaha XT 500 is an icon. And a very enjoyable bike to ride (well, if you have time to do the maintenance, that is...)

To  the XT500...

 

the VX800

I started riding a motorcycle in March 1994, on a red Suzuki VX800. You can read how it feels to go to Sweden, alone, on a motorcycle which you have owned for a month or two, in my ->  Sweden story ;-)

In Sweden. I discovered gravel roads, and found out how much fun it is to ride on not-very-well-paved roads. I started dreaming about riding off-road, and because I like to travel a lot too, my ultimate dream-bike was the BMW R1100GS.

So the next motorcycle in my motorcycle history was the ->  Bumble Bee.

To  the VX800...

 

Birds

Bird watching, traveling and riding a motorcycle is easy to combine. Here, you find the pages about birds.

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Bird photographs

Ernst is always trying to photograph birds that we see while traveling. Of course, it's often very hard to get a good picture, but sometimes, he catches some. Seeing birds that belong to a certain landscape adds to your experience of the landscape. Clicking on the link next to a picture will take you to the page (a travel story or part of a travel story) where you can see the photograph in context. Enjoy!

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Favourite birds

Of course, I like all birds, but some somehow stand out. It's very hard to explain why I like birds. Here, I try to explain something about my love for these creatures.

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About the site

Some background information: Who am I and who is Ernst? Why do I love traveling and motorcycle riding? And why do I use Google adsense on the site?

Contact: email: sylviastuurman@gmail.com.

To  About the site...

 

Navgation

How does http://www.sylviastuurman.eu work? What's the structure of the site, how do the links work, an how do you reach one place from another?.

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Copyright

Information about the use of and the copyright of the photographs on http://www.sylviastuurman.nl and about the copyright on the text..

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Here you find links to travel related sites: general travel sites, travel stories that I like, travel organisations, and camping or hotels that specialise in motorcycle riders.

To  Travel Links...

 

Here, you find motorcycle riding links: great roads, riding techniques, and riding courses.

To  Riding Links...

 

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Travels and motorcycles of Sylvia Stuurman

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© Copyright Sylvia Stuurman (text) and Ernst Anepool (photo's).
Copyright 1990-now.
e-mail adress: sylviastuurman@gmail.com