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Flyride to Portugal Sep 2016

Discussion in 'Biking Abroad' started by Revvin Kevin, Jul 29, 2016.

  1. Revvin Kevin

    Revvin Kevin Registered User

    I'm planning a flyride trip to Portugal during either the 3rd or 4th week of Sep.

    Fly out to Porto, cheap Ryanair ~?130 from Manchester or Standstead, only 2.5 Hrs
    Hire a bike 3-4 days from Porto ~?300, BMW F800GS or similar
    Ride local roads including the amazing Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela etc.
    Hotel stay in or near Porto for 5 nights from ?200 or tour throughout Portugal.

    Anyone interested?
  2. Revvin Kevin

    Revvin Kevin Registered User

    Back in July I said I was going to do a Flyride to Portugal so here's the report :)

    Once I've set my mind to do something, I do it. So even though a couple of mates were unable to partake, I decided to go alone anyway :) This is how easy it is to JUST DO IT for yourself :)
    After checking the forecast, (even Portugal get's rain sometimes!) I booked a cheap Ryanair return flight to Porto, (Northern Portugal), hotel and 3 days bike hire literally 5 days before departing.

    Day 1 Arrive in Porto at 12pm after just over a 2 Hr flight from Stansted, collect cheap hire car and check into Hotel, (used as base) and explored local area. The beach at Matosinhos is very nice :)

    Day 2 New this year CRF1000 Africa Twin delivered to the hotel by NorthRoad but booked through Moto Roads where better rates are offered. I can highly recommend Northroad should you ever need to hire a bike near Porto in the future, English speaking, helpful and friendly. :yo:

    Northroad recommended a route through the Douro Valley which was amazing. The roads were well surfaced, grippy and free of traffic, although it was very hot on this day, upto 34C :eek: The roads are very very sinuous in this area and continue for what seems like forever, left, right, left, right, it's enough to make you sea sick :) You're almost wishing for a straight just for a rest. Unfortunately as the day progressed I noticed a strange sensation from the rear wheel at low speeds, it felt like the wheel was buckled, that's going to cost me! However a little further on the wheel then started to nip up :eek: On investigation it was obvious the RHS rear wheel bearing was failing, great, only ~100 Km's back to the hotel and I'm in the middle of nowhere :mad: As light was fading, I lubed the bearing as much as possible with chainlube and attempted to nurse the bike back towards the motorway. I got another 40 Km's and onto the motorway back to Porto before deciding is was getting too risky and called it a day :( I rang Northroad who arranged recovery and a taxi to take me back to collect another bike, it took almost 2 Hrs for them to arrive! The bike was taken to the nearby Honda dealer to be repaired under warranty. Note the bike had only covered ~15000 miles so it will be interesting if this problem crops up again on owners bikes in the coming years. Northroad waited at their shop until 10pm for me to collect another Africa Twin so I can't really fault them for what happened or their lack of servicing as the problem was unforeseen.

    Day 3 The main reason for choosing Northern Portugal as a flyride destination was to explore the Serra da Estrela Parque Natural I had read so much about. The highest mountains in Portugal are found here with panoramic views for miles. There is also a glacial valley, (N338) between Manteigas and Mount Estrela which is well worth riding. The roads and views didn't disappoint, even the motorways are a joy to travel on as there is virtually no traffic outside of Porto. There are however tolls on the motorways and an electronic tag is required, (supplied by the hire companies) toll charges are however very cheap compared to France for example so do not amount to more than a few cents. The weather was still in the low 30C's on this day but comfortable in the mountains and fortunately the 2nd Africa Twin did not suffer any problems which was a huge relief.

    Day 4 As this was my final day with the Africa Twin, I chose a slightly shorter route North upto the Peneda-Geres Natural Park and the Spanish border. The brilliant N103 was then followed East as far as Braganca before returning to drop the bike off in Porto via the E82 which although motorway is still a nice scenic journey. This 1st class road has recently been built with EU money as have many in Portugal, I can't recall seeing ANY roads in England that have been funded by EU money, can you?

    Day 5 With my flight not due for departure until 6pm, I decided to explore the tourist areas of Porto and the famous Maria Pia bridge during the morning. The bridge and areas alongside the Douro river are very nice so I would recommend a weekend away with the missus to sweeten her up a bit before you inform her you're going to hire a bike for a few days ;)

    I can highly recommend Northern Portugal as a flyride destination without the hassle and time required to ride your own bike, no long swaying ferry crossings or motorways and if you do breakdown, (as I did) it's not the end of the trip just pick up another hire bike and continue your tour. It's very easy to arrange travel plans yourself these days, better with a few mates of course but if they can't make it, do it anyway, life's too short to wait :)

    Who's up for the next adventure ?

    Photos here :)
  3. Isle Of Wight

    Isle Of Wight Member Club Sponsor

    Nice, with great pics. How much was the bike hire? I've pondered doing something like this.
  4. Pete/48

    Pete/48 Registered User

    Hi Kevin,
    Don't know why but I missed this when you first put it up on site in Oct last year :nusenuse:,
    Excellent write up with brilliant pics, seems as if it could be just what the doctor ordered for a short end of summer break :clap2:,
  5. Revvin Kevin

    Revvin Kevin Registered User

    Absolutely, a definite must do during late Sep, early Oct if you can find the time. Hoping to do something similar in the next few weeks if anyone's interested?
  6. kartman

    kartman Also available in Red Club Sponsor

    Off to Portugal on the 11th October for a week Kevin, 3 days on track at Portimao, hope the weather's kind to us :zplayita:, pop in if you're passing!
  7. Revvin Kevin

    Revvin Kevin Registered User

    My boss and a couple of work colleagues are going the same time, look out for them. A steady guy on a GSXR600/750 depending which he takes, a larger proportioned guy on a S1000RR I believe and another guy on a GSXR1000 + my local mechanic on a KTM 1290! I'll ask them to look out for you but I think all they will see is your rear end :headbang:
  8. kartman

    kartman Also available in Red Club Sponsor

    I'll keep an eye out for them, probably easier to spot the KTM, it will be less common than the other bikes ;), I'll be on this one, preferably with both feet on the pegs this time :eek: :


  9. Revvin Kevin

    Revvin Kevin Registered User

    Can't see pics unfortunately Phil.
  10. kartman

    kartman Also available in Red Club Sponsor

    Oops don't know what happened there, tried again, still no luck, oh well :(

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