Aragón HISS 2015: the ‘Official’ Ride Report

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Simon_100
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Aragón HISS 2015: the ‘Official’ Ride Report

Post by Simon_100 » Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:47 pm

Evenin' all,

Well, “Remember, remember the 5th of November”, that’s what they say. Though it’s notable here this year because the first snow fell on the Pyrenees overnight – I’m looking at it now from my terrace where my thermometer is recording just above zero! We seem to have gone from summer straight through to winter without giving autumn more than passing thought - although record rainfall and low temperatures in August and September made us believe we’d gone straight from spring to autumn!

But the main message is, “How time passes!” – and it’s now only seven months until next year’s spring HISS Event in the mountains of southern Aragón (where it’s also snowing as I write!) and as we are now more than half full – seventeen riders signed up and four more ‘possibles’ in the pipeline out of an ideal number capped at 36 - it seems like a good time to start The Official Ride Report now that some are even booking their ferry tickets and even thinking how to pack!
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So, a summary of the event for newbies plus a few changes to note for the old lags:

The dates for next year are from Monday to Friday, May 11th – 15th, 2015. This means that Polly and will I be at the location at least by Sunday afternoon* so as to be ‘ready for the off’ from the Monday morning. We won’t have to leave until the Saturday following the HISS at the earliest, but probably won’t linger there much longer in any event. But this means that the Friday is still potentially a full riding day with us on hand for guidance, etc.

This year the HISS is much earlier in the season than last year so overheating shouldn’t be so much of a risk (although last year it was quite cool, even in the week leading up to mid-summer’s eve!) and in fact bearing in mind the altitude of the location the evenings will be cool!

* unless I wind up in hospital again I'll be riding down from the Pyrenees, so if anyone wants to add to the adventure and join me in a wibbley-wobbley crossing of the Los Monegros desert just let me know (thumbs)
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The location has changed: Camping Algarbe near Terriente and it is significantly different from the location in previous years in that it is in completely ‘wild’ situation, surrounded by forest and too far to walk to any village. Furthermore, at that time of year the camping only operates at weekends so during the week we will have it for our ‘exclusive’ use – although as the owners, who are local farmers, will be to hand they probably won’t turn any passer-by away. However the site is enormous and unlike most Spanish sites does not have specific ‘plots’ and there are plenty of areas away from the service block, reception, etc. to suit all tastes – including a ‘naughty corner’ for those who can’t stop jabbering away all night long. But note that as in all Spanish camp sites open fires are absolutely -100% - prohibited!
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Two more very significant changes regarding the location: there is no alternative accommodation at the site other than bringing your own tents, etc. and the camping doesn’t have it’s own bar/restaurant. However, there is an excellent bar/restaurant on the adjacent land. This is an important local recreation facility that is owned by the local town council and is run by a contract which is renewed annually. Like the camping, it is normally open at the weekends but last year when I spoke with the couple who had ‘won’ the contract they told me they would open during the week if there was demand. But until the contract is awarded again in the New Year I can’t guarantee this.
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However, there are some catering facilities in the camping, namely an enclosed BBQ ‘kitchen’ and terrace with tables and chairs for use by clients.
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As always, Polly and I will lay on the famous Spanish Bikers Farewell Breakfast and bring all of our field kitchen stuff with us, so we will be able to do some catering, i.e. cooked meals of the fry-up kind, in the evenings to order. And, as at previous HISS events there is bound to be one big ‘communal’ meal that everyone takes part in. But in general people should be willing and able to cater for themselves – there is a small grocer’s shop in a village seven kilometres away and a supermarket (Spanish ‘small town’ style!), butchers, bakers, etc. in Albarracín (14 kms) where there is also a petrol station.

As HISS ‘Veterans’ will know, in Aragón you have to be really careful to plan for fuel and the HISS Guides contain details of other filling stations around the territory, which is now expanded to include a fourth ‘Itinerary Set’ after I visited in October.

This lies to the north of the existing areas and is complementary to them but, as in all of my HISS ‘zones’, is noticeably different in landscape, vegetation, etc. and includes the northern part of the densely forested Sierra de Albarracín and an open, arid zone that is pock-marked with dramatic ‘craters’ – actually the result of Karstic erosion – one of which, the Hoya del Alto de la Casilla, is 50 metres deep and over 300 metres in diameter. This area lies between about 1,500 and 1,700 metres in altitude and the routes will be included in the 2015 Guide in draft form, i.e. unless I get a chance to ride the trails in company before the Guides go to press there won’t be proven waypoints in the Guide.
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As well as scouting the beginning and ends of the trails, and a short ‘test’ ride of some, my visit did record some new prohibition and warning signs – all of the HISS trails are legal, that occupies much of my research time! – including this rather ironic notice that at first glance looks like the trail is closed (it’s not, I double checked) as it reads, “Government of Aragón: Danger – hunting zone, activities that disturb the fauna are forbidden. By order of the Department of the Environment: resolution of June 8th, 2007.” I checked that motorcycling along a trail does not ‘disturb’ the fauna and can’t help wondering that if being hunted to death doesn’t apparently ‘bother’ the fauna then what does!
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Another result of my visit was finding an excellent tyre, brake, bearing fitter in Teruel, who, moreover, can take delivery of tyres ordered in advance by Internet and fit them for a small extra charge. Talking of Internet, communications, etc. the camping is outside of normal mobile phone coverage, although this is available nearby. The bar/restaurant area has Wifi and I’ll ask them if they would leave this on for the duration even if they do remain closed.

The camping is extremely cheap and it’s not really feasible to ask for a discount as they won’t get the ‘benefit’ of HISS riders’ somewhat notorious thirst! But as in other HISS events each person gets their own ‘account’ – so you pay for the time you stay even though this may be longer, or shorter, than the ‘official’ rally dates. You can also pay your bill by credit card - although basic the camping has good facilites for washing - and it's huge (thumbs)
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As with all HISS events I need your full name to register – I pass these on to the camp site to help them get everyone’s accounts prepared – all those ‘foreign' names to spell correctly! - they also have to have these details to pass on to the Guardia Civil! I also like to have your email for my records, sending you payment and contact details, the occasional ‘round robin’ – by ‘blind’ copy of course! And it’s also handy to know your nickname or avatar on ABR or other forums, although this is not an ABR event and you don’t have to be a member of this forum – or any other - to join in the fun.

The best way to get these details to me is via the contact form on the HISS web page. Fees are £80 for a ‘Virgin’ and 50% discount for ‘Veterans’, i.e. anyone who has been to a HISS event before (thumbs) This time I’ll be asking for full payment but not until after the New Year. Normally by bank transfer to my UK account – NB for old lags, this could possibly a new one by then - or by Paypal.
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Just so everyone knows; the fees are both to cover the costs of researching and creating the routes, being at the camping ourselves, with extras like electricity supply for folks to charge their technology, the Spanish Biker's Breakfast on the day people leave, printing enough guides for each group to have access to - Vets of this rally can also but copies of the professionally published guide at cost price when it's done - but it also goes to fund exploring more event locations . . .

Over to you guys . . .

Simon
Be sure to visit www.thespanishbiker.com the invaluable guide to motorcycling in Spain - plus guided rides, HISS Events* and off road touring support service



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JonnyBravo
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Re: Aragón HISS 2015: the ‘Official’ Ride Report

Post by JonnyBravo » Wed Nov 05, 2014 4:12 pm

time off work already booked - B)

looks excellent my good man
cannot wait

what a long winter ahead :(
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Re: Aragón HISS 2015: the ‘Official’ Ride Report

Post by Gavinskii » Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:52 pm

Simon, thanks for the comprehensive summary.

I can confirm that I have booked my ferry crossings and will be travelling out of Portsmouth on Friday 8th May on 22.00 to Caen & returning from Santander on Saturday 16th May at 20.30 (arriving in Pompey at 19.45 on Sunday 17th).

So who else is going and what routes are they taking?

:woohoo:

BTW I have a discount code for Brittany Ferries which I am happy to share - just PM me
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Redmurty
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Re: Aragón HISS 2015: the ‘Official’ Ride Report

Post by Redmurty » Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:47 am

Looking good mate (thumbs) see you in the new year

cheers Spud ;)
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Re: Aragón HISS 2015: the ‘Official’ Ride Report

Post by JonnyBravo » Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:42 pm

Gavinskii wrote:Simon, thanks for the comprehensive summary.

I can confirm that I have booked my ferry crossings and will be travelling out of Portsmouth on Friday 8th May on 22.00 to Caen & returning from Santander on Saturday 16th May at 20.30 (arriving in Pompey at 19.45 on Sunday 17th).

So who else is going and what routes are they taking?

:woohoo:

BTW I have a discount code for Brittany Ferries which I am happy to share - just PM me
Two of us are about to pull the trigger on the friday 8th night ferry from portsmouth into caen -

Undecided about how to get back ?

Pm sent for discount code !
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Re: Aragón HISS 2015: the ‘Official’ Ride Report

Post by Gavinskii » Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:52 pm

Jonny, code sent B)

After 5 days trail riding, I thought a big schlap home may be unwelcome - I did the long ferry back last time I went to the HISS and providing you book a cabin, it's not too bad. It's a decent ship, with a couple of restaurants, bars, cinema etc.
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Re: Aragón HISS 2015: the ‘Official’ Ride Report

Post by JonnyBravo » Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:02 pm

Well -

We have gone for
pompey - caen on the way out on the friday night
And then the sunday noon fast cat from le havre to get back

Yes thats a lot of road miles against the clock getting home - but, you only live once B)

thanks for the code Gavinskii
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Re: Aragón HISS 2015: the ‘Official’ Ride Report

Post by Simon_100 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:39 am

Good news in the Christmas post, it looks like Mick, aka DB4 and his mate Chris are coming back this year.

Mick has also been kind enough to put a little video together - note the 'part 1' (thumbs)

The vid show just how great the Aragon meeting is for the bigger [strike]gent[/strike] bike - but doesn't really capture the majestry of some of the scenery . . .



Image
Image
Image
Image

And some of the roads aren't half bad either :whistle:
Image

Regs

Simon

PS - it now looks like we're twenty-one (thumbs)
Be sure to visit www.thespanishbiker.com the invaluable guide to motorcycling in Spain - plus guided rides, HISS Events* and off road touring support service



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MR X
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Re: Aragón HISS 2015: the ‘Official’ Ride Report

Post by MR X » Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:16 am

Very nice and sedate , may have to bring this
Image
along and let rip :laugh:

Simon_100
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Re: Aragón HISS 2015: the ‘Official’ Ride Report

Post by Simon_100 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:08 pm

MR X wrote:Very nice and sedate , may have to bring this
Image
along and let rip :laugh:
You're as 'sedate' as the beast within Shan :evil:

Simon
Be sure to visit www.thespanishbiker.com the invaluable guide to motorcycling in Spain - plus guided rides, HISS Events* and off road touring support service



*Highly Informal Sojourns in Spain

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