the problem with self-will

traffic warning

So one of my big dreams about coming to school in Barcelona involved riding from Barcelona to Italy, since it’s such a short ride (by US standards). Nice is only 6 hours from Barcelona, so I figured it’d as good a place as any on the Cote D’Azur to rest my head. The problem is, I INSISTED on going by motorcycle, in spite of the fact that the weather forecast was for rain most of the week. I hate riding in the rain, I suck at it, and well, I wasn’t even prepared. My Aerostich is fine until a point, but after a couple hours, I’m soaked to the bone. Cold and wet, my brain shuts down and I make a lot of stupid mistakes. So Saturday I did something smart and holed up in a hotel in Narbonne for the night, hoping the rain would go away by Sunday. I woke up to a beautiful sunny sky, and began anew.

The ride was fine for the first hour, a bit windy, but after racing at Willow Springs for 3 years, I laugh at wind. However, the rain began, and although the wind had stopped, the rain alone was uncomfortable enough. I rode faster than I should’ve, given the lack of visibility, stopped often, and even considered trying to hitch a ride the last hour into Nice. Which I should’ve done. I made it into Nice, was flying down the main promenade hoping the street sign for my hotel would be easy enough to see. I noticed the van in the next lane over stop suddenly for a red light anyone in California would’ve gone through on the yellow. I was like “what the hell is he doing stopping for that?” Then I noticed the car in front of me had done the same. Shit.

So I slammed on the brakes, and of course wiped out since it was pouring rain. Total retard move. POS BMW Scarver landed on my ankle, and my wellies which had served me so well in the snow in London were useless against the giant muffler that landed on my ankle and sprained it. The wellies were also useless against rain, as I had icy cold lakes in each boot, an unbearable sensation I hope never to experience again. Don’t beleive any reviews you read, this “starter” bike was designed with the sole purpose of making riding as unpleasant and difficult as possible, to encourage new riders to give up and buy BMW cars.

The guys around were very helpful, one called the police/ambulance, while the guy in front of me went to drop off his wife, and then came back to fill out the accident report. Seems my bike did actually hit his car, although I was too focused on trying not to be pinned under the bike to notice. Even if it didn’t, whatever. That’s the only thing my rental insurance actually covers. Which gives me yet another reason to hate the Spanish. In the US, one can rent a vehicle, and the insurance covers ANY damage done to it. I once returned a car with a missing window, no questions asked.

In Spain, so many people abused that type of insurance, that rental insurance now only covers the other parties affected. So the hundreds of euros of stupid cosmetic damage and of course getting this pile back to Barcelona are all out of my pocket. Which is deep enough to hole up at the Radisson instead of the cheap hotel I was heading to, so I guess I can handle it. But spending money on a hotel where I know I’ll be cared for is much more pleasant than spending money fixing/schlepping some stupid bike I hate and never should’ve rented in the first place.

However, in Nice, everyone has been so nice. ;-P The bellhop recommended an urgent care facility nearby, where I had a fabulous doctor, and the bellhop and concierge even came by to see if I needed a ride back to the hotel, at the end of their shift at midnight. Talk about service! I’m a huge fan of the Radisson now. But I still need to figure out how to get this thing back to Barcelona…



    • so here’s the short version of what I’ve been doing the past two days, in Nice:
      pick up 10am april 1 Gare Nice to Gare Nice
      drop off 10am april 2 @ Montpellier: $400 one way!
      $154 750km .16 c/extra km inc. insurance, tax
      plus ~$88 for extra KM
      total: 242e ($322)
      confirmation number:
      can I get the coupon for Hertz via e-mail? no, only snail mail
      do I have insurance on rental cars??? not on debit card.
      Auto Europe: no one-way
      rent a van one way: (min. 3 days) $897
      rent a van return to Nice: $660
      practico: +33 (0) 4 93 01 56 91
      the plan:
      go to train station
      get ticket for April 2nd
      pick up van
      get tie downs
      load bike
      return bike
      return van
      sleep in Nice
      get on train
      go home
      National: minivan,
      call Nice office: 33 493 218 090
      C/Notari 3 bis
      Vilassar de Dalt
      Êtes-vous disponible pour prendre ma moto à Nice et à Barcelone cette semaine? J’ai loué à Barcelone, puis s’est écrasé dans Nice, et la nécessité de le retourner d’ici jeudi. Je suis très impressionné par votre prix, et j’espère que vous pourrez m’aider.


      • Re: so here’s the short version of what I’ve been doing the past two days, in Nice:
        So after reading this a bit I immediately thought of Charlie & Ewan in The Long Way ‘Round… is it an option to take the bike on the train? Granted it may take longer & maybe there are train swaps… but you & bike would at least be going the same way


  1. so glad you are okay – that could have been a bit more messy – but hey, now you’ve got this great story! 😀 and I’ve sworn never to buy a Scarver (as if the name alone wouldn’t have deferred the issue – grin!)
    How awesome to have such good care in Nice. Enjoy & relax.


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