As winter is slow this year, and the weather was awesome today, we did today a tour around Rursee / Rurlake in the Eifel Naturpark close to Aachen / Germany. With we I mean 3 drivers on a BMW K1300S, a Yamaha MT-09 ABS, and a (my) BMW R1200RT. Starting point was the South of the Netherlands / Tilburg, and time of start was roughly around 08:30. With close to nobody on the road, and the sun coming up it was nice to wooossshhh over the highway. 170 km / 110 miles to go to the start a roundtrip around Rurlake (Rursee in German), which took a little over 1 hour and 30 minutes.
I had found some months ago the roundtrip Rurlake on a Dutch GPS-route website called GPSTracks.nl. The roundtrip was nice, but my Garmin (and from the comments I read that also other users faced similar issues) did face some problems: there are about 3 crossings within the route, and that can be causing issues. So the first time I drove this tour I had to make some turns and finally had to stop the complete roundtrip as I was not able to recover my Garmin’s struggle for right directions.
When arriving back home I had a look to the route to find out the issue. A few weekend later I gave the corrected route another try. The add of 1 waypoint was the fix and I managed to enjoy the whole trip without any direction issues. At return I was still not completely satisfied with the corrected GPS-file, and was of the opinion that a good rebuild of the tour would make it more reliable for different navigation systems / models. I managed to describe the whole route with 16 waypoints, and also inserted a suitable point for a (lunch-/dinner-)break about 30 minutes before the end point. The original route has been preserved for about 95%, but now hosted different begin and endpoints (only 5 km apart and both at a gas station which is ideal for riding with drivers gathering at the start point), and now also hosts about 30 minutes before the end of the route a nice motorcycle (lunch-/dinner-)break.
Today we gave the route a try, and it worked out great on 2 of the 3 Garmin systems. Each motorbike had one Garmin zumo, but all were different models: a zumo 550, a zumo 590, and a zumo 660. At the start of the route all 3 zumo’s gave the same good map overview, but when driving the zumo 590 was acting up giving out-of-sync directions to the ones on the zumo 550 and the zumo 660. At return we checked the zumo 590 and found out that an update performed the day before had activated all maps (so both the 2016.20 ones as well as the OnRoute motor maps) so that they were conflicting each other while driving. Activating only the Garmin 2016.20 map resolved the issues on the zumo 590. Experience is a great way to learn, and this was a good learning point.
Away from the technical, and back to the trip. When driving with normal speeds and while respecting applicable maximum speeds, this 180 km / 120 miles trip will take you about 3 hours and 20 minutes of driving time. Over the course of the tour there are several nices venues to take a break. The roads are in good condition, there are nice curvy sections and several hairpins. The scenary gives you a good feeling of driving in mountain area. And, on top, it is close to the Netherlands / Belgium, so a perfect tour for your bucketlist when you live in about max. 2 hours of driving distance from Aachen.
The Garmin GPX-file of the Rurlake/Rursee route is enclosed in this link. With it you will need to use following settings on you navigation system / – software (like Garmin Basecamp):
- routing mode = shortest distance
- avoid = carpool lanes + U-turns + seasonal road closures + cable cars + climbing paths + narrow trails
As right settings might still not be a guarantee for success, I have also attached below a print screen of the route with some comments/remarks added to it (click it to get a bigger image in your browser).
Start point is a Esso gas station situated on the Nerscheider Weg 1, 52076 Lichtenbusch (Germany).
When you look in the middle of the map, you will see the name “Silberscheidt”. At the t of Silberscheidt there is a hairpin. At the beginning of the hairpin there is a left “U-turn” which you need to take instead of the hair pin! See the picture on the right: you come down from the left side and there is a road on the left side which is narrow to take! Very do-able but be cautious on speed and opposite traffic.
There is a clockwise arrow marked with a 1: this is the direction you need to follow. When arriving at this point you should continue following the hairpin and not bend off right. You will return back to this hairpin when having gone up and down the little mountain going clockwise. Zoom in on Garmin Basecamp to see how the roads and direction goes.
The straight arrow marked with a 2 represents the direction to follow, which in effect means that you will go in a clockwise direction around Monschau.
There is a counter clockwise arrow marked with a 3, which shows the direction to follow when returning to former part of the route. From here the route continues back up the mountain in the direction of a nice motorcyclist cafe/restaurant called Biker Ranch. The address of Biker Ranch is: Bonschauer Straße 68, 52152 Simmerath/Strauch (Germany).
After a refreshing break, the route continues back into the direction of the highway A44/E40. End point is a Shell gas station, Eckenerstraße 2, 52078 Brandt (Germany). In the village of Brandt there are also other (cheaper) gas stations, so you can for instance pick the BFT gas station on the left (about 2-3km before end point) on the left, or the Aral station about 500 meters on the right hand before the Shell gas station. After a fill-up you can start your return back home.
I hope you will have a lot of fun with this route. Please share your comments/experiences when you have done this round!