Wednesday 29 August 2012

Impressive undertaking

As always on these trips, when you think you are living the dream and doing something out of the ordinary you meet someone who makes you realise how many people out there are doing it. These two young guys (brothers Stu & Chris Marshall)  we met in Budapest are cycling from Derby in England to Vietnam for charity, they have an excellent blog site at worth a look! When all you seem to hear these days is that young people have no get up and go it is heartening to see the computer generation can get of their backsides and do it!! Well done!

Round up

Well the trip certainly showed us how the small BMW's performed, a bit wheezy on the Autobahn where everything is doing 100mph + but great apart from that. The issues seem to be fixed and the next thing (after some warranty work) is to get the seats made more comfortable. I often wonder about bike manufacturers and why they don't test the seats, for an "adventure bike" to only have a 100 mile range before your backside starts nipping is a tad dissapointing. Some pics from the tour which in the end was just over 3500 miles.

Saturday 25 August 2012

Saturday polishing

Saturday and Gary busy polishing the F1 sport in the hope of winning a prize. Great turn out for the run. I'll post a video when I get back.

Friday 24 August 2012

Witch is witch

Got to the Begonia and finally so have the rest of the Scottish team.Stopped just before Staden to have a coffee and take this photo of Fiona with her good friend.

Thursday 23 August 2012


A short run today to Mons in Belgium for a night in a hotel to catch up with sleep before the Begonia Rally. Abenden was a nice place but was dead and both pubs we were in were waiting to close the doors as soon as we left and we were out on the street with no Whisky reserves at 9.15!!! The guys were saying it hadn't been a good season but then again I think they should have encouraged the two customers they did have!
A bit of an incident when I had to ask our next door neighbour to shut the F*ck up after 11pm, he pretended he didn't understand but the noise stopped!! But then I was wound up and didn't sleep much, so the last few days have had a lack of sleep for noise reasons (Thunder, trains, motorway noises , etc etc) Biggest problem is I think is I've not been drunk enough to sleep through it, must try harder!!
Bike seems to be behaving today so I'm hoping it was the battery connection issue (pretty sure it was) Off for some food and a nice wine now before the run over to the Begonia tomorrow and an assault on the liver!!

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Eifel Abenden

A few miles on the autobahn today, crazy place to be on a Norton or a 650 single with a realistic cruising speed of 75 mph. Everybody here drives so fast and its the same idiotic following too close that we see everywhere. Car and truck drivers have no concept of the danger they put motorcyclist's in. In Abenden today , nice camping by the river and a very nice small town. Found the battery terminals slack on the bike when I checked it tonight after more cutting out on the motorway. Hopefully thats the issue solved.

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Germany again

Extreme thunder and lightning last night meant not much sleep so we were up before 7am and on the road for just after 8. It was wet taking down the tent but so humid it didn't make boy difference. Some miles on the small roads, a very nice and interesting area south of prague, worth investigating and cheap. Into Germany to Wurzburg and booked into a camp site by 1.30. Just been to the supermarket to pick up provisions and wine for dinner, it was great to take advantage of the air conditioning for a bit. The ex army poncho's are coming in handy for keeping the sun off rather than rain! As you can see from the thermometer on the bike 45 degrees in the direct sunlight at 3pm.

Monday 20 August 2012

The Story so far

I'm not sure how much I missed in the random posts so far, apologies for the lack of good photos, I'll do a run through when I get back. Today was the hottest so far, 40 Deg C at 12 noon! I like the heat but today has been debilitating. Cooling down now and maybe some storms coming in, great!
So far the Ukraine wins for the worst roads and for the most helpful people, Romania was disappointing, new roads but it seems more street urchins begging than ever before, none of them look malnourished so I'm assuming they are professional beggars a la Fagan. Hungary had some helpful people also but I'm afraid Bratislava was a bit of a let down. The Czech republic has the best beer and the cheapest. The bikes have been a constant source of worry, they have a habit of cutting out over some bumps if your doing 75mph and mine sometimes doubles the revs on the rev counter, Not that great really but then they are still going so that's good.
A great trip so far and Germany tomorrow, keep tuned for the next episode.

Its a hard life.

12 noon and its almost 40 degrees already. What is a man to do except chill out and have a beer. No bikes today, too hot.

Sunday 19 August 2012

Hot hot hot

Another 250 miles today in a heat range in the high 30's. Sunday is a good day to travel cs there are no trucks on the road. Now in Karlstein just south of Prague. Having a rest day tomorrow before the run to the Begonia rally. The bike cut out on me today cs it went over a bump indicating there is a bad connection somewhere . Got it going after a stop on the motorway. Just like riding a Norton but not cs comfortable though.

Saturday 18 August 2012

Another day another country

So a bit of a thick head after a night in the local bar Oreg sbab where the owner was the entertainment. Good crack, back in slovakia now camping in Bratislava and we've just paid a visit to this pub which cs you can see has a Norton theme. Told the barman I had one but he didn't seen impressed, well not enough to give me free beer anyway.

Friday 17 August 2012

Easy Day

So after our excellent night in 5 star luxury we are now in a campsite just outside Budapest. Just met 2 guys from Derby cycling to Vietnam (good effort). Very hot today and only 140 miles so not much else to report. Just heading for an evening of traditional Hungarian music, wine and food.

Thursday 16 August 2012

Four countries in one day!

Well that ended up a marathon, up early this morning and made our way to the Slovakia Ukraine border, the crossing took about an hour, not helped by some confusion on the name on Fi's registration document! Good parctice though, into the first town in Ukraine, got lost, asked a guy who spoke no English for directions, meanwhile another guy pulls upin a Hummer, says he's a biker and has a biker bar, did we want to go, offered to show us out of town but the first guy took the task on (in a Honda CRV, second one to help on the trip)
Roads were in the main shockingly bad, the bikes took a pounding, i'll add pics and video when I get back to let you see, the lunch stop was good, kebab type meal and cheap. The big problem is the lack of road signs, and when they are there they are in cryllic! Lost again a guy on a GPZ 500 led us out of town , lost again I asked a old farm worker for directions, he started shouting at me, then realised I was asking for help, he had a big hammer in his hand which I didn't notice at first, Fi thought he was going to hit me with it!
Out of Ukraine into Romania, another 45 minute crossing in scorching heat, the roads in Romania are now amazing, all brand new thanks to EU money, but that means loads of roadworks also. Stopped at a exchange office to try to change our Ukraine money for Romanian, the grumpy bitch wouldn't take them and pissed me off , loads of barefoot kids hassling us for money so we hightailed it into Hungary, now in a nice Hotel for the night ( a mobylette rididg guy helped us find it).
So today has been hard, very hard but we did it and have been helped by many nice people, thats what travelling is all about. Pics and more of the story will follow when I'm less knackerd! 

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Changing scenery

We were up early this morning and got on the road for 9am but it was half an hour later before I stopped going round in circles and got free of the town. A good ride through some excellent scenery on a mix of main and small roads, we're now in a very soviet inspired campsite (the picture is the shower and toilet block ) just outside michalovce about 20 miles from the Ukraine border. The last few miles saw a change in the faces and houses, more asian looking people who are obviously poorer than their slovak
neighbours. I saw a naked black boy playing in the street, people pushing trolleys with scrap in them, a change from the wealthy looking people we've seen all the way across europe so far. Tomorrow we'll attempt a foray into Ukraine!

Tuesday 14 August 2012


We said our goodbyes to Tomas and Andrea this morning and headed east. A good day, over 300 miles with about 100 on the small roads and the tent up by 4pm. Excellent, blasting through countries might not be everyones idea of fun but I like it. Camped in a site just below the castle in the picture. Tomorrow were going to try to make it to the border area and find accommodation so we can get an early start for the push into the Ukraine.

Monday 13 August 2012

Small miles

So we left our small hut this morning and rode all of 5 miles to Marianske lanska where we've got a small hotel for the night, funnily enough the hotel is called Edinburgh and they have a Scottish bar but today its closed. Writing this in the forest above the town, a small place called Kladska, nice place where we've stopped for lunch.
Tomorrow we're hopefully back on track and head for Slovakia.

Sunday 12 August 2012

Another day another country.

We eventually got going today after last night's party, later than planned. Our original plan has gone by the wayside , were in the Czech republic staying in an authentic cabin on a farm. There is a bar so thats good. Hanging around this area tomorrow before heading east on Tuesday.

Saturday 11 August 2012

Settling in.

So made it here and we have our host thomas welcoming us in typical fashion

Almost there.

We had a pleasant evening on the boat last night, met geoff from Fife en route to italy so a pleasant couple of beer's with him. Off the boat after the usual melee and we've got just under 300 miles done in good weather. Just a few more miles before we meet up with Tomas and Andrea for a night of alcohol abuse no doubt. My bike stuttered a bit just after an earlier re fuel at the turn off for Wankum appropriate I suppose. All fine now, thankfully.

Friday 10 August 2012

Made it!

So after what seemed at times to be a bit of a marathon we made it, now on the ship with the bikes. Good run down the road apart from the other road users! Lets see what tomorrow brings.

Back on the road.

Thanks to great work by motorrad central who had the bike ready before 10 this morning the holiday's back on track. Also thanks to the Bob look a like who helped transport Fiona and her kit to the garage. It wasn't Bob because he was working! Now at an incredibly busy scotch corner services!

Thursday 9 August 2012


So the bike refused to start and we ended up getting the bike taken back to Mottorad Dalkeith where they diagnosed a faulty fan unit, looks like the fan has gone sticky and then blown a fuse which also apparently feeds the engine management system. A new fan is on order and it'll hopefully be fitted first thing in the morning so we can attempt again to get to our (expensively) re booked ferry!!
Not a happy bunny but these things happen for a reason, need to get myself a data analyser for the bike ASAP, that would have shown the problem up in seconds but then the quandry is do you ride with the fan disconnected and risk overheating? At least I know something else about these bikes now.
Just done a quick oilchange on Fi's Kawa, thats the backup plan if all goes to shit tomorrow! This will affect the tight timescale we were on so maybe a little less miles and more looking at the scenery, maybe thats the message anyway!


Well we haven't even made it as far as Berwick-upon-Tweed and we have a broken down BMW. Not happy at the moment. The bike refuses to start and we're waiting on breakdown to arrive. Plans are up in the air at the moment. Not sure whats happening. Ferry is 200 miles away.

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Getting ready to go

So today is the last day of preparation for the Ukraine trip, its funny when I was younger I'd leave home for a trip with a few clothes stuffed in a bag and a camera in my pocket with a couple of rolls of film and some cash and that was it. Now it takes an age, mobile phones, cameras, laptops and all the associated chargers and paraphernalia that comes with them take up loads of room. Problem is I'm keener than ever to capture the events on film and video and instead of spending my nights getting blazing drunk in a bar I prefer to sit outside my tent listening to music and watching the world go by (and occasionally still getting blazing drunk!) so the equipment needed grows, not a good thing at all.
Of course this is a wee trial for the big trip later in the year so we'll load all the stuff we'll take to Argentina and see how the system works. I thought you might like to see my latest mod, my sheepskin rug seat, allegedly stops the butt pain on a long trip, I'll try anything that makes life easier so well see how it goes, looks a tad ridiculous but if it works its a damn sight cheaper than a custom seat!!

Friday 3 August 2012

All roads lead to the Moon

So the plans are coming along, the shakedown tour to Ukraine starts this coming week, first night in Frankfurt this coming Friday, Czech after that (why do I always struggle with the spelling with that country?) then Slovakia, a quick foray into Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Austria , Slovakia again, Czech, Germany and then maybe France (depending on time) before finishing at the most excellent Begonia British bike rally  organised by the Flemish Norton club in Belgium (Sorry I'll be on a German bike guys)
Keep tuned for the progress reports.
Potential Logo for our T shirts for the upcoming Argentina to Alaska and beyond tour below, what do you think?
All roads do indeed lead to the moon!!