Friday, 9 March 2012

The route
I’ve been spending the rainy days pouring over maps, studying the guide books and reading ride reports on, plotting routes around the countries we’ll be visiting and making notes of places to visit. We’re not usually as prepared as this, normally we just get on the bike and ride, but it’s given me something to do while the weather is too wet to get the bike out.

This map shows a simplified version of our proposed route in red. Previous bike trips are in blue and black (rough approximations of routes taken). There will be lots of detours and diversions to see the sights. Whether we stick to the plan depends on the weather and other factors and if I we really like a place we’ll hang around for longer. France we’ve been to on a motorcycle twice before, so we’ll probably shoot through there pretty quickly, though we’ll definitely see the MotoGP race at Le Mans. Hotel near Le Mans already booked.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Early preparation
It’s been 10 months since our last long trip on a motorcycle, but we’ll get a chance to get back into the swing of things in a couple of weeks’ time when we go to the National AGM of the Ulysses Club which is being held in Mildura, about 900 km away. It will give us some practice in packing our gear into one pannier each. While we’ll only be away for a week, we shall need just as many clothes etc. as we’ll be carrying for 7 weeks in Europe. The luggage space on the different bikes is about the same, so it will be a realistic test.

I’m reasonably ride fit as I do at least 35,000 to 45,000 km each year on my bikes and two weekends ago I accompanied a friend on a 1600 km in 24 hours Iron Butt Ride. We managed to do 1666 km in about 22 hours, so my backside is well and truly broken in. We’ll be doing about 7,000 km in Europe so it should be an easy ride, with time for lots of touristy stuff, though the terrain will be very different.

We’ve had a lot of rain here recently. Our place was isolated by floodwaters for a day last week and a landslide 10 km out of the village has cut the main road out for at least a month, which will affect our route to Mildura.

Now it’s raining heavily again. Not the weather for motorcycling at the moment. Hopefully the roads to Mildura will be free of flooding at the time we go.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Oh dear, I’m in trouble. I set up this blog and have been playing with it while it’s been pouring with rain for the past few days and while my lovely wife has been away in Canberra. I sent the URL to some of the kids so they could review it and give me their opinions. They all love it, though one of them did suggest I shouldn’t show it to Gail until we get back from Turkey. Perhaps she was right – I’m in trouble for referring to us as Old Farts. Too late now - I’ll just have to put up with the flack.
Please note: The lady on the left is not an Old Fart.

(Photo taken on a bridge in Slovenia over a river obviously named after her.)