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Thread: Calum's Road - A Ride Of Two Halves

  1. #1
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    Calum's Road - A Ride Of Two Halves

    Callum’s Road – A ride of two halves

    Over the last five or so years that I’d inhabited ukGSer I’d read reports of Tossers riding off here and riding off there. Not once did I think that I’d ever get involved in one myself…………………

    One trip that had really caught my imagination was the ‘Scoots in the Sahara’ trip so, when just over a year ago HRH posted that he was thinking of riding down to The Gambia I immediately sat up and took notice. I remember the moment well; sat at work first thing with a screaming hangover, read his post and within 10 minutes was on the phone to him asking if he ‘minded’ if I came along for the ride……………..I spent the rest of the day in a haze……….feck me I was gonna ride my bike to The Gambia

    This was going to be a trip that I hoped would push the limits of what I’d done before on a bike, for me a proper ‘adventure’.

    The plan:
    To ride our bikes fro Callum’s Road on Raasay to the proposed site of Callum’s Road in The Gambia and in the process raise as much money as we could in order to help build the ‘new’ Callum’s Road.

    Wind forward a year, fund raising activities done, numerous personnel changes along the way, the minimum of planning and it’s nearly Christmas. Two things happen that were to change the trip for all of us and me in particular.

    Firstly the situation in Mauritania, which we had to pass through, deteriorated with more kidnappings of foreign nationals taking place. This, coupled with a number of personal reasons, meant that I had to make the difficult decision not to travel further than Mauritania and to then ride back home from there.

    Then the weather turned, with snow, ice and freezing temperatures across northern Europe. The decision was taken by us all not to risk the ride from Raasay because of this.

    At this point I was on the verge of chucking in the towel. I’d hung onto the idea of at least setting off from Calum’s Road and now we weren’t even gonna do that – for me it was now just a ride to Morocco and back……………
    Then I got to thinking about what we were doing the ride for in the first place and secondly, that actually this would be a trip to push myself what with the weather and the fact that I’d be on my todd travelling back for the last two weeks. Very quickly my positive head was back on and ready(ish) to go…….

    What follows are some pictures and a mixture of ramblings sourced from my frail memory and ‘journal’ recordings made on my phone along the way. Thunder has already done a fantastic ride report so I’m gonna try and cover what was going on in my head along the way to give an idea of what it’s like to ride with a bunch of Tossers on a trip like this; well that’s the plan, let’s see how it pans out………………….

    7.05am 9/1/10

    “Woken up not having slept much last night. Looks like a further 2” of snow have fallen and I need to get the sodding bike down the drive and out of my road.”

    Out comes the bags of sand I’d bought the day before, drive suitably covered I reverse/slide the bike down the drive, into the road and begin to load it up.



    Gear’s put on and I’m bricking it, firstly at the thought of getting to the main road and secondly ‘cos ‘this is it’ I’m off, the culmination of a years worth of not planning.





    Off onto the M1 without incident and I meet Sockpuppet at Leicester Forest services…………it starts snowing



    The plan is to meet the Scottish/Irish contingent that night in Folkestone ready for an early ferry the next morning. The Southern contingent had crossed a few days earlier trying to avoid the forecast bad weather……….

    As we hit the M25 the snow started getting heavier and settling and, as we hit the M20 the light went and we found ourselves in a blizzard. At this point I was genuinely scared, more scared than I think I ever have been on a motorbike (but nothing compared to an experience I was to have later, in Morocco). We were crawling along at 10-20mph in the slow lane, at times with none existent visibility and being overtaken by trucks and cars. I decided to pull over at the Maidstone slip road and as we did I heard Sockpuppet go down behind me. What followed was a nerve racking ride to the nearest services, accompanied by a very helpful copper. We parked up and found ourselves rooms at the Holliday Inn.






    Some mad fecker turned up later that night on a GSXR Adventure!!!



    To say I was despondent at this stage would be an understatement – for fecks sake, this was only day one and it looked like we were snowed in

    I spoke to the other guys, they had made it through the same snow to Folkestone and would be trying for the Eurotunnel in the morning. I really didn’t think we’d make it………..

    7.05am 10/1/10

    “Sunday morning and here we are only in Maidstone, Rich dropped his bike twice yesterday but is ok…..looks like there’s no more snow so we’ll try and make a break for it – that’s if Rich’s bike’ll start as he’s had problems with his battery………….”

    Kitted up, on the bikes and Sockpuppets won’t start, what a great feckin’ start to the day! In the end we decide that I should press on to the tunnel and Sockpuppet would head to St Eptoe for remedial work and catch us up on route.

    Had a surreal ride to Folkestone, overtaking a snow plow on the M20 and generally feeling shit for leaving Sockpuppet behind

    Arrived at the terminal, FFS where was everybody else?



    Was this trip ever gonna come together

    The others had missed the train so I got on be myself and we arranged to meet up in Calais



    After several coffees and croissants in the petrol station I eventually heard the ‘roar’ of four GS’s and we were, at last, together, yay

    Texts were sent, drinks drunk and GPS’s set – we looked at the map in the petrol station and it was agreed to go through central France, the ‘cold’ route



    I offered to lead as it would mean negotiating the infamous Paris Periphique and having ridden through Paris a fair bit I at least had a vague idea of where I was going. My little Quest didn’t have room for French maps so, for France I just had a cheap TomTom in the map pocket of my tank bag.
    The ride to Paris was cold, very cold …………. acclimatising us to what was yet to come.

    As we hit Paris the TomTom kept slipping down to the bottom of the map pocket making it dangerously hard to follow in the heavy traffic of Paris but I didn’t care, I was in my element and having fun and the TomTom was taking us along the inner ring road, even more fun than Periphique The group rode brilliantly, and we all managed to keep together which was a result in itself.

    As an aside, I was reading Bike magazine earlier this evening and the following extract about riding a GS through Paris really struck a chord, sums it up perfectly for me

    ‘……………Paris, the home of modern motorcycling rebellion. Noisy pipe, leather jacket and a riding style so cavalier that traffic knows it had better get out of the way. This is life on the fringe. Cockroaches surviving it all and repulsing everything else. It’s an attitude I find myself respecting as the Parisian riders howl around their city’s maze of trunk roads, bullying their way through to their destination, quite unlike the sanitised rebellion that happens on the German creation beneath me. Anyone seeking rebellion on a GS is only rebelling against what they’ve allowed themselves to become. And what they allowed themselves to become is the sort of person who buys a GS’!!!

    Anyway, I digress……………..we got through, got a bit lost, rode around a retail park a few times and found an Ibis. Weary and cold some hit the bar and some unpacked and then hit the bar Food was had and our first night of the trip ‘proper’ was done and dusted.

    7.33am 11/1/10

    “sat here packing, can’t believe how much snow there is now we are south of Paris! Hope to make Milau by the end of today, let’s see how it goes………..can’t believe how much alcohol some of the team put away last night, and the fecker’s up this morning like he was drinking Perrier all night………..



    Andres
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Martel View Post
    One of the five imbeciles of the vainglorious big swinging dick types of the Harley section

  2. #2
    Son of Ah Knah Yee Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    PUI since 2004


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  3. #3
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    Great stuff Andres, keep it coming.

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    Will try............but this week is a bit hectic...........hope to have it all done by the end of the weekend

    Andres
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Martel View Post
    One of the five imbeciles of the vainglorious big swinging dick types of the Harley section

  5. #5
    Great stuff Andres! Brilliant pictures - seems like only yesterday

  6. #6
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    I totally impressed in your ability to ride thru the snow
    David is...
    Going Down on a Signal 15 !

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    Looking forward to the rest

  8. #8
    Nice one Andres, I like the style

    Gert

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outtomunch View Post
    7.33am 11/1/10

    “sat here packing, can’t believe how much snow there is now we are south of Paris! Hope to make Milau by the end of today, let’s see how it goes………..can’t believe how much alcohol some of the team put away last night, and the fecker’s up this morning like he was drinking Perrier all night………..



    Andres
    Finally you got it started, keep it coming dear boy, looking forward to the rest.

    And by the way, it's Mr Fecker to you from now on!

  10. #10
    Dancing with the Diavel Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Great read so far. I can’t wait for the next instalment
    looks like a real adventure developing.
    2016 BMW R1200RTLC Iconic #26/100
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    Love a lot, trust a few, but always paddle your own canoe...

  11. #11
    Shedi Knight Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    More!
    appears bright from a distance / dim up close

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Outtomunch View Post
    How do you turn a mobile phone into a fuel filler cap???

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike O'Fische View Post
    How do you turn a mobile phone into a fuel filler cap???


    Andres
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Martel View Post
    One of the five imbeciles of the vainglorious big swinging dick types of the Harley section

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike O'Fische View Post
    How do you turn a mobile phone into a fuel filler cap???
    There's probably an app for that on the Apple store...

  15. #15
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    Come on, stop hanging around and get a move on.


    Cheers John.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by paintman View Post
    Come on, stop hanging around and get a move on.


    Cheers John.
    Feck I look camp, no wonder Sid thought I was gay

    Any way, I've a piccie of you that out-camps that any day........you wait

    Sitting down now to write some more bollox

    Andres
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Martel View Post
    One of the five imbeciles of the vainglorious big swinging dick types of the Harley section

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