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Thread: Round 6: 2013 Ramble 1

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    Round 6: 2013 Ramble 1

    Well after a great seven months of last year I parked up and pulled the garage door down and tucked the bike up to hibernate for the worst of a winter which hasn't really seemed to go away. To recap, the finale of the 2012 adventures were spent on a foggy subzero Autobahn, partying in Berlin, chilling out (quite literally) in the Czech Republic and dodging icy conditions in the hills of wunderbar Deutschland on the return leg with a tin hat of finally getting pissed on in the freezing downpours of Holland. Undeterred, and giving it one last go there was an attempt to do Scotland in the second week of December. I sought counsel from the UKGSer community before setting out on that one; the verdict was very much don't bank on it, and I'm glad we didn't because it didn’t happen. Riding up and skirting the Yorkshire moors saw riding in tyre tracks carved in the snow and slush, before reaching a frozen Tyneside, and our loop around Scotland actually got us as far North as the A66, ending up snowed in for a few days in the Lake District before linking up with Tosserfolk at Toad's pad for a bonzer chrimbo do. Still, the beer was good, as was the company, so we can't have it all and mustn't be greedy now.

    In the meantime, back at HQ, during our wonderful winter I've done some work around the house, done a little writing, read some books and incurred significant library fines. But most of all I've spent a lot of joyous time with family which is something I missed out on while I spent too long behind a desk, something which I've come to profoundly regret.

    Anyway. Bikes. Riding.

    So the next one will be a kick off in Spain, so I'm afraid it'll be a bit of a repeat of some of last time but with some new places and no doubt a few new tales. I really enjoyed my time there so I'm looking forward to going back. We'll see where we go from there.

    It's fair to say the my good old Red Hedgehog (otherwise known as a 2009 Adventure) got well used last year and a little knocked about as a result. It has navigated the drive-in potholes of Albania, similarly epic poor roads in Romania, wibbled in Poland's finest wobbly tram track roads, teetered in Bosnia Herzegovinian storm drains, and been a bloody handful on Latvia's central unmade road network, those amongst many others unmentioned. It has island hopped in Croatia complete with a guest tourist and a suitcase. It has circled the Iberian peninsular twice, one time with a guest and an unfeasible amount of gear. It has done all that and been spritely enough, even well loaded up to avoid the local driving in most of the more exotic places where it seems the entire population are auditioning for a part in the remake of Death Race 2000.
    It has done all this without fuss and has been a joy to ride throughout. It still amazes me on just how staggeringly easy this 1200 is to ride.
    There have been a couple of gremlins, but no show stoppers by any means. I think the biggest drama was actually trying to get a new tyre in Spain. Don't understimate that should you head out there and think you'll need one. Luckily for me it was no problem, with no particular deadlines to meet at the time, but meanwhile in the real world that doesn't work.
    As I say I think it did a lot of hard graft. I don't mind some of the cosmetic blemishes, or shall we say character, as whenever I look at it now it makes me think of the great places we've been together. It is now like a trusty old friend, a pair of comfy old slippers, full of tat, stickers and general crap. It has become the motorcycling equivalent of visiting your grandad's house and he doesn't throw anything away.

    Anyhow, one hopes with 43k on the clock there's quite a bit more to come.

    Fast forward to 2013. March comes along and after a couple of false starts we start to get in shape for the year ahead. A new final drive bearing goes in and we're rewarded with a crisp piece of paper from those nice people at VOSA that says we can go and play for another year. Nice. Oh, and a new rear tyre. You know, there's something oddly satisfying about a new rear tyre. I can't quite put my finger on it, although I do put my fingers on it as it were as I seem to have acquired a strange habit of fondling the tread at every opportunity. Good job there's no equivalent of Operation Yewtree for bike related fiddling, otherwise my name would be on a list somewhere.

    But, alas then its back to the garage and onto the life support of the Optimate. I'm having a few joint problems and riding isn't much fun, so nothing is done.

    April brings a sunny Sunday and the promise of Springtime finally. I can hear bikes out on the ring road near where I live. Neeeaaaaaaaarrrrrr…
    Time to go out. The temperature readout on instrument cluster reads 19 degrees. A ride across to the other side of London to visit some friends confirmed again just what a joy it is to ride about on it and so the anticipation of another trip truly begins..

    The bike is pretty much ready to rock and roll. What else did we need to get? Well, not much. I repaired my DS Protection raid box, the weather got to the lock and after a lot of piddling about that got sorted out. I made a pennytech cover from an pushbike reflector and that did the job well. Next stop Touratech design department for me. I also acquired a Screen spoiler to try out, plus a pucker BMW top box bag courtesy of your friendly UKGSer 'Items for Sale' section.

    So there it is. Details to follow.


  2. #2
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    Ready to read.

    Write on trusty scribe.

  3. #3
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    Well Rob we're all with you for every mile .... bring it on ol' love

    As for fiddling with the tread, no worries mate ... just fitted a front Tourance to my F800GS, the wheel waiting in the kitchen to go back on in the morning ....
    Walked past it several times, touched it, spoke to it

    You bet

    Take care out there .... enjoy
    Adventure.GS
    Tours, training or custom made earplugs ... it's all here.

    "If you want the rainbow then you have to put up with a little rain" Dolly Parton

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    scale 1-10 of pissedness right this moment??

    enjoy

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    Actually only about a 4. Could do much better, had to switch to the Long Island Ice Teas to push things along..

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    oversleep tomorrow then

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    : spl1f:

    I'm in ,,,,,hooked last time, patiently waiting

  8. #8
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    I'm in Now get riding!

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    Mmmmm...

    Long Island Ice Teas....

  10. #10
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    Agog with anticipation..........


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Nutty GSER View Post
    I'm in Now get riding!
    +1

    ballistic

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Big View Post
    Agog with anticipation..........

    +1 lol,

    ps, I love me screen spoiler esp for motorway stuff, but tend to remove for country/twisties. Im off to tour Spain 9th July, look forward to some routes that yuo will cross no doubt.

    Cant wait Robero on your next scribes, safe riding.

  13. #13
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    Cheers all

  14. #14
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    Day 1 - Romford to Portsmouth

    OK, we're off!

    Well actually.. let's go back to lift off minus four days. I did something unusual, well unusual for me anyway. With not a lot doing the Friday before my Tuesday departure I decided to do my packing. It started as just sorting a few things out, putting things in a pile, and that developed into getting the pannier bags out and then bunging bits in, before I know it I'm all done and ready to rock.

    So going forward to the day off it is such an uneventful affair getting underway. No running about trying to find stuff, no hissy fits, just an orderly cup of tea, putting on the gear and wheeling the bike out of the garage. An odd feeling and very unusual. I think I quietly like the little rushing around and trying to find things, cursing etc, but there was none of that.

    So on the road we are, eh? Well not for long- I have a traditional pre-sendoff breakfast blowout at Ma Baker's eatery, and very fine it is too.



    With some time to spare I decide to take a scenic route through London town.



    Some new sights on the London skyline. Still not sure if I like it.



    Town is as quiet as usual..



    Liz's house. I'm a proper tourist, me.



    Ah, London Man on a GSA. I think this is the Rallye Pro Suit Business Edition. Not a great photo as I whipped out the phone at the traffic lights, but the chap is in a grey suit and tie with Tour X and his socks tucked over his trousers. Definitely the 'new breed' look, that



    Oh and that thing behind him is one of those London Duck Tour things.

    Becoming a bit bored with the city traffic I opt to hop on to the A3 for a chug down to the coast. At Roehampton five Police bikers on RT's join on to the road and are sitting behind me. I had to do a total double take and have a chuckle at all of them all in formation in my mirrors- a photo of that would have been great but alas no, fiddling in my pocket to pull out a mobile to catch that might just have constituted taking the piss. They float past and I stick with my own little escort convoy until they buzz off towards Wimbledon. Something different, that. Once we get through Kingston and then down to the M25 the road has opened up and is remarkably quiet. Perfect relaxation. How great it is to be back on the road enjoying a beautiful sunny day.

    It couldn't be easier bobbing into Portsmouth to pick up the ferry. You can see it from the motorway and you are but a roundabout away from check in. I decide that with time being on my side the pub is calling and return to the Ship and Castle for a bon voyage ale.



    Whenever I've been there before it has been deserted, however my call in clashes with a very large group at a funeral wake. I make my way in, as unobtrusively as possible as is for a 22 stone bloke in bike gear, and quietly order and retreat.

    A Gales HSB.. Ah, yes. Now definitely in that holiday mood.



    Check in is easy and in no time we're waiting to board.

    [/]

    There's some sort of Maserati owners club outing, there must be twenty or so of them, this one is my pick of the litter..



    And we're on, bike tied down.



    I think the Pont Aven prides itself as a ferry come cruise liner and it's fine enough. I have gone for an inside cabin and it is remarkably compact but it does the job. I have a departure ale in the Piano bar and it is a splendid way to bid goodbye to blighty.

    Later still, off to the other bar and watch the football. There's a community of depressed Real Madrid fans and some Mancunian Christiano Ronaldo haters. A bit of fun banter. The Spaniards are too down to get involved, and the Brits seeing there's little sport to be had move along.

    A bit fed up with the beer selection on board so I go to the cocktail menu. Long Island Ice Teas. Mmm.



    And so on to the Cabaret to road test the entertainment. We have music, a young lass singing with the voice of an angel, a comedy magician with some decidedly iffy material, all topped off with a James Brown tribute act.



    He's modelled himself on the Godfather of Soul's lardy 'letting himself go and car chase/rozzer shootout' period. His moves become more half hearted and his invitations for the audience to 'feel the love' are roundly disregarded. He retires backstage prematurely and the DJ goes to fish him out, but that isn't happening, clearly he doesn't want to 'get up offa that thing'.

    A couple more refreshing Ice Teas and so to bed. A late night.

  15. #15
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  16. #16
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    He's off ...



    Adventure.GS
    Tours, training or custom made earplugs ... it's all here.

    "If you want the rainbow then you have to put up with a little rain" Dolly Parton

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