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Thread: Discombobulation 2017

  1. #1
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    Discombobulation 2017

    Well I haven't written for a while.

    But if I were say to you, above and beyond the great roads and sunshine, etc

    38 degree heat in Spain and raining upwards in France.
    A generally Jekyll and Hyde bike
    A speeding ticket
    Two breakdowns
    Various technological disasters (broken GPS / let's throw Super Bock over my laptop).
    Someone pissing on my luggage (my AA road atlas is now out of service).

    And I'm not home yet.
    I think I'm going to have to write this up.

    More later.

  2. #2
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    Bring it on

  3. #3
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    Double bollocks.

    There's only so many breakdowns a fella can take..

    Again, more later

  4. #4
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    Maybe one could spend a little less tine on the road and more on maintaining the bike??
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberto View Post
    Double bollocks.

    There's only so many breakdowns a fella can take..

    Again, more later
    Oh Great and Wise Deity, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

    Courage to change the things I can! And the wisdom to know the difference!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrFarkoff View Post
    Maybe one could spend a little less tine on the road and more on maintaining the bike??
    Maintenance? What is this sorcery of which you speak? You get a 600 mile service and that's it right?
    Surely everyone knows all that Servicing lark is an urban legend and just a money spinner.

    And lots other stuff too.. like if a Traffic copper writes you a ticket, it only counts if he's wearing his hat.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roberto View Post

    And lots other stuff too.. like if a Traffic copper writes you a ticket, it only counts if he's wearing his hat.
    That made me smile .... I remember a pissed 80 year old woman driver saying to me 'You can't breathalyse me , you haven't got your hat on '

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryn View Post
    That made me smile .... I remember a pissed 80 year old woman driver saying to me 'You can't breathalyse me , you haven't got your hat on '
    Yeah, you can't always find a condom when you need one

  8. #8
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    You're back

    On the 1600?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Nutty GSER View Post
    You're back

    On the 1600?
    Hey mate. No, the 1200. Well, in a manner of speaking..

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roberto View Post
    Hey mate. No, the 1200. Well, in a manner of speaking..
    Got a pic?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Nutty GSER View Post
    Got a pic?
    All in good time, Grasshopper..

  12. #12
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    Getting Going, then..

    Alright, let’s get this thing started. So. Here we go. Nothing remarkable here. The plan is to meet with Brian, aka Ballistic of this particular parish, and spend five days heading down to Portugal through, through France into Spain, and then Bob’s your uncle. Usual rules: Biking roads are the name of the game, minimal main roads and zero toll roads.
    In fact Brian had only joined up late, as I’d mentioned in passing what I was planning and he worked out he could join up, being a man of leisure and all these days. I like riding with Brian, it’s zero hassle so that kind of all worked out well.

    Once we’re there, I’ll be joining up with some pals for a week off down on the Algarve for my club’s annual Football tour and will be donning the flip flops for feet up. Brian will be meeting his good lady for a holiday down the coast, and we’ll then we’ll meet up on the way back to do more of the same, but different, in reverse, treading the 1500 or so miles back north via other routes.

    I’d been busy with work – it has kind of been that way since the conclusion of the rambles. I’d done a trip down to Portugal from Spain with my dad on the back year before last; last summer I’d cannonballed down to San Sebastian on my K1600 pretty much in Hyperspace mode. Little to write about on that as short and blurry for the most part - but most enjoyable nonetheless.
    Normally for me any excuse would be one to get out on the bike - but so many things to do and time evaporating! Even when Brian and I had a meet in Norwich to catch up and have a chinwag on things before the off I got a train. Tut tut, eh! - bad, bad form indeed – and I also went to a bash normally that I would on the bike in the car. Going soft, I am.

    Anyway, as I’ve put in my previous reports, I really am a fan of Portugal and it’s a super destination on the bike. Once I’m into the swing I love riding and find it supremely relaxing, so am looking forward to it immensely.

    It was an interesting start to getting going on this one. I hadn’t rode the GS a great deal, it largely sat feeling sorry for itself, under a cover in the garage with all manner of patio cushions scattered over the poor thing, plugged in to life support on an optimate and obstructed by a flymo. A few weeks prior when getting the bike out for a Sunday morning bun at High Beach, the alternator seized (start up, squeal, bang). Subsequently carted off to Steve at Motoscot for TLC.
    Anyhow cut to the chase- the bike was prepped up, all ready and new tyres fitted ready for the off. Hurray!

  13. #13
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    ready....................

  14. #14
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    Underway!

    Not an unremarkable sequence of days up to the Thursday departure.
    I lost a filling in my tooth and scrambled around to find a dentist to fix it, but did.
    I tripped over a basket in Matalan and looked like a prize wally.

    But things were coming together nicely. Knowing that my week would be crammed with stuff to do before the off, I packed the previous Sunday as much as possible and got the bike out to do some final fettling.
    I fitted a rugged roads toolbox to replace my old one where water retention was its speciality.
    I’d done a few ‘sillytech’ mods. I love my music and had a bike audio system on the GS that had long since passed, so I created my own one.
    Take one knackered tank bag, one JBL Charge 3 Waterproof speaker and voila..!
    Quite nifty actually, if I do say so myself. A waterproof Bluetooth remote mounted on the handlebars controlling the music and even an app on my phone that increases and reduces the volume according to speed, so I don’t look (more of) a doughnut in town.
    Every bit as effective as one on the K1600GTL, anyway.



    All going well and then, a day before the off my travel laptop is knocked off the table, screen down, to where it cracks and breaks. Bollocks!
    I always like to have a travel lapop when I’m away so that’s another to do- but a replacement is sourced of all places from Argos and click and collect have one five minutes away, so in just over an hour I’ve got a replacement which I then go about setting up.



    Back on track then.

    Thursday comes. Bike out, ready, off to work, early finish, pack bike and on the road, bound for Portsmouth and the 22.45 Brittany Ferries sailing and overnight an overnight bob across the channel to Caen. If I’d have had time, this would have meant a leisurely afternoon skirting Kent, the High Weald and then through the South Downs en route to the ferry port. However, time dictates that it the M25 and then the A3. The M25 is a typically nauseating traverse, stop and start.. not helped at all by an oversize load that once passed still signed for as to keep the speed down for maybe fifteen or so miles ahead where it hasn’t gotten to yet. Nice planning, some dipstick in sat in front of a screen in Reigate can’t work that one better. Smart motorways, dumb operators.

    After an impromptu work call in a layby off the A3, and competing with the homebound scramble and generally Grand Theft Auto standard of driving on the A3M/M27 corridor, I present myself to Portsmouth. A quick fill up and then the caravan is on to the Ship and Castle, a place that I strangely love, giving the sense that the holiday is really starting. Gales HSB and some super stodgy grub.. just gorgeous

    Always seems to be some nice metal there and it’s great to look and have a nose around what’s there and see what people are up to.







    Ballistic turns in, and so not long he's dined too on Steak Pudding, and we’re headed to the ferry.

    With minimal fuss, we’re aboard, strapped down (bikes, that is), into the cabin and then up for a bon voyage tipple.
    There’s a busload of French kids going bonkers on the dance floor in the bar, and there are many unamused faces which I find hilarious.

    The evening outside is calm and pleasant and we watch Portsmouth disappear.



    Excited.. France beckons in a few hours..!

  15. #15
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    Southwards ho..!

    It’s murky outside. As the forecasters promised, but oh well, hey ho and all that. Will we be lucky and dodge the rain? As we leave the ferry at Caen, the raindrops begin to fall. Within a minute of the ferry port, we’re stopping to don the waterproofs not long after 7am.
    Today we’re planning to catch up with an old pal and stay over with him, a little way due west of Limoges.

    After navigating the main routes around Caen, we’re soon off and taking the back roads. The weather is not great but the riding is fine, I’m always elated during those first hours of motoring in France. We head into Alencon, where there’s a splendid stop at a bakery I'd stumbled upon before- on the main road to LeMans and distinctive as once was a Petrol Station. Lovely pastries and good coffee, what’s not to like?



    It rains and stops, rains and stops. And then rains a bit more as we twist our way down towards our destination.

    The bike has also started to misbehave a bit. Just short of 3k revs, it’s stuttering, and also on a couple of occasions it cuts out when coming to a halt. It can be rode around though.. and I hope that it’s not a sign of things to come..

    And then.. as the rain is heavier, the screen ‘goes’ off on my Zumo. Later on, this photo is pretty much accurate to how it looks: colour faded, with one half of the screen almost white.



    Bloody hell. Oh well, I have my trusty map book and know where we’re headed to if needs be. Little annoyances I guess..

    We reach our pals' pad at about 2pm and a bit earlier than we’d expected. There’s no sign of him at his house, and we can’t raise him on the phone, leaving messages and texts. We’d made the arrangements a while back and start to get a bit worried that perhaps wires are crossed. So after just over an hour we reach the decision to just keep on rocking south and see where we end up.

    So we carry on, through the showers and rain, until after 400+ miles of back roads and N’s, we agree we’re ready to pack in for the day. We’re in striking distance of the Pyrenees tomorrow, and it’s still not too late- before 6pm in fact. We end in town called Duras, and check in to a Logis hotel which is very nice. One of the family of the owners rides a GS and is happy to find a space out of the way in shelter for the bikes. They also give us the nicely heated conference room to dry off all of our wet togs and we make for the lunch for a vino or two, and then to the restaurant..



    We’ve got cheese.. this is cheese! (copyright A. Partridge):



    Dinner is rather good but the budget is torpedoed.. Definitely a good day though

  16. #16
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    Living the dream, Rob

    We're in France now, and the weather is bloody awful. In all directions.

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