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Old 05-05-2012, 07:33 AM   #31
Dekatria OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorrizza View Post
Ooh, interesting trip. Subscribed. It sure sounds like a lot of fun. Can't wait to read the ride report next year.

Nice bike by the way. :)
Thanks, appreciate it

The past week I was able to do my first preliminary trip, which was a 700 kilometres in total divided over 2.5 days. It was good fun I gotta say, really enjoy just being out there, riding around

Here's the report, which is also on the website:

Quote:


In preparation to the longer journeys to Great Britain and subsequently Greece I thought it would be wise to make a smaller trip in the Netherlands. As I have to average around 250 kilometres a day in Britain, a destination somewhere in the north of the Netherlands was an obvious choice. It coincided with the birth of my brother's baby boy as well, so the first stop would be his home, around halfway the route. On the 2nd of May, I set sail for Northern Territory.

The road to the North went pretty well. The sun was shining, I was in my element, and because of the nice spring temperature alot of insects were in their element as well, before burying themselves into my visor, helmet, panniers and motorbike. Thank god I didn't open my visor anywhere on the route, hahaha...

Thanks to a decent preparation, the navigation went pretty smoothly and before long I found myself riding through the entrance on the camping site of Motorcamping 't Witveen in Friesland. Earlier, I had phoned them to check whether they had any space, but as I arrived it turned out to be an irrelevant question. As it was a normal working day for most Dutchmen, the field was deserted, so I could pick any spot I wanted. The owners (and both avid riders) Jan & Hinke were really hospitable, and even welcomed me into the warmth of their own home since I was the only customer for the night.

The night itself was cold but doable, and the next day (after accidentally deleting all footage en photos from the day before, d'oh!) I set out for the next stop - Motorcamping De Motorschuur in the aptly named village of Gasselternijveenschemond. The route towards it was a bit complicated even though I'd carefully planned it, and soon enough I lost track of where I was. But that didn't seem to matter at all... I enjoyed just being out there, riding around through curiously named villages with everything I needed on my beast. It liked the basic, explorer-like feel of it all... and after consulting a road-side map, I rode towards my destination.



Upon arrival at de Motorschuur, I was greeted by the two dogs of owners Gijs & Madeleine. I could once again pick any place I wanted on the camping field, and soon enough, Dekatria-HQ was up and running again. I had no fuel as of yet for the Primus stove, so after a much-needed afternoon nap, I put the topbox on the Alp and rode towards the nearby town of Stadskanaal to get the necessary supplies (and to find out the football scores, as I'd been living in a TV/internet-less bubble for almost two days). Primus stoves work on pretty much any flammable liquid, so I got some methylated spirit from the convenience store and rode back.

Upon returning to the camping site two Danish men had arrived on Yamaha XJs - Jřargen and Fleming. They were travelling from Denmark to the Morgan factory in the UK, and up until supper time we kept one another entertained with a plentiful amount of stories.



Then, it was time for dinner... so time for FIRE! After some fiddling I got the Primus working, which resulted in a victory-lap through the premises. LOOK WHAT I HAVE CREATED! Both me and my sense-of-self-accomplishment joined the rest at dinner, and afterwards, we talked by the fireplace until it was time to sleep. A good end to a good day.

The next day had rain, which was exactly what I had ordered. This may sound weird, but as I expect to be riding through rain in the UK (because well, it's the UK) I wanted to get this bit of fully-laden riding experience in as well. I shook hands, and went on my way.

However, the entire road back home I got mullered by a strong head-on wind, which eventually wore out my right upperarm despite taking frequent breaks. I chose to stop at my brother's place for half an hour as the pain had gotten unbearable, but 20 kilometres after continuing my journey, the pain was back. I wanted to avoid rush hour though, so until I reached my hometown of Rotterdam I soldiered on, riding 80 km with an arm that felt as if it was going to fall off.

Despite this, I really enjoyed the trip. I got to do everything that I wanted (which includes riding through rain with the fully-laden Alp), the bike's layout turned out to be nearly as good as it could get and doing 250km a day was less exhausting as I feared it to be. All in all, it was a right success, and I'm really looking forward to July.

See you on Friday the 13th!
A full photo gallery can be found on the project's Facebook page. Expect a video-compilation soon enough!
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The Hekla Project - Riding to Hell and back (Scandinavia 2014 - Iceland 2015)
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Dekatria screwed with this post 05-05-2012 at 07:40 AM
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:23 AM   #32
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Took some of the video footage of the trip, and turned it into a compilation. Enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMDQGNc7Jro
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Thousands of miles, two wheels, and thirteen reasons.
Follow my project at www.thirteenreasons.nl or on Facebook!
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:18 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dekatria View Post
Took some of the video footage of the trip, and turned it into a compilation. Enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMDQGNc7Jro

Very good....!!
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:59 PM   #34
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Very good....!!
Thanks

The route for the tour of Britain is taking shape by the way. Friday the 13th is the departure, arrival at 8pm in Harwich where I'll spend the night. Next day I'll set course for York, and Sunday I'll be entering Scotland. The rest of the course (down South towards Liverpool, Cardiff etc.) I'm not planning out that thoroughly, since with the testing trip I found out I like to leave things up to chance a little bit; if I want to stay somewhere a bit longer, I want to have the ability to do so.

Stops include various National parks, castles, the town of Whitby and Holy Island - if anyone has further additions, please feel free to contribute!
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Follow my project at www.thirteenreasons.nl or on Facebook!

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Old 05-26-2012, 12:50 PM   #35
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Keep left...................... or was it right???????

I can not get used to that.
Even after spending one month in New Zeeland driving around (in a car though)
Every time I get to GB (or any other counrty foolish anough to be screwing with our heads like that) someone has to save me at least once from being run over.

Anyway be save and enjoy you trip

Cheers

Wolsly
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:29 AM   #36
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Nice video! A pretty good soundtrack for a change, thanks :)
Was that the Rotterdam flag by the way?
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:25 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Wolsly View Post
I can not get used to that.
Even after spending one month in New Zeeland driving around (in a car though)
Every time I get to GB (or any other counrty foolish anough to be screwing with our heads like that) someone has to save me at least once from being run over.

Anyway be save and enjoy you trip

Cheers

Wolsly
I'm hoping I won't have that much difficulty adjusting I guess it's mostly with junctions that you really got to pay attention with. Just last week I found out Holy Island is on the route... I just have to get there, see how it is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jorrizza View Post
Nice video! A pretty good soundtrack for a change, thanks :)
Was that the Rotterdam flag by the way?
Thanks! And yes it's the city where most of my family comes from and where I live. The flag has the city's coat of arms on it as well, with its slogan 'Sterker door Strijd' (tr. 'stronger through struggle') underneath it. Found it quite fitting regarding the origin of the project.
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Old 06-23-2012, 04:36 AM   #38
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With three weeks to go until departure to the UK, things are moving along nicely. The bike's oil- and airfilter will be replaced, and a few bits of the rack will need some painting as bare metal is showing.

Maps are in as well - I purchased the Michelin GB roadatlas, as it's spiralbound and therefore easy to use. I probably won't use it on the move (eyes should be on the road at all times, I reckon) but during stops it should prove very handy. For the Drift I ordered a suction mount, enabling me to shoot from the panniers and pretty much anything else I can clip it on.

The route has been finalised now pretty much as well (click the hell out of me!) - new additions are Holy Island, John o'Groats and the London Olympic Park. I figured that if Scotland is the main aim of the trip, I might as well see as much of it as I can.



Lastly, I experimented a little bit with extra sunprotection on the helmet - I've noticed that when the sun's close to the horizon, the built-in sunvisor of the N90 still doesn't work as well as I'd hoped on the longer trips. This week, I took some painting tape and masked the top of the main visor up. Worked like a charm... so I took off the tape, made a template out of it, which I then used to cut one of the big stickers into shape. It's the top one on the below picture.



I gotta say, just browsing through the Michelin roadbook the penny sort of drops on the magnitude of the 2013 trip to Greece. On one hand, I'm itching to get out there... but on the other, it sorta scares me to death it doesn't help that the total length of the 2013 trip is just as much as I've ridden in total with the Alp since I purchased it last October...

Above all though, I'm really looking forward to it all. If anyone wants to meet up along the way, just leave a message!
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The Hekla Project - Riding to Hell and back (Scandinavia 2014 - Iceland 2015)
Thousands of miles, two wheels, and thirteen reasons.
Follow my project at www.thirteenreasons.nl or on Facebook!

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Old 06-30-2012, 01:29 PM   #39
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Used the past two days for the big pre-trip service I had been planning.

Changed the oil and oilfilter, drained the crankcase breather and replaced the dead Stebel with a working horn yesterday. Today I was just going to do the seemingly easy task of changing the airfilter, but since it was screwed on pretty tight with very tasty screws (and when I say tasty, I mean my screwdriver found them tasty, eating away at the heads rendering them even more immobile) I spent the better part of today drilling the suckers out.



Carefully drilled them in with a small bit, after which I used a big bit to drill away the screwheads. Eventually though, I was successful - when the heads came off and I could remove the old airfilter, I could take the remainder of the screws out with some pliers. Virtually no damage to the airbox at all - let's have a cheer for personal sense of self-accomplishment!



I mounted the fresh filter with some burly indestructible flatheads. I'll be damned if I ever have to do this again

Coming week I'll change the front brakepads, and then the Alp will be ready to rock for Britain. Two weeks remaining!
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Follow my project at www.thirteenreasons.nl or on Facebook!
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:41 PM   #40
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Be carefull what you wish for

"I mounted the fresh filter with some burly indestructible flatheads. I'll be damned if I ever have to do this again "

what is said can not be unsaid is what they say

Anyhow keep up the good work and have fun in the UK.
Keep us posted

Cheers

Wolsly
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:07 PM   #41
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Good luck on the other side of the small pond! That Alp won't fail you, no way. 600s never fail. And since those screws have become a part of the Alp, those won't fail either.

If you're going to get some new brake pads, why not replace the whole bunch? Especially in hilly terrain I tend to use the rear brake a lot more somehow. The UK isn't exactly what you'd call flat :)
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:35 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolsly View Post
"I mounted the fresh filter with some burly indestructible flatheads. I'll be damned if I ever have to do this again "

what is said can not be unsaid is what they say

Anyhow keep up the good work and have fun in the UK.
Keep us posted

Cheers

Wolsly
Here's a pic of how it looks now:



Mounted them with petroleum jelly to be sure. If these screws won't budge either when I replace the filter again, I don't know what will help

Quote:
Originally Posted by jorrizza View Post
Good luck on the other side of the small pond! That Alp won't fail you, no way. 600s never fail. And since those screws have become a part of the Alp, those won't fail either.
Let's hope so
Quote:
If you're going to get some new brake pads, why not replace the whole bunch? Especially in hilly terrain I tend to use the rear brake a lot more somehow. The UK isn't exactly what you'd call flat :)
I checked the rear ones too last week, and there's still more than plenty of meat on them. Front ones are just getting too thin for my taste

Had a small heart-attack yesterday when I realised I hadn't checked the front sprocket at all - feared I had to replace it (set's been on there 17k), so I drove straight from work to pull the cover off. It turned out to be perfectly OK... saves me the trouble of having to schedule replacement *enter big sigh of relief*. Took advantage of the moment to clean the cover of all the gunk that had accumulated inside of it.

Probably will do the brakes tomorrow, so I'll have me a week to dial out any other things.
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The Hekla Project - Riding to Hell and back (Scandinavia 2014 - Iceland 2015)
Thousands of miles, two wheels, and thirteen reasons.
Follow my project at www.thirteenreasons.nl or on Facebook!

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Old 07-12-2012, 05:24 AM   #43
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Last post before departure towards Britain!

If I can upload pics on the way, I'll post them on the project's FB page. Afterwards, the full report will be posted on the website and in this topic.

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Follow my project at www.thirteenreasons.nl or on Facebook!
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:57 AM   #44
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Have a great trip.

I hope the weather clears up a bit.
This morning wasn't much fun on the bike to work, it felt like the ocean came down on me.
Anyway enjoy

Wolsly
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:22 PM   #45
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Back home, and alot of pictures have found their way to the FB page already!

I'll be posting a daily report of each leg of the trip the coming days, with extra footage and pics
Quote:
Day 1 & 2 – Friday the 13th + Saturday the 14th – Departure & Arrival

The days prior to launch I entered a state of near neurotic psychosis. I knew everything was pretty much in tip-top order, but still I drove myself crazy upto the point of also tightening every spoke in the wheels. All you really want is just to get going, because the waiting was just slowly driving me nuts.

My boat would depart at half past 2, with check-in limit at 45 minutes prior to that. However, I got so anxious I eventually ended up half an hour early, entering check-in way early.

On ferries you have to tie your bike down ofcourse, and for that purpose I'd brought a few straps (they supply straps for you, but I don't like being dependent on supplied material). In my psychotic mode I purchased another strap however, because it had hooks on it. This ended up being a smart move – not because of the hooks, but the German straps were too short to tie the beast down over the seat. The bigger one I'd bought days before the trip however, had room to spare.

With the beast in gear, a jammed-on front brake, chocks at the wheels and three straps holding the Alp in place, the boat could've probably entered a wormhole without the bike moving as much as an inch. Just when I was going to go to the living deck, I stood back and looked at the beast, smiling to myself. After everything that had happened, I was now finally on my way.



On the boat I met a Dutch family, which traveled with three kids through the midlands toward Liverpool – alas, the first candidates for signing of the flag! Coincidentally, their return ferry-trip was the 22nd as well. I busied myself with doing the roadbook for the first day, and whilst doing so I was joined by an older man, who asked to show me where I was going and immediately told me where to go and what to miss. He had just completed a trip with his son, going with a campervan from England to Poland and Denmark. And thus, the flag was signed once more.



There was plenty of sun upon arrival in Harwich, and as I rode off the ferry, a Dutch couple with a hacked Harley rode in front of me. It even had a suicide-shift, how cool's that? With some luck, I found the overnight stay pretty quickly, and before long I was joined again by another dutch couple riding their bicycles from Holland to Land's end before taking a ferry to France.

During the night, it started raining, and just when I had finished packing my tent the next morning (I just wanted to get going, actually) it sort of stopped. Nevermind then! The proprietor's reaction to my destination the next day was quite simple: 'Focking hell!' Little did I know what he meant with that.



The first miles went pretty well, but after Ipswich...well, let's just say that if you see the sign 'Welcome to Suffolk' for the third time in yet another different location, you know you need to go find the motorway. And that's what I did. Things went pretty smooth from there on in... and before long I was really close to my destination. I also noticed that I'd also miss the one sight I'd planned to see on this day were I to continue the way I did... so I took a detour, to see Humber Bridge.

And I didn't regret it. Coming from the South, you can only see it just when you're about half a mile near it, coming over a hill around a bend. Awe-inspiring, that's a good word for what I thought of it... I almost thought I was in San Fran. And there's no toll for bikers too!

Going into the final stretch towards my first accommodation, I noticed that the further North I got, the more impossible people's English became. I thought that, being a teacher of the language, I'd be used to one thing or another... but one fuel-pump attendant had to repeat herself three times before I understood what she was saying, hahaha.

After a bit of a look-around I found my camp site: Squires Biker Café. It's basically a huge bikerpub where you can eat, drink, play pool and (in my case) also camp. Very good location, and lots of bikers too... quite ideal, from my point of view.

On the camp site behind it I met the British couple – marathon runners Gary and Hazel, who came from Ipswich and who were just away for the weekend on their (immaculate-looking though thoroughly-used) GS. Gary was affluent with stories of the trips they'd made – I liked the one where they visited Spain and Andorra on the same day, returning again because of the crap weather... thus giving them a pic of the bike under a palm tree and in the snow, taken on the same day.

They also signed the flag, and being an avid collector of country stickers on his panniers the project sticker soon find a new home as well.

Myself, I was totally wrecked after over 500km on one day. That much in fact, that I didn't know whether I would be able to do the entire island in the week to come. No, my morale was pretty much shot to pieces... though two cans of Coke seemed to bring me back to life again. I knew that tomorrow would be better, since both Holy Island and Scotland awaited. Gary advised me to fill up in Scotland whenever I could, since fuel-stations were few and far between. A useful piece of advice, I found out a few days on.

But more on that the coming days. In tomorrow's report, the Sunday of the trip, entering Scotland going toward Edinburgh!
Pictures can be found on the FB page, and a short video of Squires can be found on the website.
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