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Old 02-28-2012, 02:10 PM   #1
K0m4 OP
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Memorabilia: A week-long journey outside of my comfort zone

What’s in an adventure?

Yeah, what is that? This is a little story of my own first little venture into the unknown. I figured it’d be a good way of introducing myself after lurking around for a while - erhm, make that more than a year - here, while at the same time doing a bit of thinking and perhaps gaining somewhat of an idea as to what I actually mean when I say “I’m looking for an adventure”. That way, I might have a better idea later on if and when it comes to actually casting off that ball and chain that ties me down at the moment (otherwise known as work.. and salary.. oh…)

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Old 02-28-2012, 02:24 PM   #2
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Part I: Preparations

Clock-turn-back: this is by now a nostalgic memory, albeit not a fading one. ‘Tis the Year of the Lord 1999, summer has arrived with all its light that we receive up in the northern meridians, more specifically known as southern Sweden. And heat (for once). It has been well over 30 (C) for several days, in fact the first time that this phenomenon appears in my memory. It is Tuesday morning, I have just received my final salary from the now closed-down bakery, and I am faced with a choice: pay the rent, or live a little…

A couple of years earlier, I’d bought my first real bike – a Suzuki GSX 1100 E made almost two decades before in 1982. It was my first love, the naked engine shining, the 100-hp grunt at the traffic light take-offs, the roar of the 4-2 system without its baffles, the instant spin of the rear wheel coming out of a bend on wet asphalt, and the death-frightening wobble I got from changing lanes on the highway with a bad rear tyre at 160 km/h. No in-betweening there. It was either a big grin-of-a-fool plastered all over my face, or an unstoppable shiver from just having looked right into the gaping eye sockets of the Grim Reaper. Too much bike for me? Hell yeah!


Still qualifies as one of the most beautiful bikes I have ever seen… but I guess I’m biased.

It was never really much of a choice. I mean, it was Tuesday morning, I had fresh money in my bank account, no job, I had just broken up with my girlfriend, and I had a mean, lean (well, ok, not lean in anyway actually) silver machine standing out on the street (with a parking ticket on it, as it would turn out. I guess I can’t argue with that, bikes aren't meant to live their lives parked). Anyway, what else was there to do?

I think every journey should have a goal. I am not one for taking my bike out “for a ride” – unless there’s a bigger - or smaller - purpose with it I’d just as soon watch TV instead. Like make a 2,000 km round-trip Vienna-Tuscany to buy some wine (damn that was a good wine), or to go to your favourite pizzeria to pick up your dinner. Those are both perfectly valid reasons to cross a continent in my book. But to just throw your leg over the bike and take her for a spin – sure, it’s something I’d rather do than sit at my work desk (eh-hrm), but there’s a whole dimension missing there.

So being a bit of a Doors-fan at the time, and never really having left the country before (a couple of nights in Kiel while in the Navy hardly counts, and it's anyway only what you remember that actually happened, right? ), why not go to Paris and visit Jim Morrison’s grave? It sounded like a well thought-through and balanced idea the moment it appeared in my hazy, unemployed Tuesday-morning mind. After all, going to Paris isn’t exactly like going to the moon – one might want to learn how to crawl before one learns how to walk. Or something..

It was ten o’clock when I arrived at the town police station, the place that would be able to issue me a temporary passport on a couple of hours’ notice. In the meantime, I went to my brother’s office, made copies of a map that sort of showed the route through Denmark, Germany, Benelux and France. I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to go, so I marked a couple of alternatives up with a highlighter so that they could be easily spotted through the tank bag plastic while driving: westerly through Amsterdam and sort-of-easterly through Aachen. My brother, older brother, responsible brother, family father brother, business-owning and –running brother had a… well, doubtful look on his face as his twenty-year-old youngest brother explained his reason for this most unusual stopping by his office.

Thanking him for his printer ink, I went home and threw a few changes of clothes into a duffel bag. And tools; after all, the bike was almost as old as me. I tied the bag to the bike (bungee straps of course, what else?), managed to wedge my cell phone in the handle bars somewhere with the idea that I’d at least see if there was a call coming, and then I’d be able to stop and call back. Then I went to the gas station, filled up, and bought a couple more bungee straps to actually strap that damn sliding-around-no-good-crap-of-a-duffel-bag down to my bike. Then off to the police station to pick the passport up. Seeing as it was my first proper trip abroad, little did I know that border controls had been all but abolished across Europe and that that passport would return to Sweden in pristine condition. Ah well, what is 250 crowns among bureaucrats and an unemployed person? Especially as when I came out of there, I started the bike, headed for the highway, cracked the throttle and followed the signs heading south towards Helsingborg, Denmark, and the Continent!


Yeah, it does look a bit

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Old 02-28-2012, 03:16 PM   #3
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Nice bike.

So how many brothers do you have..........
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:30 PM   #4
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Memorabilia again

KOm4 - I have a memory very similar to yours - so far, at any rate. One duffle bag strapped on the back. Nothing else. No "what-if" precautions, so to speak. My rain gear was a two-piece vinyl suit I picked up at Thrifty Drug Store in L.A. before heading out, along with a plastic trash bag for the duffle! And I did my trip on a close cousin to yours - a 1981 Yamaha XS Eleven Special. I still have the bike. There's something about that sort of trip that defines adventure more than having a $500 GPS mounted to your handlebars! (Although, that's nice, too, I admit.)

Funny, part of my adventure was to locate the intersection where James Dean died. Ahh, those dead idol odysseys!
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dotbond View Post
Nice bike.

So how many brothers do you have..........
That's all one and the same, he's a multi-facetted person Although there are three of us boys (four, if you count dad...). Poor mom...

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Old 02-29-2012, 01:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treebrain View Post
KOm4 - I have a memory very similar to yours - so far, at any rate. One duffle bag strapped on the back. Nothing else. No "what-if" precautions, so to speak. My rain gear was a two-piece vinyl suit I picked up at Thrifty Drug Store in L.A. before heading out, along with a plastic trash bag for the duffle! And I did my trip on a close cousin to yours - a 1981 Yamaha XS Eleven Special. I still have the bike. There's something about that sort of trip that defines adventure more than having a $500 GPS mounted to your handlebars! (Although, that's nice, too, I admit.)

Funny, part of my adventure was to locate the intersection where James Dean died. Ahh, those dead idol odysseys!
That sounds like my kind of trip Wonderful memories, aren't they?

I still have my bike too, it's at my dad's workshop. Just started browsing and buying parts to restore her to her former glory. I ride a TL1000S now, but this is my true love somehow.

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Old 02-29-2012, 01:04 AM   #7
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Part II: The Open Road

Part II: The Open Road

It was shortly after noon by now, a whole two hours since I had come to the decision of driving my bike over 1500 kms to visit the grave of a person I’d never known. But hell, I’d seen the movie, and heard the albums!

I’d put a pair of earphones in and was listening to a CD of.. no, not the Doors, but Ulf Lundell (whom to know you would have to be Swedish). At 170 I thought it might be wise to roll off a little, but it was just so much FUN! Who would have known that these long roads through nothing but pine forest in the deep, dark inners of Småland would ever be actually fun to travel!? Well, I had a hell of a lot of fun! I’m struggling hard right now to remember any other occasion on which I have felt the same sense of.. jubilation I think is the word I’m looking for.

So there I was, thundering down the road. Signs of towns that grew more and more unfamiliar flew past me as I left them in the distance behind. Had I not had the sheer excitement of the road ahead, I probably would have stopped and had a look. But I was busy. Before long, I was on the fifteen-minute ferry to Helsingør, Denmark. This was before the age of the Bridge between Malmö and Copenhagen. Leaning over the railing, looking out over the water it was the freest I had felt ever. Or at least since a few hours ago rolling on the throttle out of my hometown.

Alongside Copenhagen, my cell started blinking. I took the next off ramp, and called back. It was a friend from home calling, asking if we should hang out, watch a movie or something. “Well, I’m kind of in the middle of something at the moment”. I pressed on south to the next ferry connection between Denmark and Germany. I still had to run off the exhilaration, you know that jittery feeling that comes as you head out on a journey? Well, this was a built-up huge reservoir of it, and the flood gates had just opened! It felt like I was a horse finally let out and able to run free and stretch my legs after years of suppressed energy.


The Danish countryside (I think) - the scenery already started changing from the pine forests I was used to

As I approached the town where the ferry connection was it had already been dark for a while. Thanks to some kids playing in the street, I could find a hostel to spend the night, although sleeping was not an easy task with all that adrenalin and excitement rushing strong still.

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Old 02-29-2012, 01:06 AM   #8
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This looks interesting...
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:59 PM   #9
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Part III: The Continent

Part III: The Continent

Ok, technically Denmark is already the continent – it’s a peninsula after all. Actually, Sweden is too. But when you’re that far north, you’re somehow removed from feeling a real part of it, and Denmark is still similar enough that the feeling remains as you pass through it. And taking the ferry across the straight between Rødby and Puttgarden increases that feeling that you are crossing a divide. Being in Germany, with its architecture of wood-and-brick houses, the street signs, the car plates, and the FREE SPEED ON THE AUTOBAHN is just something else altogether.

When you’re coming from the north it feels a little like you are corralled through a narrow connection that everyone has to pass through, but once past it the choices where to go spreads out like a protractor before your tires. I took aim for Hamburg. Well, more specifically, I took aim for Reeperbahn… Had to see it, after all it was kind of an exotic thing. Not that I was looking for anything, just wanted to see it. Honest!

I cruised the streets of Hamburg a few laps, then pulled over and went for a walk. I decided to chance it with my bag and left it on the bike. Who’d want some underwear anyway? I wasn’t there to look at anything in particular (while cruising I had already past Reeperbahn a few times), just to soak up the atmosphere. While probably nothing special to most of those reading, it was something entirely different for me. The sound of a language I barely know, the look of peoples’ faces (with lots and lots of moustaches and mullets ), the imposing houses, the cars that weren’t Volvos or Saabs. I don’t know, there’s something about the atmosphere in a place that fascinates me, a whole lot more than any sights ever could. I took it in, getting the feeling of being away, and that was that. Time to get back on the road – I still hadn’t worn off the excitement.

Heading south by south-west I got stuck in a twilight zone. The Ruhr area with its Autobahn-kreuzen is in its own way awe inspiring to a young, wide-eyed not-particularly-betravelled guy like me. After the first wrong turn I thought I’d never get out of it. I kept driving in circles, looking for signs of any familiar city name that I could find on my much too zoomed out map, so that I would at least know that I was going in a decently correct direction.

After a couple of hours on the Autobahn merry-go-round (fun in its own way, though), that 35 degrees that had held Europe in a vice grip decided to toss its entire force right down on me. Tor was out that day, right up above. And he was throwing his hammer about, seemingly aiming for my poor little self. The heavens opened up in a manner I had never witnessed before – an entire sky fell right on top of me all at once, and visibility was absolutely removed. I could see the faint light of cars ahead about 30-40 metres max, as we were tottering around the free-speed highway in 30 km/h. It took all of 20 seconds for my leathers to completely soak through, and all of 20 hours to get them reasonably dry again.


If that isn’t a maze, I don’t know what is.

As the thunderstorm receded, I saw a sign of something familiar: Köln! Finally, I knew where I was! And where I was going. Luxury! It happened to be in the right direction too, who’d have known. Rolling past Köln though, I started feeling that that thunderstorm had taken any and every trace of warm air with it when it disappeared as quickly as it had shown up. My shivering simply wouldn’t let off, so I pulled over somewhat illegally on the shoulder (the traffic was barely moving anyway) and grabbed the exhaust pipe next to the cylinder. Steam rose from my gloves, and I only wished I could have wrapped my whole torso around it. The shivering subsided and I decided to get the hell out of this criss-cross of highways with cars whizzing past you even when you're doing 150, and that are impossible to double-back on if you make a mistake, and then call it a night.

By now, an ominous rattle had started to develop from the nether regions. Of the bike, not me. That’s how I could tell it wasn’t my teeth too. I wasn’t sure what to do, but I knew I would do it tomorrow. I pulled over for gas and asked the girl for somewhere I could find a bed. I spoke German for the first time outside of a class room doing it, too. After finding the small town she had directed me too (I think), I was directed by a very nice man in a very expensive BMW 700-series to the outskirts, where up the road a small Gasthaus that was only reasonably out of my price range would be located. Stumbling into the room I couldn’t wait to wring myself out of the wet leathers. It came as no surprise in the morning that they were still wet. And cold. The thermometer outside the window didn’t even reach 20 anymore, and it wouldn’t again for the remainder of the trip. To add sugar to the icing on the cake, every single thing in my duffel that could soak up moisture, had. Rain gear? What’s that? At least the smaller stuff had more or less dried up in the morning.


The hotel room outside Aachen - strewn with wet gear. Yeah, I wasn't a photographer, and I still ain't...

After a weird breakfast (sausage slices with mushrooms and pickles stuffed in them? ), I decided to do something about that rattle. I had almost reached Aachen the day before, so I found myself a gas station there. The attendant was nice enough to unlock the garage and let me fiddle in there, even though it was a holiday and no one was working. I opened the gear box up, since the noises came when I changed gears. No signs of irregularities. I was a little at a loss, since I’d never really worked on any bike except my moped I had at 15, a Suzuki K50, before… It being a holiday, there was also no one around to ask that actually had any idea about engines. “Screw it” I thought, put her back together, filled her with new oil, and went for it. I offered to pay for the time I’d used the garage, but the guy didn’t want it. It’s great how people are nice to people when you’re on the road.


Suzuki K50 – a machine that has introduced many-a-young Swedish males to the world of motorcycle (sort of) mechanics. The principles are the same, right..?

I clipped the south-east corner of Belgium, and the landscape sort of changed. Or at least I noticed it now, I'd been busy clinging to the handle bars of my power house. Maybe the initial exhiliration had finally peaked and started to fade somewhat, and give way to the sort of calm that lets you actually notice your surroundings. I loved to see the rolling hills with hardwood trees down here – where I’m from it’s mostly pine. It was beautiful. The rattling was all but gone, except when changing gears. Something that probably was a hint, but oh so lost on me…

Entering France after a shorter while than I’d ever imagined, I realised just how close everything is here. I mean, Sweden is no Canada, but it takes a while to get from somewhere to anywhere. It’s really peripheral, and crossing two borders in the scope of a couple of hours it dawned on me how many people are squished together on a small area around here. Before me, the straight main road to Paris rolled out over the hills. Three lanes, with the inner one barely having a gap between the trucks. It looked like a long goods train the whole way to Paris. I decided to pin it, to get there. I had a goal after all.

That worked for a while, until the bike started sort of bouncing up and down. The feeling is best described by the suspension of an American car, I guess… sailing along, in four tons of steel, slowly going up and down in a gentle swell with absolutely no feel for the road and grip whatsoever.. I pulled over to the shoulder when I found a gap between the trucks big enough to squeeze my bike through. I poured out my tools across the tarmac, and started trying to figure out what was going on. Turns out, as I have scolded myself many-a-times since for, it was the chain. It was hanging, draped over the sprockets, with a play of a decimetre. And of course in my tool collection, with which I could have disassembled the entire engine, I didn’t have anything remotely large enough to accommodate the rear axle nut to tighten up the chain, despite the tools weighing half of the bike itself. I called my dad, the car mechanic for advice, although I knew it was futile. I considered what to do, but couldn’t really think of anything.

This is the moment when a bike comes rolling back on the shoulder, against traffic. A small, dirt-ish bike, pulls up, and a curly-haired Frenchman takes his helmet off. Barely a word of English from him, and me not a single word of French, he quickly realises what is going on. He pulls out the only tool his bike is carrying, which just happens to be a wrench exactly the size of my axle nut! I couldn’t have made that up.. I still wish I had had something to offer him in return, because he saved everything about that trip. I'll never forget him, and have thanked him in my thoughts every time I've thought of that incident since. I still wonder what his name was.


On the highway shoulder after the saviour had left. Told you I wasn't much of a photographer

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Old 03-01-2012, 02:11 PM   #10
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Part IV: Big City, Bright Lights

Part IV: Big City, Bright Lights

Approaching Paris, I got to experience big-city congestion for the first time. I'd only had an appetizer around Hamburg and in the Ruhr area. And I mean, Stockholmers think that theirs is a big city and with congestions, but sorry, it’s nothing much more than any other small town in Sweden. Being a law-and-rules-abiding Swede, I rolled with the queues until VROOOM something zoomed past me. I barely caught glimpse of the scooter that had split lanes in a terrifying speed. It happened a few times, each time with the hairs on my neck standing straight up, but as the minutes ticked my confidence grew. I started moving along, crossing the lines, and splitting lanes. I realised you see, that the trick is to drive faster than everyone else, so that you only have to keep track of what’s in front of you, and not worry about what happens behind. And I had the power to do it, too. Turning off the ring road around Paris, the next roundabout proved the ultimate exam in big-city driving. There were two lanes, with four lines of cars, each pointing in a different direction..I whizzed passed them, narrowly escaping being sidewined by some Renault that was in the roundabout. Getting honked at was only a sign in my book of passing that exam with flying colours. It felt like being part of the family!

I stopped at a hotel, got a room, parked the bike and headed out in the Paris night for wine. Again, just soaking up the atmosphere. No damn Eiffel Towers, Arc de Triomphes or Louvres for me, give me a café, or even better a bar, and let me just get a feel for a place and its people. On Rue Barstreet (yeah, forgot the name), this is exactly what I got. I walked through a couple of bars and had some wine, and just hung out. Beautiful. The next day, I went to Pére Lachaise. I stopped at the graves of Oscar Wilde, Honoré de Balzac, Chopin, Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, the Communards’ Wall, and a few others. I felt humbled in the presence of that kind of greatness.

I strolled around until I reached the goal of my journey. It was crowded, and the graffiti really does cover the neighbouring graves, unfortunately. I didn’t consider myself a mourner as I had never known the man, but stood for some minutes, grateful for the contribution he had made and for the emotions his music invoked in me.



I picked up a pebble for memory, and as I left I noticed just how beautiful the cemetery is, with its ancient tombs and old, old gravestones. Plenty more monumental than what I was used to.


Ancient and modern side by side

That was that, my goal of the journey had been reached. I'd spent several days on the road, going through a massive thunder storm and subsequently freezing my ass off, spent hundreds of euros (well, the equivalent of course), money I didn't know when I would be able to replace since I was just out of a job, and with the rent due in a matter of days.. All to spend a few minutes visiting the grave of someone I never had any relation to. I felt calm, and a real satisfaction that I'd done it. Worth every penny.

I strolled around daylight Paris for a while longer, trying to decide what to do next. I knew the money I had left wouldn’t last forever, so going further south wasn’t really an option. To the east was kind of more of the same, unless I wanted to get down into the Alps, but then again my cash would not in a million years cover that either. My options were twofold: either I could go back north, through the Benelux countries and more or less double back on my route. I never liked doing that, I always like to complete a circle. So I went for the other option: London.

The trip to London was pretty uneventful. Well, except that I encountered the only border control on a trip that covered six countries (yeah, I was still new to the EU thing – and Sweden had only joined four years earlier. For the record, I think it’s an awesome thing). They decided they needed to check everything through too. Can’t blame them really, I had kind of long hair and the map print on my tank bag had a highlighted route over Amsterdam on it... Anyway, aside from that hour or so of rubber gloving customs check, and a little incident of me double-backing on the road because I saw a B&B sign, almost crashing with the following car in the darkness, it was a pretty uneventful ride to London. However, once there, the wrong-side (yes, it’s just not right) driving really screwed me up going into a roundabout in the outskirts. It was fine on the highways, and even generally on regular streets, but I decided for mine and everyone else’s safety I should not be driving in the inner city. So I pulled up to the tourist information office that was conveniently located right in my path (come to think of it, why did things go so easily? And why haven’t they ever since?), and with their help found a B&B run by a lovely old lady, Mrs. Taylor. It was the second B&B in England and while I knew about the carpeting, I wasn’t fully prepared for it in the bathrooms…


Approaching the white cliffs of Dover - yeah, again, I ain't no photographer, and the camera wasn't exactly high-end either...

Anyway, commuter train into London, and boy is the English’s English hard to get for someone used to American movie talk! I strolled around to Camden Market and found myself a pub where rugby was being watched. Four Guinness’s later, just out of curiosity, I had to ask how much a bloke would get per night sitting there playing Simon & Garfunkel tunes. 120 quid a night, the bar manager said, and he had an opening on Tuesdays. I cursed myself for ever asking, since with that duffel bag on the back I hadn’t had space for my guitar. Later, sobered up, I came to the realisation that it was just as well, because as soon as he would have heard me twang the strings, I doubt he would’ve given me the time of day anyway. And one does need at least a few changes of underwear on a week-long trip, does one not?

I strolled around a bit more, trying to orientate myself towards Charing Cross, to take the last train back out to the B&B. Again, this is the way I see the places I go: not through the sights, but through drinking in the atmosphere. I loved London, it had an energy that made me feel alive. In the morning, Mrs. Taylor was preparing a full English breakfast for her guests, and she had a way about her that really made me feel welcome. When I left, she came out and saw me off, and I’ve always thought to return if I ever went back and could find the place again.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:52 PM   #11
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Thoroughly Enjoying reading your story. Keep it coming
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:09 PM   #12
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Damn - I hate it when someone writes better in their second language than I do in my first! Great report - keep at it.

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Old 03-02-2012, 02:30 AM   #13
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Thanks a lot guys! I'm glad you're enjoying it, because I am enjoying writing it! And I'm honoured that you devoted your first post to complimenting my story, High Desert Rider! Thanks!
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:59 AM   #14
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Part V: Closing the Circle

Part V: Closing the Circle

I rolled north-east to Harwich, because I had found out the day before that a ferry runs from there to Esbjerg, Denmark. It was a quick trip to catch the afternoon departure, and man were the folks there seafarers through and through. The guy on the ferry told me to strap the bike with “one in the fore, and one in the aft”. I had a few drinks with two couples from Sweden also on a bike tour that I’d met before embarking, and made sure to go out on deck. There’s something about being at sea, it’s similar to being on the road with the bike. It feels like your options are endless.


This freeloader seemed to have to work on his sea legs


Getting to Esbjerg, I waved good-bye to the couples as they reclined in the mirror. A few days now, I’d been in touch with that ex-girlfriend, and now I had another goal. “My baby just wrote me a letter”! Crossing Jylland and Fyn (passing a town named Middelfart…), I reached the bridge that crosses the Great Belt. Guess I wouldn’t have to cross the straight on ice as per Swedish tradition! That bridge is monumental, and when you’re at the top of the span, you feel like you see all of Denmark. Beautiful. And the sea too. Nowadays, living in a land-locked country, I really miss the view of large bodies of water (oh. Another excuse for riding! ).

Anyway, I had a purpose, and I drove well exceeding legal limits. My aim was to reach my hometown that evening, so that I could have what any man in my situation, or any situation, would want to have: nookies! Sweden treated me with cold and rain when I returned, completely opposite from when I’d left. Ah, the feeling of coming home. The rear spun a few times on the wet tarmac as I changed gears, and my heart was up in my throat equally many times. Gotta love that bike!

I roll in on my street already late afternoon, weary but with an inner calm and satisfaction that I think only travel and adventure can bring. A sense of accomplishment, somehow. I am also happily unaware that my bank is about to cancel my credit card, since I overspent my account by.. well, a fair share more than I had, anyway. Whatever, I’m gonna get some tonight!
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Introduction/ride report: what's in an adventure?

K0m4 screwed with this post 05-12-2012 at 01:49 PM
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:43 AM   #15
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Part VI: Conclusions

Part VI: Conclusions

So, what’s in an adventure then? Did I get any wiser while writing this? Well, it became clearer what parameters that DON’T need to be in place for something to be an adventure: it’s not about the destination, at least not objectively. Exotic to me is everyday to someone else. It’s also not about your means of travel, nor is it what kind of roads that lead you there, be they dirt roads or tarmac or no roads at all.

Today, after having lived in continental Europe for eight years, having travelled quite extensively in the countries of the former Soviet Union (albeit mostly for work) and elsewhere, the idea of getting on my bike and drive to Paris seems like a round trip to the gas station to me. A quite ordinary trip for most people at the time, probably, and even blander today. And yet I remember the feeling I had that time, that sense of excitement and exhilaration that the trip gave me while doing it, and the sense of accomplishment afterwards. I had just spent a week sticking it to the voice of reason, logic, and boring conformities. It was just a week, but it signified casting off the yoke of stability, and I am convinced that I grew all the more confident as a result with a much deeper impact on my life since, than I had expected.

I suppose it is your own attitude and experience that makes an adventure an adventure. While millions had travelled these same roads before, I hadn’t. I was breaking completely new ground, for me, and getting way out of my comfort zone. And that, ladies and gentlemen, I guess is my idea of an adventure. No matter what I conjure up in the future, no matter the freak destination I identify, I will probably never be that far outside of my comfort zone again. And that’s the only sad thing, because I loved every second of it.

Thanks for reading.
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Introduction/ride report: what's in an adventure?
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