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Old 03-10-2014, 05:55 AM   #91
stickysidedown OP
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Originally Posted by Blader54 View Post
Wot? Ice-cold lager? Didn't think that was cricket in old blighty. Only thing I found ice-cold there were the birds.
There are many reasons I love to travel, I think you have discovered two of them for yourself
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Old 03-10-2014, 06:35 AM   #92
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I woke up to a morning mist that was just starting to burn off, but had turned the topsoil soft, this was a shame, because one aspect of my campsite I hadn't noticed at 2AM fatigued and with my nostrils filled with the scent of stale beer was that as well as being subject to harvest the soil had been enriched since, or in other words sprayed with slurry!! so now I had an exciting new aroma that I was bound to be able to market??





Sadly my adventure didn't smell like £50 a little bottle, I guess there are adventurers and there are ADVENTURERS! though for a more manly musk I couldn't ask

I continued towards the coast and then towards dunkurque, passing by the signs for nude bathing, which in the now oppressive midday heat was certainly tempting, However as I mulled this over I had the joyful and familiar experience of a flat tyre, and so bags off, bike on it's side and rear wheel out, a moment of panic as one spoke had broken, please no, please no, please no!

I removed it entirely and fitted my last tube only to see that my pump was incapable of adding more than about 3psi to it, so I wandered into town and found a bicycle shop from which I could obtain some air.

I briefly considered cutting my losses, I was so close to the ferry terminal I could be back in the UK within a few hours, if my wheel went again or I had some major drama I would now be stuck, not enough funds to weather another storm of mechanical difficulty

But by now you've probably guessed I'm not predisposed to taking the easy route! I waved to Dunkirk and then Calais as I sailed on past, I found the first petrol after Calais and took time to talk to two lovely German hitchikers a plucky pair of uni students who had been waiting for hours for a lift, were bored to tears and were hoping to broaden their horizons I did what I could though I was not able to help them with their onward journey this time.

Almost immediately afterwards my fear of a bike failure was realised, the bike started to judder violently, going from open throttle to no power repeatedly, I was either misfuelling or misfiring hideously, at first it was a hiccup, and I was concerned I'd been overcooking it on the down hill but rolling off seemed to help, but then the problem would re-emerge and was seemingly chasing me back down through the rev range, eventually I found myself crawling along the hard shoulder in 1st trying to reach the next safe place to pull off the road.

The problem was soon apparent of the two carb screws holding my float bowl in place only one was present, and furthermore the remaining one had backed out a 1/4", how the hell the bike had been running at all was a mystery, I'd deposited most of a tank of gas over the engine in the space of a few minutes, I'm glad I didn't impersonate a dog by going 'woof'

so a fix was needed, and I didn't have a bolt to fit, so I looked at what was available before using an old split pin to try and clamp the bowl in place, it sort of worked and so after a few hours kip in another 'aire' (layby) I consulted my trusty map





And so after a second long day, and one where I largely didn't have a clue where I was I found myself on a familiar road, or at least I hoped I did









I was still leaking fuel and so with 7 euros left in the kitty and an empty belly I was pretty glad to pull up to the relative safety of the house in France





So had it all been worth it??

Well I got to the house in time to work my socks off so that it could be ready for my Stepfather, who by cruel irony had himself been diagnosed with Cancer just a short while before, I'm sorry to say on Feb 14th 2014 I carried Gregs coffin to rest here in Cornwall, but it is with a great sense of pleasure I was able to share a glass of wine with him as he enjoyed the benefits of the efforts I had made that previous year to the house, both back in February and later in that summer, Greg was a keen gardener who would have no doubt done something special with the space he had for the first time in his life there in France, he found peace in gardening, a place where his inability to reconcile things he'd lived through in the military had meant he had suffered in life



And so I like to think now he is in spirit at least, readying a beautiful garden for when my mother finally goes on to join him

I'd originally set out to try and do some good for a problem that effects so many, and in terms of moneys raised a modest £2000 went to cancer research against a considerably more modest outlay made by me of a few hundred, so not only had I considered the trip a success in financial terms, I was also touched by the number of people who had opened up and been able to tell me their own stories, and in some instances successes in the fight against cancer, the humble little Honda had been able to carry a message as well as my luggage, that we do not suffer and should not suffer alone, and that together we will make a difference, no matter how small because a step in the right direction is better than no step at all.

Anyway I dont want to end on anything other than a positive note so I'll leave you with one final photo

because If my riding around France smelling of beer and cow dung, my collapsing wheels or crashing on icy roads hadn't been enough, I had one more little incident on the run home to England despite having replaced the split pin holding the carb bowl on (with a part from a kitchen door handle)

As I attempted the 350 miles up to the ferry home my swingarm fell off or at least one leg of it came away from the frame, naturally this happened at 1am in the pitch black of night on the edge of an unlit nature reserve

handily on a whim I'd picked up a pair of vice grips, muttering something about, they might be handy! It was a bit noisy riding the last 100 miles like that but it drew a crowd of bikers as we boarded the ferry in the way a £20,000 Ducati couldn't


Ride safe my friends, live the day, both for yourself, knowing tomorrow is not certain and for others knowing that your actions will stay in the hearts of those you meet along the road of life long after you've passed through.
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:52 AM   #93
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just read about your journey glad you made it...im from england origanally been living in iceland for 33 years bought a honda rd03 650..88 a few weeks ago hoping to do a bit of iceland this summer on it..but winter traveling here is a big no no ....regards iceland...
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:00 AM   #94
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just read about your journey glad you made it...im from england origanally been living in iceland for 33 years bought a honda rd03 650..88 a few weeks ago hoping to do a bit of iceland this summer on it..but winter traveling here is a big no no ....regards iceland...
Must be one of the greatest countries in the world for dirt biking, look forward to your ride reports

Don't let me beat you to it

Hmm winter travel is a no no you say??
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:51 AM   #95
icelandmg066
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yeah im hoping to do the westfjords this summer i lived there 24yrs done it by car many times...but there are many roads that can be explored by bike which
i would like to check out...around june july aug time......i think is best here ..may
sept etc very unpredictable ...iceland..
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:59 AM   #96
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Fantastic story with a heart of gold and an ending to bring a smile! Always thought vice grips must be good for something, just never quite worked out what that might be....but you've shown the way!! Congrats on raising some cash-ola for the cancer fight! Wishing you well through this stormy winter (where I live in the States they are STILL talking about snow this week!)--I've seen the news about the terrible flooding in the UK. Looking forward to reading the rest of your Mongolian adventures now! Thanks again for posting up such a fine, fine report.
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:49 PM   #97
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Nice conclusion to an outstanding report.
Beautiful french countryhouse with a promise of a great rosegarden.
Appreciate your style of reporting and thoughts.

To the roads
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:13 AM   #98
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Thank you !!

That report, my friend, is sheer class!
Enormous respect to you.
Speaking as someone without the courage to do anything even REMOTELY similar and therefore not really entitled to an opinion, I will go ahead anyway and say...For my money....You are truly, what adventuring is all about!
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:43 AM   #99
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......In those times we are humble enough to look to others for help, forced into dialogue, and an admission to ourselves that we are not an island, but that we are far greater than any individual could hope by the sum of society around us, that is abundant in knowledge and kindness not marked by lines on a map or language or religion.

We also focus on our real problems in a pure sense, giving up is never an option, and in learning there is always a way even if difficult is a great knowledge,

Also in learning about others we learn too of ourselves, and so we reach out to help those we can, when we can.....
This is one of the all time best posts I ever read anywhere. I could blather on about it, instead I'll simply repost in hopes that somehow, somebody will see this and find it as inspiring as I do.

Thanks again for a great ride report, and sincere condolences on the death of your Stepfather.

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Old 03-17-2014, 10:01 AM   #100
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Gets right to the core of it, doesn't it? Felt the same way's you, ricochet, when I read that. I might have to print that out and tape it up next to the mirror in the bath so that I see it every morning whilst shaving. Figures he'd hit the nail on the head....he's a builder after all!

Blader54 screwed with this post 03-17-2014 at 10:02 AM Reason: catastrophic apostrophe
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:12 PM   #101
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Thanks for the kind words guys, pretty humbled by them

glad you could all come along for the ride
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Mongolian Muppetry KTM 990http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=945633
Going to Hell for Cancer -26C winter ride in Norway Honda Cubhttp://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=853714
https://www.facebook.com/groups/720508524662657/ Operation Honey Badger
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Old 04-06-2014, 04:01 AM   #102
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What a spirit, what a heart
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:29 AM   #103
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Thanks
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:49 AM   #104
stickysidedown OP
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On the contrary, thank you all for coming along!

You know at the outset I wasn't going to write any of my ride reports down

I'm a little awkward at drawing attention to myself and believe it I'm very reserved, so I was thinking to myself

Why would anyone care what I get up to?

But I was asked by a friend to write something, he explained he dreamed of some big wild trips but 'life' happened, he has a good job, wife, children big mortgage, and so his only way to make those journeys was through books/ films and imagination.

That is when I realised I had a responsibility to do my best to share what I could


The fact is you have all been so supportive and kind it has reinforced my belief in the brotherhood of bikers and I feel so honoured to stand among you as an equal.

Of course I'm hoping for future trips, and ultimately to do a little bit to be an ambassador for biking, encourage people on their first adventures and explore my own limits as a motorcyclist

I can't say much more than that right now but in order to improve my chances of negotiating a discount on some new non leaking trousers and the like I would be grateful if anyone interested in following me would consider joining my new projects facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/groups/720508524662657/ Operation Honey Badger

Don't worry if you don't want to, it's helpful to me but I will still be sharing any trials and tribulations from the road here and/or through a website later on
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Mongolian Muppetry KTM 990http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=945633
Going to Hell for Cancer -26C winter ride in Norway Honda Cubhttp://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=853714
https://www.facebook.com/groups/720508524662657/ Operation Honey Badger
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Old 04-27-2014, 03:16 PM   #105
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This is just the sort of story that I enjoy reading the most. Mad dogs and Englishman go out in the midnight sun!
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