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Old 11-05-2013, 03:32 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by RoninMoto View Post
I was wondering when you would start posting your trip. Was good to meet you guys in UB.


Yeah, likewise!
We're only back for two weeks in Belgium now, and in the process of selling the house and all our stuff to start a RTW next year, so prioritizing!

Anyway, now we're good to go!
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:43 AM   #17
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:02 AM   #18
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I subscribe

I should be over there toward June 2014

Good trip
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:23 AM   #19
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Oh Yea! I'm in for this one. Bring it on!

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Old 11-05-2013, 04:25 AM   #20
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About this, Kim's bike got a few Wolfman bags (that we still had from the previous 2 trips) and I decided to go for the Magadans from Adventure Spec. But they need some frame and I don't have one obviously. Problem with this was that my rear subframe couldn't accomodate any side frames for bags, so I needed to change the rear subframe for one of a more common DRZ 'S' model. They are longer as they can accommodate a passenger. So after finding a rear subframe in the Netherlands and a side frame in the USA and the bags in the UK this was settled.

I also put a rear rack on and attached a Pelicase to it, put some 12v sockets in the front to recharge electronics etc. I did put a stiffer rear shock on mine and a 28l Safari tank, on kim's a 17l Safari tank and we had brand new sets of tires (Mefo Explorer) but that's all about major mods. I have a rather strong (maybe naive?) believe that one should spent money on the trip and not on the bike.

The first days:

We wanted to go to the HUBB meeting in the UK before setting off for our trip and since the timing was not exactly great of trying to combine these two, we decided to cheat a little bit. I have a van and we can put the two DRZ's in it, so we went from Belgium to France, unloaded the bikes, took the train and arrived at the HUBB meeting the same day, after (how is it possible?) a rainy 4 hours drive in the UK.

I can only recommend this event to everyone as it's just plain fun and also nice to see and talk in person with fellow travellers or wannabe travelers.
So after a few days there we got a 'big send off' and we went back in the direction of the van (who was just parked in France on a public parking...).

(pic:courtesy of Thomas)

We were acting as celebrities and didn't even do anything (yet) so kind of a weird feeling, but a nice one nevertheless. So nice that we'll do it again next year when we leave for a RTW...

We got back to the van, drove home and slept at my parents' place as in the meantime we rented out our apartment for 3 months to a german expat.
Next day we did a long day driving all the way to Wroclaw in Poland with the van. A friend of mine was coming with the plane to pick up the van and drive it back, so we could skip almost all Europe and do it in one day... ;-)

Next day our adventure really started and one of the first towns we crossed made us feel at ease:

We crossed into Ukraine, which was a bit more familiarly territory as we've been there the year before (when returning from a Nordkapp trip) and enjoyed the country a lot. This time we would even have better memories of Ukraine but not the first days, as it was pouring rain every day, all day long. But it was the beginning of the trip so we thought 'what the heck' and started on Walters' tracks...

Did I mention it was wet and rainy all the time?

And then Kim went down for the first time this trip. Since I was riding 100m before her I didn't notice at first that she was missing in my mirror, but knowing that the sandy part had been tricky for me, I turned around when I could'nt see her anymore just to find her like this:

She looked really pissed at me and I thought the trip would be over. But Kim is tough so after a 10 minute break we started again.

We arrived in a village just to find out that there was no traffic whatsoever (we had not seen anybody anyway for the last hours) except the cows. But i think they're more scary then drivers. Well I am more scared of cows than any drunken driver I would meet.

We passed some typical buildings that looked just the same as in the old WW2 movies from when the germans invaded Ukraine, so we really started to get the feeling "we're not at home anymore".

And some abandoned church:

00-SEB-00 screwed with this post 11-05-2013 at 04:29 AM Reason: forgot smt
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:50 AM   #21
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Sorry - the first day or two's tracks thru the Ukraine are muddy and slippery and not much fun ... Maybe I should have mentioned that!

Glad Kim hung in there
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:58 AM   #22
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Sorry, guys, I didn't want to see him banned prematurely...

But to the OP, where are the other pics..
My TAT trip in 2014:
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:29 AM   #23
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Great Video. I'm in for this trip!
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:30 AM   #24
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Glad that you both decided to do this trip.

Looking forward to the RR.

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Old 11-05-2013, 11:36 AM   #25
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:06 PM   #26
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I'm in!
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:15 PM   #27
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:48 PM   #28
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:25 AM   #29
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One more subscription!
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:40 AM   #30
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Sorry - the first day or two's tracks thru the Ukraine are muddy and slippery and not much fun ... Maybe I should have mentioned that!
Oh? We didn't notice...

Whenever we are in a town or meet local youth, we always stop to have a 'chat' even if we don't speak a word of their language. We always tell them to get on the bike and have their pictures taken. As not matter how poor they are, they all have a cellphone with a camera. This is something we learned from previous trips and always works.

This is how they pointed us towards a monastery that just looks great, we even went in to have a look around, but wanted to continue to cover some distance. I don't know why it is, but the first days/weeks of a trip are always like trying to get as far away as possible from home before slowing down the pace...

We continued until we hit the major road again, as we decided to ride the last two hours of the day on a 'normal' road so we could find a hotel or something, as we had been soaking wet for the past few days and wild camping. Just when in the far distance we saw a roadside hotel I felt it... the first puncture of the trip. (would not be the last unfortunately)
Since we knew the hotel was only like 2km away I was not going to change the tyre in the middle of the road and we went to the hotel, checked-in and I started to work, taking off the wheel, taking off the tyre from the rim, checking the tube, patching it, replace the tube and the tyre. Job done!

Or was it?
Unfortunately by the time I put the wheel back on the bike and thought "ok, now let's find something to eat" the tyre was just flat again. How was this possible? Did I pinched the tube? I changed so many tubes already that I should know better. So started doing the whole job again, taking everything off and by that time the mosquitos came to help.Or to eat me alive, it's just a matter on how to look at it. I switched the tube with a new one that I carried as spare, fixed everything and thought for the second time that the job was done, until 5 minutes later the tyre was flat again. Now I started to get angry. With more force and cursing than necessary I dismantled the rear of the bike again for the third time in a row and took the whole tyre off and the tube to inspect the rim very closely as I was starting to wonder if the problem could come from there. And indeed, the rim was damaged on the inner side near a spoke and the rim protector was in very bad shape. In we were only in the first week of our trip...

So I left the bike like that there for the night and decided to try and get some sleep so we could figure out in the morning what to do. We went to bed, without food for a few hours of sleep...
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