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Old 06-17-2015, 07:27 PM   #1
Little Bike OP
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Little Bike rides the UK

Alrighty, off again!

A friend on Facebook posted a link where you can put in all of the states you've been to and then post the US map with those states filled in pink (I usually don't go to those links, but hey, I was bored). The result was, I hardly ever go very far east of the Rocky Mountains. Actually, that wasn't such a big surprise since it's friggin' HOT (and not a dry heat) riding the midwest and east in the summer.

This led to much pondering last fall as to where to go this summer. Hmmm, Alaska? I have an adv Australian acquaintance who is headed there in 2016, I wanna go this summer. But do you really? Not sure.

Rent a bike in Europe? Ah, that is sounding pretty good! 5 weeks toodling around, no itinerary, wine, food, pretty little towns, amazing roads. Looked up some rental place - whaddya mean, $3500 to rent a bike!? Are you insane? I can rent an entire car for 1/4 of that and it's got 4 wheels!!!!!!

A few weeks after I was complaining to a friend (hi Bill!) about my money meeting travel wants problems. Bill says "there's a guy in Ireland, Wheatwhacker, who will help you buy a bike and store it at his place. After your trip you can then sell." Really?! No way. Off to contact WW (Martin).

Soon I'm scouring Donedeal, the Irish version of Craiglist. I start getting fixated on certain bikes. I want a dual sport, I want a dual sport actually capable of handling a little rougher dirt road, I want something cool. A friend (Bill again) had just bought a 1980s vintage Transalp. That's a cool bike. I'm now obsessed with Transalps. I find some older ones, they're soooo neat looking. Martin brings me back to earth with a simple "How are you at working on bikes, those are pretty old."

How about a newer drz? I have one, it wouldn't bother me to tour on it. Martin thinks I'm nuts, but gamely goes to look at one. The seller wants about a bazillion dollars more than it's worth. Rats.

Look at Africa Twins. Like. Red/White/Blue paint jobs. I might want to ride to Morroco some day. American on a RWB bike in northern Africa. Not so much.

Round and round. A 2001 Transalp pops up north of Martin's place at a dealership. Comes with bags, a rear rack, looks good, Martin goes and checks it out. There is good and bad. The good is it has bags. The bad is they're tiny, I'm not sure you could fit a cat (if you wanted to put in a cat, for whatever reason). Going to have to get cases. That's OK. Some rust. That's OK. Under $3000, that's OK. Pretty far from Martin's so a little pricey to pick up. That's OK. Needs tires, chain, sprockets. Uhhhhh. But runs well. Cool. It's a go.

Let the farkling and repairs begin! Pelican boxes with some inexpensive mounting hardware, bar riser, new sprockets and chain, new tires, new battery, top case. And I'm sure I've forgotten something.

At this point, you may be thinking "couldn't you have bought a bike already set up with no rust, good tires, boxes, chain/sprockets, good battery for what you've spent up to date?"

This did occur to me about a month ago. I'm not as dumb as I write. I think. BUT it wouldn't have been a Transalp!!!!

Bike is now squared away except for installing the cases and wiring in my GPS holder (which will be damn interesting since I've discovered I have the mechanical prowess of an orangutan, which is insulting to orangutans).

The plan: fly to Cork, pass out in a hotel by the airport, next day take a taxi to Martin's and spend a night in his new dormitory, practice riding on the left side of the road (Bill told me to put my watch on my right wrist, he's been there quite a few times and says it helps. Plus, I can annoy people by frequently accidentally banging my watch on tables. Good way to start conversations. Win, win!), ride to Rosslare for a night then take a ferry to Wales.

What's wrong with Ireland? Apparently, the EU has decided that, for the good of the citizenry, they should not allow riff raff, such as myself, purchase liability insurance for an Irish registered bike. I can be insured in every other EU country, but not the country of registration. Some day an insurance company may offer insurance to us scofflaws for an exorbitant amount of money, but not so much now. Of course, this went into effect very recently. EU, you can kiss my corgi's ass.

Insurance was purchased from a company in Germany, so all is good to ride Wales and Scotland. Woohoo! Just means I'll have to make a run for the border. I will be keeping the bike a Martin's for a few years. There's a lot to see on the other side of the Atlantic! And I'll probably ride Ireland anyways one of those years.

Bike - check
Plane tickets - check (BTW, you can take the QE2 across the Atlantic for $895. My plane fare is costing just under $2000 after upgrading to "Premium B.S." Economy. I'm 5'9", paying for an extra 1/4" of leg room.

School ended last Friday. Leaving day after tomorrow. Finally, reality!

No pics yet, will be pics, just not yet. Want to get this rolling so I can send the linky to my non-inmate friends. I think the true reason they want to read this is there is a betting pool on whether I come home without any booboos (I've had a rather bad track record the last 2 years). I had an offer of a custom bubble wrap suit. No, I'm just kidding, there's no betting pool. Right guys? Uh, guys?
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Old 06-18-2015, 02:27 AM   #2
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Qe2??

Is that $895 one way? That would be interesting!
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Old 06-18-2015, 04:31 AM   #3
CaptnSlo
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Yay another Little Bike report!

It sounds like you have an awesome trip planned. And make sure to post a ton of pics of the Transalp - I really dig that bike. It's a good size for you - I'm your height and I sat on a TA my friend recently acquired, and it fit like a glove and was pretty light too. What a bizarre insurance limitation! I'm definitely staying tuned. So jealous of all the teachers I know with their amazing summer break plans...

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Old 06-18-2015, 04:47 AM   #4
rockydog
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Ahha, Martin does it again. bought a Transalp through Martin couple years ago, fabbed up some racks using my Alp here as a template. brought some soft bags, sprockets, chain, tool kit, and rode it for 3 months then sold it in one day to another American chap to ride to Russia and beyond. I was one of the first half dozen to buy through Martin, since then he has streamlined the process, his storage facility, and housing onsite..

You can check out my ride report, the Isles thing. I'll be tagging along with you
in here. You're going to have a blast...

Stephen
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:43 AM   #5
Little Bike OP
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Is that $895 one way? That would be interesting!
It's double occupancy so you'd have to get another person for that rate, but yah. It's a 7 day crossing. Check it out on the Cunard Line's website. I was shocked.
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:45 AM   #6
Little Bike OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptnSlo View Post
Yay another Little Bike report!

It sounds like you have an awesome trip planned. And make sure to post a ton of pics of the Transalp - I really dig that bike. It's a good size for you - I'm your height and I sat on a TA my friend recently acquired, and it fit like a glove and was pretty light too. What a bizarre insurance limitation! I'm definitely staying tuned. So jealous of all the teachers I know with their amazing summer break plans...

Hi! I need to get back there and do the Chesapeake Bay, I really enjoyed your trip report.
I know, us teachers...
I'll do better on pics than last year Hope you're out riding a lot!
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:47 AM   #7
Little Bike OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockydog View Post
Ahha, Martin does it again. bought a Transalp through Martin couple years ago, fabbed up some racks using my Alp here as a template. brought some soft bags, sprockets, chain, tool kit, and rode it for 3 months then sold it in one day to another American chap to ride to Russia and beyond. I was one of the first half dozen to buy through Martin, since then he has streamlined the process, his storage facility, and housing onsite..

You can check out my ride report, the Isles thing. I'll be tagging along with you
in here. You're going to have a blast...

Stephen
I'll definitely check out your ride report - especially for ideas of things not to be missed. I think, on Martin's facebook page, that the guy who bought your bike posted up in response to one of mine. I think he may still have it, wrote something about Mongolia.
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Old 06-18-2015, 10:48 AM   #8
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I love England, Ireland, Scotland and the EU. I have friends over there so will watch, to see if you get near where they live. One of em is even a teach- ... um, er, I mean professor.
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Old 06-18-2015, 11:46 AM   #9
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I love England, Ireland, Scotland and the EU. I have friends over there so will watch, to see if you get near where they live. One of em is even a teach- ... um, er, I mean professor.
Thanks,
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:55 PM   #10
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have fun sue!

can't wait to see some updates.
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Old 06-19-2015, 06:29 AM   #11
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have fun sue!

can't wait to see some updates.
Thanks Joel!
Poor Julius had to take a back burner all week. But, when I get back...
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Old 06-19-2015, 07:49 PM   #12
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Sitting in the airport. Bored. Sigh.
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Old 06-19-2015, 08:14 PM   #13
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Sue, have a Guinness for me when you land in Cork. It will help with the jet lag

Bill
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Old 06-19-2015, 08:19 PM   #14
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guinness is food.
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Old 06-20-2015, 02:15 AM   #15
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In.

Let me know if you want to know about roads to ride or places to visit in Cumbria and Northumberland.
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