The wrong way round
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England to Bangkok, Thailand. I'm riding with Marcin, a Polish rider who
has been living in England for the last 11 years and is now emigrating
to Australia. I'm stopping in Thailand, at least that's the plan.
I'm travelling on a BMW Rotax single, the G650x Country, my companion is
riding a KTM 990 Adventure. Chalk and cheese really, I want to travel
as light as possible, he wants more power and is carrying a lot more
gear than I am so it should be interesting to see what happens.
Along the way we're hoping to catch up and meet up with other riders
doing the same journey but there aren't many people travelling this time
of year. It's going to be cold, probably wet and generally unpleasant.
I've left a lot to the last minute and while I'm sailing tomorrow at 2 I
still have some things to do before I leave like get money sorted out
and even add things to the bike.
Today I did, with the help of my baby brother a service, oil change, new
oil filter, new spark plugs and a general tidy up, this afternoon I
fitted two new tires, Continental TKC80s. I've been using them before,
they're great off-road and decent on it but a bit slippery in the wet.
My last rear has put up with nearly 10 000miles and still had some life
in it, my bike is not powerful and not heavy and my treads last well.
Spark plugs were Iridium because again, they work well and help her run
smoothly. Every little helps.
It's been an uphill struggle getting this far, Visas are a nightmare and
I'm burning through money at a shocking rate. By tomorrow, I should be
ready to leave on time with no hassle.
I'm crossing into Dunkirk and then riding into Kassel, Germany. I've
booked a low-cost F1 hotel there for the night. I've been to Kassel
before recently and so I can find the hotel easily. I don't expect to
arrive until quite late so I can do without the usual blundering around I
do looking for things in foreign countries so I'm doing this to make my
life a little easier.
So the bike is ready, pretty much. Today I bodged on a screen and it
looks a bit crap but should work nicely. I prefer naked bikes but not
for doing hundreds of miles a day in windy, wet conditions. The screen
comes off in a minute or so so if I get a chance to ride for fun then I
can whip it off and dump it in my tent/hotel room.
I'm riding from London to the Oakdene cafe for breakfast with my brother
and best mate and they're coming with me to Dover to see me off. I use
the Oakdene a lot so this is a like a spiritual farewell for me.
Farewell to greasy junk food served on chipped plates maybe but I love
the Oakdene. I should have thought it through a bit more and left on
Thursday so I could go up there on Wednesday night when the bikers meet.