Thursday, January 29, 2009

An Evening or Two with Charley Boorman

22,000 people pack into Vines of
Guildford to stand in line for the hog roast (elapsed time 3 hours) and then sit on nasty plastic chairs to watch video clips of Charley. I sit at the back sipping organic wine from own your own and chat to a chap with a Zumo whilst Charley answers questions from John Somethingbiginthebikepublicationworld. The herd then stands in line clutching their "By Any Means" volume for signature by an imitation plastic tree (elapsed time 30 hours).
I go home and skim through the CD Rom that Ted Simon had sent me and signed personally...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Didn't We Have a Lovely Time on the Way to Calais

This dear reader is my first real continental travelogue by motorcycle: The meeting in Calais had been agreed some months before when the new owner of the R1100R had announced that he would be waiting at Calais with a trailer to meet me to take the bike onto Germany. The sub zero conditions prevailing were not anticipated some months before however.

Part 1 - Camberley - dressing up:

Essential riding gear for January - 5 layers and Maplin electric insoles to boot (haha).

Part 2a - Buffoonery on the M20:

With 20 miles to run to Ashford I switch off the heated grips by mistake due to the faulty ergonomics of "off" being between 100% and 50%.

Part 2b - Arrival of hypothermia au mains.

Part 3 - Arrival at Ashford Travelodge

Part 4 - Some 20 minutes later having managed to remove my helmet:

I drink the best cup of the world....ever: Thanks nice receptionsist Travelodge Ashford.

Part 5 - The next day at 07:30:

Sub zero start - almost failed - thanks for the push by the helpful motorist obviously not from Surrey.

Part 6 - Installed on the Euroshuttle:

I become an object of curiosity to the folks from Surrey heading to the ski slopes - why bother to drive all that way I muse - you can have frostbite on the M25 just as effectively as in Verbier. I tell the Euroshuttle staff that I live near Manchester - they look incredulous.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Entering a New Year

Having failed in part to meet my 2008 resolutions, my single resolution for 2009 is only to be caught posing in this shop window once.
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