Welcome! I’ve finally managed to find some time to get started with this blogging lark. To be honest, I’ve been putting off starting it, mainly cos of more important preparations to do but also cos I’ve never kept a diary before and its all a bit alien to me. I’m sure I’ll get the swing of things once I’m on the road.
Its been over a month since I finished work and moved back to Widnes and I’ve been busy making final preparations and catching up with friends before I go (feels like I’ve been on the lash for weeks). I rode up to Scotland for a trial run to see some mates and tried out my bike and all of my camping kit. It was good fun, special thanks to Kenny in Fort Augustus for all his hospitality.
The bike wasn’t totally loaded as I didn’t have any tools or spares with me, but the extra weight was definitely noticeable as I had to pick it up a few times when it fell over. Still, it handled well and had enough power for overtakes and even got me a speeding ticket! (My speedometer wasn’t working, its fixed now, honestly officer!). Camping on the Isle of Skye was amazing but I didn’t get any sleep with gale force winds battering my tent and ultimately, collapsing it! Still, it hasn’t put me off the idea of wild camping although I reckon I’ll be staying in rented accommodation when the weather is that bad.
The bike is as ready as it will ever be and all of my paperwork is in place. Well, except for visas for Africa, which I’ve decided are better picked up on the way. I still need to get another couple of vaccinations (in Liverpool, you can get vaccinated in the pub!, see the vid below – cheers hon!), and I have to practice changing tyres, fixing punctures and packing my bags with all the tools and spare parts and then I’m off.
I had to do my first in-the-field motorbike repair in Liverpool Airport car park. The engine had no spark which I traced back to a faulty wire in the ignition. I bodged it together with a bulldog clip and shorted the switch contacts with bits of solder held in place with gaffer tape. It got me home, and I’m glad that these little problems get sorted out here before I leave. Thanks to the boys from the Isle of Mann for all their help and entertainment.
I’m sure that there are loads of things I’ve forgotten to do, but if I don’t set myself a date to leave I’m sure I’ll keep delaying it while obsessing about small details that wouldn’t be an issue once I’m on the road.
See you all soon!