The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
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Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
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Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
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My best mate and I planned to go to the Brighton mini meet, but turned up a week early, so we had our own (very) mini meet. I have written it up, hopefully my tale will amuse anyone who is doing as little as me.
Have Cub, will travel. Beer powered map fantasies and boozy internet day dreams can kickstart the reality, but nobody ever travelled without leaving their bedroom. To shake these cubs down, we were going to have to put some miles on them before leaving the country. If we were going to know them inside out before getting stranded in the heart of Africa, there would be no better way than a few long trips in the backyard.
A quick scour of Horizonsunlimited.com for motorcycle traveller events unearthed two. I instantly volunteered for both. The first was in Brighton, 190 miles from Lincoln by the AA’s reckoning. It seemed like a good idea, get some practice miles down, and meet wiser, more experienced people into the bargain. Two birds and one stone, two idiots on cubs and one damn long ride into the deepest south.
The morning of the shakedown came like the first day of the summer holidays, with these two excitable kids stealing to their loves like schoolboys from their books. Stood by a pair of purring C90s, stacked high with pants and showers in a can, we were practically floating as we threw soft luggage on the backs of our beasts. Packing is always exciting; even if it is only for a long weekend in Brighton, it’s a tangible antidote to inertia; even if that inertia is only to be dragged along by three horses. Pulling out of my drive, powered by sheer stupid enthusiasm and 95 Ron, the cub felt like an unstoppable force; it would take one hell of an unmovable object to stop this kitten.
If packing is the antidote, shiny black streaks of sixty mile an hour roads are the virus. After a few hours in the saddle, stopping only for smokes and fuel, the enthusiasm was dribbling away faster than the oil was disappearing from my sump. The virus was winning. Fast ‘a’ roads are not much fun when fifty is an optimistic top speed. Throttle to the stop and head down to minimise wind resistance, and still everything on the road was passing us. When even side by side single combat locked lorries find you an annoying hindrance you know you have a rather unsuitable vehicle. With the first hundred miles under our belt, and (so we thought) the backbone of the ride broken, we decided to skip onto the backroads. After all, it was only twelve in the morning, and we weren’t due at our rendezvous until seven. Eighty miles, seven hours, should have been a breeze. Note those two words ‘should have.’ Shoulda, woulda, coulda. Windy speed limited roads to nowhere are much better hunting grounds. Time disappears in a haze of nailed apexes and side to side flip flop flowing. Everybody should learn to ride on a bike so underpowered. Without the power to point and squirt, brake hard, roll around the corner, accelerate hard on the straight, brake and bake all over again, momentum has to be conserved. The quest for that holy perfect line very quickly becomes an obsession, even the slightest loss of speed has to be paid for so dearly that its conservation becomes consuming.
So consuming in fact, that you get horrendously lost while not paying attention to road signs, and instead, pay a three hour levy for the privilege. Three hours of left to right zig zagging through country roads, to travel fifty miles south. But the roads were friendly and the pretty little villages more interesting than miles of cats eyes and biker mincing barriers. It also meant we drove through a village called ‘Knob End.’ God is in the journey, not the destination.
One hundred and fifty miles down in 6 hours. We were now directly above London, and had to decide whether to go straight through the centre, or around the M25.
The lunatic stalked streets of London would make more sense for the vehicle, but our deadline made us take the rather left field choice of the motorway. Quick fag and a fatty lunch for fortitude, and into the fray. Chance favoured us immediately; God likes C90 pilots, as we flew down the slip road, we ended up in behind a queue of lorries. Without slipstream, the bikes’ top speed varies in between forty and fifty, depending on the wind and the gradient. In the lea of a lorry, this speed can be pushed way past fifty, sometimes up to the vertiginous heights of sixty, off of the top of the retro cool speedometer. The suck can be clearly felt as the articulated monster rushes by, and then drags the bike along to speeds an 89cc moped should never see. As lorries turned off, or sped up, or changed lanes, we switched vehicles, piggy backing another for x miles, then finding another helpful big brother. Safe? Not likely. Perching atop a bike not much bigger than the average pushbike, with anorexic tyres and zero road presence is risky at best. Zipping like a frisky gazelle round the wheeled hooves of fifty tonne elephant juggernauts is suicidal at best. To add to the fun my fuel gauge was winking at me, warning of severe thirst, pushing me to slipstream ever closer, until I could practically hold onto the numberplate of whichever happy symbiote I was feeding off of at the time. Terrified of put put putting to a stop on the side of the busiest motorway in the country, but unable to throttle off for fear of losing the slipstream, I buzzed along with the both petrol and speedo needles jammed in the red.
The Cub holds £3.80 of the finest unleaded when fully brimmed, and my petrol gauge had flatlined ten miles back. Even someone of my mathematical ability could work out that there couldn’t be much juice left. The ‘distance to services’ signs still refused to show their beautiful faces, laughing at me in their absence like shy sirens. The uncertainty mocked me, not knowing how far I had to coax my thirsty donkey made my arse chew the vinyl seat. ‘What would I do if the engine suddenly faltered?’ ‘How will I get out of this box of ten wheelers without power?’ ‘It it best to jump and run, leaving the dehydrated bike to its demise?’ ‘Does Tom have the same problem as me, or is the skinny bastard still on half a tank?’
I was wrong. Sometimes ignorance is better than a little bit of unwelcome knowledge. The ‘distance to services’ signs had revealed themselves, shyly counting down in giggles ‘18 miles to services,’ ’15,’ ’12,’ ‘8.’ Those sirens I had so lusted after turned out to speak with the uncertain protraction of a Cornish inbred and the bitterness of a menopausal divorcee. I swear at points they went back on themselves and claimed the distance was actually increasing as I rolled forwards. The interminable countdown reminded me of a dinner party full of bankers and IT consultants I once went to, where the hands of the clock kept running backwards. It’s crazy how the phrases ‘financial year,’ ‘office party,’ ‘impending economic downturn,’ and ‘when I was at Cambridge/Oxford/Starbucks/BMW showroom,’ can send clocks into exponential retreat. The four hours of that party must have been eight by any other clock. The countdown was now victim of that same cruel quirk, dangling its carrot before me, and then bashing me over the head with the pointy end. ‘6’ ‘5,’ ‘3,’ ‘3,’ ‘5,’ ‘2,’ and the cub kept rolling on, seemingly on fresh air. ‘1 mile to services’ flashed up on the board, barely visible through the phalanx of lorries flanking me. For fear of missing the slip road, I dropped off of my host and moved into the left lane, with Tom following. Bereft of any lorry support, I had to complete this mile without any aerodynamic assistance. Hope had almost faded past dusk, when the BP sun rose across the horizon of the road. I felt like a Siberian villager, stepping out of his urt and seeing the glow for the first time after a long dark winter. I indicated, turned into the entrance road of the services, and as a tandem with Tom, promptly rode directly the opposite direction to the pumps. The diversion took us into the lorry park, which was a great place for parking lorries, but a pretty terrible one for getting petrol. We turned the bikes around and headed literally straight in the direction of the pumps, not bothering to find an access road. The route took in several large curbs, but the Cub happily hopped up them with a little wheelie and a small unweighting of the rear. As I rounded the corner of the petrol station the engine coughed a little, took an asthmatic last breath, and died. I had just enough momentum to coast to the pump. She made it, with the will of Allah behind her, lorries in front of her and the temperance and restraint of a penitent saint within her. 90 miles for less than the price of a packet of fags, now that is an undemonstrative thirst.
Two full tanks of fuel, a packet of rider fuel (jaffa cakes,) and two pints of milk left money jangling in my pocket from a tenner. Rejuvenated, refuelled, rehydrated and really bloody stiff from 6 hours sat crouched over a set of bars designed for the average height and size 1955 Japanese gent, we set off once more. Straight into a tunnel and back behind a lorry, we stayed locked to his rear axle until we could finally get off of the motorway, on to the last leg. In the tunnel the cub sounded somehow fruity, the previously reticent whisper transformed to a booming bark. Must have been the acoustics of the tunnel.
The road stretched on, rolling towards Brighton. Going south is always easier, as it is obviously downhill, and you don’t get much more South than Brighton without getting really wet. The road was a nice slow ‘a,’ packed with enough lorries and speed cameras to ensure the speed was Cub comfy. The hours whizzed by in a forty mile an hour blur of scenic southern lanes, dreaming dozy daydreams on automatic autopilot.
The warm late autumn sunshine became a warming late Moroccan evening, and as the overarching elms morphed into fronded palms, the Cub raised its four stroke hum into an angry two stroke snarl. Tearing around the suburbs of Ouzarzarte on my dirt bike, reality nibbled my ear. The sun wasn’t warming the dunes, and the palms weren’t shading my head, but my cub was still doing a bloody great crosser impression. I waved Tom down, and we pulled up to a halt in a layby. ‘What’s wrong? We’re nearly there,’ Tom looked like I had postponed Christmas. Without saying anything, I revved my throttle, and looked into his open faced helmet as I did so. ‘Oh, I see, sounds a bit ****ed doesn’t it.’ Respecting his place as the team engineer, I had no choice but to accept his diagnosis, it did indeed sound ****ed. ‘Get off it an we’ll have a look at it.’ After a couple of cursory revs, enjoying the new anger in the bikes’ voice, I whapped it on to the centre stand and joined him on the floor.
‘Ooh, look at that,’ Tom breathed out in his engineers voice. I looked, and ‘mmmd,’ nodding professionally with pursed lips, looking at the join of exhaust and engine where his attentions were focussed. I didn’t fool him, ‘you don’t see anything do you?’ He was correct, it just looked like it always had to me, if you don’t know what something should look like, you don’t know when all is not as it should be. ‘Well, you see the end of the exhaust? That gaping hole shouldn’t be there, it should go right up to the engine. It has fallen off.’ I could see why this would be a problem, even with my limited knowledge, I could see that things falling off would not be good.
‘We need a welder to stick it back on, otherwise we’ll just have to gaffer it up so it doesn’t drag, and put up with the noise.’ I was well up for the black and nasty quick fix and riding around pretending I was Carey Hart. This option didn’t please Tom’s engineer sensibilities. I couldn’t see the harm of a bit more gaffer tape, in the two hundred miles we had done, I had already used plenty. It now held my floppy rear indicator horizontal, and stopped my left hand mirror from spinning around at its annoying whim.
After some head scratching, and useless attempts at telling me why it was not good to run without an exhaust, Tom looked up, and hurriedly exclaimed, ‘one second, stay with the bikes and I will be back in a sec.’
Off he went, on a mission. I sat around feeling slightly useless, but smug in the knowledge that it was ok to be so, as I had Tom as a safety net. I hopped back on the now silent bike and rolled myself a quick cigarette. I had barely finished it when Tom came running back with a chuffed smile under the frame of his open faced twat hat. ‘Smoke up and bring the bike, I’ve got a welder.’
We jumped on the bikes and rolled off, freewheeling around the corner where there was a small garage. Straight into the workshop, I hadn’t even got off the seat before Tom and a wiry oil covered mechanic were on their backs umming and ahhing at the damage. They stood up and continued chatting in metallic jargon while the spanner monkey rolled a floppy fag. I nodded a little, and then he dragged a welder over and started working his magic, cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth the whole time. A minute later, and he jumped up, ‘there ya go mate, good as new, ****in awesome bikes these, used to race em meself, bombproof, don like bein over revved tho.’ Ah, so maybe sixty miles an hour on a motorway would be classed as such? Probably best not to mention that one. He refused to accept any money for it, so I left him enough for a couple of drinks and we continued. The Gods of providence were still favouring the Cubs, what were the chances of breaking down outside a garage?
The signs for Brighton started appearing, and sure enough, the outskirts of the town soon loomed on the horizon. It seemed as if everyone in the south was trying to pack into this little town on the coast, for miles out, the traffic was queued to a halt. Not that it is much bother on the Ultimate Filtering Bike. Being so physically small and light may be a hindrance in almost every other situation, but in dense traffic, the bike comes alive. What would have taken a couple of hours in a car, took twenty minutes on the Cub.
We didn’t know where we were going, we knew the meeting place was called the ‘Hanover,’ but we had no idea where it was. The only thing we vaguely knew the location of was the sea, so we made like lemmings seaward. We had been wearing scarves across our faces on the long ride down, but we now dropped them, and let the smell of the Channel fill our mouths and noses. Brighton was whizzing past in a flurry of seaside tack shops and young trendies, but we had no time to stop and stare, such was our single-mindedness
‘I can see the sea!’ Tom shouted, clearly audible over the engines and the wind rush. We were riding almost side by side, and the excitement danced in his eyes. One more balls out blast down to the promenade, and a helpfully placed ‘bikes only’ parking space provided our berth. Tom leaped off like a jockey who’s just won the national, and in the setting sun we shook hands to celebrate the successful completion of the first shakedown. It was partially premature, as we still didn’t know the meeting place, and it was gone half six, the sun was going down and a chill was falling in the sea air. We took a few pictures of our high water mark, before asking for some directions and receding back up the town.
It was easy enough to find the Hanover, a rather unassuming building in a studenty area. We pulled up, locked the bikes together, and started taking luggage off, no point in tempting light fingers, even if they’ll only find pants and deodorant. It was at this point Tom asked ‘do you think we have got the right place?’ I could see his point, where I had expected a flurry of GS1200s, ATs and Tigers, were a Renault 5 and a pair of Cubs. ‘Nah, we’re early, they’ll be here soon.’ I answered with unerring confidence.
The pub inside was warm and the bar staff went out of their way to be friendly. We sat down with pints of Becks, and a plate of nachos, to wait for the tardy members of our fraternity. A couple more pints, and we were still alone. Tom went to the bar to ask if they knew anything about a biker meet. The barman said that he had heard something about it being on Thursday, which was the right day at least. As the time ticked on, we began to think something was amiss, and plan b began to ferment.
‘We have kids fancy dress costumes in our bags, we can get changed in the toilets, and go down to the beach front dressed as Spider Man and a Teenage Mutant Hero Turtle?’ One of the first ideas that tumbled from my mouth, quickly followed with ‘oh, yeah, I’ve got my black basque too, I can wear that with some pants.’ I took the said item of clothing out of my panniers when Tom challenged me, ‘bollocks, you haven’t?’ Swiftly followed by ‘for ****s sake, what have you got that for, put it away, we are in Brighton, they’ll start thinking things about us.’ After Brighton we were planning to go to a fancy dress party in Clapham, hence the reason for the abundance of foolish outfits. The plan to go out dressed up fizzled out with the realisation that we would have to wear the same clothes in the morning, and neither of us fancied walking around in the light of day, wearing gone skin tight costumes made for 5 year olds.
The bar staff informed us that it was Freshers week in the town, which cemented our plans to go down to the bright lights and make the most of the miss-occasion. Toilets for teeth brushing, a pint for the road (from the bar, not the toilet) and we were ready to go. Except for the fact that we had two topboxes, and a pair of pairs of panniers to lug around with us. The bar staff were more than helpful, and said we could leave anything we didn’t want behind the bar until the morrow. The only problem was that they didn’t open until three in the afternoon, so we would have to hang around. No problem, we would just have a ride around and take some pictures in the morning. We’d never been to Brighton before, so time to explore.
We stuffed all of our luggage behind the bar, with the exception of one pannier, which we carried our wet weather kit in. It was still only half eight, and according to the staff at ‘The Hanover,’ the freshers wouldn’t be coming out of their holes until later, so we bought a bottle of vodka and a bottle of lemonade, and walked down to the sea.
The Threshers till guy who looked like a melted mini-milk recommended James’ Street for bars, so we would remember that for later.
The beach was black, and the sea blacker, tipped with flecks of white as the wind crashed the waves onto the cold shingle. We pulled our jackets tight and our scarves up around our faces to stop the wind biting. It had come up strong and the waves sounded like a stampede of iron horses running through a street strewn with ball bearings; there is no sound quite as life affirming. The vodka helped warm us against the wind, and chain smoked cigarettes gave our hands something to do, as we sat and enjoyed the sound of our country falling into the sea.
The sea wall we were slumped against was alive with squeaks, and every few minutes, a flash eyed face would poke itself out of a crack, then dive back in. Tom stalked our rodent friends for some time, scampering around with his Sony SLR like an Indian with a spear. To no avail. We would see one, a furry black blur in the night, and then it would be gone. The only success the hunt provided was a sticker on the back of the sea wall, ‘don’t eat meat; eat pussy.’ Maybe the Brighton stereotype held some truth?
Bodies numbed by winds and sprits, we left the beach and went to search for the vaunted nightlife. St James’ Street, that was the recommendation, we may have been drunk, but we could still remember. The first bar we came to seemed to confirm the pasty youths’ counsel; brightly lit and loudly packed, it seemed a perfect place to start the fresher frolicking. The bouncers even smiled generously, and opened the revolving doors graciously. If Carlsberg made pubs…?
I made a beeline for the bar, and out of the corner of my eye I noticed an absolutely huge woman singing karaoke in a lime green ball gown. I barely registered her, and got served almost as soon as I arrived at the bar. The bar maid had her hair shorn short, and wore a black t shirt with a ‘who needs men when you can have a dog?’ slogan on it. ‘Ha, what a bull dyke,’ I thought to myself, while she poured our Vodka, Lemon and Limes. I took a quick look around; the clientele was almost all male and almost all oddly well groomed and clean looking, with the exception of the woman on the dancefloor. Tom was tugging at the sleeve of my jacket. I ignored him for a second. Wait a minute. That isn’t a woman; that is a man. That is a man; a man wearing a dress, and he’s humping that other man. That other man is holding another man’s hand. What kind of den of iniquity have we walked into? Tom continued tugging, ‘Joel, Joel, JOEL,’ he repeated with escalating insistence. ‘I think we are in a (whispered) gay bar.’ What gave it away Tom? The drag queen, the men kissing, or Mrs Geoff Capes behind the bar?
We took our drinks (at almost London prices) and stood as naturally as possible in the middle of the bar, in a ‘we’re just two straight men, out for a straight drink together in a gay bar’ kind of way. Why did we have to be wearing black leather? Tom was inhaling his drink, when I asked him, ‘do you want to come outside for a fag?’ He coughed; dribbling the sticky liquid down his chin like Jenna, only narrowly avoiding spitting it everywhere. ‘Joel, you can’t say that in here!’ ‘Why? I replied, ‘just wondered if you wanted to come outside for a bit of a puff? Just two straight men, looking for getting on a bit of a bender in Brighton?’ With that, Tom was off at warp speed for the smoking area out the front of the building.
We had only been outside two seconds when two men started chatting to us. They sat cross legged on opposite ends of a picnic bench, wearing impeccably ironed matching salmon coloured shirts. We talked about what business we had in Brighton, who we were, what we planned for our stay, before the conversation took an interesting turn. The taller of the couple took a long drag of his Lambert and on the exhalation, said reedily, ‘so, you two are a nice couple, you look good together, but it’s obvious which one of you is the bitch.’ We were both stunned into silence by the assertion, but Toms’ silence became more profound when the shorter of the two fully agreed with his mate, and said ‘oh yes, it’s definitely you isn’t it,’ pointing at Tom. He tried to tell the pair that we were straight, but he got interrupted by me, ‘You are soo right, I agreed,’ and everyone laughed. Except Tom.
After a few minutes, we exchanged our goodbyes, and they moved on, saying they hoped to see us later. I was enjoying the atmosphere of the pub, so lit up again, and soon enough, another man joined us. He was emaciated and wrinkled, but could not have been more than forty. He had y eyes, and the complexion and stained fingers of a lifelong smoker. He wore a denim cut off, and denim jeans, but looked confused when I asked him if he was a biker. I looked confused in return, wondering if I had just inadvertently flirted with him. His patter was good, and he was obviously coming on to us, which I relished, but I could smell Toms discomfort. ‘Did you know that at one time I was Scotland’s top drag act?’ I have never, ever heard that sentence before, and it is quite hard to work out the correct response. ‘Wow, that’s pretty cool,’ was about as much as I managed, which encouraged him to get his phone out to show us pictures. ‘Wow, you have amazing legs, er…for a man,’ as Tom glared on. Pretty soon, he complimented us, ‘you two look really nice together, you make a good couple.’ Tom started to correct him, but he was again interrupted, this time by our new friend, ‘but you’re the bitch aren’t you?’ He nodded vigorously in Toms’ direction, then looked to me for approbation. Of course, I jumped in to defend Toms’ honour, and inform the best drag act in Scotland that he was a pitcher, not a catcher. Or not, I wasn’t about to be the bitch!
In a less amusing anecdote, he went on to say that he was suffering from HIV, but wouldn’t accept any of our condolences, in his words, ‘I never knew about my immune system, we take it for granted, they don’t so much keep you healthy as they tell you when you are approaching your boundaries. I know where my boundaries are now, holes are appearing in me, where I pushed those boundaries. Look at me, I’m being eaten away, I used to be thirteen stone. I feel like I’m going to disappear, but it’s ok, I appeared in the first place, and the world wasn’t any different before I was born.’ I can’t say I am entirely sure that works as any kind of consolation for me, but his positivist nature impressed me. He rounded off the story with ‘yup, no different before I was born, and that was the first, and the last time that I touched a woman’s c**t!’ He laughed so loud and hard he almost choked, and the conversation died out. We finished up, and moved out.
Sobered slightly, we hunted for another bar, which turned out to be much less gay, and much more packed with freshmen, and more importantly; fresh women. Tom went to get his round in, leaving me watching eighteen year olds gyrate and giggle on the tropically sweltering dance floor. The music was so loud I could feel my teeth ache with each beat, and the ceiling seemed to be pressing down on me. Every face looked so young and so fresh and so bloody happy. It took Tom nearly half an hour to push his way through the crowds to the bar and back, by which time we were both leaking in our leather jackets. Tom was jumping, and a group of girls we had chatted to on the way were in there, but I knew I couldn’t stand another minute in there. Down your drink Tom, we’re moving on. Down in one went the double vodka, and Tom granted my wishes.
‘Er, Tom, I think we have forgotten something.’ It hit me just as we walked out the bar. We used to have a pannier with some wet and warm kit in. But we didn’t seem to now. I realised we had left it on the beach where we had been drinking. ’Shit, it’s on the beach,’ the realisation hit Tom too. We trundled back off to the beach with drunken feet and hearts in throats.
Amazing, sat under the sea wall, was the pannier, undisturbed. God was still smiling.
The rest of the night passed in a blur of eighteen year old long shot girls chased with short shots and pint after pint chased with pint sized beauties. We were existing on ‘rules’ if you don’t find a bed to sleep in, you sleep rough. Our skills let us down apparently.
‘We’re the sleeper patrol, we’re from Christian Outreach, and we just wanted to make sure you are ok.’ It was quarter to seven in the morning, what kind of sick joke was this?
I had properly woken up when I heard the footsteps on the heavy shingle. The black figures were silhouetted against the red and white streaked sundae of a sky. I had been watching the syrupy scarlets leaking into the creamy white clouds for a few minutes, drifting with them in a hungover haze. The footsteps coming towards me pulled me out of my reverie. I couldn’t see enough in the early dawn to make out features, but I hoped they would pass us by, I hoped still more that they weren’t police.
When they spoke, I was so confused that my booze addled brain couldn’t pull together enough coherent cells to formulate the correct answer. I didn’t have to say anything, as the man above me continued, ‘we just wanted to check how you were getting on, not having any problems at home are you?’ Tom and I both collected ourselves, and started to explain simultaneously ‘nah, we just slept…’ then both faltered at exactly the same time. Was there a possibility of getting a sympathy bacon sandwich out of this? We both seemed to decide this was a little bit low, and explained the truth, and off the sleeper patrol wandered, crunching their way off into the waking sun.
Sleep was definitely over, our bodies were now protesting at being outside on the rough stones all night, whispered over by the cold sea wind. I could hardly feel my feet, and when I looked like Tom, he looked like a man who had slept rough after a hard night on the . I must have looked the same, no wonder the sleep patrol thought we were vagrants. I shifted up, so my back was against one of the supports of the pier we had slept under, and lit a cigarette. The sea shone traffic cone orange under the new days’ sun, and the shingle ran for as far as we could see in a dark curve on its shoulder. Life was good. Brighton was waking up behind us with people going to work, and a scruffy seagull landed in front of us, to finish off the chips I hadn’t managed the night before. Life was good, we had learned several things. Brighton is the most friendly and amazing place, where people check to see if you’re fine if you sleep on the beach and they don’t steal peoples’ luggage even when you give them ample opportunity. A Cub will run happily without an exhaust, you should never listen to Threshers shop assistants on where to drink, HIV need not mean the end of your life, and you meet the nicest people on a Cub.
Post Scripting, they all have edits on, because I was being a technological retard and couldn't work out how inserting pics was done, so I ended up with lots of little red 'Exes of death' first time around.
Birdy Brilliant ride report !. think you need to extend your adventure north and come entertain us at tan hill meet in november - get in some cold weather hill climbing training for the cubs - be great if you came along - you could do a turn on the stage for us all now you know how.
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"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!
Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or
to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and
knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.