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Old 12 Dec 2010
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Location: Norfolk/Suffolk border
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Are we

Cripes, do we need a Gs, tenere, etc?
Loaded to the gills with allu panniers, sat nav, toutatech this and that, the kitchen sink.
My mechanic trvelled though Africa with a backpack and one change of clothing. He said t shirts and pants were pence and pand could be used one way then the other then turned around. We arw all to spoilt with choice
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Old 12 Dec 2010
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Choice, choice, choice......... lovely isn't it?
If you don't want choice you would have voted communist, LOL!! Isnt that one of the beauties of being who we are as we can have choices? Whether they are needed or not. Some people in this world don't have that luxury and for them I feel sorry but for someone who has all the choices and moans..... Hmmm?

Each to their own I suppose..

P.s......... MY MECHANIC how posh do you sound? You have your own personal mechanic?! Did he do the trip through Africa for you and you only gave him enough expenses so he HAD to turn his underwear inside out? How did you do Africa I wonder...?


'Security is a product of one's own imagination, it does not exist in nature as a rule, life is either a daring adventure or nothing.'

Last edited by geoffshing; 27 Mar 2011 at 20:00.
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Old 12 Dec 2010
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Choice is the thing. Some guys have the time to potter across Europe at 40 mph to get to the sand, some need to be there and back in three weeks as the job pays for the trip. Some riders can travel with nothing but a toothbrush, a pack of three and an out of date ten-shilling record token while others find life better with chilled Tonic and the ability to produce a decent three course meal ready to go in the sidecar (the record token brigade of course often want to share my G&T ). Some blokes have the homing insticts of a salmon-pigeon based super mutant, others are lucky to find their way to the bathroom without help from NASA.

This is all compromise based on what you know, what you want to do and what resources you have.

My pet hate is the never ending massed discussion over what you can buy to turn you into an instant, ready made, RTW traveller rather than how you can aquire the knowledge to do it, but C90 with Tesco's bags or a carbon copy of the GS in the cover of the TT book, they all do the trick with the right rider. The fact that the guy is a mechanic of course may make life with say a 20 year old ex-dispatchers GT500 easier than if he'd been say an accountant? Accountants may find a new F800GS less of a restriction on the amount of cash left over for petrol?

There are no right answers, only decisions and you need to make your own in the end.

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Old 12 Dec 2010
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Location: SW France
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The never ending agonising over the choice is only a thing of the internet era. Years ago all the agonising was trying to find out if you had a choice.

Strangely pressure on time seems to be a modern phenomenon (co-incident with the internet era) along with an obsession about being in contact all the time - whatever happened to 'Poste Restante'.

I notice there is some interest in simplifying/purifying your RTW these days but there still seems to be the issue of whether the alternator on your C90 can cope with the GPS, sat 'phone and heated grips.
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Old 12 Dec 2010
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I think that last point is a fair one. The internet makes it easy to find people with the same interest as you, and once you start talking with them and comparing methods, it's easy to become obsessed with method than just doing the trip.

I did trips from the UK to Europe four years in a row, from age 19 to 23, and then last year (age 24) did a more typical 'overland' style trip. Before last years trip I didn't pay any attention to this site or any other adventure/overland sites or people. From an outsiders viewpoint it's easy to only see the bmw brigade doing high budget but boring trips, and I would say I'd deliberately avoided this site and any self-identified 'overlanders' I saw at bikemeets because of that image which I had built up in my head.

I ignored all other bike tourers for similar reasons: I only saw middleclass middleaged people doing boring holidays to the south of france. Because of this I payed absolutely no attention to the way anybody else travelled by bike, and those first four trips were very unique and broke lots of 'rules' because of it.

As soon as I started paying attention to the way other people travelled on bikes, it definately made me waste time umming and arring over stupid choices. For example, I put a fair amount of thought into sleeping arrangements, and ended up buying a fairly expensive/good quality tarp/basha. It lasted less than two months before falling off the back of the bike somewhere near the aral sea in Kazakhstan never to be seen again. All the time I'd put into deciding on it wasted just like that, yet I coped perfectly well afterwards with out it.

Another example. I replaced the simple lighting coil on my bike with a proper three phase alternator and battery, because somebody else reacted to the idea of taking the lighting coil to be completely absurd. This was for charging phone and camera batteries. I never used it up untill the point one of the phases of the alternator stopped working anyway, so I continued using mains electricity for the rest of the trip. Because everyone else made it seem stupid to even consider setting off without the means to charge stuff off the bike, I didn't even think about what I needed to charge and how often I'd have to do it (once a week). If I'd been in the same situation a year earlier when I didn't listen to or take ideas from anybody about methods of bike travel, I'm sure I would have come to the logical (and correct) conclusion that charging electrics from the bike was completely unneccessary for me.
UK to Mongolia 2009, on a DR350
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