December 05, 2007 GMT
D Day and Foreign Lands

On June 16th 2005, following three years of planning and preparation we were finally going to be on our way. Maisy was just over a year old and was fully mobile and beginning to talk, I lay in the garden with her on a gorgeous summer morning with less than an hour before we were due to leave. She pulled the top off a daisy and with a big smile she gave it to me, now for the very first time I had grave doubts about what I was about to do and wanted to hold onto this moment for ever.

The bikes were loaded; Baz had already made two last minute dashes across town and now assured everyone gathered that he was ready. Adam had come along to see his bike off with Baz at the helm; it would be Trabzon in Turkey before he would be reunited with it. We wheeled the bikes out onto the road for a final photo shoot and I gave Jenny and Maisy last minute hugs and kisses, pulled my helmet down over my head and we were off. The first three miles or so were spent choking back the tears and sobs as the huge emotions got the better of me but soon the heat of the day and the unfamiliar handling characteristics of my fully laden bike soon had me focusing on other things.

Herman had also been there to see us off and would ride for a while with us before heading south for Enfield down and then hopefully reappearing a two weeks later in Norway. For once we were having some fantastic summer weather in the UK and today was the hottest yet with temperatures reaching the mid thirties, great for a day out at the seaside but not so good if your 2000 rebuilt engine has a tendency to heat seize, which mine seem to do!

With less than 50 miles covered the engine started to labour, I whipped the clutch in and the engine died instantly, I freewheeled to the kerb. Now then, was I being over cautious? Was it really a heat seize or possibly something else? I let the engine cool for a while and then gingerly kicked it over, it felt normal enough and so maybe I was being a bit over cautious after all, I gave it a good kick and I was back in business. Baz and I waved farewell to Herm as he took the M11 exit. I was taking it very easy but couldnt help but think back to the previous seize which was put down to me omitting the air filter when reassembling the bike, that was a really cold night and I was barely doing 45mphat the time. These thoughts were very much still on my mind when the oh too familiar feel of the engine struggling happened again, this time I left it a little longer before pulling the clutch and sure enough it nipped up. Again I let it cool and then nursed it into Newark Services, this time there was no doubt, there was a trail of blue smoke following me.

I was not happy, I knew that this was trouble, I also knew that first seize a few weeks before was sod all to do with the air filter. I was on the phone to Dave Lambeth before Baz had pulled up; I got the answering machine, luckily for Dave. I left a comprehensive explanation of what had just happened complete with every expletive I could muster. I then did the most logical thing I could think of and called my Dad for advice and sympathy, he managed to calm me down a little and suggested a healthy dose of RedX in the tank and to continue as best I could, in the mean time wed try to come up with a contingency plan between us.

By now I was not in the best of moods and was a little anxious that Andy, who was traveling from Stafford, had not made the rendezvous at Newark as planned. We finally made contact with him and found him at a completely different service area; nerves were a bit frayed to say the least and poor old Andy got an earful for the slight inconvenience.

The temperature began to drop the further north we went and then the heavens opened; at least the bike was still running albeit slowly with a smoke trail worthy of the Red Arrows display team.

Luckily we had a planned stop over at Newcastle before catching the ferry for Norway on the 17th from North Shields. Things were looking up as we tucked up in the Travelodge for the night, my bike seemed to be running ok, still smoking but at least it was running. I spoke to Adam back in Ipswich and asked him to be ready to drop the engine out of the Tenere Id had the sidecar accident on and if necessary dispatch it to me somewhere en route. The overnight stop also gave us time to make some adjustments to the bikes and the luggage; we ditched the litre of saline fluid (2 years out of date) Herman had included for emergencies, not sure what he had in mind, and a few other useless items from Adams bike.

Sometime after three in the afternoon we were on board one of P&Os finest and finally leaving the UK. The ferry was a very pleasant surprise; very bike friendly with plenty of room and straps to secure our machines, the economy cabin wed booked was air conditioned and very comfortable and the shared facilities spotless. We had dinner and a couple of drinks before hitting the bunks around 11pm, we all slept soundly and were feeling great as we rode onto Norwegian soil shortly before 10am on 18th June.

Posted by Dan Buckland at December 05, 2007 07:32 AM GMT
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"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

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

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!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

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.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!