Meeting up with Mark at the 'Maison des Artes' was a cool thing. He writes his own blog (www.ridefar.typepad.com) a great writer about his trip, meetings and reunions with fellow riders, the whole catching up with stories, experiences and thoughts of the whole biker mentality. A shameless plug for him but deservedly so.
Posted by geoffshing at December 20, 2008 04:09 PM GMT
It is funny because there's many different types of biker in my mind, those who love the image look, the power thrill, the coolness in being the lone wolf, surviving alone whether accepting life's fate or marking out your own. There's also other types of person who looks into the technology part of the whole experience, what can they do to the bike, how much will it take, the type of machinery, v-twin, single, carburettor or injection, old style or new ideas, even frames. “I've spent more money than you” or “I've spent bugger all!” a motley collection of people we've come to meet and it's great to catch up with mark and his views. I felt relieved as to be able to speak to someone whom I'd spent a time with and we had something in common. Our lives, nothing similar and totally different backgrounds but his saying goes 'beer drinkers with a motorcycle problem!'
I've a lot of time for Mark and getting to like him more everyday, he's so cool and chilled out he's almost horizontal to the point of frustration but it only frustrates me cos what I've been brought up to be, more military minded in thinking but I'm getting used to it now. He likes nothing more than to be able to bang away on his laptop writing for some article or the blog. I'm convinced he's rewriting Tolstoy, Hardy or Sterne as he spends so much time but he's happy. So I leave him be.
We headed north back towards the Sahara and the noticeable change in the scenery, not too much but any greenery we'd seen before was diminishing en route to Douentza, 200kms north of Sevare, the town, well..... strip of road that serves as a collection point and junction for the turn off to Timbuktu is a sad affair but we were well received by the locals, taking on board food and fuel and drawing a crowd as usual. Staying in Douentza for the evening and making use of the internet café, which I believe was the towns radio station too. We prepared for the next days assault on the road to Timbuktu.
The road itself prior to this point had been a good piece of asphalt and we'd not really come up against a difficult road in quite some time. Mostly asphalt, if not sometimes badly pot-holed and even when the road disappeared it was because of roadworks and we were back on it pretty quickly. But this was something else, 220+kms of piste all the way to Timbuktu from Douentza. The night before we were listening avidly to Peter, a South African cartographer who'd just been on the road and listening to his every word on corrugations, sand traps, bellowing dust from other traffic and so on. So as you'd expect, the next day we were apprehensive, at least I was! How's the bike going to cope? How am I going to cope? What if we crash in the middle of nowhere? Breakdowns, etc, etc,
So we loaded up with extra food and water and off we went...........
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