Well the gang are all off on a ride-out to see the preserved ruins of Oradour-sur-glane, - the village that was destroyed by the SS in a revenge attack towards the end of WWII.
Not for me though, I have to hit the road in the other direction, I have to be back in London by Friday night . So it's a fair bit of motorway bashing, until I branch off to the west to give Paris on a friday a wide berth, before picking up the coastal motorway up Abbeville way.
Trouble is the bike is getting more and more recalcitrant, which adds a certain edge to proceedings, - the closer I get to home, the less it wants to go.
Limping up the peage to Calais and roughly on time for my early evening slot on the Chunnel I have to go through a tricky rigmarole at each pay booth - roll up to booth blipping throttle, else it'll stall, get one glove off, blip, get 2nd glove off, blip, root around for change, blip, pay, blip, glove one on, blip, glove 2 on, blip and away.
At the last booth on the entire road before the last stretch to Calais, as the last glove goes on the engine fumbles and dies. It's raining of course. I push to the side. It won't start. I save the battery, unload and out with the tools I splish around in puddles fiddling with plugs gaps and the like.
It still won't start. By this time I'm swearing in full-on Tourettes fashion. Eventually with a combination of small plug gap and full choke (and if I only twigged a cooler engine) it catches and with more blipping and fooling around securing things I'm back in the game.
The beauty of Chunnel travel is once again apparent as I limp in late and despite missing my original booking simply go onto the first available train.
Thus I'm back over the channel and she fires up with some persuasion for the last leg through the cool and damp English evening back to my roots.
The Blackwall tunnel spits me north of the river, and with my destination of South Wooford in view I'm trundling through Friday night cruising traffic behind a couple of likely lads in shades and a flash convertible BMW car. I have to laugh to myself as their cool scene is constantly infringed by me holding my engine at a constant 2000rpm lest it stall. more than once they shoot me a look of consternation. Good value I think to myself.
And so home. the engine dies finally turning into my brothers street and I coast downhill and into his yard. He appears at the door presently - "I heard you turn into the road then nothing, but christ it sounded rough - have you killed my bike?"
London May 09
Fuengirola May 09, 1600 miles apart or is it a world apart?
Posted by Rob Hodder at May 23, 2009 11:23 PM GMT
Postscript - The engine problem was nothing more than closed up valves on what turned out to be an unleaded head. After a good service that turned into a top end overhaul 'The Duchess' is back pounding the streets of London. I'm back at home some months later with a new house and a beautiful baby daughter. One day I'd like to do the trip all over again.
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.
Next HU Events
- USA North Carolina: Sept. 4-7
- France Mini: Sep 5-7
- Canada Ontario: Sept. 11-14
- NEW! UK - Haggs Bank: Sept. 19-21
- USA California: Sept. 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! Aus NSW: Oct 31-Nov 2
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 13-16
- NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16, 2015
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
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!
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 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.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
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.
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 © 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!