Preparations
October 21, 2011 GMT
Previously on Rat Round the World …

OK, so the eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed that our intro says we are hoping to set off in August, it’s now October and we are still here. Who knew that organising round the world trip paperwork could be a full time job, so it’s handy that I no longer have an actual full time job.

I won’t bore you with the details, but after much faffing about with DVLA, the passport folks and the local council we now have a log book with the correct bike details on, new driving licences, new chunky passports and regular rent payments YAY!

In the meantime we have been having fun and quite a few weekends away (I know, I know, priorities), but it’s keeping us sane and stopping us saying “sod it lets just go round Europe, we don’t need paperwork for there.”

Posted by Nikki Robinson at 12:30 PM GMT
Such fun – or how to avoid the hard work of planning your trip.

On August bank holiday Sunday we met up with Martin and Mark. They had just returned from their RTW trip and a thoroughly good time they had. You can read about their exploits on their blog here http://strimstrum.blogspot.com/. They were really nice chaps and full of useful advice and info. So many thanks to them for giving up their Sunday afternoon to face our barrage of questions.

The first weekend in September was spent at the Horizons Unlimited Autumn meeting near Cheddar. We went to lots of useful and entertaining talks from people who have been there and done what we are setting out to do. It was a real morale boost to know it’s not impossible and we left with a “yeah, let’s just do it” attitude. Useful contact was also made with the chaps from James Cargo who have since sent us loads of useful information on shipping the bike across the more watery sections of our route plan.

The 11th of September was our 1st wedding anniversary…..Ahhhh. So we took a weekend off from planning, bike building and kit collecting and went to Devon for the weekend.

Preferrydevon.jpg

If you happen to be in that neck of the woods we can thoroughly recommend a trip to The House of Marbles in Bovey Tracey. Marble runs, games museum, glass works, pottery museum, the worlds largest marble marble (according to their leaflet) and the biggest cream tea I have ever seen in my life. Sunday was spent in Haldon Forest where Ant and I had a go on Segway’s. They are the best thing in the world ever! OK that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but they were a lot of fun. If you ever get the chance to go on one, take it, you will be converted.

Preferrysegway.jpg

The 17th and 18th of September was a party / rally to celebrate our friend Mouse’s 40th year on planet Earth. We spent the weekend on a farm in Penkridge messing about with bikes, wearing ginger beards and drunkenly sitting around the fire.

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Most of our friends from the ratbike zone were there, for the uninitiated readers check out website here http://ratbike.org/.

The 25th of September we took part in the MAG demo to protest against proposed changes to legislation that would have an (in our opinion) adverse effect on motorcyclists and what they are allowed to do to their motorcycles.

Preferrymagdemo.jpg

If you would like the details check out MAG’s campaign page here http://www.mag-uk.org/en/campaignsdetail/a6883 . It was a lot of fun riding on the motorway in such a large group and we were on the news. We can now boast “as seen on Midlands Today”!

Posted by Nikki Robinson at 01:11 PM GMT
October 24, 2011 GMT
Squeak, pop, bang, or about the bike

Bikeloaded.jpg

If you where wondering why our blog is called "rat round the world" then one look at the bike and it should all become clear. I'm not going to go into the philosophy of the whole bike genre just go look at ratbike.org.

Bikenaked.jpg

It's mostly an R80 BMW, with a few bits of Honda Superdream and some bits found in a skip, lots of cable tyes and duct tape. We have made our own pannier racks out of scrap metal from skips, these are designed to keep the panniers locked.

Bikepannierrack.jpg

A reserve fuel cage was made from concrete reinforcing bar to take a 1 gallon can, using a old belt to make secure.

Bikewatercarrier.jpg

The seat is made from high density foam, raised at the back so Nikki can see the road signs and give me orders (sorry I mean directions). We did look into getting gel seats, then found air seats meant for a car but fitted the bike well, also saving a fourtune as they where only £4 each! bargain.

After doing some basic maintenance I have decided to ignore any niose that isn't the wind or the birds in the trees. Oil leeks have been fixed by replacing the sump gasket or what was left of it!....I just hope it wasn't put in like that.

Bikebrokengasket.jpg

not much more to say really, other than we shall see........

Posted by Nikki Robinson at 10:30 PM GMT
 



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