Poor thing, the old Balto barely made it to the door of the dealer. In the showroom was a new set of wheels, and I immediately appreciated the evolution of a newer model – it had a slightly lower suspension, and started with the push of a button. I would ship the thingy east where the RTW venture came to a temporary standstill due to mechanical problems. Those worries seemed like a distant cry at the moment I heard the first thump of the virgin machine. A run-in was required to smoke out any child diseases, and to guarantee the quality of the quest I teamed up with the most experienced motorcyclist I know.
My Dad and his baby, a mint condition 1960 Triumph Bonneville
You bring the tent, I bring the booze. OK, let’s go.
We crisscrossed England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Both machines worked faultlessly. Now and then we rented a room at a B&B, but most of the time we pitched the tent in the countryside and lived backpacker style. My Dad got much attention en route, not only for his classic bike, but also for being such a sport at 76. Yep, that’s my Dad alright. The father and son roundtrip should have had its own blog. It lasted four thousand eventful kilometers before we had to split. By then the new Balto had proven to be a robust little thing, and for the next few months it was parked in a garage with another gorgeous classic, a 1938 Morgan (thanks Sven Erik).
A visit at the secret den of a Triumph enthusiast
Even the wild deers at the Island of Arran were taken by the vintage Triumph
Sightseeing in between the battles
It was four years ago I came up with the extremely controversial idea of saving the money instead of asking for sponsorships. Since then I have done approx. 2400 weather observations, been a potential snack at 265 polar bear encounters, and endured 26 months in celibacy to finance my trip. So do not think that I’m not making sacrifices on my way round. This fall I also had to gain back the ten kilos I lost on the road to Bhutan (see the fatigue video at www.eriksaue.com). I had no idea that eating well was so crucial to long distance riding. The master chef Christer Sørlie took the stuffing job, and soon I fitted my pants again and could move on with the shipment of the bike.
The chef sums up this season at 76,30 degrees north
In Nepal and Thailand I had woodworkers making shipment crates for me. This time I wanted to make the crate myself. I sawed and hammered from dusk till dawn, and from the stack of materials emerged a hefty container. I will know in January if it was good enough. I had to partly dismantle the bike to make it fit inside, but the final screw was stuck. Bloody hell, being bothered with the very last thing that could go wrong. But Lunde Motorservice knew what to do. They provided smart advices and a free tube of magic paste, thus making sure that metal drilling became unnecessary. What an excellent and friendly workshop - every biker in Lillestrøm and Oslo should go there. In fact, give them a call right now to order your next service: 63 81 96 20.
Life is easy with standup friends like Thomas and Tor Inge
(hotel manager/driver/tool supplier/fax machine/cook/advisor etc...)
Nowadays the bike is somewhere on the Indian Ocean.
I'll wait at the docks at Port Klang.
Happy New Year. See you soon.
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