When winter’s lifting, I start to think about motorbike trips.
I think about countries; roads and tracks; seas and airports; about the bike I would take and the luggage I’d fix onto it. There are a growing numbers of places that I haven’t been. Not because I dream of visiting them, but because I’ve thought about it then resigned myself not to.
Then I get this email from my uncle:
I’d like to invite you to a celebration of my 70th birthday at the restaurant Comendador Silva, Óbidos, Portugal on the evening of Tuesday 16 August.
An external constraint makes planning a trip easy. It’s harder when the idea comes only from within. You’re more likely to question it.
And so the first few places go onto the map.
One issue I had on our Pyrenées trip last year was fuel capacity. The WR250R, stock, only carries 7.6 litres, good for about 90 miles.
I carried an extra 2.5 litres in a jerry can. While it was useful a couple of times it did take up valuable bag space. It also leaked one time more than I wanted it to, which, if you’ve ever tried soaking your clothes in petrol, you’ll know is zero times.
So the first thing I’m doing to prepare for this trip is to give the bike extra range.
The new tank is 13.5L, so should take me over 160 miles (or 250km) before I need to refill.
Never listen to it anywhere else, but can’t be in the garage without Radio 4 on.
These only lasted 6 months. Winter in the UK is rough.
New brake pads, old brake pads. Again, they don’t last long in the mud and the salt.