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Thread: Greece is the word..

  1. #17
    Son of Ah Knah Yee Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norfolk Tiger View Post
    The curse of Kelley follows you even when he is not nearby
    PUI since 2004


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  2. #18
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    Word to ya farther

    Did he buy an air hawk for the return or did he buy a plane ticket

    How long was the corphew crossing

    Kalimera

  3. #19
    Rambler Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Writing has commenced, meantime make yourselves comfortable with the featurette before the main showing. Please do not rustle your crisp packets or slurp your slush puppies at unsociable levels of noise


  4. #20
    Son of Ah Knah Yee Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    PUI since 2004


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  5. #21
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    I'm in....

  6. #22
    Reality you can rely on...
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    Quote Originally Posted by barak666 View Post
    I'm in....
    Me too... I could really do with another good RR, 'cos I'm getting 'cabin fever' staying at home, while my lad does his GCSE's.


    Harley Davidson Softail (1989).

    BMW R 1150 GS (2003).

    'What I'm out for is a good time,

    All the rest is propaganda!'

  7. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr K View Post
    Don’t get too excited just yet. At this rate we won’t see anything for another month or so!

  8. #24
    Rambler Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Well, we’re here again

    Firstly a bit of background.

    Since I finished up the original rambles back in what seems like years ago now my 2009 GS Adventure has mostly sat trapped under a cover with the main purposes of being a leaning point for a flymo and a place to safely store cushions for patio chairs. Which is, as most of you will well I’m sure tell me, quite rightly, a waste and to the point of being a crime. Keeping a bike on optimate life support for god knows months on end is pretty poor form.
    But hey, I think that’s me. I love to ride, when I’m riding there seems little better, but I’m happy to close the door of the garage and disappear off to do something else and that something else can take months. Maybe I’m not alone - I felt a bit odd when recently someone described me to someone else as ‘a big biker’. Was that big as in size, or big as in big into it? I dunno. I can’t dispute the big bit size wise I suppose, but anyway.

    Hmmm. Second thoughts perhaps that isn’t quite fair. The GS has faced the odd outing, every now and then, and the odd trip here and there. I do also have a K1600 in the garage and I headed away for ten days or so on that last September, on what was intended being a look around Brittany, but thanks to crappy weather and the ability of the big K to achieve warp speed whilst you can do soduko puzzles turned into a pleasant drift over the Pyrenees to see an as yet unexplored by me Catalonia.
    For the GS, things culminated in last years’ catastrophic ramble failure in Portugal which abruptly ended in my arrival home by Ryanair, with (after several arguments with Carole Nash) a broken bike being delivered some weeks later by some smiley happy tanned bloke towing a trailer with his very flash and comfortable sleeper converted motorcycle transport van. His sole purpose was that to collect and redistribute bikes of various sad sacks and losers (i.e. me) whose awesome steeds had punctuated their foreign expedition with a trip to the armco, and were brought home lashed together, or like mine, which had just decided that it’d had well enough.

    Setting aside the comedic end to the last trip I’ve formed an attachment with my 2009 1200 Adventure MU. It has been a super bike and a bike that simply works for me. I think the new ones look great but I don’t feel the need for that extra performance- I just don’t felt the need for it in a GS and the 1200 Hexhead for me just does it all. I’ve resisted a ride on a new one, I just don’t want to know what its like.
    So there you are. I’m a luddite. An old GS riding middle aged CAMRA member.

    So what of me. Some more information, if you’re interested. If you’re not, feel free to skip forward for the bike, scenery, food and beer pictures. After the Portugal ramble last summer and the various shenanigans I decided that I wanted to take a bit more time away from work. My mum had been ill for a time and my dad also had been struggling for a while; there were a few things I also wanted to do for me, and to cap it all off was once again getting pretty nauseated with working in the City of London. The Portugal trip outcome sort made my mind up.
    Truth be told, after the original rambles where I took 534 days off between jobs, it is probably fair to say I never could get back into that kind of work ‘proper’. Yes, I was very committed, working bloody stupid hours, which was pretty much the requirement at the level I was at, but I never had much passion for it, which I did earlier, and for the best part of the five years back holidays seemed like television commercial breaks. Taking extended time off at the age of 40 and then going back into the same environment, in summary, is not recommended.
    So in September I resigned. My company countered with the offer of a six month sabbatical, which it seemed silly not to accept, but in my heart I knew it would take a serious change of mind for me to go back, which ultimately never materialised.

    In late October last year I was in touch with Brian, aka ballistic of this parish, to shoot the breeze about a potential trip for 2018. He’s now retired, so with time not pressing, another ramble was being concocted

  9. #25
    Dream Maker
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    And we're off.....
    www.unchainedtours.com

    "Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so powerful as hope.
    With hope, one can think, one can work, one can dream.
    If you have hope, you have everything."



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  10. #26
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    Don't forget the beetroot

  11. #27
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    So after the debacle last year, I wanted to treat the bike to a little love. I’ve decided that I’m going to keep it for a while yet, so hell, why not spend a few pennies eh?
    A fair few of you round these parts will know the decent chap that is Chad of this parish whom I managed to cajole into bringing my bike into his workshop to give it a spruce, have the thing a refreshed and lavish some much needed attention. So it was to be then, earlier this year my bike was ridden on a one way trip out into deepest darkest Essex for its spa treatment as to be good as can be for the next ramble out.

    And stay it did for a few months in his care; stripped, fettled, cleaned, serviced and loved. The man did a fine, fine job, with many things sorted out, replaced, farkles and various bits added, WESA suspension sent off for a refresh.. a long list worked through. In fact, dear Chad spent over fifty hours getting things into super order. Let me see.. new screen, new winglets, new guards, LEDs, new battery, wiring sorted, new tyres, wheels refreshed, paint applied, other bits painted; Sargent seat recovered; stand foot added, a new Throttle position sensor was fitted and being conservative, a new Fuel Pump Controller. The rough running became a thing of the past. An additional GPS mount (now I could have a Nav5 and a 550. Yes, for me, GPSs are consumables). Oh and the Fuel gauge fixed.
    The old FPC would be kept on hand as a spare to save the wire workaround thing ever being needed.

    And so the bike was made ready. Here we are.. 'Big Red'..




  12. #28
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    So, everything was being sorted bike wise out but life took a turn. On March 14th this year my dear mum passed away. Lung cancer took her and it was horrible. I’m getting a terrible feeling now just jotting down these words.

    My poor dad was broken. Mum and dad were together for 62 years and married for 56. He always felt he would go first. She was such a special lady.

    Devastated doesn’t come anywhere near it. Mum and dad did everything together, their passion was dancing. Dad didn’t have any other thing occupying him alone - no golf chaps, no football buddies, no slinking off to the pub – no anything of that ilk.
    He was lost.




    Don’t worry, I’m going to lighten the mood, but it is pretty important.

  13. #29
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    We held mum’s funeral and then set about trying to establish some sort of new normality for the family. My dad stayed with me and my brother for a number of weeks and gradually over time dad got more used to going to a home without mum. That’s all ongoing as you can imagine.

    So as it looked the previously planned ramble was going to be being kicked into the weeds. But, as we talked through things it became an idea that dad could come on the trip. Hell, he’d ridden pillion down to the Algarve from Santander a few years back, but this trip would be a little more than that. It would need some thought, and some planning, but from an initial scepticism dad started to warm to the idea, and so the thinking cap was well and truly pulled onto the head.

  14. #30
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    Aw the suspense!

  15. #31
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    The off

    Brian arrived to my house down that London way on Thursday afternoon. It was a pleasant sunny day, so we ventured out for a pint, navigating between the moped robbers and general zombie population. A nice drop of Old Peculiar in an astro-turfed beer garden rapidly followed by a mahoosive Wetherspoon burger, and the tone was set.

    We turn in early as we have a 6.30 check in at the Eurotunnel. I don’t sleep particularly well, but feel fine. We are up, changed, packed and out to the road before 5am. The morning is already with us. Its a simple cut down to the Dartford Crossing and an uneventful run along the M20 until we’re checking in and in the car park.



    Shortly after we’re through and on to the train uneventfully; a short chat with some other bike folk as you tend to do and then before you know it the train is beginning its long stop ready for us to depart. The wonder of the tunnel.
    Hats and togs on. Bike started. I set off from the train and out. Brian seems a little way behind and doesn’t emerge. I wait at the top of the ramp out to the road, but no Brian. Hmmm.
    Eventually a GS emerges but not looking too well.

    Yes, we’ve had our first breakdown only a few feet on foreign soil



    Good job I kept old my FPC as a spare eh.

    The Eurotunnel recovery man appears. He’s trying to be helpful but seems a touch disappointed there’s no towing to be done.



    But in less than 15 minutes things are sorted and the GS is set to go.

    The weather is pretty mixed. Sun, light clouds, dark clouds as we begin our trundle along the coast motorway to join the main drag down towards Brussels. It begins to rain lightly, but it doesn’t look like it’ll continue so we press on without changing into boil-in-the-bag gear. My new fuel strip comes up with an oddity- range instantly goes down to less than 50 miles and the fuel light is on, despite the tank being still half full or so. I drop off the motorway to add some petrol to see what’s going on, and only 17 litres go in, so the new fuel strip is having a wacky do. Meh.
    Back on the road the rain starts again. Again, the rain looks light, but before you can say it the rain pours down and in minutes we’re soaked. Oh the joy. So then follows a wet circumnavigation of the Brussels ring, followed by a soggy run down towards Aachen before we leave the main road to head down to Monschau. I don’t mind being wet, but I don’t like being cold. And now with the temp down to ten degrees or so I’m cold, miserable and in a foul mood.
    ‘In a few days time you’ll be wishing for this’ I keep telling myself.

    The weather gradually clears and the B258 which runs down into the Eifel Mountains changes my mood. Everything becomes typically German, including the motoring, which is a joy. We pass by the Nurburgring, where the ‘Rock Am Ring’ weekend is being held. The place is swamped with folks and road closures a plenty. There are lots of young ladies in party gear and wellington boots. They obviously knew more about what the weather might be doing than we did.

    I had a couple of stipulations for Brian - the chief route planner of the expedition - about where we were going. I wanted a morning ride along the Mosel. I wanted a good German meal. I wanted a good German bier.

    Late in the afternoon we hit the long and entertaining descent down into Cochem, where we had booked an apartment a ten minute walk or so from the centre. It appeared everything in the town itself had been booked up and so this was the best that could be sorted. It was a Friday I suppose. We collected the key to the apartment, got ourselves sorted out and without delay took the pleasant walk along the river to the centre.



    At which point we discovered why the town was so busy.



    The Cochem Wine festival no less.

    And what a terrific affair it is.. a huge number of stands of different wine producers.



    What to do eh, I guess we’ll just have to work through it. Perhaps the German bier can wait until tomorrow. Cheers!



    Local Currywurst fayre. Splendid gear.



    Move yer hand.. I’m trying to take a picture of the label!



    .. thanking you. This is the stuff:



    Some photos perhaps..



    This is Ronald and Mrs Ronald (I don’t recall the term he used for her name, it was translated as ‘little wife’). They had travelled from the North of the country, close to the Dutch border for the wine festival. They were excellent company and we spent a few hours getting lightly mangled together.



    A great laugh with Friendly locals, what. I bet she felt a right tit.



    Evening bustle with live music.



    A terrific atmosphere.



    Fireworks late in the evening..



    Brian is now heavily mangled.



    I reckon Brian walked roughly about four times the distance home to the apartment, having weaved so much.

    An absolutely cracking evening

  16. #32
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