I am going on holiday on Saturday morning. Well technically I guess it starts on Friday evening when the guys from the UK arrive and invade my place, but my wheels start turning on Saturday. We are off for a grand tour of Europe, down through France, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and finally back into France taking in touristy stuff, snaking mountain passes and bike bars filled with idiots…it is going to be fun!
Well it had better be fun, it is amazing the amount of work that goes into going away for a trip like this. I am not talking about the planning or organization of friends, I am talking about getting my bike and kit ready to go.
The week before the holiday has arrived, and the first little hiccup comes with it. One of the guys has had to drop out. This is not only a shame but for me personally it changes everything. My Speed Triple is not exactly designed to carry luggage a long distance and so I was going to share a tent with this guy, just to save on what I had to carry. Of course this option has now disappeared into the sunset and I am obliged to find my old one man tent, hidden somewhere in the loft, behind the bodies of dead….things, well I hope they were dead, if not they were very, very unwell…or just incredibly ugly. Anyway, I finally set eyes on my tent, the first time in 16 years and immediately put it up in the back garden. Surprisingly it is in great shape, some of the elastics have perished and it could do with a waterproofing treatment, but nothing to worry about…. so far, so good.
However there is that little problem of transportation. Off onto the web I go and search for a rack for the Triple. I found one; yes one rack, ugly as hell and expensive as, well something very expensive. Plan B was needed and so out into the workshop I went, the hours passed, swearing and screaming was heard, tea was drunk, coffee was drunk, more tea was drunk, and just when I was wondering when I would get some cake I finished transforming a pile of metal into a “lovely” sports rack. Just enough extra space to fit some camping kit, I hope, I haven’t tried it yet because….
From this....to this
I am stupid, I really am, you see I decided that it would be a nice thing to take the race cans off the bike and replace them with the standard ones for the trip. This would not only be better for fuel economy for me, but it would save the guys following me suffering from terminal Tinnitus. Easy job, whip the pipe off, put the other one on and upload a map for it, a two hour job, max. Six hours later I finished, six hours in baking heat, six hours first making some gaskets to fit the silencer to downpipe joint, the others decided to completely self destruct, then trying to get my trusty laptop to talk to the bikes ECU. This had never been a problem before, but for some reason, on this day in history, the two decided to try and converse in two completely different languages. But I got it done, after lots of swearing, finding that the Tune-ECU website was offline yesterday and then loads of turning on and off and re-installing drivers, it worked, I think, I still have to go for a ride to check it all out…
Notice the trend here, notice the troubles and hassles, and I still have an oil change, air filter clean and actually try to pack the bike. Still, it is only Wednesday afternoon; I have plenty of time left to finish off, just as long as nothing else goes wrong!