So I’ve passed my test….now what?
This was the question running around my head after passing my Direct Access course in August 2014 at the ripe old age of 52. Up until passing my CBT, I had never ridden a motorbike before and so this was indeed a whole new world – despite being born and brought up within a mile or so of Mallory Park and having seen lots of the greats riding there over the years. I’m a firm believer of the motto ‘use it or lose it’ and so I needed to crack on, buy a decent bike and get riding. I’d had a Honda 125XR – Bert – to learn on and he was lovely but I needed something to really go places on (literally) and so having looked around a bit, decided to move up to an adventure bike. As I said earlier, being a girl local to Mallory and Hinckley, there was only one way to go- Triumph – and so I soon met and fell in love with Tom, my amazing Triumph Tiger 800 that I bought from Bridge Motorcycles in Exeter a week after passing my test. He’s quite a big boy – weighing in at close to 200kg – and I’m at 5ft 6, I’ve gone for the low seat option which I find quite comfortable and I can get my feet down safely. I do struggle to move him around though and am very grateful for help in any off-bike maneuvers!
Tom and Tim
Now I think I should point out here that Tom should not be confused with Tim, my equally amazing partner with whom I share my life and adventures. Unlike me, Tim has been riding since God was a lad and has had more bikes than some of us have had hot dinners. Tim’s steed of choice for our adventures is a KTM 1190, a beast of a machine (aka the Kracken) that he bought in 2013. He’s not too shabby on a bike too having competed in the Isle of Man TT on a number of occasions and ridden as a club racer at all the UK circuits like his father and grandfather before him….no pressure then. Now, Tim is also a man that likes a good plan, so in no time at all, we had collectively agreed that a European biking adventure was the way to go. We’d do a couple of practice sessions first of course but the main plan was to take 3 and a half months and do some proper riding. Tim would be chief trip planner and I would concentrate on improving my riding skills.
From 0 to 17,000 km in a year
So, this blog page has been set up to share with you our adventures. We are just about to embark on a 17,000 km trip around Europe over the next three and a half months and through this site we will share the excitement, highs, lows and anything in between. We will tell you about the kit we use, the places we see and the bits to avoid/not to miss and all sorts of interesting, general information. We’ve already had a trip to gorgeous Ireland and to stunning Scotland and you can read about those trips under the locations category. We will also let you know a bit about each of the other locations in that section too.
I’m certainly no Ewan McGreggor
Now I’m a girl that likes a bit of camping and is not so precious that she can’t do without all the creature comforts for a short time but we’re working on the basis that you don’t have to rough it to have an adventure. Unlike Ewan and Charlie, we will not be sleeping under a piece of plastic sheeting, digging a hole for a toilet and eating unrecognizable food. Instead we will be enjoying a range of B&Bs, end each long, hot day’s riding with a good shower, nice glass of wine or two and some quality, local grub. I am a girl after all.
We hope you are inspired by our adventure and consider an adventure of your own. If not, there will still be lots of facts and information that we find a long the way that you might find interesting, so we hope you enjoy our blog and thanks for coming along with us!