What? Another holiday?
The only reason I have put that title, is people seem to think I am permanently on holiday. You, my reader may be surprised to learn that it was June when I had my last. Holiday, that is.
The difference is, when I have a day off, I pursue my hobby and passion as if the government are going to ban motorcycling tomorrow. God forbid.
So, Ed and his beast (not me, but his very huge – still not me…. GS1200A) with Smoggy & I are heading off on a great adventure for a month.
A HUGE amount of planning and preparation has taken place. We have booked our ferry from Hull to Rotterdam….. That’s it. Yep. That’s all we have done. Destination, the South of Italy. Armed with maps and sat nav, we are starting the weekend with a ‘business’ party and then heading south.
It’s our speciality, after all. Random stops, about 4pm, starting to look for accommodation. By 6pm, we are generally parked up, washed, and digging into an alcoholic beverage; Ed with his maps, and me, with my trusty iPad, recording our adventure.
It’s a formula that works and we have certainly tried and tested it; over thousands of miles. Those that are anally precise about their holiday plans, will probably be breaking out into a sweat by now.
We are making the most of my big brother still being in the business. He ‘retires’ in January, so we are abandoning our fabulous management team and leaving them to get on with it!
So, on the 5th of November our adventure begins. Packing is challenging, however, at least Smoggy’s panniers are waterproof. Ruby’s are dodgy, to say the least, even with rain covers. Perhaps they don’t have the same quality, bouncing rain in Italy that we have in Scotland. Plenty time to go touring on Ruby, especially when the sun’s shining!
My packing, so far, has consisted of ibuprofen and nail polish. Nice to see I have my priorities right. Disc lock (essential) and chain lube (just as essential) are on the bench in my garage. There’s a bit of furtling needed before Smoggy’s ready to go. My heated jacket loom is one, hopefully Andy Brown will manage to spare a half hour to find out why the hell it’s not working. Hopefully it’s a blown fuse.
On that note, that’s the most important part of getting away; we are about to blow a fuse. Work can be stressful, it can get on top of you. I look forward to spending 8 hours a day on my bike and not having to converse with Ed. I mean that in the nicest, but subtle way, it’s challenging working and living with your life / business partner. Not many succeed.
The best part of my motorcycling journey, has been the ability to share with my best pal, my hubby. We talk about cambers, corners, criticise idiots, generally share our experiences over a glass of wine. I still don’t want a headset though, that would be a step too far. It might happen, however, at least I could switch it off.
Another bonus, for those who have listened to me bitch and whine; for the best part of 7 weeks, traipsing into annoy you in the store, “Is there a package for me yet?”, you all (the team) must have been so, SO relieved when the trousers arrived! I am now waterproof. Yes, the trousers eventually arrived. I am now togged resplendent in space-woman-esque (no such word) waterproof Klim gear. The most impractical awful colour, however, it works, IMHO, more effective than hi-viz. being reliant upon a red bike, or where Ruby’s concerned, loud pipes too, just wasn’t enough. I have noticed that I am noticed. Great.
The biggest disadvantage is, my jacket is mingin’ already. Yesterday, my fresh, light grey trousers caught up too. They’re mingin’ too. No point in washing them before we go, it’s only going to get worse.
Packing also requires dietary requirements. I hope my order from the wheat-free-bakery arrives. It will give me the joy of proper ‘bread’ for at least two weeks. Also, porridge and oatcakes are on my to do list. As for going to Italy, I have to pack GF pasta. Hang on a moment, back shortly…..
Back. I’ve added to the ibuprofen and nail varnish. Added GF pasta. Unless the Italian chefs fuck it up, I should be able to enjoy 4 pasta meals. Sheer, unadulterated joy!
The weather, it seems isn’t going to faze me. Recently, I have found I have been able to ride pretty progressively in the damp / wet conditions. I have a wee idea when it happened. I went for a run with my fabulous Mentor. It was one of THE best runs of the season; greasy roads, leaves, wind of biblical proportions. I had a BLAST. We were going round bends and the wind was pushing us like crazy. It was SO exciting, challenging, exillerating and educationally scary. I learned so much. Thank you. Why? I had faith in my tyres and also, what undoubtedly helped, was being waterproof. Following a Master helps it seems!
Yesterday, Smoggy got treated to new tyres, from the top-notch Strathearn Tyres. I knew I had to be careful, in fairness after about 90 miles on them, they still have to be bedded in. It didn’t matter though, I was still able to enjoy the change in my riding belief.
We have a busy few days in front of us. Sunday, lunch; record on a helmet-cam part of the run. Followed by dinner at my Mum’s. Monday, Craig & Calum for a whisky tasting and pizza (pizza? Don’t forget THAT detail!). Tuesday, A meeting after work, to have a bit of fun and a team building session with the Food & Beverage staff. We leave on Wednesday.
When the hell will I have time to pack more than ibuprofen, nail varnish and GF pasta? Who cares, for everything, there’s MasterCard!
Just in case you haven’t clicked, I will be blogging as we travel, I hope you take the time to read!
….. Enter, Ed.
Addendum – this is getting to be a habit…. Ed’s just mentioned passports, euros, and waterproof socks. He has new tyres for the bike, serviced, top box rack repaired. Cheers Andy!
You can tell by our preparations that our priorities lie in our bikes.
Still to do:
Sort out heated jacket
Fill up Scotoiler
Pack spare oil for Scotoiler
Visorcat fluid (smug)
Increase tyre pressures (after all, I have a month of gear with me)
Sat nav. Only for boring parts, after all, Fanny’s in charge.
As for the rest of the stuff? Ed has a checklist. For both hot & cold!