Motorcycling

Puncture prevented further training

I had a bit of an eventful day today. Set of to hike up Pen y fan, had to find a way out of town as there were was a road closure and ended up going a way I don’t usually use. Somewhere on that trip I must have ridden over something sharp. By the time I got to Leominster about 20 minutes away I felt the bike being unstable. Turns out I had a rear tyre puncture.

Luggage FUBAR riding a motorcycle

Had a great trip to the Algarve recently and rented a Honda Shadow motorcycle for a week. On one of the last few days of my stay there I planned a trip to the south-western tip of Portugal - Cabo de São Vicente and Sagres. However all did not go well from my start in Albufeira. As I knew I was going to be on the road for at least an hour, perhaps 1.

Riding the Honda GL1800 Goldwing

As the year has been coming to an end and winter seems just round the corner I decided to fill some of my inter-locuming days with a bit of biking. Hired a bike but this time something a little more comfy for the longer journeys - a proper touring bike with heated arm rests and seats would you believe it!! This time I rented a touring bike from the same Manchester rental company I used before.

Dodging storm clouds

I guess a lot of seasoned bikers are familiar this skill but I had to develop olit completely from scratch and it was up to necessity rather than fancying myself taking on a skill I might not use ever again. During my few weeks biking in the US this June I got quite good at it. What it basically is that as a motorcyclist you try avoiding getting wet by avoiding rainy clouds as they intercept your route.

Avenue of the Giants

The name sounds like something from a children’s adventure book, perhaps depicting an overgrown legume, but this was an actually road-sign I saw in northern California that was inviting me to leave the route 101 and explore its mysteries. This is actually the name of a byway, a road that runs close to the Route 101 but is much MUCH nicer. The roads twists and rolls round enormous Redwood trees, which are really sequoia trees.

My biking retrospective

[caption id=“attachment_2693” align=“aligncenter” width=“1000”]End of the trip in Chicago, Illinois[/caption] Today marked the first week since I hit the road. It seems like ages since I departed Chicago and I must say the trip has given me the desired effect and changed my perspective on biking and bikers. Long I thought them to be criminal gang associated thugs. But the truth really is far faaar from that misconception. They are a really friendly bunch of people that will always help each-other in trouble.

The end of the road

Distance travelled: ~8,000 miles (just under 13,000 km) The 17 states that I had a chance to see: Illinois Milwaukee (briefly) Minessota (briefly) North Dakota South Dakota Wyoming Montana Idaho (briefly) Washington Oregon California Nevada Arizona Utah Colorado (briefly) Nebraska (briefly) Iowa (briefly) People met: loads Technical issues with the motorcycle: almost none, substantial oil addition in Utah at about 6.

Chicago

[caption id=“attachment_2639” align=“aligncenter” width=“1000”]Chicago river from Lower North Lakeshore drive[/caption] Drove from Morris, Illinois in the morning straight downtown. Although sometimes glitchy the built-in Android turn-by-turn satnav saved the day by giving me good verbal instructions to guide me to the Monaco hotel where I stayed until my flight on Tuesday. Left most of the luggage there and then drove to the Eaglerider shop at the Chicago, Countryside Harley-Davidson branch. Very thrilling ride but not that difficult.

The quick run towards Chicago

After completing my wish of seeing the Grand Canyon I realized I need to start towards Chicago. The day before sort of already was a travel east but it was more south-east than northeast which it should have been. I started from the Colorado town of Grand Junction. The previous day travel was not pleasant at all. More like excruciatingly hot. It felt like I was in a stove and the air just kept getting hotter and there was no way of getting out.