Archive for August, 2010

3 weeks today, I will be in Strasbourg, France on my way to Italy to embark on our London to Cape Town adventure.

Most of the stuff is now in storage, we moved everything yesterday, so now with an emptier, but messy room, I started sorting out my panniers for the trip.

Packing panniers is kinda fun, I am now starting to get a better idea how it all will fit although I do not have everything yet … things still on my list is my spares from Motorworks, but it should all be small stuff.

I also need to go buy some food, stuff like instant mash potato, noodles, cereal bars, etc .. but I guess they can all be scattered around the panniers.

Lindsay and Delilah is already leaving tomorrow spending 3 weeks in Europe after which I will join them somewhere near Milan, Italy on the 23rd of September.

All this stuff is making me excited, I just want to go now …. can’t wait, this is going to be a long 3 weeks !

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3 weeks tomorrow, I will be somewhere in France already making my way towards Italy. Today I have been packing some of the last stuff I won’t need to go into storage. I hate packing .. it’s an awful job, but it’s slightly better than moving at least,  as I don’t have to go unpack it somewhere now.

This past weekend, I have fitted new tyres, MITAS off road tyres and new heavy duty tubes. I have to say, it was really scary riding on these off road tyres on tarmac for the first time. It almost feels like you are riding on marbles, but it is getting better and I am sure I will get used to it … Good thing I fitted them now I think, this way I can bed them in a little and also gives me some time  to adjust my riding style .. no more knee down round a bend – not like I did it before, but anyway 😉

We also have all our visas, except for me, I still need a schengen visa which I will get next week.

I’ve purchased an external 500GB compact Samsung HDD to make backups of photos/video while on the trip and to clean my SD cards to go back into my digital camera and GoPro video cameras.  I have also ordered my spares from Motorworks which will probably arrive this week, then I am done as far as buying goes .. I hope !

On the top left, you will see my Twitter, Youtube and Facebook links, please follow, subscribe and join. The best is twitter as I will be using twitter as my primary source of updates while on this trip … so make sure you follow me ..

This post is more a mental note to self …. apparently it is very difficult to find the actual Visemar Line ferry in the mass of docks around Venice, so knowing it has to dock there on a Thursday (it departs Venice every Thursday), I went to the following site which tracks its real-time position and now I know where it docks which should be easy to find now, wallah !

Also made some slight changes to the website, above right corner, you can now see the Twitter and Youtube icons, to follow me if you wish – laters !

Quick update : I think we now have all our visas, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania. All sorted ..

Other updates, I received loads of goodies in the office, maybe too much to mention, but included my new Thor gear, looks good so far, got new tubes, OKO tube sealant, proper tyre levers, so I can get my tyres fitted (myself) … I need the practice, but hopefully I won’t need it, as the OKO tube sealant and heavy duty tubes should see me all the way through Africa puncture free, I hope !

Lindsay and Delilah is leaving next week Wednesday already … damn, it’s so close, but so exiting. I am busy packing my room into boxes ready for storage. Lindsay and I will probably move it to storage over the weekend or Monday as it’s a public holiday in the UK.

Things are moving along nicely … follow me on twitter for updates … also check my youtube channel for some videos.

Also please do not forget to check out our JustGiving page .. we are raising some awareness and funds for the Tembaletu Project in Cape Town .. watch the video below, if you would like to donate anything at all .. please click here !

It’s now less than a month before I set off on our London to Cape Town motorcycling adventure. It is somewhat surreal as it’s always something I wanted to do since I got into the motorcycling scene and now it’s happening. I’m leaving the morning early on the 21st of September 2010 to catch my ferry over from the UK mainland to France … and then heading straight towards Italy.

You just got to do it, otherwise it will never happen, put a date to it, tell everyone and then you can’t back out without feeling stupid .. hehe

Anyway, I just ordered some new riding gear for this trip. I was looking at something comfortable and also waterproof as in some parts we will probably hit the rainy season in Africa. My search came down to 2 contenders, the Thor Ride gear and the Fox All Weather gear and since I have found more info on the web about the Thor gear, having Thor boots already, I decided to go with them.

I got a nice deal, jacket, pants and free gloves for the same price as only a Fox jacket and pants. Obviously it also matches my colour scheme of black and white and Thor gear overall are very good, I like Thor stuff.

I have also done a small test using my old GoPro Hero Wide camera and my new GoPro HERO HD camera. I am testing possible camera setups to record the action from the trip:

Update on the other stuff, we pretty much have all our visas. We only need to apply for our Tanzania visas, then we are done. We received the Carnet du Passage for the bikes from RAC and also our International Certificate of Motor Vehicles or something like that.

My friends, Lindsay and Delilah who I am doing this trip with, are leaving in about 10 days already .. they will be doing a 3 week trip of Europe before I meet them in Venice, Italy for our Visemar One ferry to Egypt. You can read their blog here ..

I will be using twitter to update everyone on our whereabouts and adventures, so follow me on twitter to get the latest .. promise, I won’t spam, just maybe 1 or 2 updates per day … it’s £0.50 a txt to twitter from overseas 🙂

For those of you who are interested in the Thor Ride gear …. check these videos:

Only around 32 days before I depart for our London to Cape Town adventure. Some new stuff arrived in the office today, a new BMW F800GS clutch, CamelBak Thermal tubing and some SKF wheel bearings…

Not sure if we should replace the clutch before we go or take it along as a spare ? Some people say replace before you go, some say replace only when it actually goes … in other words, take it along as spares. It is not actually that heavy, just 9 steel plates and 9 friction plates with some springs, so might tag it along … our existing clutches might just make it all the way, you never know …

CamelBak Thermal tubing just helps the water in the tube to not heat up so much in the sun, saves you taking a sip from that awful hot water …. never tested, don’t know how well it works.

.. and finally some wheel bearings just in case … will be spares as well, only 4 bearings between 3 bikes. I am sure not all our bearings will fail at the same time, so we can mix and match.

Still waiting for new tubes, tyre levers, pac-safe and a few other bits … loads more to buy, waiting till next week (pay day) 🙂

Only 5 weeks before I set off on our London to Cape Town motorcycle expedition, lots of little things to buy and they all add up. One of these “things” was a Scala Rider G4 helmet headset. With this, I can listen to my MP3’s via bluetooth (from iPhone) and make phone calls which is great, no more wires, earphones etc …

The other great thing about this and most probably the sole reason why I bought this, was to communicate with the other riders, Lindsay and Delilah going down with me to Cape Town. This is also done via bluetooth and we can communicate up to a mile, I think in ideal conditions.  We have tested it last night and it’s awesome ! This enables us to have a 3 way full duplex conversation to warn each other of potholes and just to annoy each other really ! 🙂

Very happy with it .. and it is a good purchase, get yourself one !

We also attended the Adventure Maintenance Course over the weekend in Wales hosted by BMW Off Road Skills. Although this was very interesting, one thing we found out … is that we probably need a new clutch on our F800GS motorcycles before we set off on this trip. Mine already has around 20000 miles on the clock with the original clutch and it was strongly recommended we change these. More money …. never ends hey ? 🙂 We plan to change the clutch ourselves within the next 2 weeks. Probably better now than with a burnt out clutch in the middle of Africa !

5 weeks and I’m off, almost can’t believe it …. leaving on the 21st of September 2010, follow me on twitter for the latest updates from the road ..

.. ok, maybe I do not need all the stuff, but they are all nice to have.

Some stuff that are essential, like the new tyres that just arrived in the office yesterday. We decided to go for MITAS E10 Enduro tyre on the rear and a T-644 Army Special on the front. These are the same tyres they now use at the BMW Off Road School in Wales and are sold by TrelleSport, check them out.

I have also purchased a Aquapure Traveller for the trip. It seems to work, got some nice reviews, so this should enable me to drink from the water from almost everywhere. I think it will come in handy, especially when my CamelBak runs dry. Obviously I have not used any of these stuff, so be sure to check back on my blog for future updates from the road for full reviews 🙂

The other thing I purchased yesterday, is the Scala Rider G4 Bluetooth Headset. Lindsay and Delilah already have these fitted, so this will enable us to have a chat while on the bikes in conference mode. Should be good, they reckon it has a 1 mile range, 1.6-ish km … quite impressive. It also has built in FM radio and can play songs from your iPhone via Bluetooth, pair with your GPS, etc …

There are so many other things I still need to buy .. hopefully all small things from now on, but then again, all these small things ad up, I think I might have under estimated the budget for this trip 🙂

Anyway, below another video of us riding around some byways in Surrey over the past weekend .. check it out, also check out my youtube channel and follow me on twitter for the latest updates … will be updating twitter while on the road .. not too long to go now, little less than 6 weeks before I depart !

London to Cape Town: 6 weeks to go.

Posted: August 6, 2010 in UK

Like I said in my previous post, I leave on the 21st of next month, meeting up with Lindsay and Delilah in Venice, Italy on the 23rd for our London to Cape Town motorcycle trip.

That is only about 6 weeks from now.

It feels like a long time, but I know it is going to go so quickly and I still have to pack up all my belongings to put into storage, attend a Adventure maintenance course in Wales, buy some spares, tools and new tyres and get that fitted as well not to mention the visas we still need.

There are so many little things and I better start making a list so I do not forget them.

This past weekend we also did some camping/riding to test some of the stuff out, please watch the video below:

As usual, you can follow me on twitter for the latest updates from the road …

Blogging while on the road …

Posted: August 5, 2010 in General
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I have always wondered how people keep their blogs up to date while travelling in remote areas. I am sure we will be travelling in remote areas of Africa on our trip, so I have been doing a little research.

I found an excellent piece of software, which I am using as I type, yes, it is an offline blogger called, BlogDesk.

asus eee pc 904I have bought myself a very small (actually finding it hard to type on this small keyboard at the moment) laptop, called a EEE PC from Asus. Excellent small little laptop, takes very little space and it is Solid State as well …. that means, no moving parts, so vibration and impacts can’t damage any hard drives.

Storage is only 16GB, but I have bought 5 x 16GB SD Cards to take a long on this trip for videos and extra storage. I might actually just buy some more …

Anyway, so I am now typing away on this software, you can save all your posts and the best thing of all .. you can back date your posts as well. So each night or every other night I can sit next to the open fire under African skies and update the days events on my offline blogger, adding photos, media, etc …

When we then arrive in a city, say 5 days later where there is internet connectivity, I can just wack all my posts onto the blog with the correct dates … that is brilliant, I love it. Actually, it is now 00:16 on the 6th of August, but I am going to backdate this post to 5 August.

Another problem solved … I am leaving on the 21st of next month on my London to Cape Town motorcycle adventure, so please check this blog or better yet, follow me on twitter for the latest updates on the road …