Live unlike the others

“Life on the road is hard. I talked to my bike. It’s a bit crazy, but I talked to it every day, not to abandon me, not to let me down, not to break down, my motorcycle represents my life, more than just a bike”. I though it was just me but this quote is from Cyril Neveu so I guess its normal behaviour from a solo motorcyclist in a strange far away land. If you are planing a trip, long or short my advice is just do it… you will remember the sites you saw and the things you did, they will travel with you forever and if you go… I promise you this… you will not come back the same.Live unlike the others

BUGN DRHQ FPNE QXVN IKPV HYSD

If you get a chance go to Bletchley Park. Its a haunting place that was the location of the UK Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), and perhaps most famously the site that allowed Dilly Knox and the team including Alan Turing to build the Bombes which helped crack the German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers. I had to double check my facts after my first visit as I just could not believe that in the UK homosexuality remained a criminal offence until 1967. Turing committed suicide on June 7th 1954 after begin persecuted for being gay. It is little recompense that the UK government officially apologised to him for the “the appalling way he was treated”, but on the 24th December 2013 Turing was pardoned posthumously by the Queen – its not the finest moment for our democratic system and tolerant culture – live and let live.The Bombe

الصحراء الكبرى – Sand gets everywhere

After a really early start this morning, I fell asleep again in the sand of the eastern desert, on the edges of the great Sahara, awoken only by a strengthening onshore wind, I watched the sun rise. So close to the equator there is really no discernible length of twilight at either end of the day and sunrise to full strength takes a matter of minutes – pulling my self together I could not help notice tracks in the sand made by an unknown nocturnal visitor as I snoozed, seems he was not interested in me at all – I just like to think it was something small and fluffy…

Tracks in the Sand

Photographs with no credits

Its one of those random odd photographs, riding for a few hours and stopping to tumble off the bike into the meadow grass and flowers, kicking back to take of my jacket and boots in the strong alpine sunshine, rehydrating from a bottle of water and eating a snack when I hear the shutter of the Nikon clicking away – turns out the weight of my Hein Gericke jacket has pushed down the release and taken a series of random images – this one just captures the whole day for me, all that’s missing is the smell of the grass and wild flowers and the continual drone of insects as they forage for pollen.Photographs with no credits

Might have left it a bit late…

Might have left my departure a bit late – got about 1750km to do to make the train on Sunday – the bike has been faultless and I trust her to continue the be the same – new set of tires will be required and an oil change for a treat, gearbox still rattling away but lets just call that characterful…Workhorse

By si niečo na pitie

Going to have to leave the east shortly – these 17 days have raced by with a series of multi lingual exchanges and gesticulations bound by the common thread of an old man riding an old motorcycle – lasting memories will be the torrential rain and the stunning vistas for wherever you look in eastern Europe the people are friendly and welcome you into their homes – the number of times I have been offered a drink when asking for directions – like the two go hand in hand…Eastern Europe Forest

Staller Saddle Racing

Stumbled across some long boat racing in the Alps this week – the Staller Saddle at 2052 meters is a is a high mountain pass in the mountains on the border between the Tyrol in Austria and South Tyrol in Italy and adjacent the road is a large lake used for traditional boat racing – the pass is stunning and connects the Defereggen valley in Tyrol with the Antholz valley in South Tyrol, is very narrow but a great ride – recommended.Longboat Racing

Bovec

Rode past the military cemetery east of Bovec last week. During he First World War the whole areas, despite its tranquil beauty, was the location for the determined and bloody Battles of the Isonzo which were fought between Austro-Hungarian forces and the Italian Army between June 1915 and November 1917.Over 600 soldiers are buried in the cemetery, the graves cover the entire cemetery area but only the south quarter has grave markers. It is a somber place giving shade in the midday sun and a constant reminder of the historic actions that took place all over the European frontiers – now I simply ride from county to country with no restraints or checks.Bovec

Hard to think its July

I have been able to ride some incredible eastern European mountain roads this week despite the torrential rain which is still setting as snow at altitude. Dressing for the weather can be a challenge as its often 28 degrees plus at valley floor level but yesterday dropped to just 2.5 degrees at altitude – managed to get everything dry last night so tomorrow will be another new adventure.Hard to think it is July

Goat in the road

Riding the Grossglockner enthused me to try the Nockalmstrasse in the pouring rain… this is a ‘lower alpine pass’ which turned out to be a good move as it was a quieter yet much more technical ride and apart from the usual cattle and horse hazards new ones on me were little tubby Marmots and these youngsters oblivious to the traffic…Goat in the road