If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Monday, 17 August 2009

Denmark trip 1

The Denmark trip starts here.

Today, my boss came back from holiday and approved the holiday request form that had been sitting in her in-tray since the day after she left. Whooppee-doo, I can book my Denmark trip.

I now have a booking on the Eurotunnel train thing (both there and back, that's how confident I am) and have started to make lists.

I have been on eBay and bought an inflatable mattress (funny how a caravan makes you soft) and a little device to inflate it with. I have a waterproof bag to stuff my sleeping bag into. It's black and rubbery and made by Ortlieb, and is intended for canoeists, so I imagine it will keep the damp out of the old sleeping quarters. I have a gallon of oil and a new oil filter, which I will change the weekend before I go (the bike isn't due for a service for another 2000 miles, but a bit of fresh oil before a long autoroute thrash can't hurt).

There are a surprising number of things I still need to get. I have never had a tyre repair kit before, but suddenly the thought of a puncture in the middle of Belgium makes me think that having one around might be a good idea. And tools! How many tools to take? Maps or a road atlas? Take cooking kit, or eat out as and when? And what to wear? I don't mean how many pairs of jeans when I get there, I mean do I wear my leathers and carry a rain suit, or the dull but worthy textile suit with the thermal liners? Leathers are cold when it's cold, and too hot when it's hot, but there's nothing I would rather have around me if things went wrong. Plus they look better. But the textile suit is waterproof and versatile, and it's the really sensible choice.

More rubbish to come. Watch this space.


  1. Excellent news!

    And a chance to do some shopping! Mini Primus and some soup, at the very least...just in case. Puncture kit, but not many tools - continental recovery would be a better bet than roadside repair. Gaffa tape (of course). Wind-up torch. Waterproof atlas, unless there's a cheap GPS to be had - M&P had some on ultra-bargain offer a couple of weeks ago.

    And leathers. Because sometimes style is more important than anything else. Anyway, an oversuit'll keep the wind and chill off if need be and dry off much quicker than a set of textiles, especially in a tent...

  2. For Primus, read Trangia - my old faithful meths stove that is crap at anything but heating water,but never goes wrong. And tea bags and coffee - and soup, good idea! Gaffa tape is a given, I think, and I have an LED headtorch for seeing my way after dark. I have one of those mini-toolkits that will fit under the seat (you're right about beakdown cover - the tools would be more for psychological reassurance than anything else), but I need to beef it up with a few things like allen keys.

    I already have a car satnav, which I have used on the bike once (taped to the tank, wrong angle, couldn't read it) and I have my eye on a Zumo, but even the last-but-one model is nearly £400. I think I will take the Tomtom and keep it in the tank bag, just for reference if I get lost. Ten minutes route-planning by the side of the road is better than nothing.

    I think I will wear the leathers, for the same reasons you give. They are old enough to have no armour (which the textile suit has) but I still feel safer in them. And, as you say, sometimes style comes above everything :) The point about drying off is a good one, and I will deploy it against Anna if she kicks up a fuss nearer the time. Trouble is, the weather at that time of year could be anything at all. Textiles, minus waterproof liners and with all vent zips open, are almost like riding in a shirt, but with liner and thermals underneath they are good for a British January. They are the sensible choice.

    Thanks for the comments. I will come back to this, no doubt :)


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