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

- George Washington

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Denmark Trip 2

Posting has been a bit light, as I have been busy with lists and sourcing vital equipment for the trip. The spare bed is now groaning with objects that I am just certain are indispensible to my welfare for the week-to-ten-days that I will be away.

The old tank bag that I used to commute with has been tested and will fit onto the tank of the Honda - just. The lid will hold a folded map, and folded maps have been purchased (although the one of Europe that I though would be great for overall planning has such a small scale that you can't even detect the individual motorways through The Netherlands, so I'll have to get something that will be some use on the road). Incidentally, the maps were bought through an Amazon independent seller for just over £1 each, brand new and with an RRP of £4.99. Bargain.

A tool kit has been assembled, consisting of a tiny but comprehensive Lidl Special with the addition of a set of miniature Allen keys. The Pan, being a modern and high-spec motor, does not need a major toolkit. If anything goes wrong, it will be either trivial and fixable with a cable tie and gaffer tape, or totally borked and require repatriation on a flat-bed, so a few sockets and screwdriver bits will be enough.

Sleeping arrangements have been finalised, with a good old rectangular sleeping bag (I'll be cold, but at least I won't think I'm part of some weird BDSM thing with clingfilm) and an air mattress with a dinky electric inflator that will plug into the 12v socket I have wired into the bike's electrics.

Cooking is also sorted, with an ancient Trangia maths stove (nothing - literally nothing - to go wrong) and some matches. I am taking along some muesli (good for breakfast right up to supper, at a push), some tea and coffee, and some packet soups. Anything else I will buy on the way. A mug, plate and KFS [1] complete the culinary side of things.

I have also bought a tyre repair kit, which should make a puncture a temporary setback rather than a major show-stopper. Strangely, there was a bag of odd items in one of the Pan's side cases when I bought it. Assuming they were magical things associated with some weird fertility ceremony, I put them to one side in the garage. Having bought a repair kit, I now see that I had a total of two kits already, so I now can afford to have three punctures. The kits that came with the bike lacked any instructions, so at least now I know what to do. Without instructions, the first two kits would have been useless.

I still need to get some oddments (luggage straps, for one), but things are assembling nicely, and now I have my crossing booked - my first time sous la Manche on Mrs Thatcher's nice Eurotunnel - it feels like it is actually going to happen. Next stage is to get the panniers and top-box into the house and see if it will all fit, or if I need to reconsider what is essential to my well-being. Perhaps the black tie and evening suit will have to stay behind.

More later, as I get stupidly excited about the whole thing.

[1] A dinky little clip-together set bought from eBay on a complete whim about a year ago - I wonder why?


  1. First time ive been on here BD. Good luck with squeezing everything in!

  2. Hi Trick, thanks for visiting. For the answer, see next post!


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