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- George Washington

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

France? Germany? Who cares?

Tomorrow I am going off on the bike for a week somewhere in Europe.  Best of all, I am taking Daughter No. 2 with me.

D2 and the Bonnie
Long story short, (longer story here and here) D2 came down to stay for the weekend last year and accompanied me on a day out with the Triumph Owners' Club.  Although she had absolutely zero bike experience, she loved it and we agreed that we would make a longer trip this year.  After a lot of juggling dates, it all came together and tomorrow we journey to the Channel Tunnel and points beyond.

I am excited because I am getting to spend a week on the bike, put in some quality miles, and visit some interesting places, but the best thing is that I am doing it with D2.  Her Mum and I split when she was only 3 (Mum got sole custody), so although we have never lost contact and have seen a lot of each other over the last 21 years, we still have a lot of catching-up to do.  A week in her company will do me a power of good, and I hope the whole thing will bring us closer.

I leave home at silly o'clock to get to her house in central England by lunchtime, and then we are due on Eurotunnel in the early evening.  I have a hotel booked in Calais for the night, as the hour difference means we will arrive mid-evening French time and there will just be time for a meal and a wee drinkie before bedtime.

The plan after that is vague, other then to say that we are due back in Calais for a hotel and an early tunnel crossing a week later.  I like France, but would like to visit Germany.  She isn't all that keen on France but wants to visit Germany very much.  The compromise is going to be a mad dash through France as far as the Vosges and perhaps Switzerland, and then a more leisurely return through the Black Forest and the Rhine Gorge.  New territory for me.

The bike is ready, the Euros are in the travel wallet, and I am ready to roll.  I have a small concern about the rear tyre.  I checked the pressure yesterday and pumped it up to the recommended 42 psi.  I checked it again today, and it was down to 29 psi.  I'm hoping it was just a glitch - I used a new digital gauge I got cheap from Tesco and it seems a bit flaky (and measures in psi, bar, kg/cm2 and Kpa, so perhaps I used the wrong scale).  This afternoon I put a new valve core in and pumped it up to just over 42 psi.  I'll check it again in the morning and keep my fingers crossed.  It's a brand-new tyre, so if it isn't a leaky valve core I am stumped for any reason why it should deflate.  Something to keep an eye on, along with the famous Triumph Triple appetite for oil.

This blog will now close due to staff holidays, and I'll be back in a week or so.  If you want something to read, those blogs on the right of the screen are all worth a few minutes of your time.

Play nicely.


  1. I hope that tyre holds out for you.

    I do believe you are going to have a wonderful time with D2 and I look forward to reading about your trip when you return.

    Relax and have fun.

  2. Thank you! The tyre has been inspected and is not damaged, and it has a new valve core in place. I shall check it in the morning, and if it has lost pressure I don't know what I will do. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that it was an error in reading the gauge.

    I've got a notebook (the paper kind) with me, and I will be taking lots of notes and photos for a report in due course.

    Have fun? Sure. Relax? Hmmm.

  3. Hope the weather is reasonable for you both.

    Although you're a year-round rider Richard, it won't be much fun on the pillion if it's wet-'n-windy.

    Have fun.

    1. It's looking, er, OK-ish. Fingers crossed ...

  4. Have a great trip!

    If travelling along the wonderful Rhine, call in at Bennos Truck Stop - it's a place Mrs N an d I call in at from time to time.


    1. Right, quick Google, found it, it's on the route. Hey, looks good! Thanks Nick.

    2. Obviously if I had been around in Germany that weekend you would had had an escort....I'm spending the weekend in Ludlow training in the rain....

  5. Enjoy! Fingers crossed on the tyre, and look forward to reading about it all when you get back.

    Oh, and don't forget your Swiss motorway permit if you do head out that far...

    1. Thanks Endo. I doubt if we will make Switz this time, but will stay off the motorways if we do. I understand it is just possible to do this without a motorway vignette, if you don't mind arguing :)

      Tyre lost 1 psi overnight. Which could be just me measuring it, of course ...

  6. Have a fantastic and safe trip!

  7. You are a sentimental old git.

    Have a good holiday.

  8. What Derf said.

    Keep the rubberside down. I hope the weather plays along, and you both have some awesome quality time.

  9. It looks like pretty good biking weather on the Rhein valley the coming week. Good luck.;-)

  10. Thanks all. Back now, and had a great time. The weather was 80% good (and 20% terrible), so a bit of a win there.

    And yes, 'Rhein', sorry!


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