Adventure

England to Austria

It’s so hard to put the last 5 days in to words. I’ve travelled over 1000 Miles through 5 countries in as many days and experienced so much already. The weather has turned from thunderstorms and torrential rain to 20 degree sunshine which has made things way easier and more enjoyable. Day one and two were really hard work, I was putting in big miles (405 Miles on day two) through France with a horrific headwind the whole way. It was also chucking it down and cold. Putting a tent up in a thunderstorm on day one was really deflating after the great send off from The Bike Shed. I was lucky enough to be setting up camp opposite a fellow biker in a motorhome who brought me an umbrella and a beer. Friendly faces have been everywhere from that point. People have stopped to chat at petrol stations and rest stops.

I spent day 3 crossing Mt Blanc and heading to Bologna to tour the Ducati factory and hang out with the scrambler team which was great fun! They were kind enough to get me a hotel for the night. It was really strange seeing the place where my bike was built! I actually ended up riding through Mt Blanc with one glove on - I managed to pull the lining out and could not get my hand back in at the toll for the tunnel. I spent the next 25 KM praying my hand wouldn’t fall off as I carved through snowy mountains with no place to pull over. I got to the bottom of the mountain and was greeted by views like this. 

 

IMG_1882.JPG

Petrol station at the bottom of the valley 9 AM

IMG_1865.JPG

The spot where I managed to pull over and sort out my glove

 

The great weather continued through Bologna and on to Venice at lunch the next day - the guy in the car park even let me off my parking fee (€18!!!!) as I only stayed just over an hour. It was nice to have a little walk around somewhere so picturesque after only having seen motorways and stopped at petrol stations most of the time.  

 

IMG_1911.JPG

 

After lunch I continued to Slovenia to meet Jon who had emailed me whilst I was in Bologna. There was a big crash which caused a massive tailback which in turn caused another lorry crash on the motorway just before the border. Filtering for 30 mins between massive trucks and cars with their doors open whilst hauling my wide set up was really challenging and I was pretty wiped out when It cleared. I got to Jon in Kamnik, Slovenia around 7:30PM and the generosity started immediately, a huge bed with fresh sheets and towels, food, beer, great conversations, a lovely family and a great plan for the next day. We headed in to the town for a beer at a bar which was motorbike mad and then called it a night. The next morning we headed to see the capital Ljubljana, which was stunning. Wide streets and magnificent buildings lining a beautiful river.

 

IMG_1885.JPG

We headed back to Kamnik to a party at the same bar as last night where they were celebrating the start of the riding season. So many nice bikes! After that we rode to lake Bled which was stunning with great roads followed by more great roads out from Lake Bled and up to the Austrian border, where Jon and I parted ways. 

  

IMG_1890.JPG

Jon and I at Lake Bled 

IMG_1901.JPG

Posing at the other side of the lake and continuing to park whereever we want! 

IMG_1910.JPG

Parting ways at the top of the mountains before Austria

 

I headed through the tunnel to Austria and came out to the best 25 minutes of road I have ever experienced. Hairpins and back to back turns (I’ve uploaded footage to YouTube for any road geeks!) the Loibl Pass was a dream. Unfortunately no campsites are open yet in Austria as the summer season doesn’t officially seem to start until the end of the month so I had to find the cheapest hotel possible. On to Budapest today to stay with another kind stranger!  

The Bike Shed & More

I was lucky enough to spend yesterday filming at The Bike Shed’s Shoreditch HQ. I sat down and had a chat with Dan Jones about the trip, the motivation/inspiration behind it, and motorcyclings affect on our mental health. It’s reassuring to hear that the story around this trip is relatable for so many bikers - Hopefully as more people see this journey they will be able to see similarities in their own relationship with motorbikes (or whatever else helps you!).

IMG_1595.JPG

The guys from Malle London also made an appearance to help install the ‘Max’ panniers and ‘Vincent’ duffle onto the Desert Sled. Robert and Johnny have been so helpful in working out which bits of kit to take and their products are truly a cut above the rest. 

Photo by The Bike Shed

Photo by The Bike Shed

The Bike Shed have been the leaders in this custom motorcycle wave since it began and are an institution that I have greatly admired over the last 5 years or so that I have been reading their blogs and attending their events. They also help run the London Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, which rasises money for Movember. It was an honour to hang out with them and I can’t wait to show you the video!

Check out The Bike Shed here:

www.thebikeshed.cc

Check out Malle London here:

www.mallelondon.com