Preparation H

‘H’ as in Honda 😉

Yesterday I fitted some crash bars. I know I should think positive, however riding on to ferries and short legs are a potential recipe for a messy start. I also gave the Honda a coating of ACF50. An oily rust inhibitoring coating, used in the aviation industry, that will protect her from salt and grime. My beautiful companion looks like she has been covered head-to-toe in baby oil.

Today I fitted a loobman (Google it, it is not more innuendo), a low cost auto chain oiler (Scot oilers are boss but >£200 is too much). I also hacked bits of unecessary plastic from under the seat so I can store a few more tools under there.

I then had a major panic as it is Sunday night and I leave on Friday with a busy 4 days in-between (work meetings, physio for my failing skeleton and anxiety attacks). So I thought I will do a first pass packing attempt …

With most tools under the seat, I was really hoping everything could go in the top box. Especially as I had given up on the idea of camping. Accommodation is cheap this time of year and many campsites are closed.

  • Clothes (socks (8 pairs), pants (6 pairs – recycling required), 5 t-shirts, 2 long sleeve t-shirts, thermals (top and pants), jeans, trainers. (I will be riding in Kevlar bike jeans, Revit jacket, boots and helmet. Moist helmet sponge in a zip lock bag stored in my jacket pocket; again it’s legit and not a crude attempt at humour 😉 )
  • Euro plug, usb charger, cable, headphones, solar power bank, kindle (backup communication device in case phone dies or falls from it’s holder on the motorway).
  • Toothbrush, paste, pit stick (If only I was Prince Andrew)
  • 1st aid kit (plasters, pain killers, suppositories (not necessary, however I thoroughly deserve a treat!), dental repair kit (My bridge has come loose before; after being punched in the face I should add))
  • Book (Dan Walsh is a very funny man – toured the world on a motorcycle before he passed his test. No one ever checked apparently!). Proper Maps (I love maps and a backup in case my phone dies. Plus how cool will it be with my maps blu-tac’d to the wall in the ferry cafe area, with me pacing and pondering before them?)
  • Passport (A beautiful EU example), ferry tickets, v5, insurance documents, hotel details.
  • Spare keys (where will I put these that will be any saver than where I put my others?)
  • My ancient givi bum bag. Not sure I need it, however it is well travelled and the defacto passport holder
  • Full waterproofs (trousers, over jacket and over mittens – practical yet very very stylish)
  • Light weight cable lock
  • Helmet bag
  • Rok straps (best way to attach anything to your bike)
  • Tyre foam, chain lube (in case the loobman is rubbish or poorly fitted)
  • Hi Viz vest (legal requirement for breakdowns). Led torch/wand (breakdowns). Led head torch (fixing things in the dark is much easier with one, although I struggle getting it over the helmet)
  • Spare gloves (summer ones in case the forecast is wrong and it’s glorious). SPARE EAR PLUGS.
  • A piece of plastic shaped liked the Isle of Man (for putting the side stand on if the ground is soft)
  • An array of fruit

I had already made conscious sacrifices (pipe, faux sheep skin lined slippers and an arc welder (the A-team seemed to always travel with one)) and it was going well; looking hopeful until the final stages. However I think I over did it on the pants.

Struggling to close the lid and it is on the heavy side. Book is available on Kindle format however. Even so, I think I should use a tail pack; a rubberised bag that straps to the pillion seat. Choice of two, smaller roll bag with end opening, so have to unpack everything to access one thing or a larger holdall style, which I am not convinced is 100% waterproof. It will not be so much of a struggle and I will have room for a sweatshirt and to bring back fridge magnets!!!