and with 8 days to go until the next course, booked my place and the loan equipment. After four phone calls, I also had a hotel room for the 8th to 10th July. I was really looking forward to learning how to ride a motorcycle well off the beaten track and meeting some equally enthusiastic motorcyclists. This was something I’d been a bit nervous of doing, long journey there, what would it be like, would I be any good and how would I cope with the varying demands on my insulin requirements. If I wasn’t careful, I could spend forever thinking why it was a bad idea and never do it. Thursday 7th July had been spent getting the bike ready – the panniers, a tank of fuel, tyre and oil check, checked the brakes, lights, got the bike clean and got the mirrors into the best position. Friday 8th July, I was due to ride to Wales, 271 miles (if taking no wrong turns) and that was not the time to find something obvious was wrong with the bike. Ironically, my Zumo 400 was determined to send me along the A14 before heading south and given this was meant to be an adventure, I thought why not. The map shows the two versions: pink heading out, blue heading back.
So, on Friday 8th July at 13:05, I headed west. The forecast for the weekend was wet – mostly showers. So I did take some vital equipment: One spare helmet for the off-road bit (everything else could be hired) Camel pack – general riding and the off-road bit Two motorcycling jeans Non-bike clothes The SAM Observer August 2011
The August 2011 edition of "The SAM Observer"