Training


TravelDri-Plus

It’s fair to say we may have been a little obsessed with our kit. The problem was of course, that we were delayed by a year – and there’s only so much time you can take up obsessing over visas and injections – so kit seemed a harmless hobby.

I’ve lost count of the tents we’ve tested, taken on the road and now finally, regretfully in some cases, rejected. This weekend we headed down to see Les from Traveldri-Plus – the mecca for anyone kitting themselves out with kit that will last more than one festival (Blacks – sorry guys you don’t hold a torch to this guy).

This is our second trip to Devon, and once again, for a chap who is running a business, we were blown away by our welcome (thanks for the sandwiches and tea!) and by his amazing depth of knowledge about this stuff.

I’ll take some more time tomorrow to write up what kit we actually bought and what the final tent arrangements are, but this photo may give you an idea until then ;-)

Three in a row

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CBF600 fully loadedFully loaded the CBF600 is starting to feel like she’s wallowing, and frankly unless I get more training, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing all the way to Moscow. The problem I think is a simple one of too much weight combined with too little experience sledging around pristine Welsh tarmac right into the heart of the Beacons; something I solved this weekend.

We headed out from St Albans bright and early just before noon, why we never manage to leave on time is beyond me, we plan well, we all have good intentions, but we always head out on the first day stupidly late. Fortunately this time round the nights are longer and the prospect of pitching tents and cooking in the dark wasn’t a realistic one. Heading out through Hertfordshire, into Oxfordshire and beyond I started to get really excited about going home, there’s nothing as beautiful as the Welsh hills in the evening light.

Fields of goldAs we crossed the border (somewhere in Shropshire) I punched the air with Joy – I was home. The joy was short lived however, five miles later we passed back into England and seemingly away from God’s own land. Fear not, we slowly snaked our way round the A-Roads and crossed once again into Wales. Now we were really training, passing fields of gold, rising so fast into the mountains that our ears popped every mile or so. The air cleared, the pollen receded and was replaced by the sweet sound of new born lambs chasing each other across fields of short grass. I started to relax, and rather forgot the veritable trailer of stuff on the back of my bike, it’s amazing how badly a bike can corner when you’re heading into a 90 degree hairpin at 60 miles an hour.

The nights entertainment was helped along by a field of horses who took great interest in our attempts to get our new Trangia MSR burners working. But we were the ones laughing once we’d got them fired up, rice, tuna and asparagus soup kept us warm and full as we played black jack, smoked our cigars and kept the chill away with a small tot of whisky. All of this took place under the latest addition to our kit list – a 20 foot awning that will keep all but the most determined rain off us come the worst.

CBF600 in it's element - the twisty single roads of WalesRiding back down the A470, A469, and other well known Welsh roads it occurred to me how well they were being looked after. None of the usual dips, holes or ripples; just smooth comfortable and grippy tarmac. If the roads on our trip are half as good we wont have a problem, but I have a feeling Poland may have a different opinion on how roads should be looked after. Getting home was a welcome relief, as was the warm bath and glass of wine – I wonder how I’ll fair when there’s no sign of a hot bath or decent wine for three weeks?

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Here it is in all it’s glory – I never get tired of these things! 500 miles in one weekend – can’t be bad.

Wales Training Run GPS Trace

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The bike is away, the flickr photos are being uploaded and I have a full Sunday roast in my Belly…. fantastic weekend, much learned, full report shortly.

Sorry about the strange characters in the posts whilst we were away – the photo update stuff seems to put them in – will get that fixed ASAP.

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It’s 7am but time to pull myself together and get some breakfast on. We =
wont be making the same mistake as last time and leaving before we have =
some popper food and drink inside us. A little wet and cold this morning – =
let’s hope it brightens up.

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It’s been a stunning day. The weather has been perfect, the new tent is =
just right, and the food tonight was top notch. The icing on the cake has =
to be the wonderful camp site Patric found. Good night for now and see you =
all in the morning!

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I’m not allowed to tell you where we have stopped, but suffice to say it’s =
a little red place. Burgers have been ordered and tea drunk. Very very nice =
weather more when we arrive in Wales

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Ready for the off – again – as we prepare for the April training run. We’re heading to Celyn Brithion back home in Wales.

It’s a beautiful spot right at the heart of a beautiful country (not that I’m biased). I’m really looking forward to the long corners and steep bends that the road up to Dolgellau offers. We may even have time to drop in on the family.

The run is only around 188 miles one way, but that should be more than enough to blow the cobwebs out and get used to long days in the saddle. I’m trying to work out at the moment if we should blast across the A40 all the way to Breacon and then go up and over the hills, or if we should go up along-side the M1 and M6 through Birmingham and Shrewsbury and then break across mid-Wales. Perhaps we’ll do both – should make for an interesting ride!

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We’re very luck here in Journey To Russia towers… we have a genius photographer with us. His name is Stace and he can’t half shake the right end of a lens around.

Here are some of the amazing shots he took of our Dartmoor run – he wasn’t even trying to take brilliant shots as we were all for the most part just worried about where the next cup of tea was coming from.

You can see all the photos from the run on our Flickr stream – make sure you comment :-)

The beauty of Dartmoor

A safe distance

Its morning

Nice line up

Sunset

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We’ve chosen the location, we’ve bought new kit, and we’re ready for the off!

Well, almost. I still need to change my sprockets and chain, Stace needs to re-configure his luggage after buying a new 2 second tent with a smaller ‘wing factor’, and Patrick needs to ride-in and make sure his recent head bearing replacement has taken.

Next week we’ll also be announcing a stunning partnership with another site… so keep your eyes on the RSS feed :-)

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