Europe Trip Day 14

I was up & out early as I went for a cycle ride through Regensburg with my cousin! We stopped for coffee next to the cathedral and chilled for an hour! Then it was back to their house for a hearty breakfast of a cheese board, meat platter, croissants & breads & jams…..not forgetting the coffee! We talked and ate and soon it was time for me to pack my backs, pack the bike with all the panniers and strap on the bags! I left my cousins at 12 noon with them all waving goodbye and seeing me off with a smile!//
I was soon out if Regensburg and on the autobahn for my epic 934km ride home! It is the longest ride I have ever embarked on! I stopped after 50km to fill up with motion potion, then I was on my way. I started to eat the km’s by the dozen, cruising at a steady 85mph I was Soon in to my first 100km of the trip! Only 800km’s to go! The km’s rolled into the hundreds and soon I was pulling over again for fuel, my butt was in pain so I laid down on the grass near the lay-by and chilled for around 45 Min’s and rested.
A few other bikers came by and I did my best to communicate and say a friendly hello!
I was soon on the road again eating the km’s. I was looking out for UK number plates and occasionally saw a few, tooted my horn and waved at my fellow Brits! The UK lorry drivers gave a blast of their horns and a flash of their lights when I passed and waved!
I hit a few miles of traffic jams where the build up of traffic was just too much for the roads and I had to weave in and out of the cars giving them a wide berth at times as they tended to change lanes for no reason! Another fuel stop my final one and it was dark now! And to add to the torture of a long ride my headlight bulb had blown so I was down to my two fog lamps! So glad I fitted them, otherwise i would have had no lights at all!
Eventually the signs for the car ferries approached and i could feel the trip was coming to an end and i didn’t want it to. I have had so much fun, freedom and time to think about the little things and big things in life, time to see parts of Europe I’ve never seen before and i liked it all so so much.
I had a notion of just carrying on to Paris and staying there for a while before heading down through France and then see Spain, maybe catch the ferry to Morocco and head in to Africa, but then the reality & responsibilities of life kicked in and instead of more adventure i turned toward Calais and the ferry back to Dover.
The queue to get through the one and only border/passport check i had faced in the last 14 days was long and tiresome. I arrived at the terminal at 10.30pm, i had stopped for maybe two hours in total during the day, basically when ever i had to get fuel i would rest for 20 mins or so. the ferry i was hoping to catch was leaving at 11pm so i had 30 mins to get through passport control and then to sweet talk the ferry operator to let me on, otherwise i would have to wait until 7am the next morning. //
After some classic French “I’ll do it in my own time when I’m ready” from the guy behind the desk and a 8 minute wait i was allowed through and boarded the ferry with 2 minutes to spare.
I tried to replaced my front bulb and made my way to the passenger deck and wandered around, talked to a few bikers about their tours and relaxed in to a deep rest.
On arrival at Dover i filled up with fuel and (probably from being tired) put the fuel nozzle in incorrectly and the petrol went everywhere, luckily i had my visor down otherwise i would have ad petrol in my eye for sure. I wheeled the bike to the water hose and hosed it and myself don to rid the smell of petrol from me and the bike!
Then it was on the road for the very final homeward bound leg of my mini tour of Europe, it was a quick ride home if i do say so myself without incriminating myself!!
and at 1.16am i was back in Tufnell Park where i started some 2797 miles /4501 km ,
9 countries, 14 days earlier!
I had an amazing time and met some fantastic people and learned so much. I will defiantly do it again and won’t be afraid of the what ifs or the uncertainties that i had before i went. it has given me more confidence in my riding and myself and the only way i can think of to make it better would be to go for longer period of time and have someone else to ride with. adventures should be shared which is why i wrote this blog, to remind myself of the good times and to inspire more of the same.

JM 22/08/2010

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