Guinea The Bike

Day 68: A great day but a worrying one

Why great? Well just look at the pictures of the road and scenery. New tarmac one minute, jungle tracks the next, then dirt roads. All through some of the most stunning unspolit mountain jungle.
Why worrying? Because…

Borders Guinea Sierra Leone Street Child The Bike

Day 61: Swimming with the bike

Today was about great bike riding on mountain roads and on jungle tracks, falling off a ferry into a river, seeing fantastic wildlife, breakdowns and hospitality in a remote jungle village. It is going to be a long blog. ..

Guinea The Bike

Day 59: Pause for bike repair

This morning I only had a kilometer to go to the village where I needed to get my passport stamped. Right from the outset the steering did not feel right. It was notchy when turning rather than smooth. Ok when going straight and fast but very difficult when going slow and using the steering to help balance.

Burkina Faso Mali The Bike

Day 57: Three days, Three Countries

Opposite the hotel in Bobo was a bike repair shop so first thing I wandered across to ask about them helping do an oil change (they do the mucky bits of a service) we agreed a price and layer I came across with the bike. While he did the oil, I checked the plug,  cleaned the air filter etc. Half hour later the bike was serviced.

Ghana The Bike

Day 53: Breakdowns and hospitals

STOP PANICKING MUM! I was not the patient!

I had a call from Hussain at 5.30am. He wanted me to get a taxi to his place and we would go together to pick up the bike. Why so early? His wife was sick and had gone to hospital. I tried to persuade him to forget about me and focus on his wife but he said he had everything in hand and after she had gone to hospital she would go to her mother’s and I could take Hussain there on the bike.

Borders Mauritania Morocco The Bike

Day 10: Should I stay or should I go?

Distance: 110km, Start Kanitra, Morocco, End: Mohammedia, Morocco

Today started very well with the best cup of tea I have had since leaving the UK and a tasty pancake breakfast courtesy of Bob and Ellie. Thank you for giving me a good start to the day and for your donation to Street Child.

Morocco The Bike

Day 9: Tatouan to Rabat

The bike needed a bit of maintenance this morning. The oil level was getting a little low as was the coolant; this is normal. Also one of the headlight bulbs had blown taking out the fuse with it: all easily fixed with the spares I am carrying.

The ride was fantastic, especially the beginning through very deep valleys with Farm covered slopes reaching up to near the summits. Through the day the land got flatter until I reached the Atlantic Coast where there were miles of flat plains.

What did I learn today about Morocco? The mule is the main source of transport (people and goods) for many people. In the hills it is mainly subsistance farming. Old Mercedes cars never die, they retire in Morocco.

I am sat by my tent looking up at the stars and listening to the beautiful sounds of the call to prayer at the local mosque.

Tomorrow I have been invited to breakfast with Ellie and Bob, two well seasoned brit travellers who Bob says are on the run from the old Bill. They seem a really nice couple and real Yorkshire tea and pancakes cannot be refused. Later I go into Rabat to get some visas.


Yesterday’s blog and photos to follow when I can find a Wifi hotspot.

Borders France Minifigs Spain The Bike

Day 4: Vinyards to Mountains

Distance: 340km, Start: Bordeaux, France, End: Pamplona, Spain

Yesterday after leaving the ferry I forgot the bike maintenance checks so last night I wrote a check list. The people looking through the dining area window seemed impressed as they watched me going through the list, checking fluids, adjusting chain, checking tyres… They did not seem so impressed when the bike promptly fell over when I tried too drive away. Note to myself.. add “remove disk lock” to my list. Also remember not to panic if engine fails to start after dropping the bike… it is probably still in gear. In case anyone missed my embarrassment I accidentally pressed the horn as I lifted the bike.

Scouts The Bike UK

Day 1: The Journey Begins

Start: West Wales, End: Southampton, Distance: 240 miles. One refuel: £17.41

After a year of planning I am finally on my way to Cape Town. The journey was mostly along motorways and the weather was kind to me with no rain. The bike was a little twitchy at the front end at low speeds but felt really good at high speeds. Totally the opposite of the unloaded bike. The shift in the centre of gravity from high in the middle to lower and further back is the cause. This evening i went to visit my old Scout group the 14th Eastleigh. It was great to see faces I have not seen for many years and to explain about the trip to the Cubs.

Planning The Bike UK

24 Hours to Go

Final day at home so I have been packing and repacking the bike.
I have finally found a configuration that works and is as balanced as I can make it.

The spare tyres were a big problem and at one stage I decided to leave them
behind.  But I eventuality decided it was worth the hassle for a week or two through Europe. I will probably change them in Southern Morocco.