I am off in a few days on a trip that will take me up to and possibly beyond the Arctic circle. I want to get there in 10 days before the summer solstice, lets just see. The bike I will be riding on is a 1995 R1100RS; I have owned this one for the last ten years after the previous R1100RS slammed into a lorry in the City of London. I am not getting any younger, I am in my 43rd year of riding motorcycles and to be honest, I feel somewhat nervous that I will be able to do it, let alone enjoy it. Let's see.
Preparation is not my favourite activity, this time I dont intend to curse myself for not having thought through as much as I can. With this intention, I have done my best - given that it has all been carried out with sensible choices, not throwing money at every step. I designed and printed (on my 3D printer) - nearly finished a satnav holder to mount on the forks - this particular model of bike has 'clip-ons' in the BMW style and no conventional handlebars. I printed off the parts to hold the metal broom handle to which the satnav mount would bite onto. However on printing the lower part that bolted onto the forks - after 2 solid years of use, the hot end which extrudes the plastic jammed constantly and I eventually broke off the thermistor and the whole hotend overheated and melted. I have ordered parts to make my own all metal hotend, this will have to wait until I get back.
I picked out a new ultra light hiking tent and a new thermal mat. Both had to be chucked; the air mat leaked and the tent zips were worn out. I bought a new waterproof bag and with the hard luggage, everything fits, including food, mini canteen, cooker and propane. I do not intend to eat out as I read recently steak and chips and a beer (in Stavenger) costs £85. I am giving up sugar too as a recent check up at the GP shows me to be just into the risk zone with my blood sugar. I also bought a new rain over jacket to replace the Dutch police jacket that is 14 years old and worn out. Boots are a concern as I did not buy any and I will use the thick lace up boots I have had for the last 20 years, I will put my feet into plastic bags and put the boots over them if it rains. When its rains. It will rain. I don't want to go now. I leave tomorrow (Thursday) to catch the overnight boat to The Hook of Holland.