A motorcycle parked in front of a tent on a pleasant green campsite

Home Travel StoriesNorthern Spain 2018

Motorway Miles And Muses

By Sharon Parker

We are very lucky that Ren's dad has kindly offered to put us up before our early morning departure for the Ferry. Ren would also like to see his uncle who is visiting Ren's dad the same day as we are planning to arrive. It will be an afternoon visit so we need to be at Ren's dad's by early afternoon, which means I need to be up at 4:30am to be ready for a 6am start. I go to bed early but I am too excited and nervous to sleep properly.
I worry about riding onto the ferry and about actually riding in Spain. It is all very new to me and this will only be my second trip abroad riding my own bike and the first time on a ferry and abroad for the little Kawasaki Z250SL. 

We set off successfully on time and despite my hatred of early mornings I have to admit it is lovely riding this early in the morning with such light traffic and the sun is out.
The first leg is an easy 2 hour's riding. I feel I could have carried on longer but we had to stop for petrol. Then another stop at Rykas Cafe by 11am and we reach Ren's dads for 1pm.

That was a pretty perfect 256 miles of riding. The 7 hour trip felt really comfortable. It all felt a bit weird but is has been good to have travelled all that way and still it is only early afternoon. I may have discovered at the grand age of 48 I like early mornings. Would you believe it. Shocker!! 

Motorways are boring but at times when you need to simply get from point A to point B they serve a good purpose. The Kawasaki Z250SL was happy humming along at motorway speeds. I however had to be careful of not allowing any guilty feeling for going away at this time to creep in because motorways can give you way too much thinking time.
I have already learned on previous trips that carrying excess mental baggage while travelling is counter productive. It only weighs me down and does nothing to lessen the load of those who are suffering. I know this, I know this. I just need to keep repeating it because it is not easy for me not to carry guilt on my pillion seat. 

I am so busy trying to make other people's lives better I sometimes neglect my own. I find the balance between caring for oneself and others hard. It is rather like trying to balance a ball, it's not always possible and it certainly isn't easy.

Talking of balance, the only other problem I have with motorways is remembering I have legs and hands and gears and brakes when coming to a service station or leaving the motorway. After sitting for hours not operating these controls they can feel alien when finally needed again. 

The following day is a rest day and a chance for Ren and I to spend time with his family. 

Later in the afternoon Ren is busy adding his beloved wooden modifications to his bike so I ponder my own luggage arrangements. I carry out some slight rearrangement of my packing so I can gain easy access to my ferry cabin supplies. I put any stuff needed for the cabin in one small bag and put that bag at the end of one of the side Kriega bags so once on the ferry I can grab it quickly and easily.  Well that's my plan anyhow.

The Kriega luggage on Sharon's small Z250SL
Another angle of the Kriega bags on the small Kwakker
The luggage as seen from the rear, perched on the small narrow seat
Kriega - what's not to love? Waterproof, smart and compact. 

I love my Kriega luggage.  Ren does not, he hates that it takes more than 2 seconds to strap them down.  However I don't like the slight wobble they have. This is probably down to the very narrow and angled excuse for a pillion seat on my bike not giving the bags a nice solid base to sit upon. It has never been a problem on any of my trips I just like luggage to be solid with no movement. I help myself to Ren's spare bungee and by hooking that around the bike and onto the loops on the luggage I find I can finally achieve greater stability.  

So that's the bike all sorted...tomorrow we ride. 

Have you got a great motorcycle luggage product you'd like us to try out and review? Contact ren@bikesandtravels.com

Building Up To EspaƱa In the prologue to their journey Ren can't help but feel that the forthcoming journey might be a costly disaster. Forever the optimist.
Getting Ready For Spain Sharon is determined to be ready, organised and prepared for her forthcoming trip to Spain. However life is even more determined to ruin her plans.
Bodging Daaan Saaaf Ren bears witness to an impossible event. Then there's some last minute bodging to be done.
Motorway Miles And Muses Sharon's derriere proves more than tough enough for the big ride across England. Can she manage to lose them emotional luggage while securing her physical luggage though?
To The Ferry What are the chances of Sharon getting out of bed very early twice in the same week. Well she'd better had otherwise the Muppet's will miss the ferry.
Ocean Blue Sharon's more excited than nervous but this is the first time the Kwakker has been aboard ship. That's if customs let her on board.
Lost Off The Ferry The great adventurer and motorcyclist Ren is proving that he is in fact a useless idiot. He can't ride and he can't find a campsite that is open. Oh what will become of the BAT muppets?
Campsite Conundrum Sharon is having way too much fun while Ren is trying to find a place to sleep. Well someone has to be happy when Ren's such a grump.
Discovering The Picos After a troublesome first day in Spain hopefully Sharon and Ren's luck will improve. Thing is they have a 187km detour to reach their destination. There have been worse detours though.
Heaven's Mirror Putting fear and doubt to bed for a while Sharon enjoys the wondrous ecstasy of nature and the joy of riding a motorcycle through it. Oh and a lot of sharp corners too.
Rain In The Picos Will the rain bring doom and gloom to the already grumpy Ren? Luckily there's enough scenery and interesting things to keep him going.
The Sound Of Silence In spite of a dire weather forecast Sharon's day in Spain is filled with the beauty of nature, fond memories and the creation of great new memories.
Riding to Burgos Is motorcycle touring a non stop stream of excitement, beauty, wonder and exploration? Erm, nope. It's a rather ordinary day on the road to Burgos.
Tin Tin It's both a good and bad day for Sharon as she travels from the delights of the mountains to the grim reality of the city and the rain. At least her hair is looking good.
Higher Than I've Ever Been In spite of the weather forecasts. In spite of no longer being in The Picos. In spite of Ren being a pessimist. In spite of all this it seems Northern Spain has more delights in store.
Magical Kingdom Sharon's having another amazing day riding around Northern Spain. She's on a high, metaphorically and literally.
Boots And Burgos Ren is suffering a footwear malfunction and it's time to go and do that city thing. Can Burgos convert Sharon and Ren into city lovers?
Burgos Bimble Sharon explores the city of Burgos, Spain. Architecture, stone masonry, pilgrims and tempting food. But can a city really endear itself to this country girl?
Lost In Luxury How to turn a fortuitous and splendid day into a nightmare. Just follow Ren and he'll sort the rest out. Still, it could be worse.
Dam Lost Fearing the weather Sharon is braced for a drenching. Thing is the weather isn't really the problem.
Gritty Northern El Bierzo There's time to explore a different part of Northern Spain today. It might not have the beauty of The Picos De Europa it is however a fascinating area.
Blink Of An Eye Sharon has an interesting day poking around north west Spain. There's a something of a shock in store for the evening.
Back To Beauty, Dodgy Caravan It's time for the dynamic muppets to saunter their way back towards the ferry and Ren is in reflective mood. Wonderful scenery, weird accommodation.
The Good, The Bad And The Musty It's a day of confusing emotions for Sharon, but life is for living. Will this evening's accommodation be as luxurious as the previous evening's?
Beautiful Potes While going to a now familiar town is hardly intrepid at least it means Ren is calm, chilled out and not lost. For once.
Head In The Clouds Sharon is calmed by the wonders of Northern Spain's wondrous scenery as she returns to the comforts of Potes.
Sun, Sand, Sea And Santander The weather has improved now it's time for the dynamic muppets to head back to the ferry. Ren is intrigued by stories or walking across Northern Spain, will we see "Walks And Travels" or W.A.T.?
Splish Splash Santander The beauty and grandeur of the The Picos means Sharon does not want to leave, ever. It's back to the city, ready to sail home. Fear not, there's still pleasures to be found.
The Ferry Home It's the dynamic muppet's last day in Spain so it's time to catch the ferry. A mixture of sadness and relief for Ren, but what about the other riders in the queue?
Final Thoughts On Spain Ren crosses the T's and dots the I's on the Spanish trip.

Reader's Comments

Ren - The Ed said :-
That blasted luggage! It is very well made and it's a good system but oh my goodness it drives me to despair. Every time she needs something from it there's a 7 minute hiatus as she tightens, fastens, clips, pulls and re-re-re-adjusts every blooming buckle. Gerra box and lob stuff in it, job done!
11/06/2018 11:15:21 UTC
Rod said :-
Sharon, I am sure if you ask Ren nicely, that he could secure the luggage better with a few wooden brackets!!
11/06/2018 02:32:07 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I have offered Rod I really have. She has this "thing" about the bike looking nice though. I don't gerrit meself.
11/06/2018 04:10:39 UTC
Snod said :-
There are other solutions, y'know.. Build quality is of course unknown!
11/06/2018 08:57:20 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Aaaah Snod, you've made the classic mistake. You've confused the earlier Z250 which is a twin with the Z250SL single. Different bike with different fittings :(
11/06/2018 09:02:45 UTC
Keith m said :-
That all looks very familiar to me. I think in Asia they do a 250 version of the z300.
11/06/2018 09:51:40 UTC
Snod said :-
Ahhh noooooo, seppuku for me :(
11/06/2018 09:56:45 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Well Keith m the Z250R was sold here until the bike was updated to the 300. I expect the 250 is kept in production for markets around the globe with different licensing laws. It gets very complicated when looking at the bigger picture.

Aaaaw poor Snod! I don't think your shame is sufficient to warrant disemboweling yourself though. I'd suggest a cold shower and having a word with yourself will be enough.
11/06/2018 10:27:26 UTC

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