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Prologue And Excuses

Prologue Date Early September 2019

By Ren Withnell

This year's trip to Bute And Kintyre was a success. Bute was beautiful and The Mull of Kintyre was well worth the effort. And yet, somehow, it just wasn't enough, it's never is enough. Maybe we're getting greedy? Maybe Brexit being pushed back to the end of October meant we could still get abroad? Maybe life is short and we have enough holidays left?

So here are Sharon and I pondering what to do. Among many other options one keeps on cropping up, catching up with "The Blue People". The Blue People? Ah, right, let me explain. 

When we did the NC500 in 2017 we met a German couple aboard 2 Kwakker W800s. We advised them on waterproofs and the next day we saw them again wearing bright blue waterproofs. Since then to us they are "The Blue People". Sharon and Laura have stayed in touch via email these last 2 years. As most people do they promise to catch up sometime but more often than not this never happens. Maybe we have an opportunity to make it actually happen for once? 

2 people in bright blue waterproofs at John O'Groats
So this is why they are known to us as The Blue People.

They live in Lübeck in the far north of Germany. With neither Sharon or I being big mileage crunchers we don't really have time to get there and back comfortably in the allotted 1.5 weeks we can spare. We do, I reckon, have time to get into this side of Germany though, perhaps it makes sense to meet them halfway?

A map with Lubeck and Manchester circled, a line between them and a cross halfway, right in the middle of the ~North sea
Maybe meeting them halfway is NOT a good idea?

Many emails travel across the channel. Laura is looking forward to another trip, Stephan's pleased because it's not a big complicated drawn out trip, Sharon's pleased because she gets to catch up with Laura and I'm never pleased with anything because I'm a grumpy old fart. Actually, secretly I'm looking forward to this but don't tell Sharon OK?

We've agreed to meet up in Cochem. Why Cochem? Sharon asked me where we should meet them in Germany, this side of Germany. I don't know ANYTHING about Germany - except for the 2 nights I spent there back in 2012. My first night there was in a very ordinary town at a very peculiar campsite. Nope. The second night was at Cochem which comes complete with a castle on a hill, a big river, lots of bikers, good local scenery and a couple of campsites. This is all I can possibly suggest as I have no other knowledge.

Cochem is circled on this map
Not exactly half way but it's the best I can do.

We book the Channel Tunnel, £86 return each. We book a travelodge in Gravesend because it's less than 50 miles to the Chunnel and at £24 for the night it would be rude not to. I ponder over Google maps. I find a selection of campsites between Calais and Cochem and "star" them on my Google maps. We check the bikes. I fit new rear brake pads. We pack. 

And then all of a sudden it is Sunday morning on the 8th of September. 

The 2 motorcycles covered in luggage ready to leave Sharon's house
Just a little light luggage for the journey, just in case.

Today we ride from Halewood to Gravesend. Today won't be much fun. Today is transportation. Today is warm enough, overcast but at least it's dry. As we get closer to London Village we know whatever the weather we don't need to put up a tent. Thank goodness for cheap Travelodge deals and late night Subway concessions in the local petrol station. 

Job done, bedtime, for tomorrow we ride on the wrong side of the road once more. 

If you'd like to share your adventure then click here.

Prologue And Excuses It's the whys and the wherefores and the excuses for making this trip. You don't need a reason to travel, but it makes it easier to justify the expense and effort.
The Trouble With France Is It's Chunnel Time and Sharon's made a new friend. Finally in France Ren is finding the going frustratingly slow.
Kicking The Saddlebags Ren is having one of THOSE days. He's a very naughty boy and he needs to take a chill pill. It's them bloody foreigners fault.
Calmly Into Cochem After the previous day's temper tantrum and failure it would be fair to say this day is a better day.
Riding With Friends Cities aren't really Ren's things but with a little local knowledge he can cope. It's the countryside that gets him thinking.
A Long Day And Night A long day on the road then a night out in the town? That'll be two tired travellers then.
Trouble, Tired And Transport There's trouble this morning so it's not the best start. Throw in a grumpy Sharon and a scowling local and you have another day on the road.
Familiarity And Food As the end of the trip draws near the surroundings become familiar. But will the Dynamic Muppets survive without sustenance?
UK And The Epilogue After an early start the Muppets return to good old Blighty where they catch up with BAT reader Ross. Poor Ross, he doesn't know what he's gotten himself into.

Reader's Comments

Upt'North said :-
Nice start Ed, I look forward to your French speed limit enlightenment.
With regards having a reason to travel I like a holiday in the middle.
Let me explain.......
If we're away for three weeks or so I like a week away from long bike days in the middle week, doesn't mean we won't ride then but it would be to roads/towns/places we fancy looking at not too far away. We would also be likely to be sited at one hotel etc during this time.
I suppose we all ride for different reasons. I recently rode 500 miles to say Hi to my mum and we've just ridden 650 miles to visit a coast we hadn't seen before. The Moray Firth east of Lossiemouth.
Look forward to reading the rest of your ride review, even if it is Germany.
23/09/2019 17:43:56 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
As the tale unfolds Upt' your comments become all too relevant.
23/09/2019 22:20:15 UTC

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