Winter preservation

If it looks like this when you are doing your winter preservation, you have waited too long 🙂

It was with stiff fingers I screwed out all the screws… 16 or so I believe, and removed the panels to access the battery. Of course, it would have made sense to do this back in September when I permanently parked the bike for winter but, with mum’s funeral and all, I just couldn’t muster the energy. Nevertheless, I had hopes that the battery wasn’t badly damaged but could be recharged.

As much as I like the low weight distribution and the agility that the fuel tank under the saddle gives, I hate the thought of having to do this removal procedure to access the battery for a jump start somewhere in the rain while travelling. Better keep the battery well-maintained then 😉 I was thankful for the practice session I had put in the weekend before, when connecting the cable for the heated waistcoat to the battery of my 2007 GS in Spain, it did cut own the working time considerably. That was done on the street one sunny afternoon, if you really want to know.

Now, the battery is happily bubbling away, awaiting June when I’m next going to take the bike out. I bought myself one of these posh intelligent chargers, I hope it preserves the battery well.

Gotland – not as we planned it

My mum loved the unique nature and birdlife in Gotland and this was planned as a family excursion for her, Christopher and myself.

Christopher has a keen interest in medieval history and Gotland has plenty of historical sites. In addition, I have an aunt with vast local historical knowledge living in Visby, so this would make for the perfect family excursion. At least that was the plan prior to mum’s cancer diagnosis. For a long time we hoped our planned trip could go ahead, but when time draw closer, we realised that she wouldn’t be able to come with us. She was still keen for us – and especially for Christopher who had never been there – to go and explore the island and have a good time.

Gotland can be very touristy during the high season, but we were given excellent recommendations by my aunt Siv. On her suggestion, we rode stretch of road in the south captured in the video below, arriving along the coast at Hoburgsgubben, a rock formation which, with some imagination, can be interpreted as a man, or perhaps a troll. We decided to video the journey, so we could show mum upon our return, and here it is now for everyone to enjoy:

In addition to this video, we took lots of photographs for mum, thinking that we at least could share our experience with her. Fortunately, we had time to show them to her before she passed away. As they were intended for mum, the main focus is nature, flowers and birds.

This is Snäck, north of Visby. We stopped and enjoy an evening picknick here the first evening on the island.
This is Snäck, north of Visby. We stopped and enjoyed an evening picnic here the first evening on the island.
Sunset at Snäck.
Sunset at Snäck.
Up at the most northern tip of Fårö.
Up at the most northern tip of Fårö.
Familly of birds, no doubt they have a name and mum would have known it.
Familly of birds, no doubt they have a name and mum would have known it.
Seagull captured in flight.
Seagull captured in flight.
Wagtail coming in for landing.
Wagtail coming in for landing.
Visby is known for its old houses and roses.
Visby is known for its old houses and roses.
The city of roses.
The city of roses.
Old town of Visby, the city of roses, and other flowers too.
Old town of Visby, the city of roses, and other flowers too.
The great wall of Visby, my aunt and I.
The great wall of Visby, my aunt and I.
Flowers in the botanical garden.
Flowers in the botanical garden.
Forget me not (I think) and butterflies.
Forget me not (I think) and butterflies.
A flower among more flowers.
A flower among more flowers.
Mum would have known.
Mum would have known.
Botanical garden and me.
Botanical garden and me.
West coast with a view of Stora Karlsö.
West coast with a view of Stora Karlsö.
Assorted birds.
Assorted birds.
The southern tip of Gotland and Hoburgsgubben. Someone had painted the nose green. There is an interesting myth about this stone formation, google it if you're curious.
The southern tip of Gotland and Hoburgsgubben. Someone had painted the nose green. There is an interesting myth about this stone formation, google it if you’re curious.
Roses!
Roses!
We love cats and so did mum!
We love cats and so did mum!
The smallest of all the small houses in Visby. I'm posing purely for scale.
The smallest of all the small houses in Visby. I’m posing purely for scale.
Raukar, they are limestone formations created by wind and water over time.
Raukar, they are limestone formations created by wind and water over time.
Raukar and me, at Fårö.
Raukar and me, at Fårö.
A ship grave, again I'm in the photo for scale.
A ship grave, again I’m in the photo for scale.
Tornerspel at Lojstad ruin, all the knights are sponsored by local businesses. The first knight is Eskel av bröderaskapet sponsored by Eskelund's bakery following him is Tvenne pilar sponsored by the ferry company Destination Gotland.
Tornerspel at Lojstad ruin, all the knights are sponsored by local businesses. The first knight is Eskel av bröderaskapet sponsored by Eskelund’s bakery following him is Tvenne pilar sponsored by the ferry company Destination Gotland.

First Horizons Unlimited travellers meet in Sweden

Last weekend in June 2018, Horizons Unlimited hosted the very first travellers meet in Sweden and I was happy to take part. Ironically, it was hosted by a German, Kai-Uwe Och and the venue was owned by a German couple – does it take Germans to appreciate the Swedish countryside, I wonder?

It was a small meet with a shade over 15 people attending, many Swedes as expected but some people from central Europe had made their way up to Dalarna and Finnskogen near Orsa. The atmosphere was excellent, everyone was humble and, regardless of experience and skills, their main focus was to listen and learn from others, just the kind of low key event I enjoy participating in. Together, we enjoyed ride outs, both on gravel and tarmac, and in the evening we cooked food on the campfire and enjoyed old school presentations. For inspirational travel stories, we were treated to photos and stories from Canada and Iceland.

In addition, I talked about WIMA and Pikilily. As the audience was only men, apart from myself and another woman, I was happily surprised that people were so interested in hearing about WIMA and the presentation went on for longer than I had expected due to all the questions.

Lastly, there was a tyre workshop where I got to develop my skills in changing the innertube. As I previously always have had tubeless tyres, before getting my GS a couple of weeks prior to this, it was welcome practice before my summer travelling.

The weekend was a success and I certainly hope that we can see a continuation of this event!