After a hectic autumn filled with reading, writing, exams, packing, moving and travelling, things have now started to settle a bit, if only temporarily. My university doesn’t take a break for Christmas and I have to keep up my marathon training for the charity run in May, but the world around me seems to have slowed down a bit because of the holiday. This past year has indeed been very eventful, and with the focus on the positive things, my road trip from Sweden to Ireland and the Ride and RUN project deserve special mention. Despite failing to run in all the countries I was passing and equally failing my intended runstreak on the return journey, I nevertheless ran in 8 out of 9 possible countries. I camped in all possible weathers, presumably that is why I got a cold and couldn’t complete my runstreak, and also failed to run in The Netherlands on my return journey. This, however, will be avenged by the Marathon Anneli and I are intending to run this spring in Leiden. What a sweet revenge 🙂
My visit to Ireland and the week spent exploring Donegal and the north of Northern Ireland with Christopher was a highlight of this summer and not only for me. It seems it had a strong influence on what happened later and led to him signing up for the compulsory basic training for motorbike, the CBT.
So new plans for the new year, where to Ride and RUN? Judging from my gift it seems he has planned to make the most of our stay in the UK. I had planned to go to Scotland last year, let’s give it a new try this summer. Onwards, and upwards, to Scotland and beyond!
Yesterday my partner and I did a day trip to Birmingham for the motorcycle exhibit. We spent the day exploring the many options, realistic and non-realistic, for our future life on 4 wheels, 2+2 that is. However, regardless of how much we would like to have a CCM each, we’re not going to afford it. Christopher is very fond of the Royal Enfields and I’m biased towards the Ducatis but the V Strom is also very appealing. The Herald might be within our reach if we could find a secondhand one, which seems next to impossible. In the end, I think that a decent second hand Honda 125 CB or a Yamaha 125 YBR is what we’ll end up with, the market is full of them, we just need to find the right one.
The highlight of the day was to meet Derek Mansfield at the Overland stand and hear him talk about his new book “Notes from the Road”. The book is what it says, and looks like his own notebook, just with an edited interior. It was so interesting to hear him explain the process of making it; because his memory is unpredictable he got a notebook from his wife when he set out on his latest trip. While riding from England to Ukraine, he recorded his thoughts and reflections about the people he met, this became the book. He said that the publisher had compared his book to Marmite, you either love it or hate it. I must confess that I hate Marmite, but I love his book. It is an amazing read and it’s totally unlike any other motorbike adventure book I have ever read!
Another thing we enjoyed was to see the current British Champion in trail, Dan Thorpe, show his skills on the obstacle course. He made it seem so easy, which just shows how good he is. Apart from this, we looked for winter riding trousers, asked about insurance, learn how to find out if a secondhand bike is stolen and entered lots of free competitions. On the train home, I fell asleep almost instantly. It had been a very good day!