Absent minded

This Sunday started off so nicely. I went and got the Ducati a proper clean; a soap & sponge wash, followed by wax. After that followed lunch and siesta watching formula 1 comfortably from the sofa. The peak of the day still awaiting me. I planned to ride out, going north by Miraflores de Sierra to Rascafria and then head back via Cotos.

instructions for use and information about forbidden actions
instructions for use and information about forbidden actions
forbidden action - wax on
forbidden action – wax on

Since Alcobendas was warm, bordering hot today, I wore my leather and not much else. Walking to the bike I thought it was a pity it was so warm that I didn’t get a chance to try out my new gloves.

Riding up to the mountains though the temperature dropped considerably and the road was wet from heavy rain. Almost immediately my knees started to hurt from the pressure of the leather. This fed a train of thought, considering pros and cons, weather to stick with the uncomfortable but safer leather or buy ride safe water proof trousers to go with my riding jackets. And if so what jacket would I use, the summer one or winter… both Sweden and England can be chilly during summer. And what to do with the back protection, use the small one in the jacket, or the independent one which is safer but less comfortable. So many different aspects to consider. Then I stopped for photos. I saw lightning over a lake and thought it looked exotic. Then the fuel lamp lit up, that means 3 more litres to go.

shiny Ducati and exotic view
shiny Ducati and exotic view

I think it is a bit hazzly to fill up the bike in Spain. Often I have to pay in advance, and estimate how much I can fit. Or enter the shop and ask them to open the pump for me, and then enter again afterwords to pay. Therefore, I don’t like filling up the bike unless I really have to. All this is of course bad excuses for what happened out there today. Since Iäve been home not riding fro two weeks I didn’t really know when I filled it up last. Nor did I check the trip meter. Frankly I was absent minded. The result was that I was out in rural area with no clue where to find petrol and I had 3 litres to go.

The scenery up there is really stunning but now I had a hard time enjoying it, battling not only the discomfort of my knees and the cold up on 1800 meter but now also the lack of petrol and the nudging fear of the possibility of not finding a service station in time. My only comfort was that I knew my good friend Merete wasn’t travelling this weekend and she would probably even find a way to appreciate a call for help. I usually count that 3 litres give a bit more than 30 km. Passing Cotos I was also passing 30 km. Now my hope was to the down hill, thinking that I could basically just roll down not using the engine and save fuel. So I did. Turning towards Madrid at Valdeski I still didn’t know the distance to a village with a petrol station. I continued to try and use the gas very carefully and going slow, the cold also helped keeping down the speed. The air holes in the leather sure lets in a lot of cold air even though I never notice that when it’s warm.

I couldn’t believe my happiness when at 49km reached Merete’s village. I parked and picked up my phone. Happiness turns to disbelief when she doesn’t answer on either of her two phones. Good thing I didn’t know that up in the mountains. No point in hanging around so I slowly rode the bike out of the village and continued towards Madrid. Now I could feel that the engine wasn’t getting a smooth flow of fuel because of the rickety ride and I knew there is not many more meters to hope for. Then I saw them, like in a dream. Never before have the flags of Shell locked to beautiful. With a big smile I asked the service intendant to fill up the Ducati. It ends on 12 litres, that is indeed full tank.

looking back
looking back

Looking back, today’s ride wasn’t the relaxing little trip that I was expecting but indeed quite an adventure. I make a mental to fill up first, before heading out alone to rural areas. And I wonder with resignation how many times this must happen before I actually learn. Looking back it wasn’t to bad, actually, I didn’t even have to push the bike 🙂 which has happened on at least two ocations in the past.

Perked up

After being home sick for almost two weeks it felt like a big excursion heading in to the city today. My goal was to buy waterproof gloves and maps. Since I hadn’t been in the area before I had prepared with a map but never the less I headed of in the wrong direction. I have to admit that I am quite hopeless with maps, even though I practised hard last summer riding across Europe.

In the end I  found the stores, just got myself a bit of a walk, my dad calls that bonus exercise. I felt very lucky, already in the second store I found perfect waterproof semi thick racing gloves, and with a 50% off offer. I guess they don’t expect rain during summer in Madrid. I’m also happy to make a mental note off all the other gear at hand in the stores. It seems to be a much bigger range her compared to Sweden.

The new glowes, please note that colour mathes my leather
The new glowes, please note that colour mathes my leather

Next objective, maps. That was rather easily accomplished. I got what I wanted even though I’m disappointed that there wasn’t a slightly more detailed scale to get. Remembering last year getting lost in the French alps on roads not existing on my map I had aimed for something more detailed. But, I guess I be fine, I’m not going to the alps this time anyway 🙂

 

My maps, and above the reservations and tickets in waterproof pockets, all ready to go!
My maps, and above the reservations and tickets in waterproof pockets, all ready to go!

Those weeks I been ill has severely damaged my lust for travelling and I was feeling rather down. But then I got contacted by my Estonian friend Anneli and we spend a couple of evenings on the chat plotting and planing, setting our route and making reservations. It was great to share the planing with someone and that perked me up and woke the travelling bug. So now my entire route is just about ready.

A good thing that came out of my illness is indeed that I got myself an travel insurance. And today I  managed to clean the rims. It’s awful how dirty the bike have got from just being parked on the street, even with the cover. There is sand everywhere. No point in going to the wash station today though. Saturday seems to be the day all Spanish men cleans their cars. And since I plan to do unpermitted actions e.g. proper sponge and soap wash, not just hard pressure water wash, I better go when it’s more likely to be empty.

Clean rim on a dirty bike
Clean rim on a dirty bike

Remembering Moto GP Estoril

In Sweden, Good Friday or the first of May are the traditional days for inaguration rides and events marking the beginning of the sesason. Fortunately for me, I live a better biker-life at the moment and can enjoy riding my Ducati almost the whole year.

This Easter and 1st of May, though, my Ducati was stored away since I was travelling by other means. On the 1st of May I was at the circuit of Estoril enjoying the MotoGP. The weather forecast told us to gear up for rain. I was looking forward to seeing a wet race live since I find these races more exciting, especially if the conditons change and they have to pit for other tyres. But quite the opposite, it turned out to be a very sunny and warm day wich indeed is better for both audience and riders.

I was seated in corner 9, the chicane. I was able to get a good view of the bikes passing since this is a low speed corner and I could enjoy many overtakes and a few (injury-free) crashes. Awesome spot – but no TV monitors. This left me a bit puzzled since wI never knew when or how something had happened that changed the order in the group. But if you want to get the best view of a race you should at tay home watching TV, this is the truth. At sight, on the other hand, you get a full experience, the feel, smell and sound of the bikes.

In Moto 2, the italian rider Ianonne who started 14th on the grid managed to fight his way up to the leading group. Then pushing to hard he visited the sand pit and finally passing the finish line in 13th place.

Ianonne gets the finall push and the marshals runs off to safety
Iannone gets the final push and the marshals runs off to safety

Another highlight was the Spanish rider Bautista. It was absolutely fantastic to hear the crowds roar when he passes – lap after lap, even though he was many seconds behind the rest he still fought on, and could finish the race despite his injury (broken leg!). At the end of the race one of the marshals bows to the ground to show how impressed he is. I would have done the same. What an amazing effort!

After getting home, I watched all the races again over the internet, to fill in the gaps and to smile in memory of all the things happening in “my corner” of the track.

Rossi finally ends 5th after fighting with Dovizioso
Rossi finally ends 5th after fighting with Dovizioso