Life is busy: too much work, not enough work – no job offers vs. too many possibilities. Paperwork that needs to be done, deadlines that need to be met and and a pile of e-mails that need replying to. This combined with a backache, a cold and flatmates that disturb my sleep made life unbearable. That is when I love to take the bike out, go camping, disconnect from everything, not check my e-mails, not FB, not talk to anyone just breathe and exist. An opportunity to get some solid sleep, see some new views and just enjoy life knowing that no one can claim my time because in this moment, my time is mine.
Despite the weather forecast we could enjoy a beautiful sunset and, later on, when the forecast came true, some heavy rain and thunderstorms – but we were already tucked away in our sleeping bags by then. The following day, when returning to Barcelona the long way, we had some rain while riding some amazing roads, but not until after we cooked our roadside lunch. When all expenses are translated into teaching hours, all costs needs to be cut.
As a welcome surprise, we found ourselves in a bar showing the MotoGP when stopping for afternoon coffee in the small village Avinyó. This completed our already very enjoyable weekend.
Exhausted and burned, I’m now trying to get a bit of rest before a very busy work week. Tomorrow I’ll begin my third job, something which will minimize the economical damage of taking two weeks off before the national holiday period to go to the Estonian rally.
But that is tomorrow, today was awesome: Christopher and I spent the day at the Montmelo race track, not for running this time, but for what is now our local MotoGP race. It was hot, sweaty and filled with exciting action. We’ve been to this race before, but this was the first time we could arrive on the bike, buy our ticket at the door and bring our picnic on to the grass – just like the locals do.
Now, apart from some Japanese chill cream on my sunburnt shoulders, I just need a dinner and a good night’s sleep to get ready for the juggle of three different teaching schedules.
We’ve done some amazing ride outs lately, since Barcelona is wedged in between the mountains and the sea, great riding roads are never far away. One weekend we rode some twisties north of Badalona and towards Sabadell and on another we road towards Molins de Rei and through the natural park, Parc De Garraf north of Castelldefels.
Since our return to Spain, Christopher has climbed back on to the pillion seat, which he enjoys, but the plan is for him to buy a smallish bike and therefore we have investigated what’s on the market in the 125 – 500cc bracket. Firstly, we went to the Motorcycle Live show in Birmingham last November to try out the bikes on display and gather information, then, in April, we visited the Motoh show here in Barcelona.
Recently, there has been a shift in the market it seems: more and more manufacturers are launching smaller bikes, here are those we were looking out for:
In comparison, the Birmingham show was way bigger than the Barcelona show and displayed a larger range of bikes, from 125 up to 1000-something-silly cc, clothing and apparel in masses. In the Barcelona show there was a strong focus on scooters, the 125 segment and then on larger bikes. Not much in between. However, there was quite a range of e-bike manufacturers, which is something of great interest to us, albeit more for the future than our immediate needs. At the moment, we need something cheap and reliable that can be parked on the street and with affordable insurance.
The original plan, to sell the Kawasaki Versys 650 and instead get two smaller bikes that would serve us better, has by this date been modified. While the Versys is too big and heavy for the city traffic and two smaller bikes would be better, for commuting in and around Barcelona as well as mountain riding in the surrounding areas, I’ve now done the paperwork for the Versys and will stick with it for some time to make it worthwhile. Most of the small and smallish bikes we have looked at are still new on the market and we hope that, with time, we will find them availiable second hand, tried and tested with the newbie issues well documented. Our first step is to find a bike for Christopher, then later on for me. But with the general hustle and bustle in our lives we’re willing to admit that this is likely to take some time too.