Itchy Feet…

2nd December 2014 by  in Motorcycle Touring & Travel

I made the ‘mistake’ of binge-watching the Long Way Round on Netflix over the weekend, and it’s re-ignited an enormous feeling of wanderlust.

Long Way Round

This isn’t a new phenomena by any means; the urge to grab a coffee and a map, stick a pin in it and ride there has lurked beneath the surface for as long as I’ve owned a motorbike.  Heck, if truth be told it was Long Way Down that provided the final push to get my bike license proper back in 2007.  Seven years, several bikes and many, many pounds spent later, it’s clear that this pair already have a lot to answer for…

Perhaps it’s just my way of escaping the cold, wet dark nights of winter but much of the last few evenings have been spent looking up potential destinations, reading other people’s riding blogs* and checking out the cost of used bikes on varying foreign versions of eBay to get a feel for used bike prices around the globe.

Whatever, I’m treating it as a wholly needed kick up the backside to pull the finger out and start making plans for next year’s biking trip(s).

Where to go

Surprisingly (/disappointingly), multi-million dollar movie contracts are thin on the ground at the moment, making the hiring of a support crew for 3 months slightly tricky and as such putting the dampeners on following in Ewan & Charley’s footsteps.  However, there is still an enormous, affordable chunk of land well within a few days riding of home that remains largely unexplored (to me at least).

Despite living here, much of the very North-Westerly reaches of Scotland are yet to be ‘done’.  Sure, I’ve struggled to concentrate on the road whilst riding alongside the sheer beauty of Loch Lomond, taken that little gasp that everyone does the first time they ride through Glencoe, and triumphantly walked into the pub at Applecross and rewarded myself with a seafood based feast having conquered the Bealach na Ba.  But what about that really squiggly looking corner up there between Ullapool and Durness?  I was fortunate enough to steal a weekend riding along the very top of Scotland back in the Spring, but it was rushed and I’m sure there’s much more to see than I hastily whizzed past.

Somewhat embarrassingly I’ve never ridden a motorbike in Ireland (North or South) or Wales. Two stunning countries both packed with charm, character and – more importantly – amazing looking roads to get in amongst and explore.

What about a few famous touristy landmarks that would be cool to see and tick off; Stonehenge, Cheddar Gorge or Dover’s white cliffs for starters.  They’d all be that little bit sweeter for getting to them by bike.

And I haven’t even started looking at adding to my brief ventures across the Channel and into Europe yet.  There’s a lot to do.

So, it’s decided – ass kicked, finger duly pulled – next year I’m getting a LOT of miles in, and ticking a LOT of things off.  I reckon the first step is to start jotting down a list of places I’m particularly keen to ride to, and just make a plan from there.

– James

(* I’ll put together a list of useful sites and resources as and when I find them – watch this space – but H.U.B.B. is an excellent place for starters.)

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