Biking across New Zealand

It’s time for a new trip, and it will be awesome!

DSC_1174.jpg

Astrid and I have planned a trip across New Zealand. We will bring our own bicycles, fly to Auckland , hopefully get to Cape Reinga and bike as far south as possible. The photo opportunities, the sceneries and the camping spots will be awesome, and I’m looking forward to some marvellous skydives!

DSC_1180.jpg

Thanks to Tobbe and Emily, we had an easy trip to Arlanda.We were there four and a half hour before the flight would leave, as we had special baggage to check in all that. After some walking back and forth (check-in on one place, get papers for the baggage on another, pay at a third, back to the second and then letting the baggage in at a fourth place) we were finished, with about two hours before the flight would leave.

DSC_1184.jpg

Somehow the airline had fucked up our food ordering, and there were no veggie food for us on the plane. We managed to get something, at least, consisting of mainly bread, and a little bit of fruit. We watched movies, and managed to sleep for a few hours, before arriving in Beijing, China. There would be a long 14-hour wait until the next plane would leave for New Zealand, and we decided to leave the airport to do some sightseeing! It was fairly easy to get a 24-hour visa, and after exiting, a guy came up to us while we were waiting to withdraw cash. Because of the tiredness, and just having landed, we followed him. It may have been a bit expensive, but he made everything really easy, including a taxi ride consisting of sleeping for one and a half hours.

DSC_1186.jpg

We took the cable cars up to the wall, and walked for a bit, until we felt really tired. I have never been astounded by monuments and such, and neither this time. Now we’ve been there at least, and managed to kill some time!

DSC_1190.jpg

Back at the airport at around five, with seven hours until boarding, we took a two hour nap, went to a restaurant, made some shopping of decorations for the handlebar bags and a some fresh fruit and talked with some personell to assure ourselves that we would maybe get the right kind of food this time.

DSC_1200.jpg

In 14 hours we should be on our bikes, on our way to the first planned visit!

Advertisements

Getting back home

After a nice week with good weather at Gotland, lots of partying and some minor adventures, it was finally time to go home.

DSC_0497.jpg

I had booked the late ferry at 1920, as I wanted to be sure to be ready with everything before leaving. That showed to me a mistake, as I would be home after midnight…

I managed to grab a “reserve ticket” for the earlier ferry at 1600, well worth the money. As most of my friends were traveling with that one, I didn’t have to go alone, and I also got home a lot earlier, being home at 2115. A friend of mine gave me a tip before leaving the ferry, as of which road to choose. I drove towards Eskilstuna instead of passing by Stockholm, which gave me some curvy roads, and really beautiful nature!

After a total of 5366 kilometres, I was at home again!DSC_0501.jpg

East Europe trip initiated!

I got my motorcycle home last two days ago, and as I was afraid of, it worked perfectly. I am back to the theory it was the rain’s fault, and not a faulty antenna, as it apparently fixed itself. I went for some test drives, maybe 40 kilometres, and nothing happened.

IMG_1009.JPG

While visiting my parents in the evening I bought a ticket from Kapellskär to Paldiski at Wedsney, 12.00.

First thing Tuesday, I put back all the cables at the right places, connected the charger for the GPS and overlooked everything easily accessible to see if there were any visible damage. Nothing burnt as I could see.

Astrid and I went out on a smaller day trip to drive some more. We went to Borgåsund to eat lunch at a small café, but it was too early in the season, as it was only open on the weekends. Next place close-by were Gula Hästen, which had nothing vegetarian more than ”child pancakes”, and four of them would not be enough. Instead, we aimed at Arboga, but not too far away I saw a sigh to Westerqvarn, which is a really nice lunch restaurant. They had both good food and salad table, and we sat there for a couple of hours before going home.

The picture below is a “look-a-like” from when I was practice driving motorcycle with my mom, a year ago!

IMG_1052.JPG

As everything worked perfectly I started packing my stuff, cleaning what had to be cleaned and prepare the rest for the day after. I still had the packing list from before, and after deleting some things, it didn’t take long before the panniers were filled again.

Wednesday morning I woke up at 07.00, packed the last things and made some sandwiches. I didn’t really have time for breakfast as I was a bit nervous about forgetting anything.

IMG_1054.JPG

At 08.16 I started driving, this time with the odometer at 50727. There were no problems or queues on the way, driving by Sollentuna, but I was pretty confused when I arrived. They were rebuilding everywhere, but after asking some chauffeurs, I came to the right place. While waiting for the off-loaded cars to drive past the walk way I spoke to an English truck driver who was thinking of buying a bike to tour with, mainly a DRZ 400, or a 250 of something, as there were many forest roads around where he lived at.

The check in went great and after some queueing I boarded. I got to strap down my motorbike before going to the cabin. Apparently I got upgraded to a two-people cabin with window instead of four-people without window, and as the roommate here said, it is probably because they put the truck drivers together, and the ”civilians” together.

IMG_1055.JPG

While writing this I am eating my breakfast/lunch, and now I am on my way for real again!

DSC_9865.jpg

Senegal trip canceled.

Sadly, there will be no Senegal this year.

The morning view were pretty cool. I had at least gotten two tent days during this small trip.

DSC_9799.jpg

One tip I hade gotten about three times, were to take a look at the cables from the antenna to the ECU. As they are placed, they are a tad too short, and therefore sometimes gets bent, and starts to loose connection. As I never had loosened those cables before, it took me a good half an hour just to get the antenna loose.

IMG_0923.JPG

I got to borrow a soldering iron, cables, tape and everything else needed, and got to work.IMG_0927.JPG

Not the most beautiful solder, but it held together, no problem. I also took a look with the multimeter and all the cables had connection all the way through. I was on my way to test it, when the master mechanic gave me a hint… isolation could be a good idea. 😉

IMG_0928.JPG

It worked, but not much better than before. Interesting enough, the RPM needle had started working again. After a small trip, it would die, though, and the only way I could get it back without having to push it for 100 metres was to rev about 5000 RPMs. After this test I knew it was time to go home.

I made all the calls and arrangements and packed my stuff. I left everything but the computer, camera and clothes to wear going home, as I did not have much packing space.

DSC_9803.jpg

The bike would be picked up within 10 days, and I would get home in any way possible, which the insurance company would refund later. At this point I was pretty happy I had full insurance. On my way to the nearest bus stop, with no real clue of the stations, I started hitch-hiking a a cabriolet Audi picked me up. He drove me to the city centre bus station, so I only had to take one bus on my way to the train station. On the bus the driver didn’t really understand me but some guys helped me out.

DSC_9804.jpg

At the train station, I bought a ticket from Schleswig to Malmö. I think I had to change train a total of four times, but I didn’t have to buy new tickets at least, and the times between the trains were at maximum 20 minutes. With all the stops, and all the googling I made while traveling, the time went by fairly fast. My first plan was to take the night train to Stockholm, but it didn’t depart on Saturdays. I could go to Gothenburg one hour after arriving in Malmö, though, and after that go by night bus to Uppsala and then Västerås (really long traveling time, probably not comfortable) or take a train 07.55 to Västerås. The last part sounded most awesome.

IMG_0933.JPG

On my way to Malmö I found out a friend of mine were going to Strasbourg, and would have some hours at the station. We decided to meet up when I arrived at 19.06.DSC_9810.jpg

With all the new check ups I was about 15 minutes late, though, but finally I was in Sweden again. I met a really old friend named Benji from Game Over (11 years ago?) when leaving the last train, and he followed me to the main exit, where I would meet Jesper.

We had the plan to eat pizza, but the closest vegan pizza place were too far away, and ended up eating falafel instead (really cheap, also). Soon I was on my way again, with three hours to Gothenburg.

The plan for Gothenburg was to meet up with some students at a small student map. I met some people I met last weekend in Örebro, some I met ages ago and some new. It was the usual nice student thing, at least.DSC_9812.jpg

After happy parties until 05.30 in the morning I hanged out with a guy at Chalmers before taking the bus to the central station. I slept for half an hour before the station opened, went to the bathroom and re-filled my water bottle and then took the train home.

The plan now is to research as much as possible before the bikes comes home, and also to at least order a new antenna. If I am “lucky” that is the part that is faulty, and I will be riding again in two weeks. If I am unlucky, there was actually water somewhere in the system, or bad ground somewhere, and the problem will have fixed itself until it comes home. The problem with that would be that it could appear again anytime soon while driving in the rain; if that happens, I will have to make an electrical system overhaul. If I go out again I will at minimum bring a multimeter, though.

Peace out.IMG_0935.JPG

Rainy day, but Små Lätta Moln

For me, 6.30 is early, but counting what I was going to do this day it was a good time to wake up. Breakfast with Eva, and away!

My first stop were Halmstad, where I would meet Mattias for a fika and pick up a battery meter to be able to check up on my battery without hassle. I arrived in fairly good time, around 9.50, and he and his girlfriend treated me pancakes as brunch! Eva, this is probably going to be pancake-themed as my last trip was. 🙂DSC_9760.jpg

On my way to Malmö I stopped by at Nilssons MC to say thank you for the MC-clothes, and then continued to Naturkompaniet. They had sadly not gotten my accessories for my tent, but I bought a dry bag for it, so it wouldn’t look as much as a Hilleberg.

12953175_526749780846276_1067648232_o.jpg

I filled up my tank and bought a S-mark (as you apparently need that for going international with a vehicle – I had no clue) before going over the bridge. So far, so good, but first thing I meet in Denmark – is 15 minutes of queueing. It really sucked going 5 km/h just watching the minutes pass by.

Suddenly, everything sped up – for about 20 minutes. Another long queue.

After a while, I took a break at a gas station, borrowing their bathroom and eating the pancakes I got as packed lunch! Awesome.

DSC_9762.jpg

I continued once again, and met another queue. Great. This time I filtered through, as 10 was better than 2 kilometres per hour… Apparently there had been some sort of accident with a big, 6 axle vehicle, so everyone had to go to the far right of the right lane.

Horsens, Denmark was my goal as I was going to check up on a bash plate for my Varadero. It would be too much of a hassle to put it on, though, as one of the screws to the center stand is a bitch – nothing I want to take loose out here, thinking about how hard it was to get it there. Also saw I lost a nut. Have to replace that one later.

Ole was really nice, though, and if I hadn’t been in a small hurry to get to my place for the night I would have stayed longer. I got a picture of his Varadero, at least – I din’t know there were original side bags! Looked really awesome. Hopefully I’ll meet him on the road one day!DSC_9763.jpg

Back in Malmö, I had gotten an idea when looking at the map. Denmark is really close and I remembered Ling lived close to Haderslev when I was biking by on my way to Morocco. With motorcycle, I could be there for the evening. I asked if she was free for the evening, and the plan were set!

She had moved to Sønderborg, though, but it was still only 140 kilometres from Ole. I went there and met this crazy woman for a second time!

DSC_9764.jpg

Parked for the night

She was cooking for me when I was arriving, and it was a delicious sparris, aubergine and stuff-thingy! Omnom.

DSC_9767.jpg

She had even prepared the table real nice. And bought me stuff to be able to make pancakes when I woke up!DSC_9769.jpg

 It has been raining and windy all day, and when going over one of the bridges here in Denmark, the side wind were really strong. I had already cut my speed to 85 (the limit were 110), but suddenly I felt how it grew in strenght. I continued dropping speed, and even tilting left, but the motorcycle started to wander to the right. I didn’t want to push it down too fast, as I felt like I would lose grip, and therefore wandered out on the shoulder. When I was down at 60, it felt stable again, and I moved further, keeping trap in my rear if I would have to blink by brake light or anything. Luckily, also the bigger trailers were going pretty slow.

Other than that, the gear has hold up pretty well. My boots are a bit low/the trousers a bit short, because when I sit, riding for hours, I will get a bit of water into my boots. Not so much that i will feel it, but I was wet around my feet when I stopped.

The Givi side bags are holding up fairly well, but let some water though. I will have to monitor that one, so I won’t get any nasty wet surprises.

My tank bag held up really good even without rain cover, though, and even though everything inside were well protected, there were no water at all. Good job, Lidl! Now, I hope there will be more sun!

First day finished!

I tested the multifuel kitchen for the first time today, and made many fireballs. Think I can handle it now.

The motorcycle and luggage was almost ready on the planned time, I was “late” 20 minutes to my parents place. The weight was too much to the left, which could be bad as the side stand is on the left, and it felt like it could tip over. A quick repack helped it. I actually have some space over!

12966489_526526290868625_854188576_n.jpg

I met up with my whole family for late lunch as Tim and Maria returned from their half-year honey”moon”! After meeting a whole hour for the last half year, I said goodbye again as it was my turn to go.

12957230_526526287535292_1240015611_n.jpg12939119_526526294201958_1583590971_n.jpg

Mainly little traffic and good roads, leaving with the meter standing at 49400 kilometres and the GPS set at Jönköping. It took a bit more than three hours, and I had some rain for 20 minutes. The clothing held up with no problem, so when I arrived at Eva’s place I was still dry!

A nice vegetarian lasagna, some talking and a quick shower was really nice. I’m prepared for tomorrow! Sleeping in the same room as the last time I was here (beginning of the bicycle trip), and it feels really good!

DSC_9758.jpg

I also got a new map up: https://trackmytour.com/GFbk6#1118230
It will be with the other maps on this website!

 

Home again

After eating breakfast (which one of the cabins missed as they didn’t have any alarms), we made ourselves ready to drive off. It really felt close now, being in Stockholm and all.

DSC_8315

After driving off, we met up to put the tents and gear back onto the right cars. I saw those unknown motorcyclists again, and I really liked their outfit and equipment!

DSC_8319

We drove out of the port, and went to a nearby metro station to let some of us off as we were going to the central station. A last good bye to most of them, and then off to the metro!

DSC_8324

I think there were reparations or rebuilding the train tracks, but me and Jakob had to take the bus about an hour later. For lunch we decided on Subway, before more or less sleeping the bus ride home. In Västerås we got picked up and driven home. This adventure was now over, so until next time!

First night out

DSC_5483

When everyone had showed up, we presented ourselves. Fredrik started telling us about the cars and the gear, and Joakim and Jakob showed us how to pitch the roof tents.

DSC_5485

We spent yesterday evening getting to know each other, eating dinner and made some shopping in the tax free, and I went to bed after watching two episodes of Breaking Bad.

After showering and eating the breakfast buffet we gathered at the cars, and slowly made it into Riga!

DSC_5495

Our first stop was at a food store so we could buy the basic wares. Then, we started driving, with a small stop for change of driver.

We had a food place in mind for “lunch”/dinner, but at 1700 when arriving there, they said that we were too many to be served. We continued until we saw a small city, where we found a restaurant/pizzeria in the basement. We don’t think they know the difference of basilica and dill (English word?), as we got dill on all the food, inclusive the pizza. Would be better without the dill.

IMG_0095

As it was pretty late, we decided to find a place for the night, and continue into Russia tomorrow. After going around with the cars we found a place by a lake where we made a fire and put up camp.

DSC_5512

Before going to bed, Jakob had a small fire show!

CIMG3180

Let’s go to Kyrgyzstan!

Right now, I am sitting on the train to Stockholm.  Today, I am starting my next trip!

This time it won’t be by bicycle, though. Me and eleven other are taking three cars with us on the ferry to Riga this afternoon. We are headed for Kyrgyzstan through Russia and Kazakstan, and will be back on July 22. My plan is to write a few posts when possible, so feel free to follow this small vacation adventure!

  

A small bicycle trip

As there was a student party in Örebro, which is only ~100 kilometres away, I decided to make a bicycle trip there instead of going by train!

I had scheduled lunch in Arboga with my grandparents. I saw a problem coming when starting to bike, though, as the winds were between 8-10 m/s headwind according to the news. The near-perfect headwind made it really slow, and I averaged around 17 km/h while pushing as hard as possible.

In the end, my grandfather came and picked me up after 26 kilometres. The clock was already close to twelve, and I had 30 more kilometres to go before arriving in Arboga, so this was a really great idea! I learnt not to have too much pride after reviewing my longer bicycle trip, especially when it only makes everything more stressful.

After a wonderful lunch, he drove me to outside of Örebro, with only 6 kilometres left to my destination. Those total of 32 kilometres were more than enough with that wind, and I don’t know how long it would have taken otherwise.

1

After a couple of days of meeting new people, biking and playing, it was Sunday, and time to go home (after checking out from the sleeping rooms, and hanging out eating pizza in front of Game of Thrones).

The wind was still as strong, if not stronger, than it was at the Thursday, and still blowing the same direction, which was wonderful news! I started a couple of minutes after two. I soon arrived in Arboga after 45 really fast kilometres, were I ate a drop-in dinner at my grandparents place. On the long, straight roads, I usually averaged as fast as 32 km/h, and at the end of the day I think I stopped around 27 km/h in total average for the whole day. It took less than 5 hours, including one dinner stop and one pause, from Örebro to Västerås. It was a joy to ride!