News

A chinese lion statue This page contains news of my travels and of anything else remarkable happening in my dull existance. For previous entries consult the archive section

Riding Route Napolean

Created by Troll on June 13, 2010

A three day weekend and the last public holiday of the year offered the perfect opportunity to ride the legedendary Route Napolean. After reading reports of the road in the British motorcycle press for years I was keen to see if the road lived up to the hype. The plan was to ride to Grenoble on the first day taking in the Col de la Forclaz, Col de Montets and Mt Blanc along the way, then to ride Route Napolean (N85) on the second day and finally to ride back to Zurich on the third. Each days ride was around three hundred miles, which is about my comfort limit.

Going for a walk one day

Created by Troll on April 23, 2010

On weekend in early March after going to the Zurich bike show I decided to go for a walk on Uetliberg, the small mountain that overlooks Zurich. I got a bit more than I bargined for! The bike show was really good, and unlike the UK shows all the manufactures were there and you could actually get near the bikes. I was having a good time looking at all of the new metal, but as the sun was shining I thought I should get some excercise. Bad mistake!

Working and Living in Switzerland 2010

Created by Troll on February 14, 2010

After eight months on the road I guess it was inevitable that I had to get back to work. I miss the freedom of the road, getting up to ride every day, setting up camp every night but I have to raise some funds for my next adventure. I started looking for work in the financial industry in London as salaries in my home town of Bath were low. One of the jobs I applied for was for a large international bank (you can guess which one) in Zurich, Switzerland.

Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and New England

Created by Troll on September 23, 2009

My luck ran out in Toronoto, up until this point most bike shops turned me around and got me back on the road after a few days. I got stuck in Toronoto for a week waiting for another major service on my bike, they told me that they had never seen a V-Strom that had been ridden so hard! They also discovered that the air filter was jammed full of dead wasps!

Yosemite, the Loneliest Road and the Plains

Created by Troll on September 4, 2009

After the disappointment of not being able to afford to transport my bike to Ecuador, I had to come up with a new plan. I did not feel ready to abandon my ride this early so I decided to ride back across the USA and Canada, with a vague idea of riding Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

The Pacific Coast

Created by Troll on July 14, 2009

I considered stopping in Seattle as I had heard good things about the city, however once I got into the crazy highway system complete with signs warning 'Motorcyclists use extreme caution' I decided to ride straight on through to the beginning of US101.

Canada and Alaska continued...

Created by Troll on July 9, 2009

Having another day off to recover in Fairbanks gave me time to consider whether I should attempt the Dalton Highway. Riding the Top of the World Highway had given me some confidence on gravel roads but I was still unsure of whether I had the necessary skills to tackle one of biking's Everests.

Canada and Alaska

Created by Troll on June 24, 2009

I was very worried about crossing the border into Canada, as I am a British citizen riding an American registered motorcycle. I spent a sleepless night working through all the different scenarios before settling on Eureka as a town where I could spend a few days getting any missing...

Route 66, Canyons and National Parks (UPDATED with Montana, Glacier National Park)

Created by Troll on June 24, 2009

I expected the ride from Phoenix to Kingman along Route 93 to be a long, hot, flat one. However it turned out to be quite interesting. The road passes through the National Joshua Tree Forest. Joshua trees are very odd looking, I kept on wanting to stop to take a picture but there were very few places that were suitable for my bike and each one that was didn't have a Joshua tree near the road.

USA Road Trip Statistics

Created by Troll on May 31, 2009

Some people have asked awkward questions like 'How many miles do you do a day?', 'What are the costs?'. Well here are some rough statistics for you to chew on!

Route 66, Canyons and National Parks

Created by Troll on May 25, 2009

This is very rough, I'm too tired and hungry to finish it off now.

I expected the ride from Phoenix to Kingman along Route 93 to be a long, hot, flat one. However it turned out to be quite interesting. The road passes through the National Joshua Tree Forest. Joshua trees are very odd looking, I kept on wanting to stop to take a picture but there were very few places that were suitable for my bike and each one that was didn't have a Joshua tree near the road.

USA Bike Trip 2009, Go West Young Man

Created by Troll on May 11, 2009

The second part of my trip was planned from Atlanta, Georgia to Phoenix, Arizona as detailed in the book Road Trip USA following the old US 80 highway. After talking with a number of bikers at the Smokey Mountain National Park, they advised me to go west through Tennessee instead. Looking at the map I noticed the Natchez Trace Parkway neatly intersected Route 64 so I had a new plan!

USA Bike Trip 2009, Chasing the Trail (Updated with comments)

Created by Troll on May 11, 2009

The first part of the my planned route chases the Appalacian Trail as detailed in the book Road Trip USA. I set out on Friday 17 April aiming at my older brother, Clive's, house in Boston.

USA Bike Trip 2009

Created by Troll on March 20, 2009

For many years I have been reading inspirational travelogues from authors such as Ted Simon, Dan Walsh, Nick Sanders, Tom Cunliffe, Sam Manicom, Grant & Susan Johnson, and Austin Vince about people who chucked it all in for a life on the road on a motorcycle adventure. I always dreamed that one day I too would also chuck it all in for a long trip across the Americas, but it always seemed to be five years away.

Vive Cuba 2009

Created by Troll on Febuary 2, 2009

The objectives of this trip were two fold: first to miss the worst of the winter in the United Kingdom and second to see Cuba before it is invaded by multinational corporations especially Starbucks and McDonalds. My brother threatened to pay a native Cuban to carry around a Starbucks sign and hold it up in front of me whenever I attempted to take a picture! Both objectives were to some degree a failure, I arrived back in the UK during the worst snow storm for eighteen years and a number of brands had already invested in Cuba e.g. Adidas was quite prominant. I did get to see a beautiful country populated by a beautiful, friendly people that seems to be caught in a 1950s timewarp but on the cusp of massive change.

My original idea was to spend one week in Havana and one week in Santiago de Cuba, however after talking with the travel agencies in Cuba and discovering the train to Santiago could take three days and the bus took a minimum of sixteen hours. I decided that a better idea was to spend one week in Havana and one in Trinidad. I also spent a day doing an organised tour to Vinales.

Who am I? Updated 26 September 2008

Updated by Troll on September 26, 2008

That may sound like a deep question but in reality it is very shallow. When supporting teams I have a system. If Zimbabwe play South Africa then I support Zimbabwe, like when Zimbabwe beat South Africa in the cricket world cup, on the basis that I was born in Zimbabwe and was a citizen of that country first. If South Africa play England, like when the Springboks beat England in the RWC2007, then I support South Africa on the basis that I think I am very much a South African as I spent my formative years there going to school and university and I am/was a citizen of that county second.

Toronto 2008

Posted by Troll on September 20, 2008

I planned this trip mainly to see Jorge, who had moved to Toronto 5 years ago and I still hadn't gone across the pond to see him. I managed to persuade Craig and Alicja to join me and also arranged for a few days on a bike.

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