Monday, 18 June 2007

Purist Leanings ...


I'm starting to think about throwing away my TomTom and doing this trip in just a grass skirt.

Digging the bit about the coarse sandpaper as well - it made me laugh out loud when read it. I mean, you have to admire the *will to carry on* of someone who ends up getting Mike as a son-in-law, huh? I mean, the ability to play the banjo quite well might've impressed Gaynor 'n all, but after the zillionth refrain of Dueling Banjos, you've kind of - diddaling-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding -- been there, and done that.

It reads as follows:

Hi Marcus,

Gaynor sent me details of your interesting Honda 90 posting. I must admit that your intended route will not gain you a Knighthood in the New Years Honours List or a gold medal from Soichiro Honda for the flat lands of Holland , North Germany and Denmark will not exactly tax the remarkably `game' Honda 90 engine or you, for that matter. Thousands of people do that journey on their push-bikes every year. What's happened to your Antipodean sense of adventure? Living in London is making you soft. I would suggest that pass storming in Italy , Austria , Germany , Switzerland and France will be far more entertaining and much more enjoyable and not an impossibility. In the 1950's the NSU Company built and opened Lido di Cavallino on the Adriatic . Owners of NSU products were invited to enjoy a cheap and enjoyable holiday at the Lido . Thousands of people accepted the offer and descended on the Lido from all over Europe , many of them on humble 50cc `Quickly' mopeds. Their route was invariably via the Brunig, Sussten and St.Gotthard passes. Mr. Honda was suitably impressed for in his wisdom he modelled his Honda 50 `Cub' on the `Quickly' and NSU's 98cc OHV `Fox'. If you want to travel quickly you have to learn to do it slowly....

Throw away the added weight and complexity of the crap Blue Tooth gadgets and do it the proper way. Fit a bracket to the side of the frame to take an extra gallon of fuel and go for it. Always remember that every road in the world leads to home so you will never ever get lost. When Mark Thatcher (bless him!) ventured into the Sahara he armed himself with a sheet of course sandpaper to use as a road map. `Mummy' had to pull a few strings to rescue him but he got loads of publicity for the stunt and look where it got him?

The Honda 90 will not allow you to record `fastest-time-of-the-day' between the Chip Shop and the Co-op on Lewisham High Road but it will get you everywhere that you want to go. A Haynes Manual? Why do you need one of those? Blimey mate, it's only a motorised pedal cycle not a Desmosidici Ducati GP. You will not need a rucksack full of spare parts so chuck out the Haynes Manual along with the GPS gadgets.

In the Spirit of your fellow countryman and my teenage hero, Bert Munro, `never waste a day of your life for this is not a dress rehearsal for the real thing'. This is it!. Fulfil your dream. Enjoy yourself. And, good luck! May your God travel with you.


Gaynors father.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

The Honda C90 Lo-down:

Personally I was kind of offended when this guy throws a C90 off a building in order to 'kill' it. I mean, you show love for a Honda C90 by doing this? Kind of like kicking a dog - a really cool, faithfull dog - to show off to your mates.

Cheap stunt dude.

Cheap shot.

Cheap guy.

Check these guys out:

Be sure to click on the 'Route' link - Hello?

Burn, Blow, or Bore


Behold the pure glory of the Honda C90. Indestructible, bullet proof, thief-friendly [i.e. they're not interested in them], reliable, glorious and soon to be fashionable.

The Plan

To ride this baby from London through a 'Circle of Europe'. Denmark - Germany - Holland - Belgium - Luxembourg - France - Italy - Adriatic Coastline of Slovenia - Croatia - Albania - Adriatic Coastline of Italy - France - England. All in a random/follow my nose fashion.

I'll be armed with my £400 Blue Honda C90, a copy of the Haynes Honda C90 manual, and a Tom Tom Rider - which is pretty much a satellite navigation system that communicates via Bluetooth into an ear piece inside a helmet. It guides you to where you want to go and also points out things along the way - like gas-stations, hospitals, camping grounds and money machines. Rocking invention! I'll also be toting up the amount of petrol I use vs the mileage [the Honda C90 is renowned for doing in excess of 200mi to the gallon] because it will make me feel good to know I'll be spending next-to-nothing to cover most of the highlights of Europe. I'll be looking for coastlines, villages, mountains, local cuisine, weirdness, grooviness, swimming opportunities, and Aldi/Lidl outlets the whole way.

To date I've mangaged to wire up the TomTom [worth more than the bike itself] to the 12 volt battery. It's a pro-job. The cable goes from the battery, through the frame, up through the head-set and out where the right-front indicator cable emerges. I was impressed. Next, I need to check the brake-pads, change the oil, maybe try to rig up an extra petrol tank system - although this might be unnecessary - because, while on its first long distance trial to Broadstairs [90mi], it used just half a tank of gas. My God yes, what a fantastic thing. It flew along - without a word of protest - eating up the A2 like the true blue road-slut she is.

Road Tax for a year = £15. Insured for for a year £80. European breakdown cover for a year £45 - Six call-outs.

I've had three Vespa Scooters and they *ALL* sucked. Breakdown city Milan. Never, ever buy a Vespa - you'll just end up pushing the fucker to the repair shop.

Anyway ... so then I remembered my Grey Honda C90 I had while at university in New Zealand [paid $100 for it from Richard 'Stick' Lennox - who then went and lost his newly found riches that night]. I gave it nothing but shit. Jumped it over makeshift ramps and speed-humps. Stacked it into a fence at full-pelt and never once checked the oil. It just kept coming back for more and with a single kick on the kick-start, it had it. Hence my choice of vehicle for this trip.

So yeah - I've handed in my notice at work and I'm either gonna burn through Europe in style, blow the bitch up, or get really bored and bail out.

On this blog, I'll include all the good and bad shit that happens along the way. Things to do. Things not to do. Highlights. Lowlights. Victories. Failures.

I'm not too sure how long it will take - maybe the bike will blow up before I get to the end. If so, i'll either buy another bike [God forbid I'm in Italy and am forced to buy a Vespa] or whatever.

I don't have any restrictions or limitations - just the summer to burn and things to see and do.

Watch this space.