Monday, February 25, 2019


I came across this graphic short-story / cartoon strip just recently. It's vibrant, colourful, exciting and we're planning to visit. It's exciting.

Click on the pic and take a trip to west Africa.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

And for the next course, sir...

The last significant job that has to be done on the bike is to replace the tubed wheels/tyres with tubeless. They would be much easier to mend in the bush.

First Angelika and me will put the new tyres on the the new wheels then replace the old wheels with the new. Sounds simple. Well, we may have to do it in the desert, so we need to practise.

New tubless rims...
... and Pirelli tyres

Work proceeds...

I have been undergoing the not-entirely-natural-for-me process of converting myself into a facsimile of a competent mechanic. It is with an uncomfortable awareness of how awkwardly I have been making this journey that I proudly present my latest batch of achievements - in the form of modifications to the bike. (Still can't get those bloody fork seal covers off, though!)

Sump guard (& centre stand & radiator guard)
Sump guard close-up (it's a beaut, eh!)
Rear brake fluid reservoir protector

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Wiki Voyage

I've just discovered Wiki Voyage - one more valuable resource.

Wonder why it took me so long.

Here you can find the truth about Nordkapp.

And interesting facts about Cape Agulhas.

And other things that are of relevance to our trip...

Countries we may visit

If the trip happens as planned, we'll visit the following countries / principalities / states / republics / oblasts (no, me neither):











Czech Rep







West. Sahara




Cote d'Ivoire












South Africa

That's 16 in Europe and 16 in Africa. Heck!

We'll need a few more visas for Africa (10) than Europe (1). And, because there won't be a Brit on the bike (Irish and German, of course), **exit won't make a difference to that!

Friday, February 1, 2019

The Trip Travel Algorithm

80/40 miles per day + 80 days
This is The Trip Travel Algorithm, the formula for success for our journey - call it a trip philosophy if you like. It's the way we're going to travel, it's a psychic place.

Read on - it'll make sense...

The Model
Eighty miles per day. That's what I (the pilot and blogger) reckon is a good average for relaxed touring on tarmac. During fifteen years touring in Europe I came to the conclusion that a trip always seems to have the right ratio of riding and resting, moving and mooching, traveling and touristifying if you're doing about 80 miles per day - across the journey as a whole.

Of course, that can mean riding for 240 miles on one day and then staying in the destination for three nights. In fact, that's the 'ideal' model this idea is based on. But it can also mean doing 500 miles in a day (heavy going!) and staying six nights in the place you arrive in. Or you can do a series of short days; 80-120 miles (can stop for a leisurely lunch!), stay overnight and do the same again the following day. Or whatever.

In short, you can mix it up.

On a bad day...
However, from Senegal to Angola there may not be tarmac and the 80 miles per day might be an optimistic target. The roads will probably not allow the daily distance within a reasonable time. And we've been advised many times to avoid riding in the dark.

So, from Dakar (Senegal) to Matadi (border DRC/Angola) - appx 4000 miles - the aim is to average 40 miles per day. Same philosophy, more modest mileage.

300 Days
On this basis, to make the distance from London to Cape Town via Nordkapp (Norway), Helsinki, Warsaw, Munich, Milan, Barcelona, Gibraltar then Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, DRC, Angola, Namibia, Botswana while taking in St Petersburg and The Victoria Falls en route and reaching our most southerly point at Cape Agulhas, will take roughly 300 days. Give or take.

+ 80 days
However - and here's the good bit -  we actually have a total of 380 days for the trip.

So we'll be able to apply the 80/40 formula - and still have a further 80 days to use as we see fit. Resting, eating, drinking, dancing, musicing, chatting, meeting, digressing, mending, recovering, detouring, sunbathing, backgammoning and many, many other gerunds.

Who knows what m'lady A and her pilot will do?😮😃

We're very excited. What do you think?