It was a sunny day in South Shields when I started on my journey, which seemed like a good omen. With everything packed, my panniers mounted and tires checked, I was ready to leave. Alas, my first hurdle was closer than I thought. As I tried to get Bonnie warmed up before our journey, to my surprise she wouldn’t start, so I quickly assumed that the battery was just a little flat and decided that a push start was in order, after all I’d waited to start the trip long enough.
Now, you’d think that as a person who was about to go on a long journey, bound only by my own imagination, I’d make sure that my bike was ready for it. And so I did, by getting it serviced weeks in advance. But a couple of hours into my adventure I was in York, Bonnie started making some strange noises. Since this was the furthest I had ever traveled in one session, I figured she was just tired, but I decided to make a quick stop and see what the issue was. Luckily I was only about 10 minutes away from the closest Triumph store, so I made my way there to get her looked at.
Following a quick inspection and impeccable service from the team at A1 Services York, I was informed that the chain was a little tight and more surprisingly the battery was well and truely f**cked.
What I thought would be a quick service had turned into a full scale operation: the scottoiler was set up wrong by the previous owner, causing the chain problem; a couple of screws were missing; the fender kit had no clear license-plate light; but funnily enough the main problem that had been causing the battery issue and the weird noises, was a faulty USB socket!
I had to wait for a new battery, but a couple of hours on everything was finally fixed and I was on my way. Caffeined up on the complementary coffee, I was ready to make up time.
(Just want to point out what a great service I received at A1: they gave me a great deal, and were extremely professional and efficient)
I could tell you the story of my journey to Cambridge, where I was planning to stay for the night, but it’s not very exciting (apart from the A1 being closed at multiple locations and all the detours confusing the SatNav, which kept sending me back toward the A1). Eventually, about 4-5 hours later, I had arrived at the small campsite, with the sun fully set and half of England’s insets decorating my visors.
Of course, I had made no reservations at the campsite it was probably around 11pm when I arrived, but someone on the other end of the phone informed me that a man called “Bob” (it’s always “Bob”) would be located in the caravan at the front, who later guided me to my patch in a pretty empty campsite.
With the first, rather uneventful day behind me and a decent sleep, I tried to leave as early as my body would let me and make my way to the EuroTunnel where I could cross over to mainland Europe…