Lucky B@S&*rds Motorcycle Tour#2 – Part 1
The plan, 3 big Motorcycle Events in 3 different countries in 3 weeks – Ride, Ride, Ride and then watch motorcycle Racing!
After setting off late, getting lost in central London, struggling to find my way out and then rushing to make my 2:10pm ferry to Calais, I just made it. Not only that, I’d not only been parked up 2 seconds when they waved me on and straight to the front on the ship, now that’s the way I like it!
The sun was out in the UK, you could hardly believe the terrible weather we’d had at Silverstone just a few days before and it followed me all the way to Viva La France.
When I got off the ferry I needed gas, prices are crazy in the UK so I thought it would be better to wait until I got across the pond but I went 35miles in the wrong direction trying to find a station so I’d of been better filling up in the UK as it turned out.
Anyway, I’m in no big rush and only tripped myself up so who cares, I was soon pointing in the right direction and heading….errmm somewhere.
I’d not really made a plan so I headed for Caen, then would head South to Fler, Laval etc..
The roads were all brilliant, even the Highways were like riding in the countryside and the Super Tenere just made easy work of the miles and being loaded up to the max.
My thoughts were to ride as far as I could and then just before it turned dark I’d look and find a safe place to set up camp, hopefully I’d be somewhere quiet at this point, but oh no as it turned out I wasn’t, instead I was in the center of Caen. By the time I’d got out of this beautiful old city, the night skies had turned dark and to add to my difficulties it then started to rain and I was on the back foot.
As soon as I got out of the city and into the country I pulled off on a small road and started to look for somewhere to set up camp and get my head down, my choices were limited but I found a spot of grass in a little village and went for it.
As I pulled over it started to pour down and man did I get a soaking, so did all my gear and the tent was wet, inside and out, not the best start to my 3 weeks of camping. To make matters a bit worse I was quite close to a small road, cars kept flying past and scaring the cr*p out of me as I lay in my sodden bag. Finally I fell a sleep but was woken up on several occasions by either a sheep, car, dog or my own scary dream where I had where all my gear washed away in a flood!
When the morning light came I prayed for sun and the chance to dry out my gear so as I dismantled my tent I hung stuff on the nearby fence to dry in the breeze. My mistake was not seeing the barbed wire, so when I threw the top sheet of my tent over the wooden fence a huge rip sound soon followed, then by a few British swear words.
Once on the road, the next few hours were spent looking for someone to repair my damaged tent but after going from one place to another, I was having no joy so ended up buying some adhesive tape from a caravan shop, lets hope it doesn’t rain again for a while….
Anyway, with that all behind me the rest of the day has been spent riding some awesome roads, getting lost because of the small map on my tank doesn’t even have half of the places I keep riding through but who really cares, I’m generally heading in the right direction, I think.
I’ve just popped into the my most detested place on earth – McDonald’s (in Rochefort) – as I was told they have free wifi (They do!) as I wanted to update my site and upload some photos for you all to enjoy the ride with me.
After updating and uploading I got back on the road, it was around 8pm and for the life in me I couldn’t find a fuel station with someone working there, the only way I could get fuel was to put my credit card into the fuel pump machine, no big deal you might think but my American bank card doesn’t have the ‘chip & pin’ system so I was buggered, no gas for Jamie.
As I was riding on thin air looking for fuel stations and after visiting several it was all no joy, all closed so in a desperate attempt for help I stopped and asked a nice lady if she could help me as she was outside her house in her pink slippers. Soon her husband was outside and a whole conversation started with three people who spoke different languages. No French for me, apart from Yes, No and Thank-you, zero English from the French couple, but somehow with a lot of hand signals and yes and no’s we all knew what we were saying and I payed them ca$h and in return they drove down to the local gas station for me and put the same amount on their ‘chip & pin’ credit card! Amazing!!
So with a full tank of gas, I set off and ended up in Talmont, a small place on the coast where I couldn’t resist stopping, drying out my gear, fixing my tent and by the time I’d done that it was coming dark so I decided on spending the night there, great idea, it was beautiful, the stars were out so I opted not to put my rain sheet on my tent and slept under the stars.
All good until rain drops on my face woke me in the morning and by the time I’d packed all my gear away I was soaked once again, mega.
I stopped off at a near by Patisserie were I dried off, got some b’fast and planned my route ahead. While I was there the owner showed me around, explained he also had a BMW motorcycle and then started speaking English to a customer. It turned out she lived just down the road and was from Wigan! Bloody hell, I come half way around the world and I meet someone from just over’t hill.
Back on the road a loaded up with food for the day it was a long and wet ride to Spain where my worse problems were caravan’s and huge trucks kicking up bucket loads of spray. Rain continued all the way to Bayonne, where it finally backed off and remained dull and cloudy until Santander.
I’d been on good roads all day, lots of traffic and to be honest I was feeling exhausted but the road I’d been wanting to ride all day was now in front of me so I filled up with fuel and set off on my 140km journey.
With-in minutes of setting off I was energized, excited, thrilled and forgot about being tired, wow the Parque Nacional Picos de Europa/N621 put a smile on my face which still remains. Corner after corner, beautiful and interesting sights everywhere and total motorcycling bliss, I have to say it is the BEST motorcycling road I have ever ridden, and I’ve ridden quite a few.
My GoPro mount broke early into the ride so I rode a lot of it one-handed to get some shots for you, I hope they show how amazing this road is, over 100km of constant cornering that took me high up into the mountains, into think fog and down the other side where the corners didn’t seem to end.
Eventually I popped into a local town for food but I’d arrived to late and the only place open served Chinese. Now I’ve nothing against Chinese food, but I’d ridden all the way to Spain and my first sample of food was Chinese, seemed quite ironic.
After food I started to look for a place to spend the night and ended up next to a small stream near some woods and fields, the stars were shining, a full moon was out and I smiled all night long dreaming of the road past the Parque Nacional Picos de Europa.
During the night I was awoken by the bright full moon that shone down on me and the Tenere, it was a gorgeous night and I felt lucky to have found a quiet spot with just the trickle of water as back ground noise, this was replaced by birds tweeting in the morning, not a bad wake up call – beats the Seagulls attacking the skip that I had in the Isle of Man for 2 weeks.
So then it was on to my final Spanish destination, La Bañeza which was all but 50km away and an easy ride through some small villages to get there. On my way I couldn’t help but notice huge photos of motorbikes at a Repsol fuel station, it turned out to be a car wash and a great motorcycle promotion if ever I saw one.
Arriving in La Bañeza filled me with joy as I’ve only ever seen this place on YouTube as they have a crazy street race every year which makes the Isle of Man look quite sane. Check it out! Especially the crash around 4mins in:
Eventually I found the MX track, it’s right next to the town who are obviously motorcycle crazy and after picking up my Media pass I set off and ventured out to see some more Spanish villages and get a feel for what goes on outside of town. One small road lead to another, tiny narrow roads that are in need of repair eventually took me to Tabuyo Del Monte where I stopped (in fact the road stops!) and I got off my bike and started to take some photos.
It’s a old town, full of character where an old man wanted me to follow him for over a mile through fields until we arrived at his shed that was full of goats. He opened the shed door and about 600 goats came flying out, not what I was expecting!
i decided on staying the night here, it was very idyllic and feels like a million miles away from the crazy and dirty Motocross track where I’ll be spending the next few days so I thought I’d enjoy it while I can.