3 weeks to go
Its just 3 weeks until I head off to Canada and Alaska to take on my latest charity motorbike challenge!
Since we last spoke I've been very busy getting myself and the bike prepared for this epic ride.
Last week I headed up to the boarders to Duns Motocross to get some off-road training from former Scottish and UK Motocross champion Bryan MacKenzie.
It was a great and tiring morning but much needed to get some off-road skills ready for taking on the Alcan and The Dalton Highway.
I did the training on a Yamaha 250 which is about half the weight of the V-Strom I'll be taking across the pond, but it was a great introduction. After doing a few laps of a dirt road on the bike, Bryan taught me the basis of braking and cornering on gravel, and then gave me a crash course in standing on the pegs and being in control of the bike off-road. Ever since watching Long Way Round doing this sort of thing has always been a dream of mine.
From there I moved onto the motocross track with some big jumps and tight turns. I started to get a bike nervous on the track and when trying to do some low speed control I lived my fear.. falling off the bike. It hurt my backside a bit but didn't hurt my pride as much as I thought it would. Bryan just told me to get up and get myself out of the mess I'd gotten myself and the into.. and I bloody well did.
I finished by doing a full lap of the motocross track with Bryan and tackling a long sleep gravel track, which I never thought I'd be able to do at the start of the day.
It was a fantastic experience and I can't thank Bryan enough for his guidance. He had a great way about him and really built my confidence.
|B6351 - Near the Scotland-England border|
In the afternoon I then took the V-Strom the long way home to get some miles into the bike. From Duns I headed through the boarders to Kelso, and Jedburgh. Then along some awesome b-roads to the back of Kielder Water and into Northumberland national park. These roads were a perfect test of what I'm likely to face on the road in Canada, including the bugs eating me alive when I stopped for a bite to eat and a drink.
|V-Strom 1000 XT|
I'm also pleases to say that finally been able to book my bike onto the Air Canada flight to Calgary... woohoo and arrange my Canadian Visa... although a few items have now been added to the list too!! So the to do list now looks like this:
Collect the bike from Suzuki GB HQ in Milton Keynes Test the bike out on a pre-trip trip to Scotland Arrange and complete off road training (I'm now booked in with Duns motorcross! Woop). Book my flights to Canada Book the bike freight to Canada Canadian Visa
- US Visa
- EPA motorbike import form for the USA
- Get Dangerous good documents for shipping to Canada
- Get Dangerous good documents for shipping to London
- Arrange for freight forwarder to clear bike through customs in the UK
- Arrange insurance and breakdown cover for Canada and USA
- Arrange adventure travel insurance
- Buy new sleeping bag
Draw charity raffle (tickets here)