Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The first journey of many ... Part 3

My list of small scale adventures for the year ahead was growing. Many of them involved strapping a tent to the back of the bike and going to locations where I could pull on my hiking boots and enjoy some mountains; Snowdonia, the Lake District and Peak District were my main targets. Hooking up with friends in Spain and Italy was also being discussed and 2012 was beginning to look pretty full. However my attention kept gravitating towards magazine articles on trips made on adventure bikes, not quite as pretty as mine these bikes were real workhorses, taking their riders round the world with luggage piled high. The bikes were dusty and muddy, they looked like they had been to amazing places and had their own stories to tell. I started to formulate a plan to celebrate my 40th year by riding across Canada, I was inspired by the likes of Boorman and MacGregor and getting excited when I discovered sites like ADVGRRLS. I started to realise that my small scale trips in the year ahead were likely to involve muddy campsites and slogging north in the rain. My own 'bike personality' was starting to creep out, my confidence was growing and ideas that previously had only been dreams could very quickly become a reality and happen within months, not years. Every now and again a question would pop into my head "did I buy the wrong bike?". Eventually that question turned into "oh shit, I bought the wrong bike". To be honest, I didn't mind too much, I had bought the right bike at the right time and I needed the Speedmaster to help teach me where I really wanted to go. It was the perfect first bike for me, I just happened to outgrow it over night, I'd had a bit of a growth spurt! Geoff at Jack Lilley is a Tiger owner and we started emailing, the adventures he had on his bike were exactly what I was looking for and he understood my interests and ambitions. He was as pleased as punch that I was taking an interest in the Tiger but equally wanted me to make sure I got it right this time, so there was no hard sell in his emails. He suggested I take a Tiger 800 for a whole weekend and I bit his hand off!........

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