Father and son Club members, Mike and Toby Long, have just completed a mammoth 2,100 miles in seven days to Menorca aboard their Kawasaki Z1000SX Tourer and Versys Tourer, all in aid of the SANDS charity. The ride was made all the more impressive as Toby had only just passed his test; here’s a quick overview of how they got on...
With the panniers packed and fitted the pair set off from a very wet Colchester and headed to Dover, hoping the continent would bring a little better weather. After drying off on the ferry they reached France by early afternoon with everything going smoothly, that was until they reached the outskirts of Paris and their Sat Nav packed up. Without knowing the route around the city, they had no option, but to negotiate through the busy Sunday evening traffic. After following the inspiring filtering from the French bikers, they were soon through the other side and had just an hour left until they arrived at the hotel.
After ten hours sleep and an all you can eat breakfast, Day two would see them cover a whopping 590 miles. After the long, straight (and somewhat boring) motorways, the pair reached the long, sweeping roads of the Pyrenees. French signs soon became Spanish as the miles ticked by and the pair had reached Barcelona by late evening, after a slight detour through the one way streets of the town thanks to a technical glitch with the Sat Nav they had finally reached the ferry port. Only able to grab an uncomfortable couple of hours sleep, they had reached the half way point and could spend the next two days relaxing, recovering and exploring the local area.
Day 5 was the start of the return leg, and after riding back to the ferry port and an eight hour boat trip, the pair were back in Barcelona and with the odd Sat Nav glitch and traffic aside they were soon heading to Perpignan, where they would be staying for the night. With a relatively easy ride of only 125 miles on Day five, the sixth day saw another long slog of 450. The technical glitches with the Sat Nav soon returned but with a few wrong turns it was time to resort to an iPhone app to save their bacon and get them back on the right route. With heavy rain making the ride a difficult one, it was a welcome return to the hotel they stayed in at the end of day one, letting them dry off and warm up before the final ride home the next day.
It may not surprise you that the duo returned to leaden skies once they crossed the channel but had a great mini-adventure together in aid of an important charity.
You can read their blog here; www.long-waydown.tumblr.com
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