Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Spring 2014 - Packing to Leave

Preparing to Leave.

Although we typically make trips lasting several months, packing and preparing to leave has not been an issue, until now.

We, or, perhaps I should say I, because I think Kathleen is a reluctant participant in this, have purchased a Motor Scooter, to provide transport during our Campervan trips.

This is actually part of a longstanding "plan" on my part.

Three years, or so, ago, (when I was 64), it occurred to me that the day would come when we were not up to pedalling bicycles for long distances. So, I decided I would learn to ride a motorcycle.

My plan was to buy a small scooter (say 100cc). 

But, my motorcycle enthusiast son-in-law, Dave, convinced me I should take the matter seriously, pass the full motorcycle test, and thus be able to ride any size of motorcycle.
This, I duly did, much to my surprise, the surprise of my instructor I suspect, and the amusement of Kathleen, and, most friends and family.

Having passed the test, I made one more ridiculous move, and bought a 650cc Kawasaki ER6F. To be honest, it was fun to ride, but, scary, I never actually admitted that at the time of course.

Kathleen SAID she would ride pillion. She even got as far as riding up and down the street on the back of Dave' Honda Hornet. 

With the Kawasaki, she did get as far as clambering onto the pillion seat to have her photograph taken, biker chick style. However, I knew she had no intention of risking life and limb by doing so, when the bike was actually moving. This was particularly clear when she steadfastly refused to even buy a helmet.

I waited long enough so that it did not look like I had made a mistake, then one day, I spotted that our local Motorcycle Trader had what I considered a suitable alternative. So, I traded the Kawasaki for a more modest machine, a Yamaha XMax250 Scooter. On the day the deal was done, Kathleen declared the Salesman to be "quite attractive", and agreed to go for a ride on the back of the scooter, with the salesman "driving". All was declared to be satisfactory. But, subsequently, Kathleen still insists it is far to big for our needs. I like it very much.

Now, Kathleen has acquired the necessary "gear", ie a rather smart Motorcycle Helmet, and, a suitable Motorcycle jacket, courtesy of her friend Anne.

Acquiring the scooter, means we needed a towbar and a trailer (it is too heavy to mount on the rear of our van). Since we are still fit enough to ride our bicycles, I opted for a trailer capable of carrying the Motor Scooter and two bicycles.

So, that is how the preparation and packing has become significant task.

I have to put the Yamaha on the trailer (I have now practiced this, to the point I can do it without assistance), much time has to be spent lashing it in place, and covering it to keep it reasonably dry and clean.

Then, the same has to be done with the Bicycles.

Finally, I have to ensure we have the additional equipment, ie Motorcycle helmets, jackets, etc etc, all loaded.

So, January 2014, and, we are off, heading for the sun (we hope) in Spain and/or Portugal.


  1. I really appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this!

    1. Well, see Armitage Trailers, Ferrybridge, in Google. I am not connected with the company, except as a very satisfied customer!