Road to Cannonball Bike Run, day one
I've started my trip to 2017 Cannonball Bike Run, the first leg took me thought the Baltic states.
As some of you might know, I’m participating in this year’s Cannonball Bike Run. This time we’ll be tackling the notorious Isle of Man and from there, head to the moors of Scotland. I started this morning from Tallinn, and am going to meet the other Finns on Friday in Germany, where they’ll get by ferry.
I tried to get a head start with a fellow Cannonballer, who seems to reside in Vilnius, but he was going to be busy in the night and I couldn’t make it to lunchtime without waking at some ungodly hour, so I decided to ride to Marijampole instead. In the morning I packed my kilt, sneakers, two T-shirts and some socks in a backpack and headed out.
My first advice for anyone thinking to ride the Via Baltica is “Don’t!” There’s a lot of interesting stuff to see in the Baltics, but they are somewhere else than at Via Baltica. The road, by the way, has to be the most boring road ever made. The Comrade has apparently made roadways efficient with a ruler…
Another word of warning. The police in the Baltics, although they don’t seem too interested in bikers doings, if you aren’t arsing about, tend to hold speed traps near borders. Mind you, at one occasion I was doing at least 20 over and no fucks were given.
I started with my leathers and smart as I am, packed my rainproof jacket under everything. Also, my Speed Four doesn’t have a front fender, so when it finally started raining (it had tried and failed miserably a few times along the way), the front tyre would sling all the water in the universe directly to my face.
|Gaffer tape fender. Works like a charm!|
So I had to stop and dig out the jacket – probably tomorrow morning I'll repack in a sensible manner. Maybe. I also found my trusty old friend, gaffer tape, this time in its racing guise – in black, that is. A strip of tape to the telescope ends unwanted face washing altogether, believe it or not.
On my way, I noticed I had forgot my spare brake lever on my living room table. Probably this means I’ll crash on the right side, break my brake and since the lever is of little help at home, I must finish the goddamn ride there.
Before you start thinking, no, it’s not all bad. It’s been over a year since my pervious long trip, and I had forgot how relaxing it is just to ride. Real piece of mind, it is. Also, the this restaurant I stopped for a saslik in Lithuania had the cutest little waitress with the biggest jugs ever. An I didn't mean the kind she used to haul water around, if you catch my drift.
|In my opinion a touring bike is a bike you do touring on. Or, because this is going to be quite an adventure, maybe this is an adventure bike after all!|
Funnily enough I met a Finnish couple returning from their trip to the Baltics on a petrol station. They were on a 5-day trip, I think, and had a shitload of gear and a Touring Harley. Me, I'm travelling with a small tank bag and a backpack on a one-seater cafe racer.
"Where you headed?"
Tomorrow I’ll take my own advice and piss off from the Via Baltica. I think I’ll forrow the Polish coastline on my way to Germany, and spend, again, the night after 600 or so kilometres. Where? That is yet to be seen. Maybe I'll open Google Maps right now...
Today in stats:
Distance travelled: 628 km
Times lost: 0
Average speed: 83 km/h
Average speed: 83 km/h
Max speed: 184 km/h