Graham Robb's blog

Mallory - 2024 - erewegoagain

May be masochistic, but I am applying again for a Club Stand at the Mallory Bike Bonanza (previously VMCC Festival of 1000 bikes): 5th, 6th and 7th of July 2024.
I see that they are planning EMRA organised racing as well, on both days. that may mean they get to fill the paddock better than 2023. I think we are due some better weather too (as I may not have the motorhome then)
Please email me for access to some of the 10 'free' tickets/bike places (preference given to FFs !)

Spanish Steps 3

Another touring blog for your perusal, even if not FF (actually 3 Tigers and an elderly Varadero)

Date for diary - Not FOTB

The summer weekend gathering at Mallory in 2023 is scheduled for 14,15,16th July.
This is not named as the VMCC Festival of 1000 Bikes; instead it is the Mallory Bike Bonanza, which does not quite have the same ring to it.
Track time form is here:
Format is identical to previous FOTBs - although I hope organisation is better - and I have applied for a BFF stand in the club section.

Auto-updates (can be annoying)

OK, so where is the ‘Vert-Voyager’ project now? (see previous blogs for the why and how)

They all do that sir

FOTB returning

A date for your 2022 diary (Covid permitting) is the weekend of 16/17 July at Mallory Park. This is the return of the FOTB run by the VMCC. It is not perfect, but it does allow us to answer the whatever happened? questions of a few interested potential converts; and it gives us a social weekend / checking our latest harware / remembering who we are. I will apply for the club stand. there will be 10 (person and bike) tickets available - preference given to those with a bike. Let me know if/how you are coming:

Elf exchanged for hot meercat (Auto-Voyager followup)

I don’t miss the Elf with the ‘ammer, to be found lurking inside most Guzzi gearboxes; but I have replaced him with a very hot Meercat.

All automated Sergei
As expected, revs are a lot higher, particularly if you want to make reasonable progress; but it’s not like just keeping in a lower gear. The revs rise with the throttle, not with the road speed; then when you come off the throttle, the revs drop away, but the road speed remains. Rather a strange disconnection. Certainly not a set up for hustling around the country lanes. You have to lie back and relax.

Hot Wheels

Back to the Future II - or - Something for Lockdown Sir ?

It was on the way back from a business meeting in Paris, on Voyager; having been down in La Tour Blanche in 2018, that I made the decision, although the idea had been festering for many years.


Wheels, Tapas and Juntas (not FF)

FFers, Graham and Colin forsook the Ffaith and rode GS, and Duke to southern Spain, along with Mike (Tiger) , Steve(Crossrunner) and Tom (Varadero)

Still Here?
So – another year and we are still (just) on the EU membership list (see Last Hoorah 2018). But for how long - now the lunatics really have taken over the asylum.
For the moment, Spain is still welcoming, and we are getting fonder of it at each visit. Previous trips had shown much promise, and this one proved it was not all a fluke.

The Last Hoorah - (not FF)

Another year another Euro-tour - BMW F650GS, Triumph Tiger 800 and Honda Varadero venture to Slovakia.

Not even on the plain (not FF)

What goes around comes around – as they say. For all the wet Euro-tours we have had, it was certainly time we had a dry one. In 17 years of trips, this must have been the first time it never rained on us at all. Tom and Steve on big Varderos, Mike on Triumph 800 Tiger and me on the BMW F650GS

El Roadmaker

La Sauce de la Loire

2 Varaderos, a Triumph Speedmaster (almost an FF) and a BMW F650GS go boldly in France
Maybe I should have written this on 20 June, immediately after we got back from the French tour.
But I didn’t and the madness of June 23rd has left me numb and angry. I enjoy these trips, partly because we are on holiday in familiar but varied landscapes with great roads, and partly because we are welcome and feel we belong. Sadly the whole tone of June 23rd has put two- fingers up to these very people. May the perpetrators of this lunacy be held accountable.

Dolomites by F650GS and French Fish (but not FF)

Wet asses and passes
Moto15 was wet. Not all the time, but more than one would expect for a European trip in June. A tale of an F650GS, two Varaderos and a Tiger 800.
Sign of the times
In the past, a hotel booking for 4 male motorcyclists would provide 4 separate beds. These days you have to be more specific. On more than one occasion this year, we arrived to find double beds prepared.
Ardennes included
Early morning at Hythe, for the Chunnel, it was raining.

East is West

Germany, Poland and Czech Republic by F650 GS
Eastern block

To many of my age, the memory of the Iron Curtain is fresh; although it is now 24 years since the wall came down and there are many for whom it is as much history as WW2 is to me. The Moto13 Euro-trip was to remind us of both hot and cold past conflicts, in a small way, to our party – Varaderos and my 650 (800) GS. But first, the Ring:
One Ring to rule them all

More Discovery of France (non-FF)

A Voyager owner takes his HF BMW 650GS parallel twin to the Alps and back in company with two Honda Varaderos.
Size and quality

Portu-blog - A salutary tale of French Furniture (not FF)

It only gets interesting when things go wrong. I suspect Tom would rather this thing had not gone wrong.
(pictures under Touring)

4 riders: destination Portugal
St Malo to Bordeaux on the first day, and there is plenty of decent riding to be had on the N- and D-Roads. Only excitement that night was managing to lock a room key in the restaurant when the owner had left us late-night chatting. A bit of burglary solved that.

Soup Run (not FF)

I like soup. It is a great mid-day pick-up; or a restorative after a long day in the saddle. This year I sampled many euro-soups in our 3000 mile loop through 8 countries. I think it may have been a dubious French soup that upset my intestines for a week after the first night. Nevertheless, from Bouillon to BohnenSuppe and Goulash to Slovenian Jota and Spargeln Creme, we relished in our Gruppe Suppe (Phrase courtesy of Tom, this year’s organiser)

The lure of the Ring

Mot09: The Discovery of France (and bits of Spain) non-FF

(if he can use my name, I can use his title)

Gorging to Excess (if not FF)

An everyday story of motorcycling folk.....images under 'touring'
After Florence in 2007, this year we kept our Euro-tour to France. Not so far, lots of space, variety and character, as well as excellent roads and food.
The overnight boat from Portsmouth to Le Havre is my favourite cross-channel tool, regardless of who runs it. We had the usual crowd of bikes at the ferry: immaculate cruisers, laden sports and seasoned travellers. For some reason you never see them after the ferry.

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