Home June 2011 Vol 11-1
June 2011 Vol 11-1 - Motorcycle Diaries: Hop & Malt (part one) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Editor   
Monday, 23 May 2011 18:57
Article Index
June 2011 Vol 11-1
Motorcycle Diaries: Hop & Malt (part one)
Tech Talk: Proud or Loud?
Globalizer: Wheels go for Wings in Brazil
Pic of the Month: Lover-boy, beware
All Pages

 

 

Motorcycle Diaries: Hop & Malt (part one)

One rider + one bike + 20 days = 10 countries and 6,000+ miles

 

I started off from home on July 15, 2010 with a firm intention to do some glorious business. I decided to visit two bike fests, to take part in a rally and to visit the Isle of Islay (where my favorite whiskey comes from) and, finally, to complete the SaddleSore 1000 Iron Butt run. MaBP, a member of Star Riders Russia, acted as a witness for the start of my ride. This is the first day of my ride.

 

No bike trip from Moscow to Europe comes without a traditional photo near this bison figure in Belarus

 

The road is smooth and the weather is fine, so it took me just 12 hours to cover 1100 kms from Moscow to the border of Poland. Then things became worse: narrow roads, lots of trucks and severe speed limits. So the next 600 kms lasted for 13 hours! It was a 2,200-km-long way from Moscow to Evendorf, where Star Riders Germany celebrated their 10-year anniversary. On the way there I found witnesses for the end of my IronButt ride. I told about those great and helpful riders in the previous issue of Star Cruiser. Without them my SS1000 ride would not have been completed. Then I thought there was no reason to stop, so I went all the way to Evendorf. 2,200 kms in 30 hours non-stop – that is my personal record for the moment. By the end of this trip I thought I was not really sane after all J. In Evendorf I was met by my old buddies from Star Riders Estonia. Guess I was a pretty sorry sight, because the guys nicknamed me Ghost Rider the moment they saw me. Immediately after that they handed me some beer to cheer me up. Halleluiah! The hardest part of the trip was over.

 

Several hundred bikes attending a fest in Evendorf, Germany

 

Representatives of all 14 Star clubs that attended the meeting

 

On Sunday morning I said goodbye to my friends and took off for my next destination – the United Kingdom. I crossed Germany, part of Belgium and Netherlands and by dusk arrived to Calais, a port in Northern France. Here I boarded a train to cross the English Channel in a mere 35 minutes.

 

Travelers say train is the best way to cross the Channel. Ferries take much more time and hassle

 

I had some experience with “left-side” traffic in India: it is the same as is Britain. But when I first saw a big truck approaching me on the “wrong” lane in the dark… I have to admit I was close to soiling my pants! And it took me almost the whole next day to get used to the new rules. But finally I was fine and could even spare some attention on sightseeing.

 

The famous chalk cliffs near Dover, South-East England

 

LeedsCastle in Maidstone, Kent

 

After spending some time with my friends in Bristol, I went towards Glasgow. As I rode further north, the weather got worse and worse. The next morning I rushed to Kennacraig to catch a ferry (it was a real last-minute boarding) for Islay. It was a cold and rainy day. But when the emerald shores of Islay came out of the ocean mist, I just knew it was worth it…

 

Islay: the first encounter…

 

Islayis the island of whiskey breweries. Typical Islay scotch has a very strong taste of peat: the water used in the process flows across peat bogs and the malt is roasted with peat used as fuel. I stayed at the Old Excise House, a cute B&B on the shore near the two famous breweries: Lagavulin and Laphroaig. I would like to thank Ron and Emma, the house owners and keepers for their hospitality and help. Guys, you made my stay at Islay one of the best vacations ever…

 

Thank you, Ron and Emma! www.theoldexcisehouse.com

 

Next day the weather was beautiful again, so I went to visit the holy site, where my favorite Laphroaig whiskey is brewed.

 

 

 

Blessed place, huh? J

 

There’s a tradition for Laphroaig lovers to leave little flags of their home countries of the field near the brewery. Alas, there was no Russian flag at hand, but I had the flag of Star Riders Russia:

 

 

Then I had some more time (although too little) to enjoy the beauty of Islay…

 

…A place where fields are green…

 

…Where churches are so close to heaven…

 

…And where the ocean breathes like a sleeping giant.

 

To be continued in the next issue of the Star Cruiser!



Last Updated on Monday, 23 May 2011 20:18
 
Copyright © 2017 I.S.R.A. Star Cruiser E-Zine. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.