This is brief because Jan hasn’t really had much in the way of wifi and I will fill in the details once I know more.
We were up at 0530 and I decided to travel on the train with Jan as far as Clapham Junction – just a couple of stops down the road. We were in good time and I waved him off when he caught the next train to Gatwick Airport. That always brings a massive lump to my throat.
Jan phoned me from the airport furious that he had been ‘fined’ £20 for not buying a separate train ticket. Well, first of all, he went straight from one platform to the other and we saw no ticket machines or staff. Secondly, he planned top either pay on the train (nobody came) or to pay the amount owed on his way out. But no, the fact he didn’t have a ticket raised the cost 100%
The flight went ok but the ride from Toronto to Hamilton, which normally takes about 50 minutes, took two hours
But at last he reached our usual motel
Rochelle, the cheery receptionist who has been there for all 7 of our tripsmwas there to greet Jan. This lady means a lot to me because, in 2009 when we arrived at the motel 2 days before flying home, I phoned home to hear my lovely dad had died; Rochelle brought me some beautiful flowers and stayed with me giving me a lot of comfort and support.
Rochelle had allocated a room on the ground floor, at the front – this means the patio doors can be opened directly onto the bike – great for loading and unloading etc.
Unfortunately, there was a party of some sort going on in a room close by. This meant Jan got less than an hour’s sleep that night, and by 5am, he was showered and went off to have breakfast. By 8am, he was off to Dartnell to pick up the bike.
I have no photos of the bike yet, but the mileage for the start of the trip is
The rear tyre, last changed just before we headed into Alaska in 2012, has only 1.3mm of tread left. So Jan rang Larry – the guy in Lancing, Michigan – where we have the bike serviced each year – to arrange the service and ask if he had any tyres in stock that would fit the Breva. He had in one;
[31/05/2014 21:50:50] jan: GOT REPLY FROM LARRY, GOT AVON ROADRUNNERS IN STOCK SO, NOT BRILL, BUT REASONABLE.
And off he went to check reviews, He read that they are good in the rain, but a bit sticky on dry roads. But better than a bald tyre.
The second night – more partying so, as far as I know, Jan again had less that 2 hours sleep! Not good.
He set off early to cross the border into the USA and our communication was minimal yesterday – I was out in London and Jan was riding.
He phoned at about 8pm to say he was in the Magnusson Hotel and it was more run down than ever, but it is Hobson’s choice in that area and this hotel is the best of a bad bunch. This is the town where we spent a night in a motel where I refused to take any of my bike gear off – not even my boots, and I lay on top of a bin bag on the bed all night.
The advertised WiFi did not work at all. There was no coffee maker in the room (but there was a jacuzzi!) there was nowhere open nearby for a drink or a meal and then, to top it off, Larry rang to say he wanted to work on the bike that afternoon/evening as a big storm was forecast for the following day.
Oh joy! Now I know Jan will be riding the 270 miles to Pete and Barb’s in Ohio in shit weather – having had little sleep and little food.
And that, my friends, is where we are at the moment. That was yesterday, Sunday, and I haven’t heard from Jan since but will let you know when I do.
This is the difficult part of not being with him – to be in with the difficulties as well as the high points.
Ride safe everyone.