Tuesday, 2 July 2013
Trip to Belgium and France – Prologue
Just getting the last things ready for my trip to Belgium and France on the Skorpion. A group of six of us are going to the Bikers' Classics event at Spa in Belgium, then heading down to the French Alps.
Format will be similar to last year's trip and I'll try and update my blog as I go along. Probably can't post from the ferry, so Day 1 (Thursday) will consist of riding from my house to Hull. This is the same journey I made last year, so can reuse the map
Paperwork: Passport, licence, insurance, registration document, copies of ferry and hotel booking, and phrase books (French and Dutch/Flemish). Maps.
Clothes: Bike clothing I'll be wearing, so: 1 pair of zip off trousers (so they can become shorts ), 1 pair of training shoes, a fleece jacket, a hat, and a light waterproof jacket for walking about.
For 'daily clothes', I take some old t shirts, socks and underpants and discard them as I wear them. I'll only take enough for about 4 or 5 days and buy replacements in supermarkets on the way, see last year's post.
Electrical things: Satellite navigator, cameras (still and video), phone, and netbook (to update blog). Mains leads and French to British mains adaptor.
Others: Toilet bag, spare keys, Swiss army knife, small rucksack, luggage elastics, U lock and cable lock (to lock helmet to bike), sunglasses, credit card, and bank card (works in French machines and petrol stations). First aid kit and Factor 50 sunblock (after last year's experience!)
Tools: Enough spanners to tighten anything likely to come loose, Allen (hex) keys, tubeless repair kit, pump, cable repair kit, a few spare bulbs and fuses, pliers, screwdriver, cable ties and duct tape (for on the road repairs), and a multimeter.
Anything else I need I can buy on the way.
Before I leave the house I put all the things I'll need on the ferry (trousers, shoes, toilet bag, change of clothes) into the rucksack, so that's all I have to carry up from the ferry car deck. (I've seen people struggling up the narrow staircases carrying panniers.
This is the approximate route we'll be taking:
Once we get to the Alps, this is the kind of road I intend riding on.
Col du Chaussy