You may think that, being rather experienced on motorcycle overland trips, I would be calm and collected and serene…. Everything under control and ready, right? Hmm…
Pre-trips nerves are kicking in now.
I sent my leaving drinks email round and had few Russian colleagues that I never met before (the team is huge!) replied how brave we are and how they would never go in those parts of Russia themselves or ride bikes in Russia…. Uh! Do they know something I don’t know?
So yes, nerves are kicking in a bit! Is this the right trip for us? Are we biting more than we can chew? Are we going to end up eaten by bears in the north tundra of Russia, or by wolves in the vast deserts of Kazakhstan?
Will we be captured for some secret military program (in Russia or near the Chinese border!) and get horrible experiments done to us to transform us into super killing machines? I must really stop watching the X-Men! Although turning into the Wolverine could have its advantages!
Anyhow, mini dramas coming and going. The son of one of my university friend was visiting. His plane, supposed to land early Monday morning at Gatwick, was diverted to Ireland. The poor lad arrived Monday night instead. Then he left yesterday but he thought he was flying off Gatwick… nope. It was Stansted (80 miles away in heavy traffic!). He just about caught his plane! In between all this, Alistair took the XT to a workshop to replace the sprockets and chain... only to find out that the rear sprocket did not fit! WTF?????
After frantic research, it appears that the XT250 2008 model in the US is not the same than in Japan/Oz/Russia. The back wheel is totally different and the sprocket is not the same. ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We found the correct part online (off Japan/Oz or Russia sites only). It would take too long to get it delivered home. We would be gone by then. :(
Time for a drink I think!