It’s about time I do some writing. I really planned to keep up on blog entries every day, but it’s really difficult to keep up! Working backwards from today (in the same way that that photographs do) We woke up fairly early this morning after staying out pretty late last night. It is the summer solstace and at 1am, it was a beautiful sunset, which lasted for over an hour. After we woke up we showered and topped off the bike with gas to return to the biking vikings 🙁 The big journey is officially over. It was however a great experience. It was really fun to talk with the guys there and they even let me go for a ride on the new triumph sprint, which was an absolute ball. The torque was mind blowing. We walked to downtown Reykjavik afterwards and wandered around for a while. We got some famous icelandic hot dogs, which were good, but pretty much just hot dogs. We had some fantastic Indian food for dinner. Everything here is crazy expensive. A dinner for two, will run you on average around 7.000ISK which is about $60, and that’s average. It was however absolutely worth it for some delicious curry based succulence.
We met a guy from Rochester (well hes kind of from everywhere now), here who is traveling the world. Check out Wade’s Blog here: http://www.vagabondjourney.com/ It’s a really fantastically produced site.
Yesterday: 6.21.11- 6.22.11
We woke up in a fantastic little campsite in a town that we never planned to end up in. We started down some dirt roads on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. We were getting pretty comfortable offroad at this point, with maybe 400 miles out of our ~1400 mile trip being offroad.
We were cruising around at 80Kph or so when all of the sudden it seemed I had landed us in some very deep gravel! The bike lurched left, then right, then left, then right, wobble wobble. I Tried to power out of it at first, but when that didn’t work I realized that the gravel was not that deep at all and that I must have a flat, and I pulled in the clutch and dug my feet into the ground. The technique, though perhaps frowned upon by the offroading elite 🙂 , helped keep us upright, and we didn’t end up sliding down the gravel on our faces… A van passed quickly after and made sure we were alright (which I wasn’t honestly sure of at that point).
The tire was completely off of the rear rim. I brought my tire plug kit along with me, as well as a portable pump, which will do exactly no good at all in this circumstance. The tire is a tube tire, and considering where we were, it was going to be pretty tricky to get a tube. I manhandled the bike off of the dirt road, and dug out the emergency phone. It was dead, of course. The button on the phone I borrowed to turn it on was entirely too easy to push when putting it away… Luckly, it charges via USB, so I dug out the laptop from the top-case and plugged it in, and waited for it to charge as both the phone and laptop collected dirt from the road as it blew off covering everything.
I called Eythor at the Biking Viking, where I rented the bike. He came to the rescue and called a tow-truck. After an hour or two, the tow truck arrived and a very kind gentleman helped me load the GS on to a flatbed trailer. Of course it was not setup for a motorcycle in any way so it was a long bit of head scratching before we agreed on how to firmly secure the bike. I was still pretty worried about it but it did make it all the way in to town. It was probably a good 45 minutes of riding in the towtruck before we arrived to the town. The engine on the towtruck started stumbling a few miles out of town and we had to limp it all the way in to town at 20mph or so. I apparently had some pretty good luck.
Since there wasn’t a tube anywhere to be found, the best solution I could come up with was to install an automotive style valve-stem, which they surely had laying around, and re-seat the tire. what I didn’t know at the time was that the tire was designed to be a tube tire only. We managed to get it to seat with a fair amount of bead sealer, and it didn’t give us any trobule after that, but I was pretty lucky considering that circumstances. The bike doesn’t have a center stand either, which meant that we had to use a 4 ton jack intended for larger trucks, and I had to hold the bike, teetering precariously on the skid plate. I was honestly concerned with how much all of this was going to cost. It could very easily leave us broke. But after the gentleman at the garage gave a quick call to the Biking Viking folks, I was on my way, no questions asked. I was ecstatic.
While I worked well after 6pm with the fantastic folks at the garage, Kerra went into town and found a public campsite and got some food. They have a fantastic setup and it was one of the nicest places we had to camp. We really enjoyed it, so in the end, it wasn’t the worst outcome.
The next day we woke up and headed back into Reyjkavik. We were a bit concerned with the tire (With good reason since the tires were now tubeless tube tires) and so we headed cautiously the last 150ks to Reykjavik. There really is no part of Iceland that isn’t fantastic. There is a tunnel we crossed through (which we actually had went through partially earlier in the trip when we headed the wrong direction) which was about 6Kms long. Kind of unnerving with a tire that you don’t trust, but we made through to Reykjavik.
We unloaded all of the gear at the campsite and decided to head downtown one last time on the bike. Since it was the summer solstice I really wanted to stay out late and really experience what it was like, since throughout the trip we had been tired and going to sleep fairly early, and it has also been fairly cloudy throughout the trip especially at nightime. We parked the bike and walked down to the town square, where we found a swarm of motorcycles and skateboarders inhabiting. We decided to re-park the bike so we looked lagitt:) It’s a good thing that we did because we met a bunch of really awesome people, including Neil, one of the owners of Biking Viking. He casually walked over and said hey, that’s one of our bikes. Neil and I were instant friends through our mutual motorbike addiction. He had ridden there from his motorcycle training class that he conducts, on his MZ bike. I’ve never seen an MZ in my life, and I may never agian…:) very cool rare german bike. Neil told me stories about his BMW HP2 enduro, and also meeting Simon Peavey whom he helped when writing the Adventure Riding Techniques, a book I actually own but havent read much of yet. It’s next on the list after I finish Jupiter’s travels 😀