A Travellerspoint blog

Aragón is go!

So one of the jobs today was to book the Eurotunnel crossing for this trip. Easy enough and £96 paid out on my Mastercard.

We decided to go both ways with Eurotunnel because as long as it does take 35 minutes to cross to France and if it does mean we get the train we are booked on, then it will be worth the extra cost over the ferries. It's £28 more than Irish Ferries.

I can't say that I have the fondest memories of over 20 years using Eurotunnel. You can count on one hand the number of times the train has left on time, or I am on the train I booked or that there aren't any delays.

Only this weekend they had a train breakdown in the tunnel and the knock on effect lasted all weekend. This is exacerbated by the P&O Ferries fiasco where they have sacked 800 seafarers and are unable to run their ferries! Doh.

Hopefully by September it will be done and dusted.

(I sent this several times by email and it never turned up)

Posted by InvictaMoto 19:23 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Panniers fitted!

Fitted the Shad SH23 panniers today. My brother Neill was on hand to assist.

In the end he did one side and me the other.

They aren't too big and once fitted they looked better than I expected.


Posted by InvictaMoto 23:07 Archived in England Comments (0)

All Year Biker

Today Vera and I had a very short run down the road to All Year Biker for a clean and then be sprayed with a protector to try and keep her silky surfaces nice and corrosion free.

It's a little late for the spokes in both wheels as theses are terrible. I read somewhere that they are stainless steel. That is patently bowlocks. They aren't even decently chromed.

Anyway she has been cleaned thoroughly includinf the crap spokes and coated in a product called XCP. Fingers crossed I guess.

Posted by InvictaMoto 18:20 Archived in England Comments (0)

Alaska Sheepskin Buttpads


I bought the Alaska Sheepskin Buttpads for the BMW 1150GS about 18 years ago. I opted for a pair for the front and rear seats. We used them for a few years on trips all over Europe.


They took some of the pain from the seats over long distances. Over time and changes of bike to the Triumph Explorer and the Rocket III, I mislaid the main strap that holds it onto the seat.

The front strap is elastic and it has perished. To replace that will need a new piece being stitched on. The elastic will be easy but the sheepskin might be too thick for regular needles.

As for the main strap. I checked on the firm's website and they sell replacements with the "male" buckles. The butt pad has two "female" parts of the buckle.

So I have ordered two. One lot of postage so get two and save the hassle when changing bikes!


With Vera's new seat being more comfortable than the old one, the Buttpad might add a bit of extra comfort.

Posted by InvictaMoto 13:01 Archived in England Comments (0)

Short Ride to Jo's

View Round and About on InvictaMoto's travel map.

Today was a planned ride out to a new to me café at Brookland in Kent.

It had been advertised on the V-Strom Club UK Facebook page and the club's forum.

It was a cold day. Dry but temperature hovering around 6 °C but once on the go it was okay for a ride.

I tried the Yamaha My Ride app and once again it didn't work. I am loathed to uninstall it as it has some historical rides on it.

I tried the new Detecht app. That worked in both directions, but doesn't have the same depth of data collection and presentation as My Ride. I
suppose it's suck it and see.

I arrived at Jo's just around 1030am. The car park seemed very full. The café though wasn't. It would appear all the cars were for the adjacent
model car racing circuit.

On the way in there are two big potholes filled with water. Easy to avoid but might catch out the unwary.

There were no other bikes.

I went in and there were loads of tables. I chose one where it was easy to be seen. Ordered a coffee and a Tunnocks Chocolate Mallow. Google it!


Gradually more and more people arrived and soon it was obvious that they would want my four seater table. With no bikers turning up, I drained my coffee and bid farewell and thanks to the "Jo's" running the café.


It had got a little colder. Vera's air temp gauge now showing 5 °C. I switched to my Dainese gloves. One because they come further up my sleeve
and cut out any draught up the sleeve, and two, they are £100 gloves with Goretex lining and supposedly warmer.

Avoiding the entrance potholes was easily acheived. Turning left onto the A259 less so. There was a deep pothole where the side road and main road join.

The journey back was quicker than out. Fewer fools in cars blocking the road at way below the speed limits.

A bit of a shame that none of those that said they were coming actually showed up. You can only sit so long nursing the same mug of coffee blocking a table. I managed an hour before doing the honourable thing and leaving. A lesson learned. Let someone else organise it next time.

Posted by InvictaMoto 23:54 Archived in England Comments (0)

Vera, Me, Aragon - Future Trip

Another trip for my first year as a retired person.

It's not gone down all that well with my wife. I can understand her frustration but as I get older, long bike trips will be gone. I'll be too old.

The plan at the moment is for me and my brother, Neill, on his K1600 BMW, to set off for Spain and take in the ride through France crossing the border to Spain on the west side of the Pyrenees.

Even almost a year before the Moto GP all the hotels in easy distance of fully booked.

Instead we are about 40 miles away at Morella.

It shouldn't be a problem though as the road is pretty well surfaced.

Planning stage still current.

More later.

Posted by InvictaMoto 23:23 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Vera, Me, Czech Republic - Future Trip - Return

The way home...

View Czech Invader 2022 on InvictaMoto's travel map.

The way back from the Czech Centre SOC Really in Vernířovice.

Until we became a three man trip instead of a Billy No-Mates trip, my plan was to come back west via friend's in Brno and an overnight there.

With three of us we have decided to have a drop-in rather than a stopover.

First stop in western Austria to be in range of two visits on the next day; the Eagles Nest and the Neuwanstein Castle, before we have a crack at the
Romantic Route and then home quickly.

It looks as though all the countries we need to pass through are beginning to relax entry requirements for those of us that have been triple jabbed.

Posted by InvictaMoto 23:01 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

Testing the Email Updating

Signed up for email updates. It's only $3 a month. So worth it for the trips I am doing...

The only problem I can see is that the entry when it appears isn't a full width of the blogs white space. It then needs editing to get the line lengths right.

Posted by InvictaMoto 16:12 Comments (0)

Vera, Me, Czech Republic - Future Trip

Eastwards to the Czech Centre Suzuki Owners Club Rally in Vernířovice

View Czech Invader 2022 on InvictaMoto's travel map.

Another future trip with planning so complicated even now we are unsure of the actual routes we will take and where we will stay. What we do know is that a group of us, comprising of Giles Denning, Phil Hingert and myself, will sally forth on May 25th early and attempt to cross approximately 900 miles of Europe by travelling for long days and as much on scenic routes as we can to arrive in Vernířovice on the 27th in the late afternoon.

What is known is that the Rally site is the Hotel Reoneo in the town of Vernířovice in the north-east corner of the Czech Republic.

Hotel Reoneo

Hotel Reoneo

Until all the entry requirements for the post-covid era are published we don't know whether the trip will actually take place. We are all triple jabbed chappies and should sail through the border with the EU and then see what happens as we cross the EU's Schengen borders.

So the plan is at the moment, and subject to the covid entry requirements allowing us to travel through all the countries between Dover and Vernířovice is to arrive on French soil as early as possible on the 25th with full fuel tanks. head as non-stop as possible out of France and across Belgium without stopping into Germany. All this on the motorways. I'll call all the autoroutes/autobahns/dálnice motorways to save time!

From Simmerath in the Eifel Mountains we will wend out way to Bad Munstereifel and eventually to an overnight stop near Koblenz on the Rhine. The next day the idea is a little scenic trip along the Rhine past the Lorelei to Rudesheim am Rhein and then motorway to Wurzburg, a spot of scenic roads to Rothenburg/Tauber on the Romantic Road before more motorway to Plzen and an overnight stop in the city that gave is name to a beer known as pilsner or simply pils.

On Friday we get up bright and early and after breakfast we cross the Czech Republic. A stop for the Church of Bones in Kutna Hora, another at my friend's house in Hradec Kralove and then we "bag" a fifth country with a short detour into Poland. The route we planned travels for some miles with border only a few hundred years to the left as we head east. Why not?

The route back? TBC!

Of course as I get going I'll try and update the blog every evening.

Comments as usual gratefully accepted.

Update 20th February Ferry booked using DFDS.

I have no idea how to make this smaller as it is added by URL!

I have no idea how to make this smaller as it is added by URL!

Posted by InvictaMoto 17:44 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged czech_republic vernířovice hotel_reoneo Comments (0)

Vera, Me and Vimy - Future Trip

Attending the 105th Anniversary commemorations of the Battle of Vimy Ridge



Still at the planning stage at the moment. I say this even though I have already booked my ferry crossing from Dover to Calais for April 9th. Of course mode of transport will be the lovely Vera.

The commemoration is held every year on April 9th no matter what day of the week it occurs on. For the last two years it has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit the entire globe. But this year it should be back with some covid awareness on the day.

As I said, I have already booked the ferry. It is later than I would normally cross the English Channel but now that the UK is no longer a member of the EU, there's a load of b*llocks involved to get into their Bloc. More paperwork and that has nothing to do with Covid.

I should be on French soil sometime around 1145 or so. The ceremony at Vimy starts at around 3pm and so there is plenty of time to get to the area, have some lunch, even if it is courtesy of McDonalds (!) in Lens. Not that I gravitate to a burger joint but it is nearby, always has somewhere to sit and has free Wifi.

After the ceremony there is the rush back to the channel port and the ferry home.

I usually use Eurotunnel but this year the ticket for the day trip comes out at £104! When I last went to France and Belgium for the last ever St Nicks Rally in early December 2019 and pre-covid, it was £34. Rip-off? It seems they are trying to make up for lost revenue from the lockdowns.

So I chose to go with P&O Ferries.


A very reasonable £34.50.

In theory the ferry takes longer to get across the Channel but after bitter experience of over 20 years of using Eurotunnel that isn't a given. I can count on the yellow fingers of Homer Simpson how many times I have actually been on the train I have booked (and therefore paid for) and have arrived as expected in France. I have sat at the French end on several occasions, always at night, for hours as there are problems in the tunnel, or a train has broken down. And once. Once only in the last five years I actually got on the train before, yes before, the one I was booked on, and it left on time!

I have a route planned from the ferry terminal at Calais to Lens and then to Vimy. The map and the route were created in MyRouteApp and downloaded and copied to my TomTom 410.


After the ceremony it's back to Vera and a fast run back up the A26 "Autoroute des Anglais" to the port and back home in time for dinner.

Posted by InvictaMoto 17:16 Archived in France Tagged france vimy vimy105 Comments (0)

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