Postcards from Europe, June 2024

Wow, West Coast of Scotland is not that size of a bargain!

Looks like you’re riding through some gorgeous scenery there!! I’m pleased the trip’s boosted your confidence for a solo tour as well, there’ll be loads of adventures to be had alone :slightly_smiling_face:.

1 Like

It’s great to be able to venture out solo. Love it!


I used to travel alone a lot, it’s nice to just do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it rather than have to agree to things as a group!!


Exactly! Go as fast or slow as you like, stop whenever you want to, push on if you want, or not!


So, I’m back home now but for the last day in Europe (yesterday) we had another sunny day for the ride to Rotterdam. The plan was to do same as previous day, namely set off about 9am after coffee in our room and go to a nearby supermarket to get supplies for a picnic breakfast and lunch.

Unfortunately our first stint in the saddle was cut short, very short, as in just half a meter short, after which distance my mate’s disc lock did it’s job and jammed up against the brake caliper sending bike to ground. (Guess most of us have been there at least once.) This was the other friend, not the one of worn tyre infamy.

After helping get bike upright initial inspection seemed to indicate just a bent bracket for wheel speed sensor, however at petrol station a few miles down the road it was discovered that one leg of the a brake caliper mounting bracket was cracked. Mate decided we should still head to ferry but to take it easy, and avoid situations where heavy braking was required, which meant instead of twisty country roads we ended up on motorways in the slow lane at same speed as cars towing caravans. :frowning:

This took us to Brussels and Antwerp and their heavily congested traffic, which at Brussels became stationary with a mile long queue of traffic trying to get on the ring road. After 5 minutes crawling along in this stop-start queue our leader decided to follow satnav’s advice and go through Brussels. This had me cursing in my helmet as we rode for half an hour through a congested city in a winding pattern with random speed cameras to look out for. :frowning:

Eventually we got into the Netherlands and more open countryside but by now we were heading west to the coast into a very stiff wind and on my bike at 60mph this was an unbearable strain on my neck. For the umpteenth time this trip I was swearing angrily in my helmet about being stuck in a position where I wasn’t in control of my own destiny. ‘never again, never again’ I kept telling myself.

Once we got to the coast we had kibbeling and fries and I regained my inner calm again as we relaxed at a table in the sun. When getting ready to saddle up I commented that Christmas presents for this year would be simple to choose: tread depth gauge for worn tyre guy and reminder cable for disklock fall guy, I then added that they could get me a book on meditation to help me keep my cool. (I was acknowledging I was letting my stressed-ness and agitation show more times than was healthy for me or the group.) My comments seemed to clear the air and renew our bond.

From here we began heading north, so the wind was from the sides and so not a problem for me, also the speed limit on these roads was a bit lower so riding was more relaxed (all holiday we had been keeping to the speed limits).

The queueing at the ferry port for document processing and boarding was a tedious 90 minutes (at a guess), apparently this is normal. Eventually at about 7pm we were aboard and I had my first of several pints of Guinness in hand.

I wasn’t very hungry after the afternoons kibbling, and the Guinness was filling a hole but there was still room for…


It looks that you will be travelling alone for your next trip into Europe. Pleased you made it home mate.


Yes, a solo Europe tour next year is probably on the cards. Feeling able to stop 3 times in as many miles to try and get a photo or slightly less often to find a bush to pee behind whenever I want is definitely appealing :smiley: The other two still work and time is limited for them but for me I could go for two full weeks and so stay 3 nights one place, 3 nights in another and get some relaxing days out (or staying put if weather is crap).

As one of my mates said when we parted at the ferry port, let’s do it again in 5 years. (It’s five years since I got bike and we all did Scotland together). This holiday has definitely been a worthwhile shared adventure, but nothing beats the freedom of solo motorcycle travel.

Speaking of which, I’ve done Scotland every year with this bike, but never a solo tour to far north of Scotland. Been with those guys, and twice with Mrs Mouse, but promised myself a solo trip. Probably something for September…


You do pick them! :laughing:
But you’ll now be full of confidence for your next Euro trip.
I think many of us have been through your experience (although may be not as extreme). My first solo (but swmbo always pillioning) was enforced due to the couple we had previously toured with pulling out at the last minute due to illness. There was no stopping me after that. :slightly_smiling_face: :+1:


Pleased you’re home safe despite yet more dramas!! At least when you’re solo you can suit yourself and hopefully have a less eventful time in terms of disasters :crossed_fingers:.

1 Like

I had all my bike stress before leaving, with the 10 days trying to get my ECU fixed!


Better before than on the trip :slightly_smiling_face:.