We put this tour together on the back of the ABR (Adventure Bike Rider) magazine monthly ride challenge. It was a lovely day with limited rain and it wasn't too cold for early March. On reflection Nick and I agreed that we would modify the route riding directly to Oxford - the traffic around Marlow & Henley is significant and reduces the enjoyment of the ride.
At Oxford we would then ride on the A40 to Cheltenham and then on to the Malvern Hills and then head back via Broadway, Chipping Norton and Woodstock. That way you cover more ground on faster roads but still get to see lovely villages, countryside and experience fabulous roads.
Due to the cold and the fact we didn't have a lot of time to stop and take photos this was the only shot of the day! Both Nick and I felt that stopping in Burford and going to Starbucks was close to a sin. However, when we have stopped in Burford before parking the bikes near a cafe with space for us to sit down with all our motorcycle gear is not a simple feat - especially on a sunny winters Saturday. Hence we went for an easy option which is surprisingly good. The converted barn has plenty of space and the car park surrounds it so you can see your ride whilst eating and drinking.
Nick and Chris managed to get away from the office and out to the 2022 show at the Excel exhibition centre. All the big manufacturers were there and we enjoyed the BMW and Triumph stands. Given the recent restrictions it was good to get out to such a big event but it was noticeably quieter than previous years.
Great to get out on the bikes though and meet fellow riders.
In early November Chris got a chance to ride out to Germany to see his best friend Paul in Düsseldorf. Chris originally planned to go via Harwich and ride down the Hook of Holland to see the Hydroelectric tidal power damns. However, due to additional COVID-19 measures he could not travel on the ferry without extra testing, etc so changed to use the Channel Tunnel.
It was a great trip and especially good to spend time with his friend and their family. Much of the ride was motorways but the diversions through Bruges and up to the Hook of Holland were spectacular. All in all great fun...
My outline route there and back can be seen on the map below... click to get more details on the route...
Nick and his son made a trip to Ireland in 2019 on their motorcycles and enjoyed it so much he suggested the 2020 passport tour should head that way too.
The map below shows our rough route... click to reveal our day by day itinerary. On reflection we should have broken the first evening's ride and stopped at somewhere like Chester and not ridden on to get the 02:00hrs ferry - it made us extremely tired and the ride down to Kinsale was hard work rather than fun.
Bad weather impacted our ride from Lahinch to Galway and meant we didn't get to do some of the most remote and stunning parts of the WAW so we will definitely revisit those when we go back to complete the northern half of the route.
However, other than that it was a fabulous tour and the roads were superb and largely free of traffic. The people are tremendous and friendly, the food is stunning and views were spectacular.
We toured in October but going in May / June would probably have delivered better weather and given us longer evenings which would have been welcome.
If doing the southern route again I would consider the ferry from Fishguard to Rosslare but clearly that doesn't work if you want to see Dublin...
Enjoy your tour...
Well what a year its been. Having collected my incredible Rocket 3 TFC in January we had planned our first Passport Tour to Ireland. Sadly COVID-19 put pay to that and our ferry tickets were cancelled a couple of weeks ahead of our planned departure date in May!
Determined not to miss out Nick and I managed to grab a weekend away in the UK - riding to Malvern from the Ace Cafe and then on into Wales and through the Breacon Beacons and back again. It was my first opportunity to enjoy the Rocket on a long ride and I have to say it was absolutely fantastic... easy to ride, extremely punchy and easy to handle.
A great mini tour and we hope we may fit another in before the end of the year...
https://www.facebook.com/1428742353/posts/10221727671127549?sfns=mo What do you think about my new bike. I should be able to collect it in December. I am seriously excited...
Well the first thing is we’ve gone electric! Nick in fact went electric last year and Chris did so in March this year. For commuting the C Evolution is excellent and we will write a full report shortly. Chris’ riding has been limited by having only the one bike and with a range of circa 70 miles he can’t really do that much adventuring! Chris has, however, order the Triumph Factory Customer Rocket III... watch this space. Chris hopes to take delivery later this year.
Other than that the year has been dominated with non biking events. Chris is now a Grandfather! He has changed job and is consequently a bit busy - hence the lack of updates on the website. Nick has sold his bagger and now has a mere 3 bikes! All BMW of course... a new BMW K1600, a BMW R1200GSA and a C Evolution plus.
We’ll try and get some more regular updates shortly...