gps tracking of C90

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Saturday, 13 February 2010

trip finished, what an experience

sorry for the wait but it's been so strange being back home and using an alarm clock that i completely forgot to sign off this blog.

Last I updated was about 115 miles outside of Cherbourg in a McDonalds. from there the ride was fine, just wet and cold really. i found a cheap youth hostel in Cherbourg where i dried all my gear and bought i nice dirty greasy kebab :)

that's pretty much it really, woke up in the morning, boarded the ferry and then 4 hours later arrived in the UK.

Customs pulled me over but only to chat for about half an hour about what I'd seen, what was camping in -20oC like and what was it like riding through the mountain passes in the alps etc.
then i just bimbled my way back from Poole, got distracted by the pub in Torrington and then home.

anyway, the trip was like nothing else I've ever done, it was so amazingly humbling to be at the mercy of the elements and finding somewhere to sleep in a hedge where mother nature couldn't get you.

but more than that it was the people i met; language or actually knowing someone really is no barrier to a genuinely nice person. I had mechanics do full services and work for days and you couldn't even give them money. people would take you into their home and give you hot meals and a shower, or drive you to the nearest cities just to help you find parts for your bike. and they do all this just because they want to help someone who is raising money for charity.

The strange thing was what my bike became, it wasn't just a machine anymore, it was my legs, when i was cold the exhaust heated my hands and melted snow so i could drink it. sometimes just sitting in the snow and watching it tick over when it's 2 in the morning and no-one is around was almost emotional. and when the mechanics at the elefantentreffen worked for the entire day with me kicking it over and she finally was finally running, i don't mind saying that a tear came to my eyes, my best friend who was carrying me all this way was alive again.

Sometimes it was hard work (riding for 28 hours in one go) (or having ice form on your sleeping bag) but the pain was almost nice, really pushing my body and mind further than it's been before and wondering where i'll be tomorrow.

And knowing the human race still has some hope left in it was worth any amount of shivering.

Thank you to everybody who donated to the air ambulance, sent me nice texts while i was away, took me in an gave me hot drinks or food, worked on my bike for free or was just genuinely and without prejudice a nice person, no matter what country i was in (except Switzerland, what a pathetic excuse for a country)

thank you

Ed March signing off

Stay frosty

Monday, 8 February 2010

nearly home

i'm now only 115 miles from cherbourg but it was a bit of a mission getting here.
the alps were amazing, some of the snow and ice covered mountain passes were a bit fun, doing a two wheel slide when there's a 1000 foot drop just over a crash barrier keeps you awake haha.
snowboarding was awesome, just about got the hang of it and doing the off-piste runs through the trees in the blizzard was amazing, although some of the trees are quite painful haha.
video video
when i had to leave the honda wouldn't start because she was so cold so i lit my stove underneath the engine and she ran fine and i was on my way.

however 20 miles later she came to a stop on a long hill and wouldnt go again no matter how much i bumped her. i rolled into a very small village and asked two old men where the nearest garage is (i thought the spark plug was gone) and they said 10km away, this was bad. i pointed to my spark plug and one of them checked in his shed to see if he had a spare and he didnt :(.
then in one of the nicest kindest acts of compassion i have ever seen one of them took me and his friend in his car to the nearest town to buy a spark plug. all the garages were closed so he took me to the nearest city (Grenobles) where we just caught a bike shop before it closed. Bear in mind also that they don't know a single word of english and my french was getting quite strained now.
finally got back to the bike, new plug and she still wouldn't run. all the family of one of the guys came outside with torches to help and finally after changing the coil, she ran beautifully. not sure why the coil failed, but it did.
they then invited me inside for a hot meal, a coffee and cigarette (all mine got wet in a blizzard because i forgot to do up a pocket).
if that wasnt enough they then gave an enormous bag of cakes and a bottle of water for breakfast.

below is the family of one of the guys who helped me out so so so much. thank you.


these are the cakes, which were a very nice breakfast the next day.


i rode for another 80 miles after i fixed the bike before spotting this lovely shed at 1:30am, which made a lovely bedroom for the night.



the next day was fairly boring really, just kept riding. i had 300 miles to do so there wasnt much time to have a look around. finally stopped at 2am and hid under this hedge fior the night. try and spot the C90 hehe.


anyhow, i've got to ride to cherbourg now, only 115 miles and i'm, gonna treat my self to a hotel tonight.
peace out
Ed

Thursday, 4 February 2010

finally got wifi and got to Grenobles fine

Jesus this should be a long post but there's drinking to be done with the West Boys so i'll try to cover everything.


last thing i posted was that at the Elefantentreffen to c90 was being a pain in the ass and wouldnt start.

This was the guy Antony who very kindly took me and my 90 to Deggendorf to find a bike shop to fix honda. anyway thye bike was closed so after a call to his mate they took me to a pit bike specialist about 20kms north of Deggendorf. he took me to the shop but it was closed so i was waiting outside untill the next morning. anyway as i was shivering outside a lovely German woman gave me a cup of hot coffee which was lovely. anyway the guy who owned the shop turned up (he lived next door and was wondering why there was a shivvering Englishman and a c90 outside his shop on a sunday) and put my bike and gear into his garage and i would come back at 8am to help fix it.

this is the guy Antony who took my bike in the van:


On the right is his son and on the left is his son's friend
they followed us in the van on a dt125 and a gs500 i think:



anyway, when i wake up in the morning (late) i went to the bike shop at 9am and by the time i got there he had fixed the bike, sorted out my brakes, and re-bolted my exahaust and i think even topped up the oil. anyway the main problem was the cdi unit, so he took one off a 2-stroke chinese moped and she started firing up first kick again. if it was any other bike i would have been stuck but cos it was a c90 you can use any electrics off any cheap chinese bike. and i was off.
this is the very kind mechanic who wouldn't even let me pay him for fixing the bike:


once i was on the way at 11:00am i just kept riding with only stopping for fuel, a warming cigarette and the occasional mcdonalds to get some more calories (was still about -10oc). basically all was going fine untill at 2am the next morning i got pulled over by the swiss police ,yes i had been riding for 15 hours at this point! anyway they wouldnt believe that my bike wouldnt do 50mph and as such decided to arrest me, take me down the police station and fine me £230 for being on the Motorway when i shouldn't. they didnt even seem to care that i am doiong this for charity and afterwards when i posed the question "i was told before my trip that the Swiss are very horrible people with no compassion but thought that they were lying, now that i have found that this is true. Why are the Swiss so cruel and dont care if you are raising money for charity and it is genuine mistake?" he just replied "i think you should go!"
so i said "goodbye marmite miner" and left.

I just kept riding to get to my mates in Grenobles to go snowboarding. i just kept riding and riding. if anyone was following my gps tracking then they would have seen that i rode without a break for 28hours (exceot for being arrested). By the end i was feeling like i have never felt before, i had gone past cold, it was just by energy levels that were shot. at one point i partially feinted and just managed to pull over without crashing but i couldnt walk or stand up properly. so i found the last of some chocolate i had, eat that and had to keep going. i was only 45 minutes away from my mates, only had one more mountain pass in the alpes to do, and half way up found that it was closed, brilliant, had to turn round and ride for another 3 hours. but i made it (somehow and got to have a nice beer, a fag and a warm bed that didnt leave my sleeping bag covered in ice in the morning, which was amazing.

28 hours riding was worth it, the views are amazing, little honda still runs perfect at 6000 feet.
sorry for the wait but ive only just started feeling human again, ive never riden a c90 for 28 hours before and hopefully wont have to again, but it's for charity so the risk was, and is still worth it.




stay frosty
peace out










Sunday, 31 January 2010

Jesus Christ this is a mission

i cant be on the computer for too long so i'll make this brief: my C90 is being a total bitch. there is no reason why she wont start and i have even had mechanics give up and say she cant be fixed, she has petrol and a spark (maybe timing?)
anyway, at the moment the 90 is in the back of a van and i am being taken to the nearest city where there are lots of bike shops and even mobile phone shops (the engine in my bike is the same as a pit bike)
as i was leaving the Elefantentreffen i finally bumped into a guy called Jim from England who was EXTREMELY kind and gave me a full set of vehicle electrics for the 90 so when i get to the city i'll fit them and hope she runs.

this is how much snow we had:
spot the motorbike haha


this is the view out of my tent:

this is my German friend's tent collaopsing under the weight of the snow:

sometimes the 90 runs fine, and when she does she is amazing in the snow, here is me towing a sledge full of fire wood, tents and beer, it took 4 people to push it, or just 1 C90 :)




this is how the bike looks after 3 hours outside a pub


i have to go, off to Dagendorf to fix the honda and then onto grenoble to go skiing
bye





Thursday, 28 January 2010

All these stingy Germans done seem to have free wifi so i havent been able to update this for a while, basically it's just been cold haha:







little Honda faithfully took me into Austria:

And then into the Czech republic:



This id the road up to the Elefantentreffen which is my ultimate goal in Germany.

It's now warmed up to -10 which is almost tropical now haha, the only real problem is that my visor keeps turning into a solid block of ice and freezes shut so i can open it either.
tonight i'm sleeping in the forrest again because the campsite isnt open yet, most roads up here are now impassable, even to some 4x4s. im in a pub atm enjoying a beer or few ;)
i can feel the cold and the endurance taking it's toll on my body and after just one i was feeling quite tipsy, but the police cant get up here and the roads are lovely and soft with the snow so i should be okay haha.
I even had a round of applause as i pullesup outside the pub and have even had a drink bought for me purely because i have ridden from the UK on a C90.
God damn i love that little bike.
anyway i've got a tent to pitch, beer to drink and a pot noodle to contruct.
stay frosty
ED




Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Porsche museum, oil change and a a frozen helmet

This is the field which i slept in last night about 30 miles west of Stuttgart, i treated myself to pitching my tent rather than just laying in the snow in my sleeping bag.



i called in at this shop to give the honda an oil change, the mchanic is the guy on the right and the owner of the shop is on the left, they also gave me a hot cup of coffee.


I went into a mcdonalds to use their wifi and eat something hot and while i was in there someone left a mint on my seat and then came and found me inside because they guessed i was going to the Elefantentreffen and was impressed with me doing the journey on a C90.


I bought a thermometer so that i could quantify just how cold it now is. -8oC was what it read at 5:30 in the evening. and it got colder, it now seems very ironic that in france my breath would mist up the visor and stop me seeing anything. but now i have to use my breath to unfreeze the ice that forms on the inside of it :)

i am now in a nice hotel so that i can dry the sweat out of my clothes and charge all my batteries ready for entering the Czech Republic tomorrow.
good night people

Monday, 25 January 2010

monday 25th, nutella, Luxembourg, Germany and a pie

last night wasnt so bad (sunday night) i stayed in a caravan that had no water and no heating (except this oven which i cooked my leather gloves in to dry them out haha)





this is the caravan:








when i was in the pub that was joined to the campsite i was talking to a quite a few people but a Dutchman said that hius sister-in-law would give me breakfast the next morning. i duly oblidged ad feasted on nutella sandwiches and cheese as well as my own body weight in hot coffee. i also had a hot shower which was perfect and to top it off they even gave me a jumper and some thermal trousers. very very kind of them :) anyway, here are the lovely family.


Just as a random story the guy on the left speaks quite good english and he showed me pictures of two of his friends who rode their C90s to africa last year!!! hmmmm sounds like a plan maybe? ;)

















Good old 90 made it to Luxembourg, knew she would







Then she plodded on faithfully to Germany:





The temperature isn't too bad really and it isnt snowing so as i'm dry i'm lovely and toastie







dont know where im sleeping tonight; havent worked that one out yet. A hedge me thinks

i would like to say thank you to Henry Delage who is a manager of some kind for Mcdonalds who has given me free wifi access and a free hot apple pie. Thank you Henry :)

anyway, ive got a pie to eat

stay frosty












Sunday, 24 January 2010

what a bizzare day




what a very strange day. first off i got woken up by a train passing by (had no idea there was a train track there) needless to say it scared the **** out of me haha. made a quick video of my journey back to the main road:






then after about 40 miles or so the exhaust fell off!!!!! turns out that when i crashed on a roundabout yesterday it broke off both exhaust studs, i stopped at the house of a very helpfull frenchman called Arnou:















who spoke not a single word of english but using my molegrips we got one stud out and replaced it and used 3 jubilee clips attached togther as well. at the exact same moment the little split pin that holds the rear brake on RUSTED OUT and fell off, he had already helped so much i decided to not bother him anymore and continued on my journey anyway (still dont have a rear brake now.
i then eventually entered Belgium:








where i stopped in a petrol station to get some fuel and ask if they had a belgian car sticker i could buy. Anyway, one of them was an ex Belgian commando who gave me his knife to pry the badge off his corsa!!! initially i declined but he appeared to threaten me with it so i obliged lol.


here is his car:
and him holding the badge:

he then put his commando hat on:




i am now in a bar with with wifi and a caravan to sleep in for the night, all of the water is frozen and there is no gas so its very cold inside but at least i wont wake up buried under snow :)
the temperature is definatly below 0 (duh lol) but i dont know the exact number, and if i did it would probably depress me lol
peace out people.
P.S.
see you in france boys
stay frosty







yesterdays pics







just some pics of yesterday, (northern france isnt very exciting haha)
and a picture of my bed last night too ;) it wasnt too bad actually but my handlebar muffs were frozen in the morning?
ok, im off to Belgium now

Saturday, 23 January 2010

About 100 miles outside of Calais

Today hasn't been too bad. It's only just stopped raining which is a nice break from having
to wear all my waterproofs.
I managed to come off on a roundabout earlier 'cause surfac. Water hid a pot hole/ trench
but luckily 'cause the road was so wet I just slid into the Kerb a bit and didn't
tear my waterproofs.
Just in a mcdonalds ATM hang their wifi and bout to do another 50
miles and then find a barn to sleep in. I just hope French farmers don't
have pitch forks too lol :)
if Wadie, Shoobs or will are Reading this: I'll see you France buds.
Anyway, I'm off to try and avoid all the french drivers again, I'm assuming
they're supposed to do a test? Lol
stay frosty, I am lol

Half way to Belgium

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Here's the trusty steed:


Hi everybody

I'm just adding this post to give a heads up on what's happening.
Everything is still going to plan (if there ever really was one haha) i will be leaving at 12:30 on Friday and setting off on my merry journey. My location will get updated every 30 mins (on the map at the top of this page) except when I am asleep or just not moving.
I will try to add pictures as and when I get WIFI coverage and will also update with any news.

If you like what I am doing then please go to www.justgiving.com/ed-march and donate whatever you can to Devon Air Ambulance.