I'm not one for believing in conspiracy theories, but snow at Easter and again this weekend has thwarted our plans for testing the camping equipment. We know that everything now fits onto the bikes, ... but we've got to work out how to get everything on and off the bikes in a reasonable amount of time. Getting it 'off' is not a problem, ... it's the 'back on' part that's proving to be impossible. Being unable (or unwilling) to test these things properly is not a show stopper, but it's certainly bloody annoying. When my sleeping bag arrived, it was in it's own neat carrying bag and looked tiny. I guess I'm no different to any other kid receiving toys, ... I had to try it out. It works fine, ...... but even in the comfort of my home I can't get it back to anything like it's size on arrival. If the tent I'm taking works on the same basis then we'll need a third Tiger to carry the unpacked kit. On a brighter note, I've only got 11 more vaccinations to go and I'm now sporting 7 stitches in my scalp, ..... not too comfy even with a flip-front helmet.
All of our spares and equipment have now arrived and this week we'll put K&N filters on both Tigers, fit the bar braces and work out exactly how to keep all of our electrical equipment fully charged from the bikes system. Theoretically it should all work, .... but I've always been more of a practical kind of bloke and wont trust it until I've actually seen it in action. At the moment, it just looks like a trendy but unappetizing platter of black spaghetti hanging from a Krauser topbox ........ and why oh why does every piece of rechargeable electrical equipment require a slightly different connector?
The hot news from Eastern Russia is that from 15th July, air passage from Vladivostok to Alaska will be available, .... at a price that is still to be declared. The window for flying out of Vladivostok closes on September 15th which is fine as our Visas expire on August 31st. Should we be unable to fly from Russia to Alaska as planned, we still have Plans B and C to fall back on, both of which are actually a lot more fun than Plan A, ...... so the uncertainty isn't exactly stressing me out.
I've just heard the news that another biking colleague has died this weekend whilst riding in Southern Spain, Eon Carlyle (1951-2008). Our thoughts are with Eon's family up in Yorkshire.