zaterdag 14 september 2013

Where to go next?

With the auctions all over, the actual Dekatria Project is at an end. However, as I said in the ride report, it sure as hell is not going to mean I'm done with traveling by motorbike, and boring you guys to death with my lame sense of humor.

Because to tell you the truth, before departure to Greece I had already thought about what would be coming next. And the answer was almost immediate: Iceland.

From what I've read and heard it's an amazing country, with a landscape second to none... and next to Greece, it was the one other country I often thought of visiting someday. But there was also more.

You see, I've now ridden towards a place where according to Greek mythology there was a gate to the Underworld: Cape Tenaron. As I'm fascinated by Nordic mythology and folklore as well, I looked up where they believed was a gateway to the other side. And both of them were on Iceland - Mount Hekla, and Dimmuborgir. So yet again, I will be riding to Hell and back... just to remind myself of what started this all in the first place.

The plan

So the plan is to make a 3-week trip to Iceland and back in 2015, visiting both of those places. Sure, thanks to the big ferry trip the amount of actual miles ridden will be alot smaller (about 2500 tops) but there is a catch - most of Iceland has no tarmac, so that would mean some real offroading. And if we're talking about things outside my comfort zone to do on a trip, offroading is probably right there at the top.

This does mean however that once again preparations are in order. The Beast will probably get some new rear suspension, beefing it up and giving it some more ground clearance. I'll probably also take the luggage rack for some strengthening. And myself, I will have do some serious training, both on and off the Beast.

And that's where I will use the coming year for. For 2014, I want to know how riding in the Arctic Circle is like, and also how The Beast behaves (and how I behave) when the asphalt has come to an end. Ofcourse, I've already had my share of unpaved madness in the Balkans... but I want to find out how I'll cope when the gravel goes beyond a mile.

To find out about the Arctic Circle, it ofcourse means a new international trip. And the answer to that was easy: Norway. To keep it interesting (there has to be some out-of-comfortzone-ness, after all) I'm taking the long way, circling the Baltic Sea first.

So from the Netherlands, the route goes through Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and back into Germany and The Netherlands again.
There's some nice mileage (about 4000) some countries I know hardly anything about... so let's get on going, I'd say!

To add to the madness, I'm not doing it alone this time -I'll be riding together with Heiko Spaans, a riding buddy of mine. He's just mounted fresh new panniers on his 2012 XT660Z - time to get some stickers on there, dude!

I'll be planning the ride over the next couple of weeks, maybe make some alterations on the equipment... in any case,  it's 10 months to go till the Baltic Sea. Time to start the countdown alllll over again...

...but not before some final GR2013 randomness!