It has begun.
With the leaves of autumn falling, The Beast groaning over the arrival of the cold season and me gleefully reliving the images from a Summer's madness, the start to the Icelandic prep is upon me. Sadly, brother in arms Heiko will not be tagging along for Iceland though, as his vacation period once again differs from mine.
This does mean that I can start planning things. As per usual, I begin with a checklist. Let me run you through some of the items on there, like what needs to be done to the bike:
The brakes are arguably the most important things on the bike, and as the original brake lines are still installed I reckoned an overhaul is well overdue... especially since the Beast celebrated its 100K anniversary this Summer.
Another item which is replaced because of the bike's age rather than necessity is the rear shock absorber. The original one is still on there too, making a fresh shock a worthwhile investment with all the off road madness at the horizon
The front wheel has received quite a bit of love over the years, but the rear is yet to follow. The brake disc & pads need to be replaced, and while I'm at it I'll probably also get the thing some fresh spokes - something which is already done in the front (in before "so when are you going to clean it?").
But this is not all! As the trip to Iceland will be shorter, more room will be available in the panniers... and coming from Scandinavia, I felt my travel gear could also use a few tweaks.
- a spare oil filter. The shenanigans with the filter this past Summer made me realise it is probably a good idea to bring a fresh one along, just in case. Chances of it happening again are slim to none ofcourse (K&N have responded most diligently by sending a replacement free of charge) but if it does, I'd rather have a back-up plan in the middle of nowhere.
- metal glue. Coming across the stranded German whose bike had a startermotor magnet shaken loose made me realize a type of strong adhesive was still missing from my kit. Loctite 325 will probably be the one to go with, but if you have any better alternatives, please drop me a line.
- a new riding coat. My current one has been with me since my very first motorbike lesson, but after 4 years and half of Europe it's a little worse for wear.
So yeah, the shopping list is taking shape. All in all I'm looking forward to all the mental pre-trip insanity, as it'll be the first time I can't actually ride all the way to the final destination. I'll have to cross a significant body of water first, and whereas I'm confident the Beast can handle quite alot, I don't think an ocean is one of those things.
So there you have it - it seems I've got my work cut out. Buckle up, and enjoy the ride. T-Minus 8 months, and counting.