Tuesday, April 12, 2016

To hit the sea, 2015 day 2

Austria in rain

Drop, drop, drop. I'm opening my eyes and bang! Next drop directly into my righ eye. Trying to cover my head by my sleeping bag. But the situation is clear, this is raining, not only showers. Wanna stop the time and sleep longer. It's few minutes before 4.00 AM. Turning my head, Heidi is up as well. "Do you think that's only shower?", she's asking me. I'm pretty sure that not. But have no idea that the raining would follow us cross the whole Austria and piece of Italy.

We're packing rest of stuff on the bike. Meanwhile, Heidi is cooking coffee which we wanna drink before leaving. It's 5.00 AM, everything is on the bike, the place is totally clean. It's still dark, raining more and more. Both of us hope for breakfast in Graz. I'm riding slowly cause feel more responsibility today and don't want to crash with My sweet Heidi behind my back.

Likely say that it's not important when I'm waking up, because usually I sleep till 11.00 AM:-) But today it seems like the truth. Cannot hold eyes open, but have to. As I cannot see lot and must go before sunrise, make decision that we need to use highway immediately when it will be possible. 

After one and half hour, dozens of curves, We're on the highway in direction to Graz, but without permission, have no vignette. And there is no chance to buy it. The first possible place where to buy is gas station in Graz. We' re leaving the highway and refuel the bike at the first gas station in Graz. Heidi is gonna buy some hot pies and I wanna buy the vignette. But they don't have for motorcycle. "just let's seek another gas station, sweetie", I am trying to make Heidi feel  better. But the rest of stations are not opened yet, it's 7.00 AM and we have to wait for an hour. 

With clean tooth, rain suits dressed, we're gonna ride directly to Italy after more than hour. Firstly I think that raining is only around Graz and must finish soon. But it's fault. Raining is following us for half a day.  And it's solid issue, because we have rain suits but not rain covers for our shoes. Stopping on the park lot at the highway and add trash bags on our foot. Helps for a while, but after two hours is definitely useless. The highway and raining, bad visibility, that's all what we can feel in Austria that day.  So happy when I can see borderline to Italy. But the raining ends after next hour of the ride.


The ride cross Austria was really exhaustive, we're so tired when we're parking at the first gaz station without  raining. It's around noon and I'm gonna sleep for  while. How I'll find later, on the grass which is usually used for dog's pee. I give shit on  it.

I' m ready to go ahead after an hour of sleeping.  Tired, but happy that we're finally in Italy I'm laughing into my helmet. I'm looking forward to sun and sea, food and cappuccino, so after next hundred kilometers we're leaving the highway for launch. So happy to eat my food prepared in the right way. It's time to plan something. If you ride long trips, I believe that you know the feeling when you're ride on highway for hours, it's so booooooring, guess you wanna leave it repeatedly because this is not the reason why we buy motorcycles. Long rides without curves are tax for fast transfer, but you know, curves are the right spice. Somewhere around Udine more and more cars are honking on us. Oh shit, I almost lost my ukulele!   I'm sorry that I cannot find any hard case for it. It should fit much better on my motorcycle and secure the uke in hot weather and raining, the gig bag is not enough. As we wanted go directly to Forli before, I'm changing plan to show Venezia to Heidi, she has not been there before.

Closer and closer to Venezia. Temperture increased. As we rode in 15 degrees in Austria, here is up 30 degrees. Baked meat in our dress. It's time to switch to Italian style, but we have to wait for a while. I'm leaving the highway and going cross long, long bridge over the sea, to old Venezia. 

Finally, we're getting off my bike and putting off every dress what is not necessary. It's time to visit, at least, piece of old Venezia, we have not enough time for visiting San Marco's square today, but to see canals, gondolas is must have. I'm sorry that we can't spent more time here, but I'm pretty sure we will come back here this year.
We got last couple of hundreds kilometers front of us. Both of us are tired, the hot weather takes rest of power. As we bored because highways, we made decision go the shortest road. You know, is normal to go faster than is allowed in Italy and the speed is not different than on the highway, remember what bike I have. Guess the difference is bigger in case you're riding some Ducati or Moto Guzzi :-) 
My ass aches so much, there is no position without pain. Have worries about Heidi, it's her first long ride. It looks as a hard test of love. But she's completely calm, no reproaches or something like that. Hats off, love!

The rest of the day is in haze. As I love curves in North, we have amazing roads around Trento, here is everything like in the America. You're riding miles and miles strait in hot. As the eight is coming, temperature is more and more comfortable. I'm counting each last kilometer to Forli. Finally! 
Calling Matteo. But he's not at home, we have to wait for an hour. But we're here, after around 800 kilometers. Heidi is deathly tired. But the goal is reached. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

To hit the sea, 2015

She's like an eager, demanding mistress. Her beauty makes you crazy. she's kissing you by hot, wet lips and, at this moment, taking cash from your pocket like whore in Las Vegas. You could think, she's sick at these times, but you'll do everything to make her happy.

My dear Italy. I cannot comeback there so often how I want. But today I can. I'm looking forward to all stuff what I miss in the Czech Republic. But the journey is not strait to Trento, Will be longer cross Austria and I'll spent couple of days at my friend Matteo in Forli, so cannot wait for the time on beach near Ravenna.

I ride only alone till last year. But times are changing and my rear seat is booked by my girlfriend now. It's something new for me, but if I'll talk about this journey, I'm looking for it, you know, you don't know what you can expect and some company could be helpful.

My girlfriend is like a Italy, if we wouldn't talk about taking cash from your pocket anymore :-). She don't have experience with longer ride, have no idea how much your ass, knees or neck can ache. But she's very positive,looking forward to the ride and experience.

If you want to know what's the biggest difference, the answer is really simple. Luggage. I'm packing everything on my bike and have feeling I'll need some truck which should follow me with
rest of stuff. But honestly, it's on me as well, because I ride with my guitalele and tripods etc. as well.


It's hot, but not too much, sun is giving a lot of energy, the air smells very well. I don't want to ride on highway, I've bought new rear tyre before the trip. Going through Vienna.Vienna is beautiful, but the ride across the city takes almost 2 hours. Begin to be baked on the bike. Definitely have to say, go through wasn't good idea. Just couple of meters before out of the city and something stabbed me to my left hand. Sh*t, starting to ache and for next five days I will have my left hand swollen.

We're aiming on Graz. And still outside the highway, I wanna to enjoy all curves, which are wide and fast, slowly leading to mountains. A half an hour from Vienna the weather is changing to windy. Too much windy, we have to go lean for the rest of the day. At the first stop at the mountains we' re finally try my new travel propan cooker. The coffee is the best. We're sitting in the grass, drinking coffee and seeing another bikes riding around. I don't want to be in hurry, just wanna enjoy the trip. We have no idea where will sleep tonight, the plan is sleeping under the stars.

Village, next village, curve, next curve. Just tilting my bike from side to side, enjoying curves for hours. Finally, some hills around. Looks pretty cool, when I pull over up the village St. Jakob im Walde. It got dark.

It's time to find some place for sleeping. Going down the hill to the village. I don't need to seek for a long time. At the end of the village there is amazing hided place behind block of garages. Calm place at the brook, with soft grass. Absolutely, the best place for sleeping under the stars. And I can see the stars, air is fresh and smells so nice, the brook is singing some Austrian stories.

It's something good on travel with anyone other. So, after diner,  we're talking for the some time, drinking Austrian liquor Jagermeister. And looking forward to tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

When snowstorm pushing you: Comeback

Continue from:

Leaving the Poland

Okay, have the new hard cases with fitting, the decision to go back has been made. It's time for set up navigation in my smartphone and catch the gas. Honestly, I don't want to spend next hours in cold  after an hour in heated garage, but know I have to. 

As the day slowly gone, the cold is more and more uncomfortable. Going on A4 highway again, but speed up 70 miles/hour means too strong freezing for my legs and hands. Starting be regretful about the decision. It's around 4.00 PM and I refuel my tank at the last gas station in Poland. The staff is really beautiful, but not friendly. I'm trying to say something in polish, but it does not help to get smile from her. I'm paying the fuel and don't buy anything else, wanna go so fast how I will can.

Meanwhile I'm closer and closer to the borderline, the dark is coming. If I known Polish are dangerous drivers before, know I'm pretty sure they're killers. I have no problem with drivers in France, Spain or in my lovely Italy, where I love fast, but safe, riding. Maybe the cold and tiredness affecting my judgement, but I'm looking for when I'll leave the country, cause I'm so scared, guess the driving culture is almost like in Russia. 

The haze is coming. Have no choice, I need to go with open visor, cause I'm driving with glasses. Oh my God, why anybody did not create pin-lock for glasses yet? The road is little bit covered by snow. I have to drive through curves so slowly, finding the need graduate some flat track school in my future is must have. 

Taking gas at the first gas station in the Czech Republic. It's small station in a curve, situated in hill, somewhere between the borderline and Liberec city. The staff is friendly woman, her husband is biker as well, she says. But not idiot, so he wouldn't ride at this time. I'm buying hot chocolate, but it does not help as before. I'm completely frozen. I have to stay for almost forty minutes, in contrast of my plan. I so want to give up the rest of the journey at this moment. Find some heated motel, park the bike and sleep. Starting to be tired more than would be likely for me. Full concentration for hours and hours in the cold takes too much energy. Eat some Snickers and hope it will help to alive next hour. My smartphone is gone. Since this time I have to go without navigation. 

Getting on the bike. Humidity is changing to snowing. Snowing. Snowing! S**t, it's dark, haze and snowing. I can't see almost anything through my glasses. I'm passing navigational sign. The Liberec city is over 2 miles front of me. 

The last chance to giving up

The Liberec city. I feel it's the best time for thinking about giving up again. The last chance to park my bike and sleep in comfortable bed. My back aches, hands, neck as well. Have feeling that my legs must be so frozen, that I have to have frostbite. As I were kidding for the whole journey about the madness, I'm pretty sure now, that go on is real madness without any humor. I'm counting with accident more and more. It's 8.00 PM, I'm  twelve hours on the bike. With boots which have no insulation, or wind protection. It's snowing, dark and I guess the rest of the journey is about 150 miles long.

I have no idea what keeps me on the road. Snowing more and more. I'm trying to be faster than snowing, I have feeling  that I got the snowing mostly behind me and it's better behind.
But my fastest speed can be around 60 miles/hour, no more.

The lost

I don't know where I am. An hour before I were going on freeway, but currently I have to pull over somewhere in woods, the road is too broken. Snow is everywhere around me. Trying to calculate the direction, I know that must go to South-east. I'm hopeless. It's around 9.30 PM and I need to switch to reserve. The road is so broken that the only possible speed is maximize around 10-15 miles/hour. 

Finally, I can see some city! Dvur Kralove?! Damn, I had to turn to North somewhere! But, on the other hand, now I can go back to Horice on freeway and go more faster in direction to the planned road. Some positive feeling is coming. As if the journey should be shorten since now. 

Hradec Kralove again

Thank to God! I'm drinking hot chocolate again. But only one and without wasting of time. It's 10.45 PM and snowstorm is outside. But the rest of this trip is on within arms reach, I'm saying to myself.
I'm identifying next stop, gas station in Litomysl, after 34 miles. 

The snowstorm

If I though that the worst I have behind me, it wasn't right. The motorcycle is sliding. I can see only cone of my light, which is lighting on flying snow flakes in huge eddy around my bike, I'm trying to sit like on chopper, have my legs stretched out to the front, because my knees are stiff and ache. My mind is only focused on keeping the bike on the road. During the time I were change position of my legs from stretched out to the front to stretched out down, only inch up the road which is more and more covered by snow. Some truck passing me and the back wind from them is tossing with me. I'm saying to myself, that if I will alive this, I can say to myself that I'm rider. As it's snowing, the temperature is around 0 C/32 F. I can't believe how much 4 degrees more can help, but can. I'm so story my smartphone is gone, because I can shoot this amazing situation. It's completely different in contrast of snowing if I drive back from my office. I ave experience with snowstorm and roads covered by snow, but as I mentioned on beginning of the article before, it's something different to go hours and hours.

I did it!

Deadly tired, frozen, but happy I'm parking my motorcycle in  garage. It's 2.45 AM. After almost 20 hours, 7 hours up the estimate, I'm at home. Can't wait tomorrow, I 'll need some ride.

Thank you, if you have read the article, appreciate that. Please share it and like my fb page:


Sunday, February 21, 2016

When snowstorm pushing you: to Poland

Sometimes I can do everything harder for me than I have to. It's kinda frustration but sometimes leads to amazing experience.

The idea

When I bought my bike for $1000 I known some hard cases will needed. My plan has been to ride around the globe after couple of years of riding around Europe. So, I had to make another decision, which kind of hard cases I wanna buy. If new of my loved Italian mark GIVI or I'll try to find original luggage for my bike - Hepco Becker.


My choice was so simple when I found cheap originals with case fitting on E-bay. Looked really fine, but there were two little issues: The goods was in Poland, 260 miles from Czech Republic. No shipping to Czech Republic. And it was January.

Currently I'm little bit sad. The only way to buy it is to go there. Or wait for unknown time. If I'll go by my car, these original cases wouldn't be so cheap. Let's say, in this case, the price is nonsense.

So I asked to myself: If you're riding day by day, why are you not counting with option of longer trip on your bike? Bingo!

 Firstly, have to check weather for upcoming weekend. Hmm, seems cool, only minus 2 degrees Celsius (28.4 F), sunny. The seller will wait for me how long I'll need.


 I know very well how big the difference can be when you're riding  only a hour or the whole day.
From this perspective, regarding my first ride on this Yamaha, I expect a long time when I'll feel uncomfortable.

Are you asking what I had on myself at that time?  Cheap, two-piece textile overall, with some kind of waterproof membrane and insulating layer. Ski winter gloves, scarf around my neck.  And reflective vest.

The trip

The plan did sounds simple. Wake up at 6 AM, 6.30 leaving home. As you can suspect, the reality was little bit different. But not too much. Just a hour.

From Brno to Hradec Kralove, first almost 100 miles

Leaving Brno at 7.00 AM. The track is leading from Brno to Hradec Kralove, it's 144 km, almost 100 miles in windy weather, the temperature is -4 C/24.8 F. It's my first experience to ride hundred miles in winter time. Trying don't forgot good advises from internet, for example, use plastic gloves from petrol station under my winter gloves, use plastic bag between layers of my socks as well. The problem is I got old bikers Probiker boots, some piece of Chinese shit, with no wind protection, crappy design of them means my legs are freezing for the whole journey.

I'm finding the idea wouldn't so easy how I though. First step for refuel is only twenty kilometers from Brno. My hands are frostbitten from upside and baked from downside because heated grips. I'm taking out old winter spare jacket from top case, it's my last piece of dress which I can put on.
I'm buying newspapers as the last chance for more insulation. It help when I bought my bike and had to go 250 miles in rainy weather with temperature 46 F, dressed only in jeans and leather jacket.

Need more insulation!

After next 50 miles I have to ride down to next petrol station, buy hot coffee, buy more newspapers and put them under my pants and on my chest, under both jackets. I'm leaning on snot for a while and thinking about possibility to go back. Have frozen hands and legs as well. I'm chattering with teeth.
It's one fifth of the road to Poland. And the plan is ride back at the same day. The trip looks like madness from this perspective. It's impossible, someone telling me in my mind. Just you can wait for another hard cases or bought new, modern, you don't need the originals anymore!

Trying to find something positive on the trip. Yes, weather. Freezing, but it's sunny. Roads are almost empty. There is no snow around. Motorcycle is going very well. If I'll do it, would be proud of myself. Nobody is riding on motorcycle in January. I can collect experience and miles on my bike. It's some kind of training regarding my dream around the globe ride. The first step to my next crazy dream to ride somewhere where nobody been before.

The first milestone reached! I'm drinking hot chocolate in Hradec Kralove. I'm sure the chocolate is not the last today. I'm still cold, but reaching of the first milestone heating my blood, I'm starting to be very positive about the journey. Almost have feeling the sun is kinda heating as well.

From Hradec Kralove to Liberec, next 60 miles

Love sunshine. Love heat. Love summer. Love smell of sea. Love beaches in Spain. Sometimes dreaming about life in California because weather. It's easy, more sun means more energy which means better mood, which means nicer life which means happiness. The sun has been significant reason why rode in the cold, kipping my smile in helmet.

I'm leaving Hradec Kralove and the change is unbelievable. Temperature increase about 2 degrees, but the sky is covered by heave, almost black clouds that augur nothing good for upcoming hours. It's around 11 AM and seems the cold is not the only issue what I need to alive and some another challenge is waiting for me.

It's dark as during evening, I can't see any car, I'm driving through empty villages, it looks like post apocalyptic scene from Cormack McCarthy's novel The road. Ugh, it's shook me.

Only few miles to Liberec. Road were dry till now, but it's changing for the rest of the day. Asphalt is slippery, visor became hazy. Ciao my dear snow around! Nice to meet you, finally I can see what's my today's challenge.

From Czech Republic to Poland

Next petrol station, next hot coffee, a lot of untrusting sights. Leaving Liberec. The road is changing from straight to road with many curves, it's narrow and covered by thin layer of snow. I'm pulling over, making some photos, the situation looks more and more dangerous and I'm not sure if it's good time to go on or give up it, The motorcycle slide little bit, I have to decrease my speed and I'm trying to be ready for crash in every bend, seeking barriers, trees which I must avoid to. 

Hey buddy, it's so  macho thing, this trip! The trip is not so long, but it's crazy, something what can do only silly guy with army dog tags for case of accident, or idiot without self-preservation instinct. Does not matter, the point is, that it will be worse and worse. So, if I'm thinking this situation is dangerous, I have no idea what will come later on.

Borderline. The only person on the borderline is money changer. Changing Czech crowns to Polish zloty. Poland. Roads looks almost the same like in Czech Republic, but there are more and more cars around me. Sometimes I guess they try to kill anyone, include me. I'm struggling with cold, winter, snow and now with aggressive drivers, which have to pass another one about a half of foot, mostly in curves. Sometimes I have no idea what they do.  

Going on A4 highway. I'm so surprised about shape of the highway. It's completely new, with dry asphalt, so I can go faster and cut miles to Lehnice, I'm passing one truck by one. 

Lehnice, the deal place

I got used to the cold. It's afternoon, the seller navigate me cross the city to big garage at the big house at peripheral residential area. Smoke from house beside this one is awful, what the Polish is burning? I' asking myself. 

The seller's name is Piotr. He's leading me inside to garage and calling his family because look at the craze guys who drove 248 miles on motorcycle. Meanwhile I'm putting case fitting off from his motorcycle, his wife is bringing some hot tea to me. Putting of from his bike an putting on my bike takes almost hour. The case fitting with hard cases are on my bike and I'm saying bye to Piotr. He's trying to sell the whole motorcycle, when I'm sitting on my one.Yeah, always selling Polish.

After the photo shooting I'm doing decision to go back and not stay in Poland over the night. It's around 4.00 PM and I know very well the dark is coming and I'm late regarding my counted time for the trip. But if I could arrive to here, I'm ready to go back. Little bit proud of myself, my ego is saying there is no barrier for me :-)