Epilogue - What I Learned on My Travels
Trip Start Aug 07, 2007
68Trip End Nov 07, 2007
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Always top up with petrol whenever possible, regardless of whether you think you need to or not. Never rely on your supply.
Preparation and research is everything. You CAN find the information if you really want to. It will mean wading through a lot of garbage and obsolete advice.
Don't scrimp on preparation. Panniers/frames/parts.
Check that all your spares fit/work BEFORE you leave. Check you have the right tools to fit them.
Store them all carefully - oil filters for example. Get a hard tin.
Stop immediately if you hear or feel a problem. A stitch in time saves nine. Don't wait till the next nice bit or even 10km.
Test jerrycans FULL, preferrably on difficult roads.
Don't scrimp on waterproofs. Test them ON the bike - trouser length.
Rubble sacks are great for keeping everything separate and dry.
Cable ties and duct tape are wonderful inventions.
Cloths are light and useful - filters/cleaning etc.
Double the number of bungee cords you think you'll need.
Portable disc drive is great.
Lockability of luggage is a weight off our mind. Think/weigh against accessibility.
Don't believe a mechanic. Don't trust them. Watch them. Don't ever accept their first price.
Ask three times and take the average for directions/distance estimates.
Roads are always good acording to locals.
Police checks and borders are always 'fine'.
Distance estimates over 20km are rarely reliable.
Distance estimates under 10km are rarely reliable.
Bus journeys are a good indicator or actual time needed - including rests, lunch, photos etc. They give a good upper limit.
Learn how to drive through check points. Confidence, speed, hiding, eye contact and the wave. Use any excuse of ambiguity.
Jump when you fall.
Loosen levers on bad roads.
Get good, strong lever protectors.
Put glue etc. in ziplocs in metal tins.
Waterproof cover for everything. Tie it down. It also acts as a security device.
More haste less speed. Don't get distracted. Don't chase the blue skies.
Use your whole lane. Hog it baby!
Don't do it on a 250.
Don't do it on a 15 year old bike.
Don't do it on a Honda in N Africa. Make sure the bike is popular through all the countries you are going to.