The New Year’s champagne has ceased to flow, the last party streamer has fluttered to the ground, and the party music has finally been silenced, now 2017’s pristine calendar waits to be filled with good intentions. While we have only been back for six weeks settling in and our good intentions to paint and redecorate our home, have drifted to the back burner as the lure of the open road once again fills our minds. Yes we are planning another motorcycle trip in 2017.
Before I reveal our plans for 2017, I thought it might be of some interest on how we went about reaching our decision. For those who just want to know the route and not our decision making process, just scroll down past the next paragraph and picture.
We had fairly quickly decided that we wanted to undertake another long distance ride after going to Spain last year. Given the milage on ‘Streak’ & ‘Storm’ we feel there is another long trip before we may need to undertake serious work on them. So out comes the A1 sized paper book we have used over the years for planning purposes and I add a small clutch of coloured markers. Let planning commence! A somewhat inaccurate map of the world is drawn and four possible routes snake our from the motorbikes home in the UK. Pros and cons of each option are discussed and the inevitable action lists are drawn up.
After much discussion we each independently rank the four options and find we both agree on the same first choice. We are drawn to this option for a number of reasons;
1: the chance to revisit some friends made in our 2014/5 RTW trip, no we are not repeating the same route;
2: the attraction of spending more time in sparsely populated regions;
3: visiting new places we have had on our list for some time;
4: returning to a region we last visited in 1985; and
5: the trip to last no more than six months.
As you can see, our options included Europe to Cape Town and a circumnavigation of Europe, neither of which we felt was quite what we wanted to do this year, so we have chosen to attempt a Northern Round the World (RTW) in the summer of 2017! Phew there it is out in the open, RTW again, sounds so simple when put this way as I sit on the couch typing away, but based on previous experience, there will be a lot more to do before we start. Motorcycle maintenance, route planning, visa acquisition and a host of others items that I have already forgotten from the last trip and will need to review on the blog for reminders.
Our plan is to travel, subject to getting the appropriate visas, via Turkey, Iran and the ‘Stans’ again, Russia, Mongolia and on to Vladivostok. Ferry to Korea, then plane to Alaska and then ride to east coast of America and then return to the UK. We plan to depart the UK by mid April returning towards the end of September.
This timeline, if adhered to, should allow us to complete the journey in the Northern Hemisphere summer, but it will be tight. Any untoward delays or forced detours could impact our ability to complete the trip before winter’s icy fingers start to reach out. This adds a little extra spice to the challenge we are setting ourselves.
We are now drawing up our ‘to do’ lists and from there start to build an action plan. As we do, we will keep the blog updated on our pre trip progress. Have a great 2017!