The Bike

End of Ukraine… nearly

Well, another day, another 300 kays passed beneath Dorothy’s rear wheel. Incredible, utterly incredible. The vibration’s still there at 60 and she still don’t sound sweet but on she goes.

Yesterday when I got RTWDougs message with the Kiev contact details in I gave them a ring. This is it I thought, I’ll stop in Kiev for the night and get them to help me find a mechanic the next morning. The lady answered and was oh so happy to hear from a friend of Doug’s. She said sure, it wouldn’t be a problem, they could help no sweat.

There was just one snag. They weren’t back in Kiev ’til tomorrow. (today)

So at 5pm in a MacDonalds car park somewhere in Kiev I said ‘well Dorothy, what do you want to do?’ And you know what she replied…

‘Ride mother fucker ride.’

And that’s exactly what we did, blazing a glorious sunset trail as we conquered another 140 kays before bedtime. It was the call of the road; it was just too damn loud to sit and wait in Kiev, we had to move on, to keep on keepin on as some of you guys say. Christ knows how long this whirlwind’s going to carry on for, all the way to England we hope, but one thing’s for sure I doubt very much even I can stop her. It’s Dorothy you see, she’s taken over, controlling the whip. And if she says ride then damn it, that’s what we do.

Last night for a bit of a pamper I stayed in a motel. It was actually because I couldn’t find a good spot to camp, but it was real nice being able to peel the clothes off after two weeks in the tent and sleep without one hand on the knife. I had a shower, recharged the laptop and iPod, even unpacked and repacked just for the hell of it. I had light, no mosquitoes, even a mirror ro look in and say ‘oh shit, it’s a BeeGee.’

It’s been raining today. Not long, not too heavy, but it’s a reminder, along with the bitter cold, that autumn is snapping closely at our heels. The leaves are also falling which is no good as they the cover that shelters our tent pitch from those passing on the road. Hopefully they hold out as long as Dorothy and we can celebrate autumn’s true arrival with a cup of tea and some nice thick toast besides a British fireplace.

At this pace I calculated , we could be in Dover THIS saturday, not next. (just been on route planner and it’s almost exaclty 2000 kays from here)

I know some of you will say slow down, sight see a little. But I tell you, nothing we could possibly see or do between here and England can match that blast of ecstacy I dream will hit us when we touch down in Dover. It’s what I spend the day imagining and reliving over and over again. It’s what keeps the mind focused in what iseasily the toughest part of the whole journey. I feel the pressure like never before. I know what I said about the spirit of Dorothy and how it will always live on, but I want more than anything in this world to make it all the way on this bike, on this engine, in this state.

It’s weird and I don’t really know how to explain it, but to seek help somehow seems not right. Like finding a mechanic. You’ll laugh but it feels like cheating… cheating fate I suppose. I couldn’t even accept a pair of warmer gloves off Claudia on the BMW when she offered them. I had to carry on riding in the mismatched pair I’ve had for the last five months with the socks given to me by the German who called me ‘gay’ over the top. There’s no logic in it I know. But it’s how I feel and think it’s also why it feels so right to keep on riding while we can. Even in Kiev last night I was actually relieved we had the excuse to carry on, as that’s what ‘Dorothy’ wanted to do.

My only worry is the Ukraine border. I realised last night that the cock at customs never gave me the stamped form he should have. No doubt it’ll mean another 5 hour day being asked for bribes while being told ‘big trouble.’ I’ll be real happy once I’m in the EU and can sail through the borders without having to deal with these tits.

But never mind…

As for that ‘stash’, I do have to clear up before any accussations fly that the only drugs we carried over the Ukraine border were the pills of madness kindly supplied by the nine months we’ve spent on the road. You should try them, they really are quite magnificent. And legal.

Okay, I’ve waffled enough. I’m going to have another look at Google Earth and scribble a few directions in my diary before getting back on the road. Hopefully this rain will stay off and we can get within a whisker of the Polish border tonight, camp, then cross in the morning.

Until the end, Nathan and Dorothy.

8 thoughts on “End of Ukraine… nearly

  1. Check the valve lash, make sure there is no water the carburetor float bowl and change the spark plug.

    (If the valve lash has closed up you could burn them even 500 km’s from home)

    Keep some oil in it and on the chain

    Then just ride it home……

  2. Hello Nathan, reading your story, I’m afraid we’ll only see your tailwind when you pass by near Rotterdam… Still, our neighbour is a mechanic, he also has an old Kreitler… and we live near the pier where the boat to England leaves… short to say: you’r still welcome. And… what’s the plan when you arrive in Dover? Return home through Africa?

  3. Hi Nathan, Like I’ve said at the adventure rider forum.
    If you pass trough Belgium it would be great to see you and Dot flying over the Belgian roads. I’m a photographer, so perhaps I could make some cool “action pics” from the last stage of your incredible trip.
    wishing you a safe trip home.

  4. what a good read and hope everthing goes fine for you, dont let them border/imigration officials do ya head in, it sounds like you have em all sussed anyways, maybe ask some of them how long they must do that job, before they can become a real policeman or is hieght a problem.

    your doing what most people would love to do including me, but we aint got the balls, hats off to ya and say hi to yorkshire from me.

    chris

  5. Hi friend, so you use the POV VIO…….I have use one as well, good peice of kit…

    Be good to see how you found it over the trip.

    Minty