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Old 20th April 2016, 08:13 AM
irishtwin irishtwin is offline
Novice Racer
 
Biker.ie Member No. 35919 from Kildare
63 posts since Mar 2016
Motorbike: African Twin, 1290 SD
Modifications: High Vis jocks
Default Day 5 – Crossing Poland West to East

Trip Log
Day 5 – Crossing Poland West to East
Rain, and Wind and water logged feet

I hate my Dainese boots.

The alarm went off at 05:00 and I was up and at ‘em. Excited about the day and thrilled that the radiator in the room had dried out my Dainese touring boots. I have these boots for ten years and I always thought they were waterproof or at least water resistant. For some reason on day 4, they let some water in. I should have suspected something but stupidly thought that won’t happen again. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

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It was lashing rain when I left the hotel about 06:15, it was absolutely teaming down. Within five minutes, my boots were full of water. They stayed like that until I took them off that night. I hate those boots now, absolutely hate them. Twelve hours sloshing around on the bike. Not just damp but water rolling around inside both feet.

I know now what Stockholm Syndrome feels like. I hate the water in the boots, but after riding for a while, I tip my heel back and feel some affection for the water as it rolls from my toes to my heel. Dainese, I paid a fortune for these boots and I am resentful they have become as waterproof as a pair of crocs.

Actually they are behaving a little like gortex, but in reverse. They allow the water in but f***ked if they will allow it to seep back out. Except of course when I get petrol and then all the ladies in the shop look at me as I make a mess of their clean floor. Everytime I stand at a counter there is a little wet spot where the boots have been. Happy, happy not.

In summary, I hate these boots now, they are dead to me.


Breakfast
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I stopped about 8:30 for breakfast and ordered some soup. Until now, I have no idea what it was. Could have been strips of cows stomach or perhaps mushrooms, but honestly no idea. Does anyone from Poland know what this stuff is? Ate it all anyway.


Rain and sunshine, and dammed wind

I was riding in lashing rain, and the weather forecast had said that Poznan was heavy rain but it also said that it was sunshine in Warsaw. All I could do was keep going and hope the forecast was accurate. There is a brand new tolled motorway built in Poland and perhaps because it was a Sunday, there was hardly a truck on the that road.

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Even in the rain, it was a joy to ride. Have no idea how much the tolls were, but would have paid twice to ride that road. I rode from the border of Germany to Warsaw in lashing rain, limited visibility and all the time loving the bike and hating the boots. The waterproof jack and trousers were doing their job so I was warm and dry except the feet.


Reaching Warsaw
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Once I got to Warsaw, the sun came out. I stopped for lunch and the temperature was 23 degrees. When I got back on the bike, it was so warm that I had to take the liner out of my jocks. Very nice.

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I took off the dammed boots and got a few funny looks from the locals walking around in the restaurant in my bare feet.


Race Leathers
In the same restaurant, I saw a guy in white full race leathers. Looked like a serious dude. Then his daughter joined him and she was wearing elbow protectors and strap on knee protectors in pink. Not sure what mode of transport they took but it was cool to see anyway.

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Windy, bleedin' windy
Once I passed Warsaw and started heading north, the wind decided to come out and really play. A friend told me once that he tries to just “trust the tyres”. IOW, he feels like he will surely come off but he has to remind himself to trust the tyres. I found myself yesterday saying “Trust the Physics”. But I do not know the physics. What force is required to cause the wind to knock a motorbike over. Anyone know? It was not likely to knock me off but every now and then, when passing a truck you feel this bang of wind, relaxing it is not.

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Some of Poland old barns

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I rode two hours yesterday in sixth gear. Then stopped and rode again for another hour or more again without changing gear. I love that, it gives you time to review your life in your head without distraction. I know this long distance riding boring to some guys but always liked it.


Chicken
Being Sunday evening, the traffic was light leaving Warsaw but look the pic below with the line of traffic heading back into the capital. It was just a constant line of cars, with regular maniac’s overtaking in the face of on-coming trucks. This was the only section of the trip so far that I turned on the full beam on the bike. It was needed, when they see it is only a bike they just pull out and head straight for me.

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Playing chicken, look at yer man up ahead, giving it a lash.


The bike
The Honda is going absolutely super. It does not break a sweat, and seems happy to run along at 40 Km/h in lashing rain in a small polish village, and also happy to cruise the polish highway at a GPS indicated speed of 164 Km/h for nearly two hours. BTW, the speed would be showing about 180 or so. It is ten percent over optimistic compared to actual speed at all speeds, even when going slow.


Lube
I am oiling my chain about every two days. Is that enough with these distances? Most of my last ten years have been in BMs so a bit inexperienced with chains.


Fuel
Fuel wise, I have to fill every 330 Kms. The reserve comes on after you have used 15 litres and there is 3.3 litres remaining. The CRF has an strange feature on the computer. It does not show remaining fuel until you are in the reserve and the orange light is on. Once that light comes on, it starts showing you how far you have remaining, e.g. 68 Kms and how much fuel is left e.g. 3.3 litres. So far, I have found this to be accurate and have been brave enough to ride it down to 20 Km’s remaining.

Seat Height Adjustment
It is possible on the CRF to lower the seat from the standard height. When I am running around local, in a city or know for the next few hours I will be getting on and off the bike, I set it to the low position. When I am out on the road and know I will be riding for ten hours or so, I then set it to high. The extra height is a little more tricky for me to manage when manoeuvring but much more comfortable on the road as my legs are more straight. I am 5’ 8” for reference.


Luggage
Hmmm, the Honda luggage is ok. Nice to be able to take it off and have no frames but it is fiddly to open and close, and perhaps it is the locks but I sometimes thing the key will not come out of the lock. I might ask M50 Honda to have a look when I get back. Would TT with frames be nicer?

The GPS is a great assistant on long trips. I am not really using it for navigation, as the signs in most countries are pretty good. However, it is nice to be able to see how far is remaining, what the arrival time is, what the distance covered etc is. This helps a lot in a long trip. It allows you to plan natural breaks, eg, I will go another 120KMs then will need fuel and will be at Warsaw.


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Finally almost in Suwalki.

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Locals v interested in the Honda

My goal for day 5 was to reach Suwalki and I made it. When I was heading out in the lashing rain yesterday morning at 06:15, I did not know if I would make it but when I got here last night, I was very pleased. The Africa Twin is definitely the best bike I have. Except for lunch yesterday, I was sitting on the bike from 06:30 to 19:30. I could do that on the big K1200LT but the twin is much more fun. It sounds stupid but it feels like it is gagging to go again today. Is that possible?


Too much?
Finally, are these reports too wordy, will I stop, or will I cut them down to just a quick update? If it is shite to read, please say so, no offence if they are crap. Hard to tell from this side of the fence. Feels like I am rambling maybe.

(Admin, sorry about the cage talk yesterday, will not happen again).


For Sale / Wanted
Anyone want to buy a good pair of Dainese Touring Boots, hardly used, well treated, size ten, a little bit stinky at the moment. Actually that is mis-advertising, they stink to the high heavens at the moment.
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