As some of you might know, I’m participating in this year’s Cannonball Bike Run. This time we’ll be tackling the notorious Isle of Man and from there, head to the moors of Scotland. I started this morning, and am going to meet the other Finns on Friday in Germany, where they’ll get by ferry.
I tried to get a head start with a fellow Cannonballer, who seems to reside in Vilnius, but he was going to be busy in the night and I couldn’t make it to lunchtime without waking at some ungodly hour, so I decided to ride to Marijampole instead. In the morning I packed my kilt, sneakers, two T-shirts and some socks in a backpack and headed out.
My first advice for anyone thinking to ride the Via Baltica is “Don’t!” There’s a lot of interesting stuff to see in the Baltics, but they are somewhere else than at Via Baltica. The road, by the way, has to be the most boring road ever made. The Comrade has apparently made roadways efficient with a ruler…
Another word of warning. The police in the Baltics, although they don’t seem too interested in bikers doings, if you aren’t arsing about, tend to hold speed traps near borders. Mind you, at one occasion I was doing at least 20 over and no fucks were given.
I started with my leathers and smart as I am, packed my rainproof jacket under everything. Also, my Speed four doesn’t have a front fender, so when it finally started raining (it had tried and failed miserably a few times along the way), the front tyre would sling all the water in the universe directly to my face.
So I had to stop and dig out the jacket. I also found my trusty old friend, gaffer tape, this time in its racing guise – in black, that is. A strip of tape to the telescope ends unwanted face washing altogether, believe it or not.
On my way, I noticed I had forgot my spare brake lever on my living room table. Probably this means I’ll crash on the right side, break my brake and since the lever is of little help there, I must finish the goddamn ride there.
Before you start thinking, no, it’s not all bad. It’s been over a year since my pervious long trip, and I had forgot how relaxing it is just to ride. Real piece of mind, it is.
Tomorrow I’ll take my own advice and piss off from the Via Baltica. I think I’ll forrol the Polish coastline on my way to Germany, and spend, again, the night after 600 or so kilometres.
Today in stats:
Distance travelled 628 km
Average speed 83 km/h
Max speed 184 km/h
(originally published in letsri.de blog on June 21, 2017)