Day 16 of “the day I dropped my bike” tour of Europe

This is it. The last day in Europe, the return to the UK day has finally arrived. Mixed emotions. Happy to go back and see my friends but not looking forward to having to go back to the life of get up, go to work, come home, sleep, repeat. What have we done to our society?

Breakfast was delicious and I drank plenty of coffee to get me going. My bag was already packed so I just needed to tie it to the bike and head off. I had plenty of time but wanted to arrive to the Channel Tunnel early in case I got caught up in traffic.

The bike was parked on a slope by the garden wall on a gravel car park at a slight angle so the back didn’t stick out too much. Another biker with a GS parked very close behind me and at almost a 90 degree angle to my bike. He was putting his panniers on and I strapped my tail pack to the seat. The tank bag was on and I was getting ready to leave. In front of the bike was the entrance to the garden and on the ground there was a concrete pipe that was half buried and half sticking out.

I thought with a little bit of manoeuvring the bike forwards and backwards I could get it out and leave. I didn’t want to wait around for the other guy to finish and move his bike.

So I pushed my bike forwards a bit, backwards a bit, forwards a bit as I usually do, standing by the side of it. But the bike had the bags already on it which made it heavier than normal and the floor was on a slope. And on the gravel. My left foot slipped backwards, the bike leant towards me. I grabbed it tighter and felt is falling lower and lower. I heard a click and the tank bag unlocked itself and went flying over my shoulder. I grabbed the tank to try and stop the bike from falling but it was useless. I laid it down as slowly as I could and nearly cried. My heart was in my mouth, beating so fast I thought it was going to jump out.

I instantly overheated, the sweat was pouring from every orifice and I just stood there in shock that Bella was lying on her side on the gravel. The other biker jumped to help and together we lifted her and checked her over. I fell a huge relief come over me when I discovered the only damage to the bike were a couple of scratches on the end of the handle bar and the break lever. I kept going around it to check for damage but couldn’t find any more. Phew! That was lucky.

The scratches you can barely see 🙈

By then the other guy moved his bike and I was able to reverse out of my spot and ride out of the car park without any further incidents.

I took a slight detour to enjoy the roads in Belgium before hitting the motorway where I pretty much sat on until I got to Calais. The winds were awful and Bella and I were struggling to keep a straight line but otherwise the roads were pretty quiet and we soon arrived to the check in at Eurotunnel.

As I typed in my details the screen offered an earlier train which I gladly took. That meant I was basically straight on the train without any waiting. I was first to go on of all the bikes but this time I wasn’t worried about it, I knew what I was doing. There were another couple of groups of three and four bikers all with huge panniers and lots of luggage and they all looked tired but happy.

We soon arrived to Folkestone and I set the sat nav to the hotel I was staying at that night. It’s a good six hour journey back to Wales and I didn’t want to make the last day too strenuous. I set off from the terminal and soon realised I’ve forgotten to change the km to miles on the speedo so I was merely guessing my speed all the way to the hotel.

Time for a shower and a wander out for a meal. I’ve learnt about the Folkestone Decimal Clock which still boggles my mind and had a few G&Ts.

Decimal Clock in Folkestone

And that’s a wrap, as they say. It’s been an incredible journey of ups and downs, learning a lot about myself which has been interesting. Turns up I’m quite good company to myself, too! I’ve achieved and completed my lifetime dream. It feels satisfying to have done it. I wish Sam would have been home to greet me as coming home to an empty house was a bit smack of reality and it’s been a hard time getting to terms that he’s not coming back but it’s been two months since that day and I’m slowly refocusing and plotting my next adventure.

Thank you all of you that are still reading my thoughts, I really appreciate it! I will start posting about my next adventure in a few days’ time and I hope it’s an interesting reading 😊

14 Replies to “Day 16 of “the day I dropped my bike” tour of Europe”

      1. Ok but what are you planning for December?

        The suspense is killing me already!

        (You can read that with as much sarcasm as you like. Go either full sarcasm or none at all. Both will be right.)

      2. I don’t want blood on my hands!! Died as left in suspense by a random blogger for too long 😂😂😂

        If all goes well I’ll be riding around Tasmania. But keep it a secret for now 😜

    1. Glad Bella was only left with tiny scratches. It has happened to me, car parks are not always level with hard surfaces. I have certainly enjoyed reading your travel stories. Nice learning new things and looking at great photos. Reliving past adventures in a few areas that you traveled was nice, too. Hope you will continue to write. Thank you. Happy trails!

      1. Thanks George! I really appreciate the feedback 😊 Yes, I have truly joined the ‘dropped bike’ club 😆
        I will continue writing, I’m quite enjoying it. Thanks for reading!

  1. Bella was on the ground 😳. Such relief there was no damage, wouldn’t have happened if that GS hadn’t been there 😂. Maja, it’s been fantastic following your adventure across Europe. You’ve shared the highs and the lows, we’ve had a glimpse into your family and younger days. Thank you for all that and for being so inspirational. I’ve taken much from your blogs and hope to follow your tyre tracks some day to many of the locations you’ve visited. Much respect 👏 🙏 😊

    1. A huge thanks to you Paul for reading and commenting. Makes me very humble hearing I may have inspired someone along the way. Hope I wasn’t over sharing 😂Thanks for your support 😊🙏

  2. Wow, now that’s an adventure! Want to take someone to help carry your bags? I think I might know someone. 😁

  3. Thank you for opening your heart on your daily blogs and sharing your highs and lows Maja.
    It is an honour to know you – you have great chutzpah Lovely 😍
    Looking forward to your next adventure posts xx

  4. I’ve really enjoyed reading your day to day blog Maja , what an amazing thing to do and achieve
    It’s been an emotional journey for you in a lot of ways , I hope you are coming to terms with things now ( I think you are as I’m now following your latest adventure in Scotland 😁)
    Looking forward to reading that blog .
    Dropping your bike , funny thing happened to me as well, this year it’s been our first time riding abroad ( Nicky and myself) after years of planning and failing, due to life throwing things in the way.
    It’s been a lifelong dream of mine as well, from when I was 10 and I was sat in the back seat of our family car and caravan going down through France to Spain watching the UK bikers whipping past us .
    Anyway I digress.
    We finally got to go, and after 18 amazing day’s of touring and holiday we were sat at the docks in Santander feeling very sad .
    The queue started moving and we mounted our bikes , and for the very first time in over 25yrs riding I swung my leg over and lost my footing and down I went with bike on top of me . Embarrassing to say the least . I was gutted.
    Anyway, I picked her up, checked her over ( she’s called Winnie 😁) and luckily there was very little damage, just a scratch on the bar end.
    So I managed to put it out of my mind and carry on .
    After a long boring trip across the bay of biscay we docked at Portsmouth the next day .
    We live in the high peak Derbyshire so we also had a hotel booked that night to break the journey home,
    The next day was a boring uneventful ride home until we got to the last 50 miles and decided to pull into the last services on the motorway , while inside getting coffees some chap came over to us and said are they your bikes out there ??? Because some woman has knocked them over in her car !!!!!
    We rushed out and yep there they were in the floor on top of each other 🤬🤬🤬
    I’ll spare you the details but we exchanged details and made our way home.
    It was a sad end to our amazing holiday , but cannot wait to go again .
    Keep enjoying your riding and adventures Maja
    Everything I’m life happens for a reason hun .
    Looking forward to your next blog
    Take care
    Roger x

    Ps Winnie is now fixed and back to herself again 😁👍

    1. Thanks Roger, that’s a great feedback and lovely to read your experience, too. Sorry, I did giggle at some of it 🤭
      Glad Winnie is fixed and back to herself. Also good to hear from other bikers that name their ride!
      I will start writing the Scottish adventure next, just need a few days to process it all.
      This adventure has been emotional but also a journey of growth and learning. I’ve enjoyed it so much and will be repeating solo motorcycle travel real soon.
      Maja x

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