Cars, Bikes, and Excellent Road Surfaces: Epic Euro Trip- First Leg

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After eating some croquettes and discussing the immense girth of american engines I had to be on my way to Ens on a ride that made me wonder what the midwest might be like if it were right next to the ocean. I found Jesse hanging with a family of Euro-rodders that were currently deep into the engine bay of a V6 powered Cobra kit and I then got a ride in a slammed 16v Mk1 golf. Being a hooligan is satisfying in any country. I then rode back with Jesse to ens and we took his sharp-looking Mk2 Polo to McDonalds to try American Fry Sauce. I have no idea what it’s made of but it’s great with fries! Afterwards we took a short drive around Jesse’s neighborhood to see what neat machines were lurking and finished the day by -what else?- watching an episode of Top Gear.

 

The next morning we both rolled into Amsterdam, a city which has an undeniable magic and motorized vehicles in the bike lane. While not being an automotive city of note I did manage to spot a BMW HP2 which is pretty damn rare! Some of the boats on the canals looked pretty swanky too, where's BoatoIQ when you need it?

 

Only a few hours later I had to ride into the 10th deck of a ferry and strap the VFR down in preparation for the short sea voyage to Hull. As I rode onto the ferry I once again felt anxiety about the journey setting in. A combination of two new operations would be occurring when I disembarked, namely the disembarkation itself but also switching to driving on the right. I didn't want to make a bad mistake doing either so I gathered my confidence as best I could. I'd like to give a shout to the Givi hard case seen in this photo, the ability to pop these off and on the bike easily and access them through a little port in the top proved to be a real benefit on this trip.

 

Standing on the rear deck of the Pride of Rotterdam, I watched the stormy skies clear as they stayed glued to the shore. With the sun setting over the North Sea and the winds buffeting the crap out of me, I descended to my bunk.

So many amazing people, roads, and experiences had passed through my world in my upward travel that I could hardly believe my fortune. From broad plains to high mountains, from four cylinder hatchbacks to other four cylinder hatchbacks my first time in the automotive landscape of the old country was informative and delightful and chock-full of sparkling water. No bad thing.

How would the UK compare? My plan involved a large loop around The Island, starting in the northeast at Durham and swinging by Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff, Norwich, London, and other cities in between. I figured that if this didn't give me a taste of Great Britain then nothing would. Read about my my eyes nervously tracking speed cameras for literally a whole country in the next installment.

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