After a canceled European tour in 2009 due to some unforeseen family matters, I became a new dad in November the same year. This has brought infinite joy in my life and has changed everything in it, but, as a consequence, my riding time had been reduced to day trips mostly (everyday commuting doesn't count as riding time in my book), just to get some steam off..
In this one and a half year, my "fleet" had seen some drastic changes, meaning that I sold all 3 previous bikes and had gotten a newer (I also had a '96 model, needed some repairs so I upgraded), great looking, africa twin as it made no sense maintaining all that just for commuting.I saw my "Ornela" (caponord '03) and my "Granny" (transalp '92) ride away with a new owner and had settled for the "Kleopatra" (Greek Africa Queen), which could serve as a city bike but also embark on longer trips, with some limitations on the highway. The bike had long been prepped for multi-day touring but I had yet to get her on the road for good and everyday while lane-splitting in dense traffic I would whisper to her instruments "soon my dear, soon we'll be on better roads"...
The rest of my riding gang was going through the same dry spell ride-wise, with work obligations and family burdens making a "full force" outing really difficult. The only ray of sunlight in that respect (because in every other aspect he is a PIA), was my friend Yani, Ghallas from now on to avoid confusion (we're both Yani). He had actually managed to get the whole July as a Sabbatical, he is not married, leads a teenager's life, even though his actual age is closer to mid-life, he refuses to accept it... He is always the most available and I have, on several occasions, left him stood up in ride trips, as various things tend to pop up in my life when a trip approaches. He hasn't held a grudge and surprisingly even committed to this trip even though he said that it would lead to same outcome, me calling it off at the last minute.
Well, that didn't happen so Friday morning on the 1st of July, I had a packed, ready to roll Kleopatra in my garage entrance.
Besides all the gizmo, I had arranged for inter-bike communication for us, which worked out pretty well until the last day, when battery issues led to various failures...
Off we go!!
I hit some morning traffic at first...
But made it to the highway
Everything works fine, a good start!
About an hour later I reach the meeting point, the first gas station past the toll booths, Athens is already behind us, time to start having fun!