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Old 12-21-2009, 12:45 AM   #1 OP
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Joined: Aug 2009
Oddometer: 75
London to Capetown and back (KTM 640 ADV and AFrica Twin)

chefchaouen, Fes: Marakesh
Crossing the atlas
Ouazarate bikers home

Beach and fishing in Nouakchott

Segou, on the Niger rive
Trip to tombuktu

Burkina Faso
Nazinga wildlife reserve (Good pics of fighting elephants)

Awesome waterfall

Maddog hits 100,000 kms - two years, 35 countries
Racing in Lome and Toni Togo KTM
Chez Alice
Q. Can it get worse than dog shitting on your tent, soiling yourself, and bats urinating on your face?

Two days transit, 'nuff said

Nigeria to Cameroon (two big posts)
1. text
2. follow up info and pics
covers birthday celebrations, singing to Nigerian border guards, thieves, and Maddog almost being killed is a terrible truck crash

Hey kids, I've lurked here for a while but haven't posted much if anything. My mate's blog is here, but I might just use a ride report instead.

London to Dover
Anyway, we left London on Thursday and headed to the port of Dover for the "easy" bit of the trip - travelling down through France and Spain to enter Africa through Morocco. Did I say easy? Ice, snow and some gremlins took care of that, and maybe that law written by some ***** named Murphy. We've arrived in Montpellier in good shape but there was the about seven our ordeal I call the 13 miles of pain. I'll get to that in good time.

Dover to Calias

Murphy and his stupid law had his first crack at us at Dover. Our 2.00pm sailing to Calais left an hour late. Didn't care we we're happy enough waiting as was just too exciting. Well, I did have a burger and onion rings, mmmmm. Murphy saw my onion ring happiness and retaliated with some high winds, so it took us four hours or so to get into the port.

We missed our spot at the dock and the high winds meant all the ferries had to use tug boats to dock and leave the port. Nice try Murphy, but we got to our budget travellers hotel checked in and went for a pint. In the meantime Murphy pushed the snow button. An interesting gambit, but we were ready with heated grips, doubled up gloves and a ton of warm gear... WE WIN

Calais to Bourges

Next morning there was a descent covering of snow in the car park. The roads are gritted so its all good. Except Murphy and his daft law cranked the temp right down, so my heated grips and double glove combo couldn't handle the jandal. We did 350 odd miles to Bourges stopping when the pain in my fingers got too bad. Drank lots of dodgy vending machine tea, and re-heated and dried my gloves with the hand driers in the bogs. Slow day, but not too bad. Well...

While my heated grips (KTM OEM) couldn't overcome the cold, Simon's Oxford grips set to max were a bit too hot. So while I wiggled my fingers to try keep circulation up, he wiggled his to stop them burning. It still makes me feel a bit sick. My goggles and visor kept fogging up too, so a lot of the time I had the cold air direct on my eyeballs, and the occasional dose of salt spray from the passing traffic. My eyeballs are as hard as nails... damn you Mr Murphy, damn you!!! No wonder we quickly learnt the French for cold at the services. Every person who saw us said it or tapped their head... thinking we're crazy.

Bourges to Montpellier?

Slow start to the day with a bit of tinkering with the bikes. My rubbish sw-motech stand snapped one of its two bolts, so I had to bodge that up with wire and hose clamps. We made much the same progress as the day before, stopping as the cold got too much and warming up.

It was the worst conditions of the the trip so far, but the best leg for me. I had sorted out the fogging and improved my gloves, by duck taping the air-vents closed (doh) and by taping the fingers together into a split mitten (joining two fingers into one). I travelled maybe 200 miles tapping my feet and wiggling my fingers and bobbing my head constantly while humming any old nonsense. Stopped me riding tensed up and kept me warmer too.

Maybe 100 miles from Montpellier we stopped at the services. We met some other crazy guys from New York in there 1969 beetle - they were in a rally heading to Cameroon. They were as cold as us as the heating didn't work, an they could see the road through the floor of the car. It was well ventilated.

About then we outraged Mr Murphy and his gremlins by planing to get a hotel. Was dark and cold, and thought we'd be cautious and take the easy option. We decided to go 13 miles to a small town and get a hotel.

13 miles of pain

Right, lets go! About a mile from the services, Simon stopped from as his front tire felt dodgy. We were perched on the inside corner of a motorway on-ramp looking like we needed to do our first puncture repair. We pumped up the tire and waited to see how quickly it was leaking... it was a very slow leak, so we decided to press on. Right lets hit the road! ahh but not like that...

Cold tired and short of leg on snow, Simon did the classic hop hop wobble splat getting on his loaded up bike. I ran back and we lifted the bike, fogged up our visors with the effort. Murphy giggled, he was just getting started.

Right lets go! We get a mile and Si can't see so we have to pull over on the hard shoulder (not good). Simon is cleaning his goggles when the screen pops out. Damn it. Cold fingers and several attempts later we get it seated and fixed.

Right lets go! The ktm goes chug chug click... the battery can't cope. Murphy pisses himself. I'd had the engine off, the key on with all electrics off apart from the blinkers. I would have let the bike idle, but in the cold, the oil thins but the engine doesn't heat properly until its under load, and so it was burning a lot of oil. I try kick start, but fail miserably.

I get 2m of 10 amp car electrical wire out of me tool tubes and start stripping it. Gunna jump start it of Simon's bike. His AT is idling along nicely and Simon's gives Murphy a tip, what if my battery dies too? Looking at his temp gauge Si thinks its getting a bit hot and hits the kill switch. I wander over and see the lights on, ohh switch those off... and the panic what about your heated grips!!! Si turns the grips off but the damage was done... only took a minute or so.

In the meantime I had been working on my bike, hiding behind the crash barrier and reaching over to the bike. Then there was an almighty twang resonating through the barrier. I look up and 150m past us a car has crashed. Si saw the whole thing.

A car drove past very slowly rubber necking at us. The next car came flying up behind him going way too fast (keep in mind the ice, snow and bitter cold). This guy swerves into the inside lane to pass and then tries to swerve back again, overcooks it and slams into the crash barrier - what an idiot! We were feeling pretty guilty for being the distraction that helped moron one and even bigger moron two crash. The drivers were ok I think.

Anyway, two trucks turn up with large accident warning signs to protect us and the cars down the road. We can work more safely now. I'm thinking two batteries with not quiet enough juice should start one bike ok. We're wiring the batteries together when Si gives the AT another go and it roars into life!!! We hook the ktm up to it and it to starts!!!! Then begins the very very long process of refitting the seats and loading the bikes. I can't believe how much longer this takes with frozen hands in the snow.

Right, lets go! The AT takes another tumble... lift bike, clean fogged up visors and try again. Remember we're only a few miles form the services we left a few hours before.

Right, lets go! Hmm, we're going!!! WE WIN HAAA HAAAA!!! It was all good trundling along at 20 miles an hour along the side of the road - good but slow. Then Murphy's law strikes again. My tomtom sends us off the motorway, I blindly follow it. Seems I'd picked limited speed routing... nooooo! We go far enough to realise my blunder and have to do a short loop back to the motorway. I can picture hooning down this road in the summer with a huge grin, instead we were wobbling down the road on thick ice at 10m/hr grimacing in pain at the cold in my hands. All good fun really though.

Back on the motorway for a slow trip to the town we'd picked out. There were a ton of motels on the tomtom, so we hit the first one with a 24 hour check in. All good except the gate didn't open. Dam it, had to unload on the road and squash through the pedestrian gate (arse!). Finally got into bed for dinner of boiled sweets at 2.45am. Lovely.

The next morning we both looked like tramps who'd been sleeping rough. Stinky and blood shot eyes, slow moving and clumsy. Breakfast and a blast of Slayer on the ipod sorted me out though. So when the reception staff had wandered off and the timer on the electronic key locked us out of the hotel I was well up for some house breaking. I grabbed a squashed coat hanger from my bike's tool tube and slipped the latch on the Hotel door. We beat the 13 miles of pain and we were ready to head off to Montpellier! funfun fun!

Millau to Montpellier

Cold but no more snow!!! screwed with this post 04-21-2010 at 02:42 AM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2009, 01:12 PM   #2
Joined: Dec 2009
Oddometer: 13

Hi Mike enjoying you tales we now have a camera for computor. Nathan ,Julie & Jorja are heading home had a great Xmas and you featured in a lot of conversatations
Keep the shiney side up Dad & Mum
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:11 PM   #3
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Location: SE Queensland, Upsidedown land
Oddometer: 294
Nice to see another Gooner on the boards! Shame about Chelsea the other night huh?

I'm loving you updates so far mate, it looks like you having a blast. I'm just starting to plan the same trip for 2012 so really keen o see how you go.
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:29 AM   #4 OP
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Originally Posted by DaveyDave
Nice to see another Gooner on the boards! Shame about Chelsea the other night huh?

I'm loving you updates so far mate, it looks like you having a blast. I'm just starting to plan the same trip for 2012 so really keen o see how you go.
The ktm is going great, is awesome on the dirt roads even loaded up. Hit the right speed and the corrugations disappear, shame the potholes don't as well though. Get good at spoting them though, and the places they're likely to be.

Have to say I've found everything touratech pretty shoddy. Stitching falling apart in pannier liners, racks snapping and all the paint falling off (within 700 miles of new). I noticed gear like boots and sleeping bags I bought elsewhere where 150% of the RRP. So when I got descent discounts, Touratech was almost twice the price. Kinda guessing most of their gear is twice the price for the quality. Oh well when things break, its easily stitched and welded and reinforced. For the money it should be much much better. Simon's metal mules, and my Wolfman tank and tail bags are the business though. Absolutely brilliant.

Have hooked up with another couple of bikers too. Hans is the same age as me and Si and rides a F800GS. Peter has a 1200GS and has been all over the planet over the last two years (coming up to 100,000kms). The bigger GS is an awesome bike but a handful on the dirt roads, especially fully loaded up. Peter is carrying a injury so didn't join us on the last dirt road and took an alternative route on tarmac.

Swapped bikes with Hans and rode his F800GS the other day. Brilliant engine, has no character though (like the whole bike) but is fast enough to hoon on tarmac and gets astounding mileage. I have 25.5 litre tank, and he has 16 litres, but gets a bigger range. Noisey exhaust and some bike bling and maybe Hans will grow to love it? Maybe BMW will tweak it with a Dakar version and perfect it?

enough bike chat, will upload some pics is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2010, 05:03 AM   #5 OP
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Meeting the other bikers in Morocco

We met Hans in Morocco and planned to meet him and Peter later on the road

Our bikes lined up

Si and Pete

Hans posing and showing his true self, Peter is disgusted


Free camping spot in the Western Sahara at night
(oh yeah, of course we got rained on one day, wtf!!!)

Self portrait, damn hot. (Reached maybe 45 Celsius in Mauritania later on)

Time for a stroll. Mines drift in the sand as it can run like water it is so dry and fine. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2010, 05:18 AM   #6 OP
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Pics from Mauritania

First pic from Mauritania at our camping ground in Nouadhibou

its an old aprilia owned by an English bloke Nigel. He supports a charity that realised a bunch of bikes is more effective than one 4x4. Check out riders for health


Again, uncanny

more camels


camping on the roof of a hostel (Auberge Manata) in Nouakchott
My tent is like a drum - who needs a geodesic tent eh?

hmm, simon does maybe
(although my tent poles have snapped on two ocassions...) screwed with this post 02-12-2010 at 05:24 AM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2010, 05:31 AM   #7
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Dude!! I caught you online!! How's it all going? Great picture of Pete with the camel! I hope you guys are having a great time. Get photo's up more often if you can... It's very boring here at work etc so looking forward to seeing more!
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Old 02-12-2010, 05:35 AM   #8 OP
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Beach and fishing in Nouakchott

sand, water, sun and all that good stuff

All the loaded fishing boats get side on in the surf to unload

low in the water

A loaded boat in trouble. All the locals spring into action

everyone helping the fishermen?

Nope! Any dropped fish is fair game, so half the people are fishing and half are cleaning up the "scraps". Could be 20% of some catches I think.

Dude with his spoils

unloading a bit less dramatically

Is this a fish?

Yeah, think its a fish.. best check its teeth.

Heading back out

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Old 05-07-2010, 02:06 PM   #9
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Location: Gizboooooring
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Cry Vale Mike Rose

>> Edit: To explain.. I started a thread in the Australian Forum, where I spend most of my time, and Mike got to meet a few ADV members. Most of the following replies where posted in the Australian forum, hence many of the replies are directed to me. I asked a moderator to add them here to Mikes Ride Report.

I've just been woken this morning to hear the worse news possible.

My best mate Mike has died while traveling in Africa. He was riding from London to Capetown.

Mike was keeping a blog on ADVrider, Read it if you get the chance. You'll laugh like never before. You can find it here:

I loved Mike like a brother. He will be sorely missed.

My love and condolences to the Rose family at this time. We are thinking of you.

kiwipeet screwed with this post 05-10-2010 at 04:39 AM
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:50 PM   #10
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Terrible news Pete, so sorry to hear this..

Condolences to you and to Mikes family and friends..
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:56 AM   #11
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Still missing ya matey.


written by Rod Hatter

Rumblin' down under
in wide open spaces.
Rollin' the highway,
with wind in our faces.
There's nothing that matches
the way that it feels,
when we're in control
of our two wheels.

We've been through some bad times,
and times that were great !
We've ridin' bad weather,
and stayed out too late.
We've calloused our palm,
with throttle in hand,
out riding the back roads
all over this land.

We're awful proud,
of those we call friend.
They ride right beside us,
through thick, til the end.
They share with us life,
and share with us beers.
Share with us laughter,
and share with us tears.

Along down this highway,
we've lost us a few.
Some that were strangers.
Some that we knew.
With no rhyme or reason,
or so it would seem,
but it was life's calling.
It's what their fate deemed.

Now, through our memories,
they ride with us still.
Our Guardian Angels,
who know how we feel.
They must be out riding,
in much better places.
Our visions of them.
show smiles on their faces.

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Old 09-29-2010, 09:27 PM   #12
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RIP, Mike. What a wonderful smile you shared and what an adventurer you were.
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:10 PM   #13
motorcycle crazy
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Location: Somewhere in Africa
Oddometer: 49
I feel your pain, I also lost my best friend in a motorbike accident.
Although I never met Mike, if feel like I know him, I was well impressed with his humor and how he respectfuly interacted with the locals. I was following the blog as the news came out, and was realy shocked. It was a reality check for myself, as in a month I will be traveling along the same route, and you never like to think of the dangers.

I realy like the poem! Keep his memory alive.
All the best, Tony
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:07 AM   #14
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Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Hocking Hills
Oddometer: 3,654
what a sad ending to such a great ride report. my condolences to Mike's friends and family.
I say, there's no such thing as a bad day's riding. -metaljockey

whats the value of good gear?:
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Old 10-03-2010, 12:27 PM   #15
Joined: Nov 2003
Location: Sydney
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What a nice poem for anyone on two wheels. Thanks Peet.
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