Camping with Chefs – A sign of things to come?

Camping with Chefs

Eating like Kings and Queens – Motorcycle Indulgence.

Last week we were very very lucky because Ivanka and I went camping with friends and we were treated to one of the best BBQ’s possibly ever…! It was a busy bank holiday weekend in East Sussex, close to Bodian near to Camber Sands. It was a sun kissed weekend and just what we needed… A break from work and a chance to try out all of our kit!

Equipped with our new Trangia stove, a fully loaded GS Adventure and everything we would be taking on the Alaska trip, we sat as spectators as our ‘chef friends’ entertained us with some culinary delights as we picked up camp fire cooking ‘top tips’ from one of the leading restaurants on the South Coast.

A big thank you to Rob and Vic Shenton from Due South and Chris Williams from Brighton City College and Brighton’s Pop Up Restaurant. Here is what was on the menu – very different to the usual sausages!

Day 1

Black Sea Breem, Lobster cocktail, garlic bread

Day 2

Shoulder of lamb and baked Camembert.

Now we feel totally prepared for camping on an open fire, improvising with the ingredients we have available and making more of all the different types of ingredients we will come across along the way.

This weekend was also a landmark one for Nick as he picked his motorbike up off the ground for the first time.

In the past there was always the can I/ can’t i lift my bike up off the ground as it is 250kg without luggage? Anyway, having listened to a few opinions and watched a few You Tube videos I managed to lift it up unassisted – which means that should I need to on the big trip then I am fully prepared.

Much easier than I thought – Phew!

Watch this space as we look to talk about all the food we will be eating along the way and posting them on this Brighton website – RestaurantsBrighton.co.uk

Motorcycle Accessories – Why we like Touratech

Motorcycle Accessories

The Wish List Continues to Grow – 3 months and 28 days to go

While we are away we need to have thought about everything. Anything could go wrong and we need to be thinking about everything we need to offer that added functionality and perhaps comfort – Planning is so important. Only this week my throttle cable needed replacing as it was frayed so I found my self with my throttle stuck at about 5,000 rpm for a couple of days until I could get it sorted..Fantastic that this has happened before the big trip, otherwise it would have been a different story! So it just shows you that you cannot prepare for everything and you do need an element of look to see you through certain situations.

Anyway back on track with this post. This week I have spent a bit of time on the phone with the team from Touratech and discussing what I need to take and I am now waiting for a great parcel of goodies to arrive! In the past I have bought a windshield extension, stand/ engine cover, oil sump plug, steering restrictors, waterproof bags, tank protector, toureg stickers and I’m sure a few more bits and bobs.  In the new Touratech parcel I have a pair of Zega panniers and mounting brackets; a very wise investment considering that Ivanka and I will be living off the bike for a year. This means the BMW black plastic touring panniers that I got with the bike are now redundant.

The Love of Big Boys  Toys

Touratech is based around ‘New Ideas For Motorbikes’ and it definitely inspires you to abandon the daily grind and just ride off into the distance. I am a big fan of Touratech because they seem to have thought of everything for the adventure motorcyclist and they are so knowledgeable about it. On the numerous occasions I have seen them at the UK bike shows and meets they have always had great looking stands, informative and friendly staff and their interest in all the top endurance events just shows you that their kit is tried and tested. You know you aren’t dealing with a tinpot outfit with shoddy substandard gear!

The next decisions I have to make are – Do I need the following?:

  • BMW Cruz Tool kit and GS multitool – Have tool kit already but how good is it?
  • Ceramic Clutch
  • Waterproof inner bags for panniers – essential, don’t want any wet kit. Or is there an alternative. Ortleib kit is great.
  • GPS – I have Ivanka so I dont know if I need this?
  • Fuel siphoning adapter line. Have Trangia set already. Still need multi fuel burner too.
  • Zega Table – not essential
  • Rukka jacket – Or will my leather Dianese do the job?
  • Goggles, Alpine Star Boots, Gore Tex socks
  • Straps/ more tie downs
  • Money belt. Need to keep money hidden and safe.
  • Document bag – For duplicate liscences, paper work etc
  • Compression bags, travel pillow, sewing kit, mosquito net
  • Mess kit, coffee press, pocket knife, water purification, torches, quick metal repair, puncture repair kit

I have now been through the whole of the Touratech 2010 catalogue.. Just too much to chose from. Feeling more prepared already.

Heli Skiing From Panorama Mountain Resort

Heli Skiing From Panorama Mountain Resort

This day, without question has to be in my top 5 ever – I love Heli Skiing!

If you love skiing as much as I do and you can’t get enough of bashing through endless powder fields then this is the best experience you could wish for. Sitting in a helicopter with a group of skiiers and boarders, heading through the National Park and then landing on a mountain peak in the distance is unbelievable.  The adrenaline, the anticipation and the the protocol of diving out of a helicopter – grabbing your ski’s and then heading down an un-tracked mountain side is something else. We are talking waist deep powder every run, a minimum of 5 runs in total and each run must have taken about 45 minutes to get to the pick up point before we were swept away by our very own helicopter.

Organised by my pal Rupert at Ski Safari, we used the very experienced RK Heli Ski centre which is based out of Invermere in British Colombia. Panorama was a mountain resort we spent 2/3 days at as we continued our trek throuhg BC and the Canadian Rockies on this 3 week trip. Just to let you know Ski Safari are a quality mid to high end ski tour operator that specialise in organising multicentre ski trips in North America. It’s the sort of operator where you pick up the car, all the accommodation is arranged for you and then you travel between different resorts and properties depending on what you have booked. In my opinion (and having worked in the industry) this type of company works for me, it is minimal fuss, assistance is there if you need it and the type of holiday gives you complete flexibility to do what you want.  I think on this trip we also went to Ferne, Kicking Horse, Banf, Lake Louise and 3 or 4 other smaller resorts.

This particular day started at about 6am I seem to remember.

We arrived at the Heli-Centre early, Rupert had organised some great rates as he worked in the industry, we checked all of our gear, signed away the papers and then we sat around waiting for the rest of our group to arrive.  Fiddling with our avalanche transceivers, I remember the thoughts passing through my head as I think about how good the other skiers could be and whether my off piste skiing was good enough?

Navigating and soaring through the valleys the helicopters noise and ability to maneouvre was so impressive. Then the helicopter eventually lands as it positions itself literally on a overhang on a mountain peak with steep drops either side – all we have to do is dive out under the propellers, grab our gear and then get ourselves ready for the first descent. This took about 10 – 15 minutes.

Our mountain guide informed us about how the group was going to work and he gave us a strong briefing about the type of terrain. I remember it was a north facing slope (less sunlight and safer), we were going down 1 at a time and we were thinking about the lines we were all taking just so we all had the best and safest descent down possible.

So here we were, ready to do one of the runs of our lives and the heart was racing. I think I went second or third down and it was everything I hoped it would be. The first 10 metres or so were steep so it was a matter of adjusting my skiing position, getting a feel for the snow and anticipating what sort of approach I would take for my first heli ski run ever.

It was simple, I settled in with my rhythym, I soon started gasping for air as the snow continually covered my face and I remember looking around at the fellow skiiers as I anticipated hitting a forest in about half a mile.

It is hard to put into words exactly what this experience is all about.

It’s like one of those perfect powder days going on and on and on.

It was about pushing the legs as hard as possible and making sure that you get the best experience  possible as we eventually arrive safely back with the rest of the group with an ear to ear grin representing sheer satisfaction.

If you are a virgin ‘Heli Skier’ like I was then I think that this set up has got to be one of the best out there! My reasons for saying such a thing is purely down to the ski conditions in British Colmbia and my experience on the day.

Thanks Rupert!