It’s been busy in the run up to our departure but now, with the Charging Bullet loaded up amongst the camera and camping gear, we can start the long drive down to Land’s End and our adventure’s real beginning.
We’ve had our fair share of last minute ups and downs; despite several attempts at repair, our slow charger (that should be permanently mounted in the bike frame) is still not working, although the fast charger is doing its thing and was always meant to be the main option for touring. On the other hand the ‘Type 2’ adapter that allows us to plug into public charge points worked perfectly on its first test. We had a heart-in-mouth moment yesterday when the bike inexplicably refused to start, but it turned out just to be a software fault mis-reading the motor temperature (11 degrees C is NOT overheating….). And to top it all off our sponsors Holden Vintage and Classic generously donated a Belstaff wax jacket to keep me warm for the trip – I suspect they may have seen the long-term forecast….
We’ve now done over 100 miles of test and shakedown runs around the local lanes and the bike has behaved faultlessly. It’s a real joy to ride, proving quite nippy and performing at its best in the 30-40mph range we’ll need for our back road marathon; delivering almost 60 miles of range as well. We’ve tweaked it as we’ve gone along, of course, fine tuning things like tyre pressures and control response to produce a pleasant, well balanced classic bike feel.
This morning we packed up all the tools and spares that the bike might need, all Finn’s camera equipment and of course camping gear for three (Fred, Finn and our a selection of filming assistants for the busy bits) before loading up and strapping down the Bullet itself, fully charged ready to set off first thing on Tuesday morning. By Wednesday we’ll be crossing Dartmoor, on Thursday we’re filming our first big contributor; Ariel in Crewkerne and Friday evening should see us back in Hereford where we can pick up anything we forgot to pack! Then we wind our way up through the Midlands, home of the British bike industry, through the North East and on into the Scottish Highlands to John o’Groat’s.
With the trip now underway we’ll be updating this blog much more regularly (hopefully most days) so keep an eye on it to see what we’re up to. We’ll also put odd bits and bobs on out Twitter and Instagram (@chargingbullet) and Facebook (Charging Bullet) as we go along so ‘follow’ us if you don’t already. Let’s get this show on the road!