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More pictures!

OK many thanks to Ali and Rich of Devon to Mongolia for these:

http://picasaweb.google.com/richardfgraham/DevonToMongolia02

And to Tom from the Sandbadgers for these:

http://picasaweb.google.com/laskthegiant/MongolRally07

There are a few more tagged to me on Facebook – I’m Martin Gibson on the Warwick network if you wish to look.

Pictures!

OK I’ve arrived just fine, got to London on Sunday, moved in and was at work on Monday morning. Down-side is that my new flat has no internet, and won’t until mid October :( So please DO have a look at the pictures from the trip at http://www.pzorb.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=album03

I’ll get the full story up when I’ve got ‘net access, as well as some tips for next year’s ralliers.

PS Tom Hart: I made it, so you owe me a shoe eating. ;)

Day 1 – Batman leaves Oxford

Next stop, North Carriage Drive, Hyde Park London! Listen out for the news on Fox FM all day Saturday, I’m on every half hour. Also keep reading the Oxford Mail for more pictures of the above.

Final preparations

Once I’d finally sorted out the team’s communication equipment, I popped over to see my friend Gavin and get his advice on the sockets and spanners needed, as well as doing a much better job than I did on wiring in the car adaptors and supervising me fit a set of new tyres and tubes to the bike. Then all that’s left to do is complete the Oxford lap of honour as Batman, buy the required tools and additional spares, and tidy up the house.
Also I’ve been playing with a new map feature, so hopefully we shall see that working soon to give an idea as to where we are in the world. I’m planning on handing over the running of this site to a friend, so want to make sure the management is sorted out before I leave.

The luggage problem

The CityFly was never designed for such a task as the Mongol Rally. That’s why there’s no chance of fitting a rack to the rear of it, as the exhaust sits in the way. With less than a week to go before we leave from Hyde Park, I had to find some way of carrying all the camping gear from GoOutdoors, additional fuel and water, my helmet, my spare clothes, food and medical supplies on the bike.

Remember the old Minsk? Recognise the panniers? It seems the heat from the exhaust is not enough to cause problems to the right pannier, so they just sling under the seat and dangle – better than they did on the Minsk! With some bungee cord, there’s little chance of them getting tangled up in the rear wheel even when bumped around (famous last words). How they’ll cope when I drop the bike will be down to what’s inside of them – I plan on keeping one with 10L of petrol and the other with 10L of drinking water; the former in a metal can and the latter in plastic; so the dangerous side should be protected.
This should now provide a platform for further gear to be piled on top to take all the camping gear, food, and clothes. Monday’s task is to get suitable gear and also a top-box to lock my helmet and bike gear in the dry at night, and to hold anything important during the ride…

Testing the gear

After the kind donation from GoOutdoors.co.uk it was time to figure out how it all worked. After only 5 minutes of pitching in the dark rain, the tent got me through the night, with the sleeping-bag protecting me from the condensation. A fine wake-up to a petrol-fuelled cup of boiling hot tea, thanks to the tiny but powerful MSR camping stove that runs on the same petrol as the bike. No need to waste space carrying gas canisters!

Many thanks to the patrons of Hanoi, Vietnam!

Just a quick thank-you for the very generous pledges and contributions from the folks enjoying the night down the Spotted Cow. I’m awaiting a photo for the sponsors page ;)

Live Interview for BBC Radio Oxford on Danny Cox’s Mid-Morning Show

Today I went in for a lovely chat on air with local radio star Danny Cox to talk about the trip and get some more exposure. I’ll post the audio link shortly.

Article published in the Oxford Mail

Article can be found on-line at: http://www.oxfordmail.net/news/

Photoshoot with Oxford Mail

Today the Oxford Mail’s photographer John came by to Gavin’s to take some pictures for the local paper: