Waking up today was hard

Like really hard. I begrudgingly propped myself on my elbows and cracked my neck, the blood pulsating in my head. The air in the tent was thick and acrid from wet gear.

“The mud underneath me was soft and warm. It was like waking up on a dog turd.”

I paid for 5 minutes of a shower then blow dried my hair in the kitchen – on account of the fact that there were no appropriately sized sockets in the bathroom. People were giving me those looks, you know the ones like, I’m too polite to say it, but you’re an asshole. Anyway, whatever. Freshening up did make me feel slightly better.

What I thought’d happen
I’d spring into action ready for a day full of adventure.

What actually happened
My worst fears were realised and I was stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Around midday

I was finally ready to leave what seemed to me like hell (except Hell is a city in Norway a little further north, so no I wasn’t actually in Hell). I wheeled my bike down the sludgy path, strapped on my luggage and slotted into my groove. Then it happened. Just a whimper at first. Tears sprang to my eyes as the whimper faded, echoing feebly into the distance, trailing off to a sobering silence. The neutral light flickered softly under the overcast sky. Time and motion stopped. I tried and tried. I tried to resuscitate her. But it was all over. She was dead.

The handle bars were still warm.

My heart sank

By this point everyone had departed and newcomers were yet to arrive. I paced around in circles, hands pressing my sweaty temples, trying to recall advice. Perhaps I could rescue the situation. People normally have a kick thing. Why don’t I? Where’s the control Z button. Where’s my mum?

It’s laughable. But it’s totally not. If somebody dared laugh at me right then I’d punch them in the face – mid war cry.

So as you’ve probably guessed by now

No, I know nothing about jumpstarting a bike. In fact, I know nothing about motorcycles at all really.

You know what I do know though? I’m a gen Y kid. I’ve got data. Which means I’ve got Google. Google advises that I roll my bike down a hill or get somebody to push me while I try and catch my ignition. Failing that to jump-start from another bike or an 8 volt car battery. But none of these options are relevant because my poor lifeless bike is up to its elbows in mud and nobody’s in sight.

I must admit

At this point I panicked a little. You know me by now. You know what I’m like.

I wedged myself into the seat between luggage and fuel tank, feeling the familiar, strangely comforting squeeze. I kicked her into neutral and braced for an almighty heave. I heaved and I heaved, hobbling across the mud, mashing the ignition, hoping for it to catch. No dice. Nothing.


I stepped off my bike with one leg, grabbed the other with both hands, like a wooden peg and swung it up and over the bike in one stiff movement. Flexibility counts for nothing in motorcycle gear. I sighed and slumped my shoulders as I untied my masterpiece. It was packed unusually good today. The space for me to sit wasn’t going to leave bruises. I shook my head. Shame.

I plonked my luggage down in despair, on a lonely tuft of grass, an island in a sea of mud.

Last chance Saloon

Jumping back on my bike for round three, I lurched back and forth, willing my mechanical bull to life. Pulverizing the ignition with my right thumb. Tears of despair welling in my eyes. And then I heard it. Just a cough at first. Then I coaxed that weak little cough into a snarl. And then a deep rumbling growl. I can’t believe my luck. She’s back.

What I learned today:

  1. Heated hand grips are both a blessing and a curse.
  2. Google is just a straight up blessing.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Wasn’t the European adventure not enough without empty batteries and falling off (under) your bike? 😉 Wow, you are a tough girl on a real adventure!

    And I just hope that I never have to push (or lay under) my heavy R1200GS… Then I probably would be sorry for not getting the smaller bike 😉 At least I managed to avoid that on my Scandinavia tour. I hope to avoid that on my “the rest of Europe”-tour as well.

    • bikergirl says:

      Oh hell, falling under your bike would be the worst. Have you taken it on any dirt roads yet? There’s a few places in Eastern Europe which might catch you off-guard. The nice asphalt suddenly becomes slippery gravel out of nowhere. What’s your basic route this year?

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