My First Tcat Road Trip (advise welcome)

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My First Tcat Road Trip (advise welcome)

Post  stevemcc on Fri Jul 27 2012, 20:47

I'm off on my first proper road trip on the bike at the end of August to the Emerald Isle, Dublin to be precise.
I will be on the cat and my mate is taking his VFR, we will be traveling from swindon down a very boring M4 until it runs out then on to Fishguard to catch the ferry to Rosslare.
From Rosslare we are meeting up with 2 more mates who have lived in Ireland for a few years and they are leading the way up to Dublin.

We are only spending 3 days there and then its back home, we dont have to carry any camping kit or sleeping bags as one of our good mates is putting us up.
Not 100% yet what to carry or how to carry it but I have a topbox and tankbag which should fit most of my dancing gear in.
Having never taken the bike on a ferry before was wondering if there is anything I need to know or any tips on how to stay awake on the M4.
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Re: My First Tcat Road Trip (advise welcome)

Post  Rosco on Fri Jul 27 2012, 23:38

Ferry staff have seen it all and done it all so they should tell you everything you need to know.
The floor is normally metal and doesn't offer loads of grip especially when wet.
Just be smooth and take your time.
Once you park up keep it in gear.
They'll put some material or foam over your seat and ratchet or rope it down. They normally do that for you but you can always ask for help.
I'm sure you'll have a great time. Fingers crossed for the weather.
Cheers
Rosco
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Re: My First Tcat Road Trip (advise welcome)

Post  Snowcat on Sat Jul 28 2012, 08:15

what he said
And also if you're filling up before you board don't brim it just in case it's a rocky crossing otherwise you could end up losing a bit of fuel round your bike. Also just be a bit cautious about disembarking, as Ross said it can be a bit slippery under foot.

For added room a cheap roll bag from Heine Gericke will give tou a lot of storage space.

Apart from that have a great time and enjoy the cats touring ability Smile
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Re: My First Tcat Road Trip (advise welcome)

Post  kwakkat on Sat Jul 28 2012, 08:51

1 take you spare bike keys
2 i carry a punture repair kit
3 if you have a bike alarm a spare fob battery you never know
4 take your time
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Re: My First Tcat Road Trip (advise welcome)

Post  SteveCat on Sat Jul 28 2012, 10:02

Take it you're going on Stenna Line. I did the M4, Fishguard, Rosslare run beginning of July.

As Ross said, the loading crew will secure your bike but leave you to untie it. I let the ferry crew secure the bike, but kept an eye whilst they do it.
Topbox and tank bag will be fine. That's what I had along with a roll bag, 2 people for two weeks.

No tips on beating the M4 though. I'd suggest allow more time to get to Fishguard and stop after an hour or 90 mins. When I did it, I left from Bristol and stopped just after an hour - a Sainsbury's superstore was conveniently situated next to the motorway.

I trust your friends have a 'scenic' route to Dublin, I seem to remember doing a stretch of motorway from Dublin to Rosslare :(

Enjoy.
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Re: My First Tcat Road Trip (advise welcome)

Post  Snowcat on Sat Jul 28 2012, 12:22

Ooh ooh nearly forgot, alarm (thanks for mentioning it Pete) make sure you put it in to service mode, again incase of choppy crossing otherwise it could be going off for the duration of the journey.

Our crossing back from Rotterdam (granted overnight) was a pretty rough on and resulted in a few flat batteries at the other end due to alarms going off. Once the boat is loaded and doors closed tgey won't let you back below deck afterwards. We could here alarms blaring like crazy for half the crossing til they batteries died!!
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Re: My First Tcat Road Trip (advise welcome)

Post  stevemcc on Sat Jul 28 2012, 19:01

Top Tips guys!

I wont have the alarm issue as I dont have an alarm Very Happy though I will mention it to my mate. cheers
Spare key~ didnt even cross my mind but that will be going in my wallet.
Puncture repair kit~ possibly but that just reminded me to check my breakdown cover for cover when i'm in Ireland.
Take my time~ I always do, my brain doesnt work fast enough to react at speed, I like to savour the time i spend on the bike, I'm never in a rush to go anywhere, or for that matter do anything(according to the Mrs)

The route to Dublin i'm sure will be scenic, been in touch with the aptly named wolfman who we are meeting over there and turns out we are meeting up with a bit of a posse of about another 7 bikes. I just hope i have enough enthusiasm left after the M4 and ferry to enjoy the roads.

I'm visiting oxfords Hein Gericke tomorrow which ive just discovered isnt in Oxford at all but in Enysham LINK which is about 15 mins away from where I work. So a extended lunch break tomorrow to buy myself a 40L Roll bag.
I kinda like the idea of not using my tankbag and having the roll bag on the pillion seat, that along with the small topbox should be more than enough space.
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Re: My First Tcat Road Trip (advise welcome)

Post  Snowcat on Sat Jul 28 2012, 19:13

Have a good trip and stay safe Smile
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Re: My First Tcat Road Trip (advise welcome)

Post  weasley on Sat Jul 28 2012, 20:33

Do you have recovery? Just in case?
Also I take certain useful documents, or copies, with me (travel insurance, insurance, recovery etc) plus make sure you have their contact numbers in your phone, plus those of your mates and accommodation.
I also take some scottoiler oil; maybe have a small bottle/can of what you usually use.
Spare bulbs and a lock/chain.

Motorway boredom I tend to overcome by constantly doing time/distance calculations (that's xx miles until so-and-so, at this speed that'll take yy minutes, which means I am quarter/half/three quarters of the way there.... etc). Probably just my OCD! I have never used music when riding, but want to try it. I do use a satnav which allows for satnav games (beat the predicted time!).

Luggage; I can do a long weekend away in just a top box and bumbag; don't overload with just-in-case clothes/shoes etc.

Don't sweat it - enjoy!
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