Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and a Merry Christmas.
I see the upgraded website didn't do anything for better search results. Glad I wasn't disappointed.
Anyway, my cousin sent me the "Long Way Down" television shows. I realize it's dated, but this the first I had heard of it. For others who don't know, it's about two Brits (okay, one Brit and a Scott) who decide to travel from the northern most point of Scotland down to Capetown, S. Africa on two BMW dual purpose bikes. One of them is the actor, Ewan McGregor, of Star Wars fame, among others. His friend/riding partner Charley Boorman was very entertaining, and he appeared to be a very experienced rider. While the show was overall very interesting, I was somewhat disappointed, particularly with the first half of the episodes. Their hectic schedule, trying to get to the next stop, reminded me of my trips, and the kicker is they gave themselves six months of planning. My disappointment was the lack of sites/scenery videotaped, although I fully understand the situations they found themselves. It was also interesting to note they had one heck of an entourage, being the film crew and a doctor. Putting the video production tasks aside, the extra people at times came in handy, but other times made for more problems. These guys took approximately three months to go through 18 countries, yet with all the planning and support, still found themselves rushing through the trip, which they often noted.
They chose BMW's GS R1200s, which they realized were a little on the heavy side, but I imagine it had something to do w/ BMW providing the bikes as corporate sponsors, so perhaps the guys didn't have much say in their "choice of bikes". This wasn't their first trip of such proportions, so it's not like they were totally green in choosing suitable bikes and equipment. It seemed to me the smaller GSes would have suited them better for the road conditions they encountered, especially since they were each riding solo. One point I found interesting was they had terrible luck with the rear shocks/struts. Again, they seemed to have made an unwise choice because it wasn't BMW's struts breaking down, but an aftermarket brand, which they installed on the bikes during one of the first episodes. The bikes, themselves, were actually really reliable. Of course, they should have been, being brand new and covering I think approximately 15K miles.
I found the amount of profanity surprising, being the program was related to National Geographic, but maybe the DVD series was unedited. That being said, I thought it added to the realism of the show and the guys' characters. The second half of the episodes was a lot more interesting, due to more scenery/cultures/wildlife caught on tape. The show isn't a "how to", but it does reveal some good tips/things to think about for any rider pondering such a journey. I recommend it for everyone's viewing pleasure.