Trip Prologue – Zurich to London cont.

14 June 2015 – Here I go, off to Luxembourg

Watching Joern as I head off to Luxembourg and he goes back to Switzerland made me sad as I always miss him when we are not together, however at the same time I feel really excited about my mini trip. I love riding on my own, as I truly feel this phenomenal sense of freedom and peace at these times.


This is just what I need, gadget and me on the motorway,  to get my head right and excited for my trip and to stop over thinking the preparation. I never listen to music when I ride rather just enjoying the peace of the road and my own thoughts, however sometimes I sing to myself or with no encouragement my mind gets stuck on a song .. today Britney spears ‘hit me baby one more time’ uuggghhh why is my head doing this to me I have been into alternative music for as long as I can remember, I really do not like Britney spears, this is nuts … okay I need to start signing ‘enter sandman’  ahhh that’s better J

Pulling into Luxembourg City I’m clearly smiling, this is turning into a rather enjoyable little trip. Lux city is really nice and I enjoyed walking through the old town seeing the stunning architecture and historic buildings.  And while I am enjoying an OJ in the city Gadget is enjoying being photographed by a bunch of Chinese tourists.

After leaving Luxembourg and riding through Belgium I get about 50km from the hotel in Nivelles I hear a loud thunk grrrrr and the bike sort of slightly swerves. I look down and it takes me a nanosecond to realise that my left side pannier is missing simply gone. I immediately pull over and stop, looking back I see my pannier lying in the middle of the motorway, cars swerving around it left and right. Uugghh shit I am terrified that a car is going to hit it and have an accident and all I could think about was thank goodness Joern or another biker were not riding behind me as they would have  hit it and had a major accident. I run back along the motorway (I think that is illegal, not sure, don’t care, need to get my pannier out of the way) I wait for a gap in the traffic and run grab my pannier and run back out … man that was hairy with the number of cars going full speed past me, I really don’t want to do that again.

I put it back and carry on slowly to the nearest motorway rest stop to assess the damage.  I look at the pannier and the brackets are fine but the lock that locks it to the pannier rack has snapped clean off.  The pannier itself is pretty dented and scraped but the integrity has not been compromised and the lid still fits perfectly … well there’s a testament to how good Stahlkoffer panniers are.  I just cannot figure out why it fell off, the motorway was pretty standard a few road works with a couple of very small bump where one type of tarmac meets another, but nothing significant enough to bump a pannier right off its rack so that the lock snaps.


I decide to fix the additional internal brackets on (screws that go through the pannier and rack at the bottom),  I had the stahlkoffer team add them to the panniers and racks for when I am riding off road, or very bad roads, in South America. They are not standard but I think I’ve shown that they should be.


Pics are of the pannier, and my toys which I threw badly while at the road in a rest stop. I am not sure what people thought of this mad red head biker woman literally throwing her stuff out of her panniers over the bike onto the grass. This was so I could get in to the bottom on the pannier to lock the inside brackets on.  I was actually most pissed off that my brand new waterproof yellow day bag is not so waterproof anymore having been slid down a motorway.

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