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 The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld

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DekatriaProject

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Registration date : 16/02/2013

ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Σαβ Φεβ 23 2013, 16:43


Thousands of miles, two wheels, and thirteen reasons to go from The Netherlands to Greece and back

Forgive me if I didn’t place this in the right traveling subforum - my Greek still leaves alot to be desired Wink maybe someone could move it if need be?

In any case, welcome.

Let me just tell you what this is about - the story is just as important as the ride.

In 1996, when I was 10 years old, my best friend from the neighborhood (aged 11) committed suicide. When something like that happens at that young an age, you’re sad for a few months, and afterwards you go on happily with your life. Just like everything else happening to you as a kid you reckon that something like that is normal to happen, and don’t give it any further thought.

Until you become an adult, that is. Thirteen years later, in 2009, I had to do some college research into mourning high school students. I had picked the subject myself as I figured that with my own experience, it would be a doddle to do.
However, as I spoke to school counsellors about the subject, I came to realize that a death of someone close at a young age is not something normal. I suddenly understood I had been wrong for the past thirteen years, and that what happened in 1996 wasn’t done with me yet. Subsequently, a bomb went off inside my head, and eventually it threw me into a deep depression. This period seemed so endless, I more than once thought of putting an end to it myself.

Thankfully, both my close friends and family gave me all the love, support and attention I needed... it took lots of hard work and perseverance, but in May 2010, six months later and just weeks before my older brother got married, the storm finally settled. I had been lucky enough to go through hell, and come out the other end unscathed and stronger than ever... all thanks to those dearest to me.

Because of this, the number thirteen (the amount of years I lived in ignorance about probably the most important moment in my life) has become a symbol of endurance to me. To never surrender, to celebrate family and friendship, and commemorate those who haven’t been able to live their lives as they wished to. After all, it’s when the going gets tough that we really need someone close to us... and there’s alot of people out there who aren’t as lucky as I have been.


Final camp in Harwich, during the 2012 Tour of Great Britain

The Project

Now, ever since I was a kid I’ve been inexplicably obsessed about everything Greek, and subsequently it’s been a dream of mine to see your country itself one day. So coming out of that darkest of times, I thought it was about time I went and did something about it. I was going to get my motorcycle license, and ride to Greece. This became The Dekatria Project.

The project took off in October 2010 when I passed my Theory Exam. Almost exactly one year later I passed my final Driving Test, in July 2012 I did a 3500km (~2200 miles) training trip through Great Britain and now, it’s time for the big one. It’s time to bring all this preparation into practice, and turn the dream I almost took away from myself into actual reality.

The route will take me from my home in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) through Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy to the southernmost point of continental Greece: Cape Tenaron, the mythical gate to the Ancient Greek Underworld.

After that I turn around, to go back home through Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland and Germany. Altogether the journey will be around 7000km (or 4400 miles) in length, but I’ll probably go over it. I’m departing the 19th of July, hopefully entering Brindisi in Italy around the 27th. I then board the ferry to Greece, and from there on in I’ll probably take as much time as I want to, probably spending the first week of August in Greece before crossing the border into Albania.


Cairngorms National Park Scotland, during the 2012 Tour of Great Britain

More than meets the eye

I also wanted to let the project always be part of something bigger than just my own dreams. I did the Tour of Britain in honour of my grandfather whose last wish it was to see Scotland, and for this trip, I contacted ‘To Write Love On Her Arms’. They’re a non-profit foundation from the US, dedicated to providing help to those struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. On the trip, I’ll ask the people I meet to write the thing or person they love most in their lives on my helmet. Upon returning home, the helmet will then hopefully have become a written map of the journey, and it will subsequently be auctioned off during an auction night on Friday the 13th of September. The proceeds will then go to To Write Love On Her Arms.

Now, I’m aware that getting to this auction is a pain in the backside for any people overseas (which most of you probably are), so the week prior to auction night, I will also auction off three different project shirts on Ebay. Likewise, all proceeds will go to TWLOHA. (If you just want to pitch in regardless, you can also donate right here).

So, now that you know about the whole shebang, I hope you’ll enjoy reading the lead-up to (and report of) what has thus far proven to be the largest and most definitive undertaking of my life. As I’ve said to my own friends and family on numerous occasions: Thanks for being here, I really appreciate it.

Visit the website for The Road So Far, the Route, pictures and videos! If I can add some on the way photo-updates, they will be posted on the Facebook page Very Happy

Oh, and if you live somewhere on the route and would like to tag along, help out with accommodation or have got any tips you'd like to share, feel free to let me know Smile

All the best,

Greg

Links:
The project website
The project on Facebook
The project planning thread on ADVrider
The Ride Report of the 2012 Tour of Great Britain
To Write Love On Her Arms






Έχει επεξεργασθεί από τον/την DekatriaProject στις Παρ Μαρ 22 2013, 16:54, 1 φορά
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kopeli
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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Σαβ Φεβ 23 2013, 17:07

Dear Greg,
Greetings from Greece-Thessaloniki!
Welcome to our community,one of the most powerful in Greece with great members and great travellers.
I would like to congratulate you personally for your project and I wish you to do it without problems and come out victorious throughout this assay as its purpose is sacred.

Travelling on 2 wheels. It's not a hobby,it's a way of life.

RGDS

Michael
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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Σαβ Φεβ 23 2013, 18:21

Hello Greg, go on with your dreams !

All the best

Michael
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DekatriaProject

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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Σαβ Φεβ 23 2013, 20:03

Thanks guys, I appreciate it! Smile
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ammoulianiotis
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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Σαβ Φεβ 23 2013, 20:48

Hello once again Greg!

I wish the best for your trip!

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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Κυρ Φεβ 24 2013, 00:59

Hello Grig

Good for you

Greetings from Thessaloniki!


dimitris

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DekatriaProject

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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Κυρ Φεβ 24 2013, 10:18

Cheers guys! I'm hoping I'll have some time to swing by Thessaloniki as well, as it seems there's more than a few people here from that area Wink
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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Κυρ Φεβ 24 2013, 11:15

All of Greece is filled with passionate V-Stromers brother! Wherever you choose to go we will greet you with all the necessary arrangements! Just name the place and the date! cheers

P.S.: All the best wishes from me too!
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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Κυρ Φεβ 24 2013, 11:18

OK OK OK
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DekatriaProject

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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Κυρ Φεβ 24 2013, 11:29

terino έγραψε:
All of Greece is filled with passionate V-S;tromers brother! Wherever you choose to go we will greet you with all the necessary arrangements! Just name the place and the date! cheers
I'll be entering Greece around the 28th-29th of July through Igoumenitsa. Then it's a ride over the west coast down to Cape Tenaron, after which I go back up through Sparta, Nafplio, Athens and Thermopyleis. From there on in I'm not sure what to visit, so I'm all open to suggestions Smile

Nice pic from the Dutch highways in your sig by the way Wink
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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Κυρ Φεβ 24 2013, 11:30

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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Κυρ Φεβ 24 2013, 11:33

DekatriaProject έγραψε:

I'll be entering Greece around the 28th-29th of July through Igoumenitsa. Then it's a ride over the west coast down to Cape Tenaron, after which I go back up through Sparta, Nafplio, Athens and Thermopyleis. From there on in I'm not sure what to visit, so I'm all open to suggestions Smile

Nice pic from the Dutch highways in your sig by the way Wink

Thanx for the pic. It's the single journey I managed to do abroad. Anyway, since you'll be passing through Athens we will all be glad to meet you in person and give you suggestions on what to visit. Greece is filled with natural beauties, especially northern Greece!
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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Κυρ Φεβ 24 2013, 12:07

terino έγραψε:
Anyway, since you'll be passing through Athens we will all be glad to meet you in person and give you suggestions on what to visit. Greece is filled with natural beauties, especially northern Greece!
Namely the Northern parts are still a mystery to me, so suggestions for that area would be more than welcome.

And nice pic socrates!
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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Κυρ Φεβ 24 2013, 14:16

Greetings from all of us Greg!
I wish you have always good and nice trips!
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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Κυρ Φεβ 24 2013, 15:18

Philoxenia is the greek word for what awaits you here...

Come, exceed your limits and taste the warm breeze of the Greek summer...
VstromHellasForum is a wide motorcycle community and you will sure find lot of us
to escort you in your journey through Hellas...!

As for sightseeing... every part of the land is full of beauty, so be certain that you'll enjoy your time here...!!

See you somewhere around! cheers
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DekatriaProject

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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Κυρ Φεβ 24 2013, 16:41

stam έγραψε:
Philoxenia is the greek word for what awaits you here...

Come, exceed your limits and taste the warm breeze of the Greek summer...
VstromHellasForum is a wide motorcycle community and you will sure find lot of us
to escort you in your journey through Hellas...!

As for sightseeing... every part of the land is full of beauty, so be certain that you'll enjoy your time here...!!

See you somewhere around! cheers
I think as far as hospitality is concerned, the reputation of the Greek precedes you Wink

Are there any places in the North I have to make sure not to miss (say, west of Thessaloniki)?

And thanks ΤΑΚΗΣ81!
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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Κυρ Φεβ 24 2013, 18:06

BEWARE OF THE GREEKS

XAXAXAXA XAXAXAXA XAXAXAXA XAXAXAXA

This will happen's if you meet us ......................





LIVE YOUR MYTH IN GREECE WITH US


Have a safe RIDE


LORDOS



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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Κυρ Φεβ 24 2013, 21:18

I don't suppose there might be room for a cameo in one of your clips? Wink
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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Κυρ Φεβ 24 2013, 23:26

Hi Greg,

I admire your devotion to this cause. May the luck as a 13th greek god be with you to fulfill all your dreams!

I visited your blog and I saw the route down to Greece you are planning to ride. My suggestion is an alternate route from point "E" to "F" (Athens to Lamia). http://goo.gl/maps/KWXWl

It is a longest route but please trust me you will not be disappointed…!!! If things go well and circumstances permit, we could take that ride together or at least a part of it (I am from Athens).

Cheers / Be well!
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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Κυρ Φεβ 24 2013, 23:27

Ρε πως το μιλάμε όλοι μας το Αγγλικό... ρε τι παγκόσμιο φόρουμ είμαστε.......!!! Laughing
Κάτι τέτοιες στιγμές με κάνουν και νιώθω πολύ περήφανος!!
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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Δευ Φεβ 25 2013, 00:08

socrates έγραψε:
Hi Greg,

I admire your devotion to this cause. May the luck as a 13th greek god be with you to fulfill all your dreams!

I visited your blog and I saw the route down to Greece you are planning to ride. My suggestion is an alternate route from point "E" to "F" (Athens to Lamia). http://goo.gl/maps/KWXWl

It is a longest route but please trust me you will not be disappointed…!!! If things go well and circumstances permit, we could take that ride together or at least a part of it (I am from Athens).

Cheers / Be well!
Thank you! The alternative route looks good, and it doesn't end that far from Thermopyleis (one of my must-visits) as well. A guide for that route would be more than welcome Smile
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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Δευ Φεβ 25 2013, 00:17

the only bad thing in this forum is that
at any city of Greece you are going to be
you are about to see alot of help from the users

believe to your dreem my friend moto
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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Δευ Φεβ 25 2013, 11:14

antc έγραψε:
the only bad thing in this forum is that
at any city of Greece you are going to be
you are about to see alot of help from the users

believe to your dreem my friend moto
I'm not sure that's a bad thing actually, all help is always more than welcome Smile
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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Τρι Φεβ 26 2013, 18:01

These past two weeks I was on the search for some extra information regarding Greece, but what followed exceeded my wildest expectations - I have been truly overwhelmed by Greek people not only supplying me with new sights to see, but also willing to lend a hand, spreading the word as they do so. This true testament to the Greek hospitable nature has quite left me speechless, and leaves me wondering what awaits me when I arrive there.

Now even though it will still take months for the journey to start I thought a sneak-preview was in good order, so here's a glimpse of the helmet I am to wear. It bears an appropriate quote from one of my favorite books, Petrarch's Canzoniere.

I salute you. Glad you're here.

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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: Απ: The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld   Σαβ Μαρ 02 2013, 19:36

The final piece of nav has arrived!



As you can see, all of the navigation I do will be based purely on a map and compass as opposed to a satnav. Now, I know that the benefit of having a navsystem is that you don't have to lug around all those maps and whatnot, but to me that's just another piece of equipment that could possibly fail. On unknown ground, I just like my stuff as reliable as possible... and no matter how advanced navsystems get, you can't beat a trusty paper map for reliability.

This could make checking the map as I'm going along a bit of an issue , but in Britain I figured out a good way to deal with this - figure out the route before setting off, write down the roads (and/or cities) on a piece of duct tape and stick it on my left sleeve or tankbag.
When in doubt, the compass can always guide me in the right direction. The image of the route is always in my head, so I know where to go.

Ofcourse this won't guarantee that I won't take a wrong turn, but the way I see it, that's also part of the adventure - figuring out on the fly how to go to the next destination, and when going wrong, trying to figure out how I could solve it. It's almost like a treasure hunt.

As it is, how you get from A to B is just as interesting as the destination itself...

The beast's surgery to the steering stem went perfect (they even saw fit to mend the indicator-button which dislodged in Britain), and now it's just waiting till a good rainfall washes away the plethora of salt that's smothered all over the Dutch roadsystem. Then, riding can commence again (and not a moment too soon, sheesh...)!

Lastly, here's a thanks to all the Greek and Italian riders who have embraced the project over the past weeks. I went looking for information (I still am by the way, so all suggestions, tips and whatnot are welcome!), and the hospitality I got in return exceeded my wildest expectations. This Summer's helmet is currently covered up atop a cupboard, waiting impatiently for the trip... and I must say that, despite the amount of work still to be done, I'm just as eager.

See you soon guys.

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The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: a 4400 mile ride to the Underworld

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