21 April 2018

Football and 5E (3)

In the end real life got in the way so no MAG Demo or Rocket III Run to the Ace Café.

I wheeled Pepé out of the garage and fitted up the TomTom with the amended route to AFC Wimbledon ready to rock.

Luckily after the hottest and driest day of the year on Thursday  (temp up to 27°C) it was still dry and warm today.

With the forecast showing dry all day I pulled the Joe Rocket jacket from the wardrobe and back to kevlar cargo pants.

The road into Hythe was a mile long of traffic and so I went out through the country lanes to the motorway. It took a little longer as there were cyclists riding three a breast on a road barely wide enough for two cars to pass.

A bip on the horn had them scattered but hurling abuse. Had they met a car coming head on they might have been calling 999/911.

Once on the M20 I dialled up to an indicated 75mph that TomTom said was more like 70. TomTom was suggesting 90 minutes for the journey and it seemed to pass pretty easily. Even the M25 was relatively clear.

Arriving at the ground I followed a guy on a scooter and found the bike parking that eluded me last year. Hard standing. Nice.

The game itself was the old cliché. A game of two halves.  Wimbledon probably edged the first half and led 1-0 at half time. Their goal was a cross between pinball and statues as the Oldham defence seemed incapable of defending a corner.

In the second half a revitalised Oldham came out and equalised with a superb shot from outside the box. Chances came and a few saves kept it 1-1 until against the run of play Wimbledon scored again.

But even though they dice with relegation again Oldham kept pressuring and Nazon scored again from outside the box. 2-2.

Once the game was over we had to leave by one entrance and walk around the entire ground to get to the coaches for the fans going back to Oldham and for me to get to the bike.

Getting out wasn't too hard. TomTom was given free rein to get me home. We found our way to the A3 and eventually the M25. I called Claire through the bluetooth link between TomTom and my phone. Just to say I was on my way.

I needed a comfort and hydration break at the service area on the M25.  Fuel here is a complete rip-off at around 17p a litre more than off-motorway stations.

A few miles later traffic was almost stopped for a horse box broken down.  Even though it was in the left lane of four; the other three lanes of rubberneckers were almost stationery. Then there was a  notice of a other holdup on the M26.

I decided to go via Brands Hatch and get my 50-50 Challenge 1C whilst I was up there.

The 1 challenges are the race circuits where the original Rockets and Tridents raced back in the late 60's into the 70's.

From there it was 37 miles to home via Tesco by J10 where I fuelled up. Achieving a best for sometime of 45.3mpg according to Fuelly.

Another good ride and another 169 miles on the odometer plus of course the 1C and 5E bagged.

15 April 2018

BSB Round 2

Up at 0745. Out by 0845 after breakfast for me and for Reggie.

When I was getting my gear together last night I found a pair of cordura trousers I had bought last year and never worn. In fact had forgotten. These replace jeans and over-trousers and are waterproof. They fitted a dream.  Not too expensive and made by ARMR Moto.

I was to meet my brother Neill at the lay by opposite the Oakdene Cafe where the A20 meets the M26 at 0930. A few holdups on the way to the motorway meant that I was a few minutes late. He took a photo of me. I don't have many of me and bike.

The run up to Brands took about ten minutes. This year after all the bad weather and snow even, the usual parking was too wet and so they had a great idea. They opened the GP circuit to bike parking. What a great idea. Except this meant not going near the main entrance but in a side gate on the way from the A20 to the entrance to the Paddock.

The day was miserable really, weather-wise, and with 9 races to get in something had to give. The sidecars managed one lap before one spewed oil or something on 250 yards off track causing a long delay.

The rain came on and caused a problem in the Supersport race. The second Superbike race was halted when it started to rain more heavily. The restart changed the entire dynamic.

Once the race was over everyone headed for the parking.  It was relatively easy getting out and once on the open road I cruised home effortlessly. 

A stop for petrol at Tesco and then home.

I managed another 50-50 Challenge 5E but missed the bonus points that would have been awarded by going in the front gate and having Red Pepe pictured with the "Brands Hatch" sign. In the end there will be other chances to "bag" those points.

14 April 2018

50-50 Challenge - 5E (4)

BSB Round 2

Another chance to score some 5E points in the Challenge and see British Superbikes.

It's round two at our local track at Brands Hatch. It is a track we know well. I was corner commander for the marshals there and Neill was the chief flag marshal at Dingle Dell Corner. This is on the long GP circuit.

This week's racing is on the short Indy circuit.

We are going thanks to complimentary tickets from Suzuki GB.

Thanks to Claire for them. She works with Suzuki moving bikes around Europe.

13 April 2018

Another 5E?

Should be another easy to get 5E for the 50-50 Challenge with this ride.

I went last year to the corresponding game and the weather was quite good. Not raining at least.

It's too far away at the moment, 8 days, for an accurate forecast.

One of my nieces, Eleanor, works at the Met Office and that doesn't help!  I expect some old recluse with a pine cone can predict as well as they can!

9 April 2018

Vimy 101

I should claim another 50-50 Challenge 5E today as well. 

I am writing this in the Eurotunnel terminal at Calais after a 90kms ride from Vimy in drizzle and the occasional proper rain. Presumably mild for the Canadians stoically singing "Oh Canada" at the end of the ceremony in drizzling rain.

I did sing "God Save the Queen" but seemed one of the few.  There were quite a few British there and a lot of bikers.

I finish it off when I get home and add a bit of detail.

Back Home!

So to start from the beginning.  I was up at 0645 and by 0720 had got washed etc, togged up and fed the dog. Pepe started without the dbpower unit to give him a jolt.  I had it with me all day and fully charged just in case!

I was lucky to get on the 0806 train rather than the 0820 I was booked on and curiously I was loaded in with the cars rather than treated like an inconvenience and tacked in the last carriage. waterproofs went on before I had left the terminal area!

It was misty at home and the first 40 miles in France the same. On the toll motorway I stopped for coffee and croissant at Aire de Rely, as usual, and then let TomTom take me to the first stop at the Dud Corner Cemetery/Loos Memorial.  What look like a reasonably large cemetery doubles as the memorial to the over 20000 men that were lost here and have no known grave.  Imagine that if you can!  

Me and Red Pepe

War Cross at Dud Corner

From here the plan was to head down the road a short way and drop in at the Louvre. Not the Parisian one, but the new modern one in Lens.  

TomTom took me to it but it's hidden behind and large but artistically designed wall.  No photo opportunity.  It was only 1230 so I decided to have lunch. Instead of my usual French bistro I went to McDonald's!  Why?  Wifi and parking, plus McPee facilities.  A Big Mac later I w son the road. It was a little after 1300 so I changed the plan and decided to do the craters first.  The Vimy memorial didn't start until 1500.

TomTom took me through country lanes to Lichfield Crater.  I aborted as the road was more akin to MX track than Rocket Road.  Re-programming for Zivy Crater.

And then to Vimy. Another short ride took me into the park and to the car park right by the monument.  Waterproofs off.  Walk over and find a viewing spot.  As expected the VIPs arived late and it was about 1515 when we started. Speeches and wreath laying.

Major Cat-Strangler of the Canadian Army


As the final wreaths were being laid it started to drizzle. As I said at the top of the article it carried on all the way back to Calais. 

Only one stop for a comfort break and coffee on the way back otherwise a constant 110kph on the  A26 to the Shuttle. I weighed up whether I could get both directions and home again on one tank and decided to play safe.  Filling the tank at this stop.

I was early at check-in and was offered an earlier crossing than booked. In the end through luck of the draw they fitted a couple of bikes on the end of the earlier train than that. So I was home an hour earlier.

Despite the weather another nice day on the continent. Only the weather was a bit of a downer.

Below are the stats taken off the TomTom for the day's riding.  I didn't connect it until I was on the outward bound train and took it off at the terminal on the way back. In effect there's about 20kms to add onto these figures.

TomTom Stats

5 April 2018

50-50 Challenge - 5E (2)

Today just the 56 miles to get another 50-50 ticked off.

Again it needed dbpower to get Pepé fired up. After that no problems. 

I had a run to Rye. It was quite empty considering it's still the Easter school holidays. 

I had intended a 25 mile ride and then turn around.  As Rye was only 20 I had to think of something. So the return was via Ashford and then the M20 to Cheriton. Tesco had a long queue at the filling station so I stopped for a fuel up in Seabrook instead. Fuelly calculated that one at 43.9 mpg. The best since last July.

I'll put together a claim for this later on the 50-50 website.

I got back and stashed the bike away. It will need to come out on Saturday for a cat lick wash to get the mud and road shite that has blown up.

Pepé needs to be clean for the ride to Vimy on Monday.

2 April 2018

50-50 Challenge - 5E (1)

The Easter weekend has been pretty much of a washout as far a motorcycling is concerned.

The long holiday weekend is 4 days. Friday was raining all day. Saturday was little better and we did manage to get out with the dog for his walks.  Sunday looked better on paper but we had things to do.

So it all hinged on Monday. The forecast was for more heavy rain but in the end it turned out warmer. In the morning we did a bit of shopping and then had a walk with Reggie. Warm enough for a coffee outdoors.

So. To Challenge 5E.

Challenge 5E is for 50 rides of over 50 miles. It should be easy to do but we need to be able to get out and do it.

So today was the chance to get a 5E under my belt.

It was dry when I set off. Once again the dbpower unit was needed to fire Pepé up.

The idea was to go around 25 miles and then turn about. In the end I headed out of Hythe along the M20 and A20 to Dover and then up the A2. No great plan just a ride to get some charge in the battery. As I approached Canterbury the fuel light came on and the miles to empty display showed 0.

I detoured into Canterbury and up Sturry road to fill up at ASDA  (a Walmart company). I only got 17.34 litres in and that was a much as I could squeeze in. Fuelly calculated that at a mere 37.1 mpg.

The Rocket is supposed to have a 24 litre tank. So with 6.6 litres left I would have expected the miles to empty to be way above 0. After all. There was a quarter of a tank left! 

I had taken a photo at the start of the ride and again at ASDA. A more direct run home would see the 50 come up safely.

As it was it started to spit with rain as I left Canterbury but nothing more. The roads were greasy and the middle full of mud and other rubbish. So it needed more care.

In the end it was 55 miles once I got on the drive.  The last photo included the Challenge booklet or a print I did of the cover to save the booklet itself.

50-50 Challenge - 5P & 5E

It's a charity challenge set up by John Young of the Triumph Trident and BSA Rocket 3 Club.

There are 50 challenges to celebrate 50 years of the original triples.

One 5P, was doable and it was worth 100 points and concerns "legacy" of those early triples. A common answer is the "ray gun" styled exhaust on the new 1600 BMW.  Luckily my brother just bought one. First 100 points on the board.

My first points just in time for the first quarterly table was published. Currently lying 24th!! The leader already on over 700 points.

The 5E challenges (50 rides of over 50 miles - one per day) are probably easier to collect points for.....

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