51 kms to go …..


…. and that was 50 minutes ago.

He is still riding because I have just tried to call him, but he must be very close now …..

 

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Day 10 – Oh no ………..


Stupid, stupid Robert ……

After all of the talking that we did yesterday, he went and ignored it all ……

In his words :

OK, here it comes:

I WAS WRONG! MEA CULPA! MEA CULPA! MEA MAXIMA CULPA!!!

You told me not to be cocky!

You told me not to do anything stupid!

And you were right!

And was does stupid Robert do?

I thought the Honda overheard our conversation, because „she“ ran very nicely afterwards. Really nice. So nice, that I started to make plans….

I could do the detour and go up to Michigan and bag a big bonus at the Lake Superior. Why being 24 h too early at the finish? The Pan was running so fine and I had so much time left …“

And guess what happened ?

He decided to try it, if the bike did not give any problems until the where he needed to turn north at about 3:30 p.m.  As he problems occurred daily always between 2 and 3 p.m. he felt that this was a good decision.

The thing is see, that after 10 days on the road, it’s very difficult to make „good decisions“.  That’s why it’s quite useful to speak frequently with people who HAVEN’T been on the road 10 days, who ARE getting plenty of rest, who ARE getting plenty of sleep and who ARE therefore capable of offering GOOD & RATIONAL advice.  Now if that person has actually ridden the IBR themselves,  then they are definitely capable of giving GOOD, RATIONAL & RELEVANT advice ……

So, everything was apparently going well and at 3.30pm he turned north.

Two hours later, the bike started to misfire badly.

This time filling up didn’t help …..  This time a damp shirt over the tank didn’t help ….. This time even a bag of ice on the tank didn’t help ……

He gave up on the idea of „one last big bonus“ and headed west – at 55mph flat out with a badly misfiring bike

He reached the town of  Durand and luckily, Quality Inn had a room. The idea was to continue after 3 a.m. after the rest break.

As it was still early,  he wanted to check plan B – connecting the aux tank directly and let it feed by gravity.  He finally did manage to connect it (leaving a big petrol mess on the car park), but a test ride revealed that the height difference is too small so there is too little pressure. This won’t work …….

He connected the tank and the fuel pump again, rode a short distance and it seemed back to normal simply because it had cooled down for about an hour.

Roberts words again ……

„When you’re riding, you think it’s warm, but not THAT hot. But it is still over 30C. When I touch the motor, you feel how many energy is stored in there. It seems that it’s not the daytime, but the operation hours (8 to 9 hours) that triggers the problems. After that time, the tank (where the pump is located, that’s the problem) is heated up so much that the fuel pressure falls below a critical point.“

So, because of his stupidity, he lost 200kms today and whilst the problem would have still occurred, he would have been 2 hours and 200kms closer to the finish.

He has to be back at 8 a.m. at the finish on Friday. Considering the time difference, he still has more than 29 hours to do the 1100 km, and taking the two penalty hours into accounts, he has actually 31 hours before DNF „ing“.

However, he has wasted the last 17 hours to effectively cover 400kms …….

Oh and he left his „toilet bag“ at the last hotel – no great drama, but this just goes to demonstrate how muddled your mind gets after 10 hard riding days

Right, for 10 days I have been nice.  For 10 days, I have been supportive.  For 10 days, I have said nothing offensive towards (or about) Robert – other than in jest.

That now changes …..

Being „Mr Nice Guy“ hasn’t worked.  It’s time for some hard cold truths …….

Robert, you spent a lot of money in 2013 for nothing more than a failure.  Glorious as it may have been and „dress“ it up however you want, you still failed ……

You have spent another huge amount of money in 2017 to enter the rally again and at the moment, there are lots and lots of people willing you to succeed.  You appear to be doing your very f*cking best to disappoint them !!!!!

GET TO THE FINISH.  IF THE BIKE STARTS TO PLAY UP AFTER 6 HOURS, THEN ONLY RIDE FOR 5 HOURS BEFORE LETTING THE BIKE COOL DOWN.

DO NOTHING THAT PUTS THE BIKE UNDER ANY MORE STRESS THAN IT NEEDS TO BE.

YOU HAVE 29 HOURS TO COVER 1100 KMS.  THAT IS AN AVERAGE OF LESS THAN 40KPH.  IF YOU GET TO THE FINAL CONTROL WITH 1 MINUTE TO SPARE, IT DOES NOT MATTER.  JUST GET THERE ……

 

Okay, one very last piece of „encouragement“.

You see, at the moment, there’s this fat, balding, middle-aged, accountant from the UK who’s typing these reports.  He’s already ridden the rally and he’s already got his 3-digit number and at the moment he’s laughing at the stupidity of this German guy he knows.

He’s laughing not because he wants this German guy to fail but because this German guy is riding a Honda and this German guy rode a Honda last time too – and he failed then as well ……

This accountant fella, thinks that Hondas are shite and to prove it, when he rode the rally in 2011 he rode his 50 year old Triumph to a finish ……

Robert – please, please, please, wipe the grin of this guys face and get to the finish ……..

Start of Day 10 Update …..


I spoke to Robert at 10.00am (his time) on Day 10.

He has exactly 48 hours to get to the finish control before he is classed as DNF.  His Garmin is showing that 1500kms (950 miles) stand between him and his 3-digit IBA membership number.

He tells me that my advice „DO NOT FUCK THIS UP“, is the only thing in his mind.

There will be no more bonus collecting (other than the sleep bonus this evening), there will be no more detours, there will be no more chances taken.

A nice straight forward 1500kms ride over 2 days to glory …….

He is nearly there …..

BUT – he has been on the road for 9 days and he has had constant issues.  950 miles over 48 hours is normally „a walk in the park“ for IBA riders and for Robert in particular.  This will be the most difficult and fraught 1500kms he has ever ridden.

In 2011, I was 600 miles from the finish.  I had 30 hours to do it.  I could already „see“ the „ticker-tape“ parade awaiting me ……

Then I ran into the worst sand storms Arizona had witnessed for 50 years and my world collapsed around me.  Fortunately, I managed to get my bike going and limped over the finishing line with around 4 hours to spare ….

And that is what the IBR does to you.  Like some beautiful siren, it suckers you in.  It lets you believe that you have the measure of it …….

THEN IT KICKS YOU FAIRLY AND SQUARELY IN THE BALLS !!!!!!!!!

So, wish him luck and keep posting those comments (he reads them all)

Day 9 – nearly there ……


The morning started well – Robert went to NYC as planned and visited four locations.  One proved awkward – a statute of Alice in Wonderland in the Central Park – but the rest was easy and it was a big points score

To be sure of enough finishing points, he „popped up “ to the Lake Placid area and bagged another big multiplier bonus

It was much cooler today, but the bike now runs rough whether it’s hot or cold – this really has become a limp to the finish

He has bought a few parts to see whether he could get the bike to run better t and put a new filter in, just on the off-chance that might have helped – but, unfortunately not

Robert – just face it, Hondas are shite ……… Lol !!!

As I mentioned earlier, Robert has taken great pains to point out that „he did not say that I was wrong – just that he was not right“  These apparently to a German (oooops !! – Bavarian) are very different things ……. LOL !!

It was day 9 and there is the wall – a soft one, but a wall nevertheless …..

For Robert this means dropping the plan to go to the Lake Superior and instead, plotting a route directly back to the finishing control – he knows that taking the bike up there is too much of a risk.

Physically, he’s fine, but mentally, he’s exhausted and is now starting to experience slight vision issues (he will no doubt explain more when he writes his full report)  However, the main thing is that he knows how to recognise it and then control it so it does not (in his words) „freak me out anymore“  He does comment though that it is strange to see a sloping lake !!!!.

So from tomorrow on he will take his time to get back in a relaxed manner

He will have a good nights sleep – he stopped earlier than planned in Syracuse – but that is no bad thing.

This close to the finish, he should take no chances ………..

 

Day 9 Report will follow later but ….


…… two quick points for now :

  1. He knows that he now has enough points for a finish and is beginning to head for the final control.  There are still lots of points that he could get, but apparently the „Little John“ in his head keeps telling him that he shouldn’t do anything stupid ….
  2. He also clarified something ….. In his words “  Btw: I have not said that I was wrong LOL!  I said I was not right which is different ………“

    I somehow knew that a German (Bavarian) couldn’t possibly have admitted that they were wrong …………. Lol !

    Keep those good wishes coming people – he’s nearly there …..

 

 

Day 8 (Monday)


So what happened on Monday ?

Well, it was my first day back a the office after riding in the national rally.  In the morning I had a doctors appointment to finally cure this „ear“ problem I’ve had for a while now and then in the afternoon, I had to go down to Coventry to meet with a client to go through some tax papers.

Sonia had a busy day too – gym in the morning, spa in the afternoon. Lol !!

It was the first day of Wimbledon and the defending champion, Andy Murray successfully negotiated the first round.

Yesterday evening, I started booking hotels and ferries for my next trip.

What else happened ?  Oh yeah, over in the USA, the IBR continued …….

 

So first things first, Robert sent this message :

„No, I will NOT buy a Triumph !!!“

Mmmmmm …… Lol !!

 

So, whilst I was at the doctors, Robert rode the „Tail of the Dragon“ road again, bringing him lots of points.  He is beginning to tire now after 8 days on the road and he was not really awake for the first three hours so rode nice and slowly.

He went eastwards through Tennessee and made a detour through the mountains to bag a big bonus, but that included 8 miles of gravel road – not welcome when you’re tired.

Of course, he had the usual issues with the bike – and it’s now becoming more frequent.  As soon as the fuel becomes too low in the main tank and the pump has to „work hard“, the problem returns.  The „useable“ range of the bike before top-up fuel is now needed is down to 100km (60 miles).  He then adds fuel from the auxilliary tank and off he goes again.

He discovered a new „string“ of five points on the road, adding more points to the route but it has become very hot again as the USA heat wave moved north. He is slowly „cooking“ …….  I wonder what a „Medium Rare Bavarian“ actually looks like ?

On the positive side, he doesn’t have to keep stopping to put his thermals on !!!!

It’s around 2.00 p.m. when the bad heat starts and that just slows him down so he stopped for his rest break earlier than expected in Harrisburg

Tomorrow, early in the morning, he will tackle New York (city) before moving north east into New York state.

The extra couple of hours rest time has given Robert the ability to check his planning to ensure no last minute mistakes.  He has less than 3 days riding ahead of him.  He is nearly there ……

Tomorrow (Tuesday), he has one time restricted bonus to ensure he makes and then he begins to head for the finish and the „Holy Grail“ of that three digit membership number …..

Day 7 (Sunday)


Nearly up to date again …..

He only has 10 magic 12 rallies to ride now …….

He had an early start to the day and headed back over to Memphis, Nashville & Knoxville where he thought he deserved a 4 star cozy hotel with good bar food ….

WHEN HE GETS THE EXTRA LEAVE FROM WORK NEXT YEAR FOR OUR TRIP, HE CAN TAKE ME THERE.

Who knows, with the relaxing of the German law, we may be a married couple by then ….

As has been the case for the last few days, the Honda worked fine in the cool, but as soon as it became hot, the problems returned – at least he knows how to sort it and be back on the road very quickly. He ran into a huge thunderstorm In Nashville, which was very welcome.

He’s removed the side panels off the bike to try to keep the pump cool and this has helped apart from the fact that his legs are now slowly cooking – I had this in 2011 crossing Texas.  it’s STILL an unpleasant memory, 6 years on ….

And then he helped to further worsen relationships between the USA and Europe ….

He tied the sidepanels onto the luggage rack of his bike – except they had no intention of staying there and nearly hit another rider as they made their bid for freedom ….

I wonder what Donald Trump will „tweet“ about that ……

At least the thunderstorm proved that his electrics are waterproof, even without panels.  Of course that’s because no-one had the opportunity to sabotage them (like a „certain Bavarian“ did to my Tridents electrics last year …… )

After 1400 km, he called it a day as he thinks he has a cunning plan (who does he think he is, Baldrick ? Lol !!)  that should give me easily finisher status.

Leg 3 is all about the multipliers and if you apply them cleverly, you get lots of points.

With the lack of pressure for anything other than a finish now being the goal, he tells me he feels like he is on vacation – obviously a rather shitty vacation though !!

hey have fantastic cheesecake here! This morning, I just planned for the first two days, I wanted to leave as early as possible.

 

Right, that’s just about bringing everything up to date other than (and I may have already mentioned this), ROBERT – BUY YOURSELF A TRIUMPH ……..

 

Keep those messages of support coming (and spread the word).

He is nearly there – just 4 days to go (4 German Butt Rallies, back to back ….. sounds easy doesn’t it ?)