Wednesday 25 October 2017

Back in the Saddle Part 2

All started well, I was impressed that the road book mileage was absolutely spot on with what my ICO trip meter was showing, not bad considering the road book is created with Rally Navigator Pro software, using Google Maps in satellite view. There were only a couple of changes to make as I progressed, such as adding a prominent junction that riders go straight through so not originally marked (the rule being, if it’s not on the road book, go straight on) but I decided it would make a good check for riders due to being very distinctive, in other words you couldn’t really be anywhere else, so a good point to check and correct your mileage.. Or the point where a broad gravel track becomes a narrow dirt single track was not quite where I had judged it to be from the satellite view. 

I was taking things very easy as I was out of practice and definitely not bike fit (or any sort of fit to be honest), unfortunately this turned out to be an error.

Whilst riding up over the byways on Totternhoe Knolls near Dunstable Downs, I had to ride through a small depression and took it slowly; unfortunately as the front wheel hit the other side the bike didn’t have enough momentum and stopped dead. I on the other hand still had plenty of momentum and promptly head butted the road book holder! This resulted in the mother of all nosebleeds and a line of small cuts across the bridge of my nose, caused I suspect by the lens in my goggles being pushed out of the frame and the relatively sharp edge being pushed into my face… not funny!

In fact when I later examined my goggles, the lens now has a dent the shape of my road book holder permanently embossed into its surface!!! 

Not too long after this the route took me past the National Trust centre on Dunstable Downs, I took the opportunity to stop and have a wash, although I did get a few funny looks on the way in with my blood splattered face!

Most of the rest of the day went without incident, the road book requiring only a few corrections and I stopped on one lane for a few photos just as the bike ran onto reserve.

After the stop I set off again and completely forgot about my need for fuel… I bet you can guess what happened next.

I reached the Shell Petrol Station near Redbourne, marked on the road book of course... and rode straight past! After riding through Redbourne, I stopped at some temporary traffic lights and the bike died completely. I at once realised what I’d done and first tried a trick that has worked in the past. I laid the bike down on the ground on its left hand side as a bit of fuel usually ends up getting trapped in the right hand side of the tank but to no avail, although it did get some funny looks from a couple of passers-by. 

So there was only one thing for it, a long push back to the petrol station. I considered unbolting the fuel tank and carrying it to the petrol station but figured that’d be easy when it’s empty, we’ll not that easy really as it’s a very awkward shape and certainly not easy with fuel in it, even if I were to only part fill it. So a long hot slog pushing along the B487 was the order of the day

When I’d left in the morning it was grey and quite cold and looking like it might rain, so I had dressed appropriately, of course now the sun was out and temperature nudging into the twenties and of course it was almost all uphill to the station!!! And it goes without saying that going for a walk in Moto Cross boots and knee braces is not the most comfortable experience either.

I eventually got there having pushed for nearly a mile now sweating profusely and after I filled the bike with petrol, I downed a litre of water and half a litre of coke before I got back on my way.

After this there was only a relatively short stretch of the road book left with two more green roads to ride until I reached a suitable point to head back home and by now I was starting to loose daylight. So 100 km checked out of the total of 170 km, so I had an excuse to go out and play the next weekend!

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