20 July 2008


After the unit's failure on the National Rally I wasn't going to take any chances. Once home a hard reset had it fixed and showing the satellites in a few minutes.

I then loaded all the maps for the French holiday and we never looked back. As we had to use the car rather than the bike, I was able to take the Toshiba laptop from work with me, complete with Mapsource v9 maps.

6 July 2008

National Rally - Not all went to plan!

The run from the overnight stop at Pete's was a doddle. Sadly the M1 is as boring today as it was last time I slogged up towards Derby!

We arrived over two hours before the start of the rally. Before the checkpoint had been set up. Andy arrived about an hour after us and we chatted whilst he noshed through a Burger King speciality.
Then everything started to go tits up.

My Quest locked up and couldn't find the satellites. Then it simply gave up. Luckily we had maps and both Pete and Andy had the route in their Quest and Zumo 550 respectively.

Once on the way I began to feel a little uncomfortable and my head began to hurt and my neck was a bit stiff. By the first checkpoint after the start at Leicester I was beginning to feel unwell and I took a couple of paracetamol tablets. Then we were off and gradually I found my eyesight a bit "tunneled" and this indicated a migraine on its way. I finally dropped so far back the others pulled into a lay-by. I had a drink and decided to call it a day so not to hold them up.

After so many miles to have to give up north of Leicester was a pain and also embarrassing!

In the end I left them to make the U-turn through a convenient hole and made my way home via a variety of Little Chefs and motorway services before getting home just after the start of Dr Who.

As I felt a bit better on the way back I had thought of doing a lesser award, but with no GPS to help me find a few I decided not to bother.

The pic was taken by Andy at the start at the services near to Donington Park.

4 July 2008

Up the Arse! (Nat Rally Day -1)

Taken this morning on the way from a school I had just visited to do their end of year and the office. I had to ride past the ground to see what was happening, if anything.

Amazingly, a load of people about having their photos taken and the shop (to the left of the bike) open and had a sale on.

After work it's the National Rally, First a short ride up to Pete's place in Watford and tomorrow the rally starts for real.

3 July 2008

Ride to Work Thursday

Another eventful day. I needed to be in early and déja-vu. Broken down trucks and loads of traffic meant I was late again! Luckily I have a fairly flexible hours and a boss that is understanding!
The ride home was pretty uneventful except from a grandstand seat watching a plonker in an M5 BMW and a (mere) A3 Audi racing along the A2 from Bexley into the road works by the M25 near Dartford. Never a copper about is there?
My new riding style doesn't allow me to join in so now I am Mr Calm I let everyone get on with it. Even in the tail-backs where I used to get pee'd off with the lane splitters pushing me along, I just let them go!

2 July 2008

Ride to Work Wednesday

I had to be in early this morning as I was taking a course for admin officers. Imagine my dismay to catch up with three lanes of solid traffic before I had even got out of Kent on the A2. F&*$!

As I split lanes I managed to catch up with truck bounds for London to the fuel protest. Phew!

The rest of the way in wasn't too bad. The usual w*nkers that can't line up behind the car in front when they know the jam will go all the way to the Blackwall Tunnel. The mongs that push into the outside lane despite it ending a few hundred yards ahead!

The run up through Hackney not too bad and I was at work just after 9am for a 9.30am.

Not looking forward to the ride home in the drizzle!

1 July 2008

Ride to Work Again

Today I had to be at a conference in Russell Square for 1000 to sign-in for a 1030 start. No problems.

Up early enough, sort out the bins as today is the once a fortnight that Shepway come and take the proper rubbish. Plenty of time in two weeks for anything a little iffy to go off in the bin and stink to high heaven.

Then it took 15 minutes to get the 4 miles to the Stop 24 Services to top up the tank. Why? Firstly a truck reversing into a narrow access to Jewson's yard off the main road. Then a broken down truck on the hill just exiting Hythe.

My new system of not exceeding an indicated short-80 has improved my fuel figures. The short-80 is on the speedo with the needle just touching the left edge of the 8 on the dial! It equates to about 70/71mph according to the Garmin. The return figures for the run to work yesterday and return to Stop 24 via home returned 55.19mpg. I usually with a careless hand on the throttle get about 47/48mpg.

The Garmin took me my usual way through the Blackwall Tunnel, at least today no hold up waiting for them to clear a breakdown, and along the A13 and through the City. Not many problems encountered.

But aren't cab drivers ****wits? Why do they deliberately make sure that the gap between the traffic island and then is too narrow to get through but not too narrow to make it look as if they are blocking you.... The clowns must have a ruler onboard!

Anyway a hot day and plenty of parking in Russell Square. On the parking space I used there was a rail provided by Camden for about half the length of the space. I wasn't able to get on that bit but it was easy to park and I used my big Oxford Chain in any case. The space nearest to the hotel was empty! If I had known I would have parked there, in the shade as well.

By the time I got to Stop 24 to fill up ready for tomorrow morning and meet Claire for a Starbucks, my shirt was soaked even with the new jacket's vents open front and back!

Here I am with my Caramel Frap!

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