2016-02-27 Verdun, France


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Thanks dear friends,

for all your kind words, I am really appreciating them.

Again .. have fun in Verdun :)
Arrived in Verdun half an hour ago. Pleasant trip cross country. In hotel room now for half hour before hitting the town. Knowing me though there is a fair possibility I'll be late for the group photo.

Would love to post a picture here but even pic taken on phone is to large a file size to be accepted by this forum without resizing. Funny how the avatar pic can be any size. Oh well....

Be lucky, and see a lot of you tomorrow afternoon. Iain


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Shame Gerhard, would have loved to see how young you still look after all these rides!
Take care and we'll catch up on the next RTE.
4pm Sunday afternoon and home in Dunstable. Dump the bags and back out for the league cup final.
WILF had a great trip back to Blighty and is looking forward to the next two weeks on the sauce before our trip to Devon.

Be lucky, Iain.


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Really enjoyed my first ERTE. Left the hotel this morning at 6am minus 5 deg. and scraped the ice of bike seat. Back home in Northants by 13.30, Not bad going me thinks. Thanks all for making me feel welcome. May even venture to Poland next.

Yep, I second Bob's comments re great gathering, especially for an erte, with a good mix of riders from all over. Pleased you got back safe Bazza and enjoyed the meet. Must say I should have made more of an effort to get to know you newcomers but seating arrangements at the PR weren't really conjusive to mingling - even the bloody waiters couldn't get to the end of the tables!


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I finally made it back home. Unfortunately, the bike didn't; pulling away from a peage between Arras and Douai, the split link disintegrated, causing a marked drop-off in forward motion. Cue lots of swearing, together with a dawning appreciation that the decision not to bother with breakdown cover may possibly have been a false economy...

Recovery guy turns up around 2 pm and takes me and bike to his base in Arras. Then, another bombshell: bike dealers in France aren't open on Mondays. So I can't even stay overnight and get it fixed. Cue more swearing, then a tortuous journey home via new fewer than four trains, plus 45-minute waits in Douai and Lille and half an hour at Euston. So now I need to get a couple of spare split links and get out there, re-connect the chain, and come home. This will be my longest, most expensive and least enjoyable RTE to date!

Having said all that, until the chain came apart it was a good weekend. Decent night out in Calais on Friday (though I realise I was something of a lightweight for turning in at 11 pm) and a nice ride down. Stopped off at a cemetery to visit the grave of a Buck ancestor, then on to Verdun. Great crowd for the photo, really good meal in the evening. I can't make Poland, unfortunately.

Unlucky Martin, but pleased you're home in one piece. Funny really, considering you and I were there with el presidente ascertaining why he had a rusty chain when he had a deluxe Scott oiler fitted. Haven't heard from Phil on this thread yet but no news is good news right?

Be lucky guys! Iain


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Bad luck Martin:( Having experienced a very similar chain letting go event several years I know exactly how you felt. I did have breakdown cover though;)


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I got back at 2 pm. I'll post pics tonight. Perhaps I'll carry a chain link after Martin's woes. It doesn't take up much space.
With the implicit understanding that I have the permission of the UK-President, who is a busy man, I post some pics from the Verdun-Ride right now. Especially for the nosy ones and those, who couldn't take part.

It is all about this:

the Bonehouse

The group -pic . It seems to me, we have all attendees on the photo.

2 central memorial places of Verdun

The River "La Meuse" with visitor

Several pics from the dinner. Hopefully, I catched all attendees

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Perhaps I'll carry a chain link after Martin's woes. It doesn't take up much space.
An Internet search will throw up a lot of people who dislike - or flatly refuse to use - split links on big (600+) bikes. And then there was one enterprising guy who uses them - but lockwires the clip once it's in place. A loop of lockwire running round the back of the plate and twisted in place over the clip...

I got lucky, and found a company who will pick the bike up on Wednesday and bring it here on Thursday, for only £275. Cheaper than taking a day off work and going to collect it myself.


please check your credit card bills. I was charged twice for the hotel, once as Ibis & once as Etap. Not sure how they did that though. Now trying to get 2nd payment back.
Not sure if this has anything to do with how billed but I did advance check in on the day by phone and gave credit card details then. When I arrived at hotel, which was manned at time I arrived they were expecting me and I had no further paperwork to do.