Bazza's Fools Gold 2016

flyingrasb

Premier Member
#1
I really like the look of the Fools Gold Patch & Certificate - I just gotta get me one of them!!!

Didn't manage to get any extra kip on Thursday 31st March, so from getting up at 7am that morning and doing a days work left home in Northampton real keen like about 10.30PM to get to my start point at Huntingdon just off the A1. Garage was deserted so luckily the staff where kind enough to be my start witnesses. Filled up at 11.50 and waited till the clock stuck twelve to pay, I was chuffed to bits my receipt stated 00.01, cant get a better start than that. Weather was fine albeit a bit chilly. Dover was my first stop arriving at just after 2AM, good time was made. Had to top up at Leigh Delamere as my tank couldn't cope with the 300 miles to Port Abraham. My satnav was reporting a completion time of 22.30 with no stoppage times plumbed in. Arrived at Port Abraham around 6.20 AM and an easy ride to Plymouth for 9AM where I bumped into Gordon. A quick acknowledgement and Gordon was off, I had to fill up and pay. Up to this point my completion time was still 22.30, so each leg I was making up my stoppage time. Without wanting to mess this up I was not eating or drinking just fill up, pay and go. My trip north was not so clever with congestion in the roadwork's on both the M5 and M6. I don't mind filtering but my speed in these locations had reduced to 30 and 40 miles an hour and the odd stand still when cars would not give me room.
My satnav's completion time was now increasing and my eta was now around 23PM. Feelin a little frustrated I continued with the hope I could make some time up. It was not to be.

I was in the outside lane on the M6 n solid slow moving traffic when I stalled the bike and it just would not start. Clutch in, clutch out, side stand up, side stand down, check kill switch, try and change gear. No it was having none of it. Two articulated lorries kindly blocked off the nearside lane and middle lane to enable me to wheel the bike to the hard shoulder. I waved the lorry drivers a thank you and thought my day was over. Couldn't believe it, started straight away doh!!!! what was that all about? I was back on my merry way.

In the days leading up to Fools Gold I had acquired a second satnav which proved to be very useful, although I hadn't had a chance to hard wire it. My original satnav had the complete route and way points, my second satnav had my next stop each time. For some reason my original satnav kept trying to send me off piste so luckily with my instincts and second satnav managed to stay on course. Until the battery went flat anyway.
Upon reaching Shap the heavens opened and I never saw dry land again. I have seen downpours like it before but I have never spent the next 10hours riding in it. It was nasty, I was soaked through and cold. My heated jacket packed up early doors on the way to Dover. There was still a chance I could complete within 24 hours so I pushed through the pain and carried on.

Upon reaching Glasgow at rush hour I realised my BBG was not going to happen, More filtering for miles and in torrential rain. Reached Perth around 18.00. At this point my eta for completion was 00.15. I decided in this weather and the traffic I was going to encounter back towards Glasgow I would not make this time up.
Time for a coffee I think and a breakfast bar or two. As I suspected traffic back to Glasgow in the rain was most uncomfortable.

M74 South I was contemplating just staying on the M6 to the M1 back home. I was not sure whether I would do enough miles to bag a BB1500 so decided to stick to the planned route. A66 to Scotch Corner for 22.15 was not a bad run this time of night but I could imagine those that had gone through in the day would have struggled with the road works. Beginning to shiver uncontrollably. No choice but to carry on.

Gave it some welly down the A1, still raining but not to badly. Darrington Services for 23.20 and back to Huntingdon to be greeted by the same staff who had sent me off the night before. yes the night before it was 01.14 for my final receipt. Gutted to have missed out by a cats whisker.

Tex the wife to say I would be home in about hour after drinking a hot coffee first with the kind BP staff who never expected to see me return as planned, well almost as planned.

I last had some sleep 43hours ago!! The wife was not impressed when I insisted she had to cuddle me in bed until all my frozen parts had thawed out. I think she swore at me several times, how un-lady like.

I tried hard and failed to achieve BBG. Anyway here's hoping for a BB1500 in 25.13 hrs

Lessons learned: -
Revise the route so you don't rely on the satnav
Google Street View all the waypoints so you know where you are going to eliminate doubt when you think the satnav is wrong.
A change of clothes, I think I was close to hypothermia.
Hard wire the second satnav.
Drink more, I had a headache for most of the day.

See you all in Penrith, that's if my arse has recovered.

Bazza
 

Ziggy

Just Another Rider
Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#2
Nice Report Bazza,

The lessons are soooo True ... Hydration is Key & Keeping dry helps to prevent fatigue setting in early.

The challenge of Traffic & Weather made it a ride to remember..
 

FazerPhil

President IBA UK
Staff member
Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#3
It's essential to at least get some sleep before this ride. Even if you only do as I did just lay in bed I didn't sleep weel but I started rested.
 

FJRPilot

Iceni Rallymaster RBLR1000 routemaster
Premier Member
IBA Member
#4
Only just read this Bazza, great report. From the comfort of my chair most of the reports and riders' comments about this particular BBG leans towards the "Oh my goodness this is going to be tight, there's hardly any time for roadworks or traffic issues" :(

If like Phil you can have the luxury of starting at the right point on the circuit to be in the busy places at quiet times then all well and good. If not and you start nearest to your home location and it's not in the right place for this it looks like you need all the luck you can get.

Like you I never really feel hungry on big rides but always make the effort to drink a little and often. You can't beat a handful of jelly babies every time you fill up IMO. That's pretty much all I ate during the BBR last year :rolleyes:
 

Ziggy

Just Another Rider
Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#5
If like Phil you can have the luxury of starting at the right point on the circuit to be in the busy places at quiet times then all well and good. If not and you start nearest to your home location and it's not in the right place for this it looks like you need all the luck you can get.
But If you set off knowing that Congestion, Roadworks and Traffic accidents are going to the order of the day, you have to have the mind set not to give up and keep the wheels turning.
It's surprising what distances you can cover in 24 hours..

.
 

Sneezy

IBAUK Bouncer
IBA Member
#6
Its a gold ride for a reason. And Ziggy, did i see you on the A75 today, or has someone stole your bike? (Still got the triumph?)
 
#7
Good effort, and well done for not giving up! I try to plan to avoid riding through hot spots at busy times, but the unexpected always crops up somewhere
 

FJRPilot

Iceni Rallymaster RBLR1000 routemaster
Premier Member
IBA Member
#8
Good effort, and well done for not giving up! I try to plan to avoid riding through hot spots at busy times, but the unexpected always crops up somewhere
Tell me about it. The majority of Britain turns into one big hot spot during the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend. It's a good job nobody plans any big rides or rallies that weekend o_O Oh . . . . hang on a minute :eek: :D
 

FazerPhil

President IBA UK
Staff member
Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#9
Traffic is why I never carry panniers now. I also gave upon the tank back as it takes time to remove it to refuel. All the little losses add up.
 

Sneezy

IBAUK Bouncer
IBA Member
#10
Ive never seen how panniers slow people up? Most panniers are only as wide as your bars, so if one goes through, then the other will follow surely?
Granted when i was a london courier my panniers did end up with a multitude of colours on them.
I always have my panniers on, think Pig looks weird without them.