My first Saddlesore - help!

#1
Hi,
As a newbie I really do need some help! A couple of years ago I came across a YouTube of a couple of what must be mad men doing a Saddlesore ride and thought that looks good, a real challenge I can do that!!
Research and more research followed, I have been riding for many years but decided more skills were needed so I signed up and late lastyear passed my IAM Advanced Rider. My Triumph Scrambler (2006) is great but not ideal for motorway work, say no more, I sourced a bike to do the Saddlesore on, a VStrom DL650, not as big a bike as I would have liked but finances dictated. I have been riding the bike putting a few miles under my belt, fettling it and bringing it up to tip top order. It has a top box so that's good and decent wind protection plus added engine bars are good. Fuel economy is also excellent so technically minimal stops achievable. I have read ride reports and everything available on the forum. I have a programme of practice runs leading up to the day. On a recent 300 miler a few more lessons were learnt and more practice needed.
To put a slight spanner in the works my young nephew decides he wants to join me, he has a newish Bonneville T100- that’s knackered my 200 miles between stops as he is lucky to get near 150 miles before fuelling. We have got him a decent screen and it’s a comfortable bike so all is OK. That is other than the route.
I have spent a fair few (enjoyable) hours looking at the maps and am having difficulty in deciding on a route. An easy option would be to do the RBLR 1000 run but I have other commitments on the day so an independent run is on the cards. Living close to Ringwood on the South Coast reduces the options, I would have liked to have done a little off the motorway network but know we are substantially reliant on it. Below is our initial thoughts on a route any comments/suggestions/recommendations appreciated.
We were looking at a 3 to 4am start. Picket Post Ringwood (BH24 3HN) A31, M27, M3, M25 to South Mimms (EN6 3QQ) A1(M) to BP Newark (NG23 6JE) to Scotch Corner (DL10 6PQ) A66across to Penrith, M6 & M74 Annadale Water services (DG11 1HD) to Hamilton Services (ML3 6JW) back down M74 & M6 to Tebay Services (CA10 3SB) to Keele Services (ST5 5HG) M5 to Michaelwood Services (GL11 6DD) to Exeter Services(EX2 7LQ) and back along A30, A35,A31 to Picket Post . About 1039 miles.
The route from Exeter to Picket Post finish is not ideal as it would be in darkness, it is a route I know well but wonder if a finish alonga motorway would be better.
Any advice including alternative routes welcomed. Thanks in anticipation of your help. Martin
 

GraemeandSally

RBLR 1000
Premier Member
#2
Hi,
As a newbie I really do need some help! A couple of years ago I came across a YouTube of a couple of what must be mad men doing a Saddlesore ride and thought that looks good, a real challenge I can do that!!
Research and more research followed, I have been riding for many years but decided more skills were needed so I signed up and late lastyear passed my IAM Advanced Rider. My Triumph Scrambler (2006) is great but not ideal for motorway work, say no more, I sourced a bike to do the Saddlesore on, a VStrom DL650, not as big a bike as I would have liked but finances dictated. I have been riding the bike putting a few miles under my belt, fettling it and bringing it up to tip top order. It has a top box so that's good and decent wind protection plus added engine bars are good. Fuel economy is also excellent so technically minimal stops achievable. I have read ride reports and everything available on the forum. I have a programme of practice runs leading up to the day. On a recent 300 miler a few more lessons were learnt and more practice needed.
To put a slight spanner in the works my young nephew decides he wants to join me, he has a newish Bonneville T100- that’s knackered my 200 miles between stops as he is lucky to get near 150 miles before fuelling. We have got him a decent screen and it’s a comfortable bike so all is OK. That is other than the route.
I have spent a fair few (enjoyable) hours looking at the maps and am having difficulty in deciding on a route. An easy option would be to do the RBLR 1000 run but I have other commitments on the day so an independent run is on the cards. Living close to Ringwood on the South Coast reduces the options, I would have liked to have done a little off the motorway network but know we are substantially reliant on it. Below is our initial thoughts on a route any comments/suggestions/recommendations appreciated.
We were looking at a 3 to 4am start. Picket Post Ringwood (BH24 3HN) A31, M27, M3, M25 to South Mimms (EN6 3QQ) A1(M) to BP Newark (NG23 6JE) to Scotch Corner (DL10 6PQ) A66across to Penrith, M6 & M74 Annadale Water services (DG11 1HD) to Hamilton Services (ML3 6JW) back down M74 & M6 to Tebay Services (CA10 3SB) to Keele Services (ST5 5HG) M5 to Michaelwood Services (GL11 6DD) to Exeter Services(EX2 7LQ) and back along A30, A35,A31 to Picket Post . About 1039 miles.
The route from Exeter to Picket Post finish is not ideal as it would be in darkness, it is a route I know well but wonder if a finish alonga motorway would be better.
Any advice including alternative routes welcomed. Thanks in anticipation of your help. Martin
why dont you do the southern route of the RBLR 1000 you could start from your location pick up the route and do that getting the receipts as required
or join us doing the dambuster ride in March ?????? the route is set along with receipts locations plus you can get a one off badge plus join a few of us in Calais for a debrief mmmmmm
 
#3
Thank you for your swift response. I think the Dambuster Ride wouldnt be the best first attempt, thinking of potential poor weather and logistics. On the other hand I had looked at the South RBLR southern route, I had heard its not the best of routes, there are a fair few slower roads on the east coast and the west coast of Wales is busy in May June my preferred months. I love the roads in Wales, one of my favorite biking destinations but it does take ages to get anywhere! Off to have another look at the route... Thanks M
 
#4
Martin
all last year i struggled down the M6 j19 south there are a lot of road works 50mph limit, at busy times a lot slower. best to plan an alternative or hit them at a none peak time.
 

GarminDave

Ex-Arkwright
Premier Member
#5
Enjoy your ride.

It sounds as if you are approaching the challenge in a great way, doing the research and going into training. Doing it with two bikes definitely adds to the challenge. The added complication of a second bike and rider to consider will add to the level of difficulty.

My advice would be to do a SS1000 on your own for the first time. It is hard enough keeping stops to a minimum for one bike and one less fuel or one less comfort stop will make a difference. One of our sayings is "We ride alone, to be together."

Love, light, and kindness,

Dave
 

GSears

Premier Member
#6
Have you thought about reversing the route? Taunton, Nth Glasgow (Airport), Clacket Lane and then Home. Just over 1000 miles. M5/M6 sticky points done early. Mostly M/Way or Dual Carriageway. 16/17 Hours riding time.

Would second Dave's advice on a first run. travelling as a pair can add 10 - 15 minutes to a stop.

Good luck with your trip, whatever you decide.
 

Brian Thorn

Premier Member
#7
My advice would be to do a SS1000 on your own for the first time. It is hard enough keeping stops to a minimum for one bike and one less fuel or one less comfort stop will make a difference. One of our sayings is "We ride alone, to be together."
I could not agree more. My recommendation for a first timer is to do a solo ride and make the route as easy as possible; in other words, direct from Point A to Point B *or* an "out and back" from Point A to Point B and back to Point A.

Once you have your own ride under your belt you can then escort the nephew on his first ride and you'll be able to make it easier for him based upon what you learned on your ride (although the biggest thing you'll learn is that it is NOT as difficult as you may think it is).
 
#8
as a resident of Cheshire i would avoid m6 from 8 - 26 ish

we've had roadworks for several years from 16 to 19 now coming to end but over due - m'way is frequently closed or delayed on average every day

there are 12 miles of works from 13 to 15, i spent 90 minutes stuck in it last night in the car, the lanes are narrow so whilst you can filter it is hard work,
m62 jun 10 works always impact m6 21 a, there are always long delays from 26 south to 21/20 everyday

there are very few routes available to avoid the m'way and everyone's sat nav has the same settings so thye all go the same way to avoid

I'd book into a motel along the northern route as eventually, where ever you start, you use the m61 which avoids the chaos

Going to Wick might be fun but you could always go along to Banff, then Aberdeen then Dundee then Edinburgh from Inverness to make up for not going to Wick, its part of the east coast 250

Portknockie chippy was excellent as where the dolphins we were lucky to see
 
#9
Thank you all for your advice, plenty to think about. I did have it in the back of my mind wouldn't it be easier on my own and I like Brian's idea of spreading the learning having done one myself. Also on my own I can cut the number of stops (more miles to the tank). Gordons suggestion of reversing the route warrants a good look at. still the bad old M6. The reason for my original route was to get around the M25 early before the build up of traffic. A return missing M25 might work though.
Combining Brian and Ians suggestions might just give me a solution. An A to B route with a motel at the end would certainly open up my options for a first attempt.
Thanks again to everyone.
Martin
 
#10
Does your nephew know what his bike will do to a tank full i.e after 150 miles how much is left in the tank can he go over 150 miles?
it could be worth getting a fuel can to get him to 200 miles to match yours remember to fill the can each time to account for fuel receipts.
 
#11
John, we are due to do a test on his fuel consumption and I do have a small fuel can for use if necessary. However I was thinking the time it takes to stop and top up is really not much different to stopping at a petrol station. Thanks for your input. Martin
 
#12
The advantage having a small can and topping up in a layby and off again you have no distractions like having drink and food which you will be tempted twice when you stop 40 odd miles further on to fill up it will save you both time.
 

Stephen!

Premier Member
IBA Member
#14
The advantage having a small can and topping up in a layby and off again you have no distractions like having drink and food which you will be tempted twice when you stop 40 odd miles further on to fill up it will save you both time.
Not to mention the amount of time spent NOT at highway speeds while stopping to refuel will be reduced as well. It is a LOT faster to pull over to the side of the road and dump fuel from a can than to exit, find the station, fuel, get back to the highway, etc... As long as you are getting a FUEL receipt every 350 miles (or less), you'll be fine.
 
#15
Good idea to do a few long stints with your nephew too to get used to riding distance with each other and build the muscle memory to avoid getting fatigued. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do.
Darren.