Sunday, October 26, 2008

Settle and ACF50 Treatment.

Went out this morning and met Scotsy and others at Clitheroe Services for about 11:00am. We then proceeded to Settle via Sawley and Wigglesworth. On the road to Settle from Wigglesworth we came across a flooded road, Scotsy went for it but realised half way that it was a bit deeper than expected, when he had resurfaced he turned back defeated.

Scotsy Swimming
All the fields by the roads where flooded, we must have had some serious rain during the night as it didn't look that bad here during Saturday daytime.

We stopped in Settle for lunch, then had to leave the others as we needed to head over to Gargrave for the ACF50 treatment on our bikes. We left there in the dark at about 5:00pm, I was fine in the dark with the Viffers super headlights but Helen really struggled in the dark. But she also struggles in the car so it wasn't anything to do with being on a bike, the only concern in the dark is it's hard to see bad road conditions until it is to late.

My VFR after ACF50 Treatment


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hawes with Lancs Lassies

Myself and Helen went on a rideout to Hawes with some of the ladies from the Lancs region of Nukb. Ali was leading and had organised the run. We meet up with Ali and the rest of the ladies and Mark at Clitheroe segcies at 11:30pm. We then preceeded by the usual route of Gisburn, Long Preston to Settle, where we stopped for a brew and a bacon butty at the Singin Kettle.

Due to the bridge being closed for strenghting work at Horton in Ribblesdale, we had to divert via Ingleton to get to Hawes. The roads where a bit damp so they curbed my enjoyment on the way to Hawes a bit. We stopped at Hawes for a brew and cake, while we where at the cafe a farmer brought his large flock of sheep through the centre of Hawes. Something you don't see everyday, well certainly not round Manchester anyway.

Then we headed over to Devils Bridge where we found the rain. Myself and Helen then spilt up from the rest of the group and headed home via Stocks Reservoir over Burn Moor. Then via Slaidburn, Clitheroe, Sabden, Simonstone and then dropped on the motorway back home. The new screen certainly got a battering with the wind and rain today. It held up really well and seems to block the wind from my head, time will only tell if it stops the flies on the visor.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Double Bubble Screen

Went to Hein Gericke this morning for the Zero Gravity Double Bubble screen. Taking it out of the packet it looks like a good quality product. Light smoke is a little darker than I thought but clear enough to see through if hugging the tank.

Zero Gravity Double Bubble Screen
Fitted it straight away, which was a breeze. I would say that it doesn't fit as well as the old screen but unless you look closely you don't notice the tiny gaps here and there.


Friday, October 17, 2008

8000 Miles Service

Took the bike into Hunts this morning for its 8000 miles service. I think the 8000 mile service is a major one as it took nearly 2 and half hours to do and cost £237.

Bike is now on 8334 miles, which I have done in less than 7 months.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Reeth - End of summer big meet

Myself and Helen went on a rideout with Nukb to Reeth toady. CJ led the rideout with Scotsy doing Tec.
Stump Cross Caverns
We met John and Sue in Heywood and then headed up to Clitheroe services via Sabden to meet the rest of the guys for about 10:00am. Everyone arrived and we set off up the A65 towards Skipton. We then turned towards Grassington and then proceeded over to Stump Cross Caverns for a brew.

Leyburn After the brew we mounted up and headed over to Reeth via Masham and Leyburn and landed in Reeth just after 12:00pm. We were the first to arrive, the Northeast lot turned up next and then the Yorkshire group arrived a lot later, with the news that a rider on his Ducati ST4 had gone down on Buttertubs pass. Fortunately he didn't go over the edge and wasn't on his Ducati 999, other than pride he was uninjured. It was an impressive turnout with about 70 bikes in attendance.

Ducati ST4 crash damage
We left Reeth and headed over to Hawes, some of the guys filled up in Hawes. I headed over to Ingleton via the Ribblehead viaduct and then proceeded on to Devil's Bridge. For some reason everyone but CJ turned left at Ribblehead and ended up in Settle, despite having agreed we would be going to Devil's. Masham CJ caught me up at Devil's and we headed down to Caton. Vincent and Marocmille turned up but everyone else had gone home from Settle. I left CJ and headed home via the Trough of Bowland, which I found was closed and followed the Diversion to Clitheroe then went over Sabden and joined the motorway and blasted back home. Another long day of riding, I think I am a glutton for punishment.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

New Brake Pads Fitted

Went to Hunts this morning to get some new brake pads for the rear. Also booked the bike in for its 8000 miles service on Friday 17th October.

Fitted the pads this afternoon and while I had the wheel off I removed the chain guards and gave the back end of the bike a good clean and re-oiled the chain. The pads weren't as worn as I though but they were still very worn.

Helen also decided that she wanted the rear mudguard removed on the Bmw cause it is a big ugly thing. Helen also went off to Hein Gericke and ordered me a smoked Zero Gravity double bubble screen as I am sick of the standard screen shovelling all the flies into my visor.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Homeward Bound

Up bright and early as usual. Just simply got on the motorway and blasted home. I did manage to have a nice blast over Woodhead pass though. I arrived home at about 11:30am and then set about jet washing the bike. I cleaned and jet washed it twice but it still wasn't completely clean.

Glad to be home after the tour, trip says that I did 1446 miles all in. The bike is now on 8089 miles, which I have covered in just over 7 months.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Tour Day 5 - Bagnoles to Marston Moretaine

You guessed it up bright and early for breakfast again. Ash's SV650 had problems this morning, after much pushing we finally managed to bump start the bike. We all re-group and headed out at about 9:00am. Steve and his BMW parted company with us this morning as he was heading off to Brittany for a few days.

I had discovered the previous day that I had almost worn out my rear brake pads. For the rest of the day I adopted my brake avoidance technique, I didn't use them. Due to the brakes on the Viffer being linked its not possible to just not use the rear brake.

Weather was nice again but we encountered the fog again. We made our way towards Rouen on some nice roads and then joined the motorway to Calais and the ferry home. Not far from Calais we had to follow a diversion and Ash stopped to mark the junction for Ian and Rachel. Unfortunately this caused him to break down. Four of us including Pete had already entered the ferry port and were in line for the ferry before we discovered what had happened to Ash. This meant that we couldn't say goodbye to some of the guys properly.

I have since found out that Ash made it back to Hastings were the bike was recovered the following day, which is good to know.

I had my tea on the boat and then said farewell to the guys who had made it onto the earlier ferry. I then proceeded on the motorway network to my Travel lodge at Marston Moretaine.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Tour Day 4 - Ducey to Bagnoles

Le-Mont-Saint-Michel Up and early again and out for about 9:00am again. Very foggy this morning, not the most ideal riding conditions.

We made our way over to Mortain via Le-Mont-Saint-Michel. We parked on the road and went down to the Grande Cascade. We then went up to the view point above Mortain but due to the fog couldn't see anything.

Grande CascadeWe then made our way via some nice roads to our last hotel of the tour the Hotel de Normandie in the lovely spa town of Bagnoles. We had a few beers in Bagnoles and then went back to the hotel for food and were treated to a great last meal, some of the guys even tried a few snails.

Hotel in Bagnoles 

Hotel in Bagnoles


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tour Day 3 - Bayeux to Ducey

Bayeux War Cemetery Got up bright an early today again today, we all regrouped again at about 9:00am. some of the guys where suffering from their curries from last night.

We set out and visted the British cemetery in Bayeux. Then we encounter the rain again on the way to Pointe Du Hoc via several very muddy roads, which seemed to be a feature of the day.

Pointe Du Hoc Pointe Du Hoc is a clifftop location on the coast of Normandy in northern France. It lies 4 miles (6.4 km) west of Omaha Beach, and stands on 100 ft (30 m) tall cliffs overlooking the sea. It was a point of attack by the U.S. 2nd Ranger Battalion during the Battle of Normandy in World War II.

We left Pointe Du Hoc as the weather was brighting and headed over to Sainte-Mère-Église. Unfortunately we arrived 10 minutes before the airborne museum was closing for 2 hours. It was decided that we would ride our bikes on some nice roads rather than wait 2 hours for the museum to re-open.Sainte-Mère-Église

Sainte-Mère-Église main claim to fame is that it played a significant part in the World War II Normandy landings because this village stood right in the middle of route N13, which the Germans would have most likely used on any significant counter-attack on the troops landing on Utah and Omaha Beaches. In the early morning of 6 June 1944 mixed units of the U.S. 82nd Airborne and U.S. 101st Airborne Divisions occupied the town in Operation Boston, giving it the claim to be one of the first towns liberated in the invasion.Ducey

We arrived at Ducey and our rather nice Best Western Hotel a converted old mill. Steve booked us into the only restaurant open in town that night. Steve was slightly unimpressed that they sold no other alcohol other than wine. After the meal we visited an Irish Bar that didn't sell Guinness, sacrilege surely.

Look at the state of my bike!!

Dirty VFR
Dirty VFR


Monday, October 06, 2008

Tour Day 2 - Honfleur to Bayeux

Got up and had breakfast at about 6:30am this morning. We all grouped together and set out at about 9:00am. Thankfully the weather was dry although the roads were still damp.
Merville Battery
We visited Merville Battery first, which the 9th Battalion of the Parachute Regiment neutralised on 6th June 1944. It is a very interesting place that is well worth the visit.

After we had finished at Merville we headed over to Pegasus Bridge and had coffee at the bridge cafe. We then went to the Pegasus Bridge museum to see the original bridge.

Pegasus Bridge Pegasus Bridge is a bascule bridge (a type of movable bridge) over the Caen Canal, near Ouistreham, France. The bridge, also known as the Bénouville Bridge after the neighbouring village, was a major objective of Operation Tonga. Units landed by glider near it during the Normandy Invasion on 5–6 June 1944. It was given the permanent name of Pegasus Bridge in honour of the operation. This name derives from the shoulder emblem worn by the attacking British, which is the flying horse Pegasus.

Original Pegasus Bridge We then went off around the coast passing the beaches of Sword, Juno and Gold before stopping at Arromanches to visit the 360 degrees cinema.

We then continued around on the coast road to visit the Normandy American cemetery at Omaha beach. Pete kindly took a group shot of the whole gang and their steeds.

From left to right: Steve Bmw, Rachel, Ian, Terry, Steve & Carol, Me, Steve Qwak and Ash.

Group Shot @Omaha Beach

From there we headed over to our hotel in Bayeux, another of the Campanile chain. We went out into Bayeux that night and I had possibly the least spicy Madras in history.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Tour Day 1 - Dover to Honfleur.

Woke up early today to some very unpleasant weather. Luckily after I had got ready and had a coffee and snack, the rain had eased off. Set off for the ferry terminal and meet up with Pete and the other guys. Where we discovered that some of us had been staying in the same hotel.

Got on the ferry without a hitch all thought the deck was very wet and slippery. Got the bike strapped down and headed up to the food court for breakfast. Being first on the ferry means you get there first, bonus. The captain informed us that it would be a reasonable crossing, force 9 to be exact, a bit choppy to say the least, hate to see what a bad crossing is.

The definition of force 9 on the Beaufort scale is as follows. Wind Speed 47-54mph, strong gale, high waves (6-7m) with dense foam. Wave crests start to roll over. Considerable spray.

Arrived at Calais and got off the ferry and encounter the lovely rain. We all regrouped up in a lay-by after passport control. Steve volunteered to go at the back for the drop-off system. It was at this point that I had a problem with my new waterproof gloves, it took me 5 minutes to get my hand in the right glove due to problems with the inner lining. This meant that me and Steve lost touch with the group and ended up following some bikes the wrong way. We eventually got turned around and headed the right way and came across another lost sole in the form of Terry. We actually passed the other group while they were parked up having a coffee break. Near to Honfleur we had to negotiate two very high bridges. Terry and Steve particularly struggled with the wind on Le Pont de Normandie Bridge, me and the Viffer weren't affected anywhere near as much.

Honfleur Hotel
We eventually got to the hotel in Honfleur after a brief detour to Fecamp. We were all soaked through after the constant rain. My boots were soaked through and soggy and my bottom was damp, but apart from that my Hein Gericke Pro Suit held up well to the rain.

Honfleur HotelThe hotel room had a heater which was used to dry the stuff but made  it very hot in the night. The bathroom was also used as a drying room but we had to keep putting the heater on as it knocked off after 15 minutes. I bet the hotels electricity bill was high for the day we all stayed there.

Thankfully by the time we headed out for food the rain had stopped so we walked the mile into Honfleur to find a restaurant.


Saturday, October 04, 2008

Down to Dover

Headed down to Dover today as I am catching an early ferry to Calais in the morning. Rather than go all the way on the boring motorway, I set out from here on the motorway as far as Mottram and headed through Glossop on the A624. I followed that road all the way to Chapel-en-le-Firth where a jumped on the A6 to Buxton. Took the first windy bit of the A6 out of Buxton then cut across to the A515 and took that all the way to Ashbourne where I had a bathroom break. After a short while I mounted my steed again and set back off down the A515 heading for Burton on Trent via the A511.

From Burton I took the A444 all the way to Nuneaton where a joined the A5 and jumped ont he M1 at junction 20 Lutterworth. After a short while I stopped at Watford gap services for a brew.

Jumped back on the bike and after many boring miles later stopped at Thurrock services for a coffee and toasted tuna melt panini. That was a big mistake as the traffic was backed up bad from all the sad people going shopping at Lakeside (do you not have anything better to do on a Saturday). Fortunately being on the bike I could filter my way through it.

After some more time on the motorways I arrived at my destination the Premier Inn at Dover. There were another 3 bikes there when I arrived, little did I know some of the those bikes where on the same tour as me. I even sat on the next table to Steve that night in the restaurant. Oh well.