Tuesday, 23 April 2013

“Making Progress” Iron Butt Style

BBG1500 in 24 hours

Bun Burner Gold 1500

This is a ride report I wrote back in May 2010. Until now it has remained up-published, as at the time it caused quite a stir on the IBA UK forum. There were a couple of reasons for this, first of all I posted a picture of my Garmin on the forum with my thumb over the speed indicator and secondly my moving average was 63 mph.

As it happens the ride was verified by the IBA UK President and this report was just filled away.

Having just updated the format of my Blog I wanted a BBG1500 ride report in the new drop down list & so here is my 2010 BBG1500 in 24 hours.

Well that’s  the chores are done, The Beast has been “de-bugged” I’ve got my  Lucozade open & I think that’s about everything so I’ll begin

“Making Progress” Iron Butt Style or more commonly known as a Bun Burner Gold 1500.

For those who I bore to death with my Ride Reports here are the facts

Date                Monday 24th May 1800 hrs
Duration          24 hours cut off time
Bike                 Yamaha FJR 1300A
Rider               Well you get the idea
Start Mileage   15080
End Mileage    16666
Odometer        1586
Garmin Miles   1526
Time               Start 1752 – Finish 1702 Total of 23 hours & 10 Minutes according to Garmin

Paper work complete and sat at the side of me ready for posting at 1700 when J collects Ben from after school club.

The BBG1500 is one of those rides that had been bugging me for a while simply because my mate  had done it & I hadn't.  Well that’s one of the reasons the other was I was totally hacked off, first of all not getting a start in the Britt Butt Rally 2010 & then to make me feel 100 times worse (sorry Boss) being given a start....... just after booking a hotel room in Woodhall Spa so we could attend a family 18th Birthday on the Saturday night. Gutted was not the word!!!

So as you can imagine I needed cheering up, Big Time.

So after planning what I thought were two half decent routes & then having my mate pull them apart via MSN. We set about fine tuning them to include as much motorway as possible.

·         The route was Rochdale, M62 to Leeds, M1, M25, A2 Dover back up M20 to M25 Clackets

·         15 minute break at Clackets as this was the first quarter mark

·         M25 Clackets, M4, M5 Gordano’s then down to Penzance back up to Gordano’s

·         15 Minute break at Gordano’s (which turned into Sedgmoor Services due to fuel consumption)

·         M5, M6 all the way up to Glasgow

·         15 Minute break at Glasgow

·         Then across past Edinburgh to Berwick upon Tweed then down A1(M) to Leeds

·         M62 home

Route Done!

I was expecting loads of road works so opted to do the ride with just my Givi Topbox fitted. This turned out to be a stroke of genius as I hit both the start of the Birmingham ride to work mayhem plus the Manchester ride to work rush hour traffic. Being unrestricted by panniers I rode through both without issue. Give or take a few dirty looks which is normal when filtering, mind this was more than made up for by big smiles and waves from all the kids on coach trips.

First off all I needed to get myself organised and so set about checking the oil, tyres, fitting the Givi top-box, making the Tuna Mayo Butties x4, rolling the bike out onto the drive and doing one last “Farkle”. I could not be bothered to carry my Camel-Pack on my back so I fixed it to the lid of my Givi top-box, it was to work a treat, allowing me to have a trouble free drink at every stop.

Finally I set up GPS Tracker and posted on IBA Site that I wa about to attempt a BBG2500.

Then I went to bed for 2 hours.

I was awoken by Jeannie in hysterics under the bedroom window outside...............

For reasons known only to herself, she had decided to lay the lounger flat, fasten the clips to hold it there. Then lay on it with her head where her feet should be to catch that beautiful sun, only for the lounger to tip forward in very slow motion until her nose was touching the floor. At which point she went into fits of laughter as she couldn’t move due to the arms being in the way..............

Un-real.................. should have got a picture. Still at least she wasn't worrying about “yours truly”.

Up, shower, clobber on, iPod on and plugged in, Mobile’s GPS tracker switched on and plugged into charger, good-bye’s all round and off to fill up. Only to realise that setting off at my usual time but going to my local station as opposed to the Shell garage on the other end of town (as its 24 hour opening & I usually start my rides around midnight) meant I was 10 minutes early. I hate that so “faffed” around zeroing the sat nav of all details, till 1800 on the dot before I set off. I know 10 minutes wasted but I need to do things just so.. sad Jeannie calls it!!!

One problem with a mobile phone tracker app is people can call you on the mobile, not good!

Heading down the M1 the mobile rings.

“Hello, can I speak to Mr Walton please?”

“You are”

“Can I speak to Mr Walton?”

“This is Mr Walton”

“This is Sanita from A**a, is it convenient to speak about your car insurance”

“Not really I’m riding my bike”

“Oh sorry, shall I call tomorrow?”

“Yes but make it after 6”

“OK, sorry to have bothered you”

The ride down to Dover was a breeze as I’ve done it so often. I break down my routes and number them all before uploading to the Sat Nav. This time each section was between 40 and 220 miles in length. So 1 Wooley Edge Services, 2  Leicester Services,  3 Shell Dover, 4 Sh**, 4, 4, OH here we go. Straight line to Clackets, how strange. It told me how far and arrival time but gave me no directions. Anyway no time to hang around so off I set. The Garmin had decided not to show me directions at all, which was bizarre & very un nerving I’d just have to do it from memory. Just before Clacket Services Eastbound on the M25 the route came back on. I was 25 minutes ahead of my time plan, Great.  After a 15 minute break I hit 5 & got the same thing again a straight line to Gordano’s, not happy.

Riding along the M4 I remembered I had uploaded the entire route “Start to Start” so I pumped it in, do you want to navigate to start of route, “the F*** I do” I shouted at it at the same time pressing the screen. Re-routing, great it’s going to work. Then the kick in the gut’s 989 miles to go but what was even worse arrival time 1755 hours FIVE MINUTES TOO LATE”

From being nearly 25 minutes ahead of schedule I was not even going to finish on time, I was GUTTED!!!

The change in my frame of mind was just unreal; I had taken time to factor in 3 Forced Breaks, because I had messed up a ride before feeling like I could ride forever. Know the feeling? To just feeling like I did when I couldn’t finish the National Parks SS2000.

I switched the Sat Nav off!

A quick pit stop at Gordano’s, fuel, loo, drink, snack bar and I was away heading down to Penzance I switched the Sat Nav back on and it took me straight to the Tesco’s, which was closed. Pay by card great and unlike Kendal it worked when the station was closed, strange that anyone reading from Kendal Morrison’s Service Station.

Heading back up from Penzance I followed a guy in a white Mini Cooper S, needless to say we had a little fun and games. He knew every camera all the way back to M5. As he peeled off to the M4 we gave each other a big Thumbs Up. 

“Hello, can I speak to Mr Walton Please?”

“You are”

“Hello Mr Walton, it’s very noisy”

“That’s because I’m STILL riding my bike”

“Is that Mr Walton?”

“Yes, call back later!”

“Sorry I can’t hear you I’ll call back later”

Birmingham was getting really busy with the morning commute which I just filtered through. I did realise one thing just past Birmingham, I had just completed an SS1000 in a little under 15 hours. 

Manchester was full on Commute Mode, it was at this moment I was so chuffed I had opted to leave the panniers off. Bumper to bumper from Kiel Services to just past the M65 junction

“It’s Pete from Astor Ba****man”


“Can I book to come and repair your daughters changing table”

“Sorry I haven’t got my diary with me”

“This is a really bad line”

“I’m on my bike”

“I’ll call back later”

“Make it tomorrow please”

“OK, bye”

Pulling into the services at Glasgow felt good, I was ready for a break as my eyes were stinging. I’d been following a tanker and ever since he had braked or something and a cloud of whatever it was had appeared my eyes had started watering up. The woman who served me asked if I was OK and said I look like I could do with a nap.............. Oh how Little did she know!

Checking the mobile I had to switch the Tracker back on yet again 
as every time someone rings you it switches the damn thing off. (Note to self – BUY A SPOT TRAKER ASAP)

Mooching through Berwick after filling up I realised what a nice town it was and promised myself I will go back there one day if just to have a walk around.

I even stopped off and took a couple of pictures on the way down the coast.

Spilling petrol all over in the rush to fill up and get the End Receipt didn't help. Then asking the Assistant in the garage if she would “Sign my end ride form” made her look as if I’d just said something rude” I’m sure I said “ride form”????? But “all’s well that ends well”. It’s just a matter of waiting now to see if I've done enough!!!

All in all I felt it was a well planned and executed ride with very few problems. The Camel worked a dream, no need for water bottles in the future. The Mobiles Tracker is OK when it stays on that is.

Top tip don’t answer your mobile whilst travelling along the motorway, especially when you don’t have you diary with you.  I can’t help it I worked on the phone for 12 years, 3 rings & it’s driving me mad. I’ve even answered the phones in other peoples businesses to stop the damn thing ringing. You can always take a message!

So that’s a BB1500 to Soest – Done, SS2000 incorporating E2E Gold – Done, BBG1500 – Done!

“So what’s next?”

Middle Earth Mud Bath Next weekend
BIKE Safe Course in Kendal – 13th June
E2E Gold with Dan – 15th  /16th June
RBLR 1000 – 19th  / 20th  June             
RTE Gibraltar  BBG2500 there & BB2500 Back- 25th  / 26th  / 27th June 

Then it’s the BIG ONE

The European End to End – 12th to 19th

2 days ride to NordKapp

3 Days for the EE2E

Then round to Faro for a couple of nights

Back home having covered in the region of  8000 miles in 9 days

Finally October RTE Lithuania for my belated Birthday Ride Out

That’s me DONE! I hope you've enjoyed the read.

As I sit here now in 2013 reading through this report somethings screaming out at me, so much so that I just have to add this footnote.

Riding over 1500 miles within 24 hours is a massive feat of dedication and commitment and should not be taken on lightly, something I now realise this report makes it sound.

Back in 2010 I was on a roll. Nothing was going to get in my way! I was determined to “make my mark” on the Long Distance Riding community. This is blatantly clear to me by my “So what’s next” list at the end of the report.

Amazingly, I did go on to complete all but one of those rides. The European End to End was just one ride too far and has remained uncompleted to this day.

The ride to Gibraltar proved to be more of a test of our friendship than of our ability to ride long distances. Sadly Ron & I only managed a BB2500KM in the 24 hours from Calais to Gibraltar & back up to Alicante rather than the BBGold 2500KM which we had planned. The strain caused us to have a slight disagreement just before our arrival in Gibraltar. Happily it was resolved before our overnight stay near Alicante and the return trip passed without incident.

2010 was an amazing year of riding for Ron & I. We both  racked up no less than 10 Iron Butt Verifiable Rides each earning us both a 2010 Mile Eater Award something we’re both very proud off. Not every ride was completed together, like I’ve written recently “We ride alone to be together” but I personally think we can be proud of our achievements!

IBA UK Mile Eater Award

Add to the above, passing my Institute of Advanced Riders Test in the same year and you will really understand how truly driven I was.

It really does make me realise now what an understanding & supportive wife I have in Jeannie my very own personal “Biker Widow”. 

Thank you so very much “Jeanesous’s” I do truly appreciate your support.

………………Love you too, you are my hero x

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