Saturday, 15 November 2008

2004 Within These Walls - The Wheels Turn

In time the title for this year's trip will come apparent, even if it sounds a little obscure at present.

We all awoke at 04:30, loaded up the Guzzi whilst watching young fox cubs in the garden and were on the road to Dover by 05:15. The only problem we encountered was on motorway where a lorry had gone down an embankment and two lanes had been closed for its recovery. The tailbacks were quite lengthy but Ian managed to filter without any problems. After this the motorway was quiet and we made good time and were able to get on an earlier ferry.
At Dover there were several bikes already queuing as it was Assen weekend, the majority of them being race reps with the pillion having to carry a haversack on their back. Three cheers for panniers, tank bags and racks!
Docking at Calais at 12:30 we were soon on the motorway heading towards Reims, stopping to speak to a couple that had stopped on the hard shoulder. They had run out of petrol and were waiting for service recovery. They recognised us from off the ferry and later caught up with us at the next service station. It had cost them over £100 for half a tank of petrol (and we go on about petrol prices today!) and were hoping to claim on their insurance when they got back home. I have a feeling that they would not have been successful as it may not have been deemed a mechanical breakdown.
Whilst at the services we also met three people from Derby/Nottingham that were in France for their first visit. They had no idea where they were, or were they were going as they had no map.
The group had set off at 23:00, caught the 05:00 ferry and caught up with us at 15:30!
We finally reached out destination for the evening at 17:45, Campanile at Troyes, after Ian taking a wrong turn and getting caught up in a wedding reception party crossing the road.
The weather forecast for tomorrow is 30 degrees with wall to wall sunshine.
Recapping on the day there was very little to report on, the most surprising was seeing a Guzzi and racing sidecar on a roundabout, complete with passenger leaning out. We also had a police motorcyclist wave to us. Once again the SKAT sticker puzzled several people.


Guzzisue said...

Gosh, I'd forgotten about the fox cubs :-) Ted, have you noticed how all the bikes seem to park away from us at Dover these days? do you think we should clean the bike or are they just trying to tell us something!!!

A F-A said...

Re folks running out of fuel: my Magna has a proper fuel tap, with a reserve. It's cunningly accurate too....when the bike runs dry on the 'run' position, I switch to 'reserve' and know that I must fill up in 25 miles. I rode right across America like that...never failed! I wonder why so-called modern bikes don't have one?!!! :-)

bikerted said...


It might help if you got some race leathers and got Ian to take some of the stickers off.
Prehaps I ought to have a bath as well.


Must say that Ian ran out of petrol once not long after he bought the Guzzi. The owners handbook claimed 5 gallons but when it was filled up from dry it only held 4!
This could be either the 1100i looses a gallon due to fuel pump being under the tank, where the 1100 carb version does not have a pump, or more likely the handbook was stating American gallons.
We were very lucky as we ran out of fuel between Hawes and nowhere. We were informed that there was a garage about a mile down the road, which had a very slight downhill gradient. Sadly when we passed this garage sometime later it was all overgrown and abandoned.
With our Guzzi there has to be a constant petrol feed due to the injection, which could be the reason for no reserve on the tank. I assume this could be the same for many modern bikes.

A F-A said...

Re taps: Blush, embarrassment...of course...I knew that...(not)