Fresh back from another whirlwind trip the Capo and I are quietly recovering at home and taking stock of the events over the last two weeks.
- 2,931 miles in total
- Average fuel – 48.6mpg ( 5.98l/100km) with a best of 53.5 mpg (5.19l/100km) and a worst of 43mpg (6.22l/100km)
Throughout the Rally-Raid behaved impeccably, doing exactly what it was designed to do. Not once did the over inflated media fragility give me any concern, no pyrotechnics under the fuel tank or gushing fountains of fuel anywhere, hell even the wheel bearing didn’t disintegrate into pixie dust. It seems as though the only victims of this trip have been the Anakee 2 tyres ……… now squared off at the rear and cupped at the front, although still legal (UK) with 2.2mm/2.3mm tread still remaining – and now with a total of 14,762 miles under their belt! Will these things ever die?
The trip itself had highs and lows ….. after 13 years I’ve decided to walk away from motorcycle training, at least for the moment. That bulky laminated card issued by the DSA (Driving Standards Agency) has lived in my various jackets an awful long time and I somehow feel naked now that it has gone. And of course I feel a little sad at giving up something that has given me immense enjoyment over the years. But it had to happen.
On a brighter note though, I got to meet up once again with Andy (Beasthonda on the AF1 forum), this time at the Oxford Hein Gerricke store. We had a great chat about all things Caponord (especially electronics and dashboards! 😉 ) and a fine cup of tea while ogling a wide variety of bikes as they came and went. Sadly for both of us, time was short so we couldn’t put any miles under the wheels together, but next time……………
Many years ago I used to love reading the American ‘Flying’ magazine, especially a column entitled, ‘I learned about flying from that’ – tales of near disaster and mortal mistakes etc. So here’s my bike rider version.
I LEARNED ABOUT RIDING FROM THAT
Never pass a viable fuel station with a reserve light on, even if you know by experience that you’ll reach the next (and better in your eyes) station with ease – just because you’ve done it before a hundred times. Big mistake, because today you’re going to get bitten.
So I’m heading North past Colmar in France with 20-30km to go before the Aire du Haut Koenigbourg services …… except at 5Km the traffic suddenly slows and bunches up. Our two lanes are being merged into one. Now I’m almost at the services with a solid concrete wall either side funnelling us onward and no sign of the exit for the services. Then I see it, walled off, bright red and white barriers cheerfully letting me know that the North bound traffic can just jog on by, no exit for fuel for you lot. Oh bloody wonderful!
And so I ride on in this concrete funnel trying to juggle my options. What bloody options! Best I can hope for is not to conk out in this one-lane hell hole. After another 10km (eternity!) we spew out again into two lanes, except now I’ve got to ride in Über-economy mode to stretch out whatever vapour I’m running on. This whole landscape is fields either side for pretty much as far as you can see, but finally the GPS pipes up and offers me a way out, at lest I’ll be off the fast duel lane and on quieter country roads.
After another 15 minutes of lefts/rights, bends and roundabouts I spot the fuel station ahead …….. and it’s one of those 24hr unmanned jobs. The Capo rolls to the pump with 263.7 miles on the trip. 1st card goes in (UK) …. we don’t accept it. 2nd card (UK)…. nope, we don’t like that one either. 3rd one (Italian) …. Wahay thank God!!!!! I swear the French still have a grudge with us Brits you know. The pump clicked off after 22.27 litres and I think that’s about as close as I ever want to get to pushing a Caponord home! Lesson learned ….. until next time! 😉