Day 6 Update

Just as we were leaving Lillehammer this morning, a text came through from our hero !!

As I need to be back home tomorrow for business meetings, I’ve had to wait until I was nearly home before finding a hotel with a computer to give this update – the things I do to cement Anglo-German relations …….

Yesterday Robert came across a sign that read “Hell is real” – he actually didn’t need to be told that as he’s actually experiencing it for real !!

Anyway, the news is that in the last 36 hours, he’s covered 2200 miles with only two short power naps.  He has all of the bonuses that he aimed for but with his rest he is now taking (well he was at 8.00 am “our” time this morning), he only has one “buffer” hour built in to ride the last 700 miles on day 7 to the checkpoint.

He has wisely chosen to avoid Pikes Peak (see my comments below as to what my thoughts were on that bonus)

Day 6 brought all kinds of weather for him including high wind and nasty rain in Wyoming.  However, by choosing a more northerly route for leg 2, he has at least kept out of the extreme heat of the Mojave Desert.  He needs to continue to avoid that in leg 3 if possible as I still worry for the little Honda if he spends too much time in 100 plus degrees …..

So tomorrow (well it’s now today for him), it’s just basically the dash for the checkpoint window.

Then it gets interesting for leg 3.  

This is where he will experience “the wall”.  I was lucky back in 2011.  I hit “the wall” just as I was taking a rest at the end of day 8.  I had pulled into a rest area, parked the bike out of sight and lay down beside it to get a couple of hours sleep.  As I lay there just beginning to doze, the thought hit me that I had been riding for 8 days solid and I was still 3000 miles away from the end of the rally (actually “ordeal”).  Before I could depress myself too much at that thought, I fell asleep and when i woke, dawn was breaking and the world all of a sudden seemed a better place and I was over it.  Robert will almost certainly have some sort of similar feeling tomorrow. He needs to find a way around the negative thoughts that will, just for a moment, flood his mind.

My last text message to him today was just to get to the leg 2 finish and then plot a nice safe route for leg 3.  Now is not the time to take chances.  He has broke the back of this challenge.  No heroics, just now finish the job.  He doesn’t need to leap across the finish line with a flourish, he just needs to cross it.

And, here’s a word of warning …..

Back in 2011, I found myself with 25 hours of the rally left, 600 miles to do and just two states to collect – Nevada and California.  Things were going great.  I had at least a 13 hour buffer zone that I had been steadily building up over the previous three days.  I could see the finishing line.  I could see the ticker tape parade that was going to greet this mad Englishman who’d taken on the IBR with his 43 year old “heap” and come through. My acceptance speech was already being put together in my head …..

Then I ran straight into some of the worst sand storms that Arizona had experienced for some 50 years.  8 of those 13 hour buffer hours disappeared in a puff of smoke (well sand actually), as I frantically tried to get my bike working again.  I really did limp my bike through that last 12 hours riding.

That’s what the IBR does to you.  It suckers you in and let’s you think you’ve beaten it.  Then it turns on you.


Pepa – if you could just tell him as well please …….

Next update will be from the UK.


PS – The first thing I have to do tomorrow at work is to explain to various clients why all of their meeting times have changed and been put back a few hours.  I was thinking along the lines of “well, you see, I was riding the1400 miles back home in one day from Norway with Sonia on the back when this mad German friend I have and whose blog I am keeping up to date whilst he rides the IBR, sent me a text which I just had to get out to people as I was crossing Germany”   What do you think ? No, I didn’t think it sounded very plausible either ….

PPS ´This one is for Robert.  You know the time we met up when you quizzed me over the IBR over that dinner ?  The dinner that I paid for when we “accidentally” found ourselves in quite possibly the most expensive restaurant in Gent ?  Yes, that one ……  Well, when all this is over, I’m expecting to find ourselves “accidentally” in a similarly expensive restaurant – and this time, it’s your turn to foot the bill !!!

20 Comments on “Day 6 Update

  1. Robert told me this morning he made it on time to the hotel yesterday, but that is all the information I got. Hopefully John will have a couple more details.

    Sure I will stress again safety is priority, but you know? He will do as he pleases…as always…haha

    And John, Robert has a quite some experience in ending up in expensive restaurants, has a very developed sense to smell them,…:S….so you will get your fill, I am sure about it.

  2. After watching the SPOT trackers, when he seemed to be following a similar route to a number of other riders, slightly surprised to see him 74th out of 80 in the standings at the end of leg 2, with only three riders getting fewer points.

  3. The World Is Not Enough ……
    …… for Robert on his XBR – reading the update of Roberts IBR I start what to do with my flighing brick – it feels pathetic to call it a touring bike ! Robert: Do follow John advice ! TAKE NO CHANCE! @John Thankx for your wonderful lines and prosa I`m eager to read each morning !
    Let`s keep the fingers crossed that Robert does`nt outdistance his guardian angel !!

  4. I am also a bit surprised to see him dropping to the 74th position…but anyhow what I want now for him is not to get down and finish the rally safely.

  5. There are 11 riders that got fewer points than him, you missed the last page. Look’s like for some reason he wasn’t granted the 10.500 combo-bonus points. So what, it’s a rally, he’s still in.

  6. You are right Hans, I missed the last page. I am extremely glad he is still running and will be very impressed if he gets that bike to the finish – getting to the end on a bike in the Hopeless Class is an incredible achievement. I will never get to enter an IBR, but I know a bit about riding rallies, and suspect Robert will be determined to finish higher than 74th.

  7. OK guys, that’s it…Robert had to stop because he cannot shift to 5th gear. So he is going now back to Sacramento to have the bike repaired. I am so glad he made it to that point at least. He is also glad this happened now and not in the middle of the desert.

  8. At least it is not far back to Sacramento – if he can get it fixed he may still be able to take a direct route back, here’s hoping his adventure does not end here…

  9. I have just spoken at length with Robert.

    Give me an hour or so and I will post a full report of what has happened and what the new plan is ….

    • “New plan” sounds hopeful. Change the secondary gearing and settle for 4 gears, hope that 5th gear is the only one taking an early retirement?
      Fingers crossed her!

  10. nicht schön, gar nicht schön

    If you have a the shift problem in all gears – maybe the clutch is the caution.
    Pepa said, that he had a gear shifting problem onlly in the 5 gear and so its necessary to open the engine/gearbox. The RFVC engine must split vertically in the middle. .
    I thing ts not possible to easy fixing anything.

  11. It looks like he is heading back in a “limb home” mode.
    I think the most important thing is to avoid dnf

    Good Luck Robert!

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