Lots to catch up on ….

….. but first a quick and (very) recent update from Robert.

I spoke to him les than an hour ago – I guess it must have been about 5.00am  on Day 8.

He’s fine and the bike is doing “okay”.  He’s still having a few issues with the bike (he’s told me that next time, he’ll be using a nice reliable bike – something like a Triumph … ), but his route for leg 3 has taken that into account.  Now, the sole target is to finish.

Do not be surprised if on day 9 you see him on his Spot starting to move towards the finish.  He’s done the calculations and can probably arrive on Day 10 and still have enough points for a finish.  As soon as he knows he’s got enough points bagged, he will take no chances  as he knows that fuel pump could give up at any time …..

Right, now I’ve told you what’s actually happening now, he’s what’s been happening over the last two/three days (and remember these were written “at the time” so may have been overtaken by events ….)


Day 6 :

His day started well, continuing his trip to the planned bonus point, through Kansas and Oklahoma.  He was more than one hour early at the timed bonus, a gruop picture in a big whale but he had previously cut my sleep bonus by one hour to make sure that he would be thereon time

Then it got hot again …….  Two hours later, the bike “conked” (again) and he had the same trouble as on Thursday.  He did manage to get to the checkpoint on time though

However, the biggest news of the day was this message I received from him …..

“My theories were obsolete….it IS a failing pump at heat….”

No shit, Sherlock – and just as I said …..  But, look at what he said again, he admitted he was wrong ….  A German, no, a Bavarian admitting he was wrong.


In years to come, people will have forgotten who won …..  People will have forgotten about the heat and the storms …..  People will have forgotten the concept of the rally …. Hell, people will have even forgotten who was the USA President at the time of the rally ….  No, all they will remember is “that time a Bavarian admitted he was wrong” Lol !!

Okay, serious stuff again …..

His route did not bring very many points because he wanted (no, needed) to avoid the heat. Going to Colorado area gave him at least a couple of days relief from it.

This rally has now turned into what I faced in 2011 – a battle for survival …..

He did not lose any points again, but he made a bad error in the planning for leg 2 (understandable really as he had “other” things on his mind – a failing Honda …..


In short, get four bonuses of different categories and the fourth one counted triple. His route was based on that. However, he overlooked that the first combination had two of the same category….a bitter pill to swallow and cost 2500 points…

The call in bonus however had worked. In total he only got 12400 points, under the finisher mark but his good 1st leg means he is still on target.

Now the task for leg 3 is clear – get just enough points to be a finisher. The issue is the fuel pump, it is clear that is struggles in the heat.  The forecast sees rising temperatures everywhere. He thinks the best is to escape to the Northeast, but even there, temps will be above 30C

At the checkpoint, there were plenty of people offering to help.  Allen Dye thought he had a replacement pump and they decided to change the pump as he assured Robert that he could get one, but it was the wrong model pump.

He has to continue therefore with the one he has fitted …..

Now it is all about survival.  He hopes to “escape” quickly to the northeast, maybe riding at night. He doesn’t want to kill the pump.

He really appreciates your comments and support – so keep wishing him well, but as he says, for all of your kind words, you cannot understand what this is about.


Apart from the pump issue, he is fine. Mentally good, physically as well. He knows that he will not get much sleep at the leg 2 checkpoint as he needs to leave early tomorrow

He does have a few health issues – rashes due to the heat and a painful irritation of the outer right ear due to the earplugs and he may have to ride without ear plugs for a while…But in principle he is relatively fit after day 6.

So the next few days will be about disaster management. Just getting out of the brutal heat that will come in the south and the west and to keep the bike running.

It’s not over until the “fat lady sings” ……

He expects to drop considerably in the ranking, but this is no longer a concern. Just get to Minneapolis with enough points, that’s all ……



3rd leg planning and day 7 reports later ……


8 Comments on “Lots to catch up on ….

  1. I am not convinced that riding in lingerie would improve the performance of the fuel pump (all the talk about getting himself a Triumph) – and would anybody see it, under the protective clothing? The good news about riding slower is, you have actually some time for sightseeing – enjoy!

  2. For some reasons Robert should get an external fuel pump as used in other Honda or other brand carb models (max pressure ~ 0,3 bar or 5 psi), a few pieces of fuel hose and adapters. If the original pump collapses he can build a Bypass without transporting Petrol cans with dubious reliability and fire safety on top.
    Good luck 🙂

  3. Robert! Keep it up, England experts etc etc !😆
    It’s only Pete Churchill

    • That should say ‘England expects’ damn predictive txts!

  4. In Addition to avoid the original pump failures: Keep filling and cooling (maybe the saddle can be lifted a few mm or any fairings could be removed / modified) the tank.

  5. Just checked on spot, 4 riders have already moved thru Nh. Bummer wanted to applaud them as they went by.

    Sent from my iPad

  6. Go Robert Go!
    Du und die Pan packt das,
    Wenn die Benzinpumpe versaget mach einen shortcut vom Hilfstank zum Vergaser ohne die ganze Absperrung,
    Ein Vergaser braucht nur Sprit,Gefälle reicht keine Benzinpumpe nötig.

    A shortcuts vom Aux Tank to Carburator will fix it if Pump does not work any more

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