I’m back!

Hi everybody, I’m back at the “barn”, i.e. the rally finish. I was there 20 hours too early as the bike gave me some additional problems. I arrived basically with a dying Honda; I had to coast the last 30 miles on three cylinders and had almost no power left when I entered the parking of the hotel. After a rather “short” route of only 9000 miles in about 10 days.

As I was still technically in the rally, the social media curfew still applied to me so I still had to remain quiet. This morning, I went to the scoring and got all my points except some 500 penalty points for a lost emergency contact tag that came off the latch of the hanger I was wearing for 11 days.

I got more that 55000 points for Leg 3 – this was the minimum points value to be a finisher of the WHOLE rally. Adding my points from Leg 1 and 2, I have about 85000 points. Considering the fact that I had a very relaxed rally in a non-competitive mood with lots of long rest breaks, a bike I had to nurse, numerous petrol stops, technical problems and a very close shave to get to the finish – this is a very good result, it should give me a mid-field result and finally the desired three-digit membership number that only IBR finishers can obtain. In about one hour from now, the banquet will start, followed by the ceremony.

Thanks for your support and your comments – I was reading them daily and they were a good read. Yesterday, I added quite some drama to the game…I left at 2 a.m. for the last 1100 km….I filled up every 90 – 100 km, but soon I realised that the stuttering was not due to the fuel pump. As it got worse and worse, it became more clear that the bike was losing one carburetor ( at least that’s how it felt). It got worse and worse and I went the last 30 miles on three cylinders only. The bike was slowly dying and had no power left. Finally, with the last power the bike had, I entered the parking of the finish and had done it! I couldn’t have done another 10 miles….this was a close shave! Maybe the E10 petrol (10% Ethanol) was killing my old carburetors? It’s a possibility…The bike was picked up already and is on the way back to Europe.

Apart from the scoring today, I basically was chatting with other riders, veterans, staff etc…there are so many stories and dramas to exchange…you’ll hear about some in the following official bulletins.

I also want to say a big THANK YOU to (quote) “this fat, balding, middle-aged, accountant from the UK” that did a great job in entertaining you during the last days: John Young. He also helped me to stay focused on the main objective of this rally: to become a finisher. This worked almost all the time except on Wednesday when I nearly ruined the project by changing the plan and turning north into Michigan.


And now off to the banquet where new tales of heroism, boldness, despair and drama will be told….

6 Comments on “I’m back!

  1. Absolutely well done Robert – an amazing result given the tiny technical issues you were enduring 😉

  2. Thanks to John for his entertaining comments and congratulations for your achievement!

    The E10 could be the problem because the most carb Hondamodels are not suited for this petrol (I know that for the Deauville it’s only from model 2006 that E10 is admitted).
    Let you know us what, in the end, the real problem was?

    All this stories during the last weeks have motivated me so much that I will do my first attempt for a SS1600 on monday.

  3. A great result considering all the adversity, a Triumph indeed Robert!

  4. Congrats Robert,

    My cents goes on that choke has stuck but we will all be informed when you and the PAN is back in Europe

  5. Yeah, better stay off the booze.

    This 3-digit hausse – I’ve heard it from so many other riders too: what’s the big deal?

    If I’d ever was to do a start in the big dance, I’d be mighty happy if they would let me keep my old number. At all!
    …after have seen my riding. 🙂

    Ooops… Hypothetically speaking, of course. Did I get it right that Robert somehow is involved in the Alpenbutt Rally? Think I saw a sticker on a bag in some picture recently…?

    Anyway, I always ride prudent and cautiously. Selbstverständlich!

  6. Robert – it was my pleasure. Thank you for giving me the honour to be your mouthpiece during the rally

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