Author Topic: Well that was disappointing!  (Read 887 times)

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Offline Tony Ferrari (Nomad)

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Well that was disappointing!
« on: October 05, 2019, 05:16:58 pm »
On Friday evening I drove to the Duke of York, parked up the van, had dinner in the pub and finally set off around 10:00pm wrapped up in many layers and carrying plenty of drugs (and some red bull in case it got really bad 😂) and headed south towards Tamworth.

I should explain the drugs are due to the fact I suffer from a neuromuscular condition called Myasthenia Gravis than causes extreme muscle fatigue.

https://www.myaware.org/what-is-myasthenia

In my continuing campaign to laugh in the face of myasthenia entering the Edinburgh might be considered a foolhardy venture by some! (Actually that would be just about anyone but me)

One thing Iím thankful for is that after diagnosis I was able to keep driving never having suffered from double vision (a common symptom that often means losing your licence) and as my myasthenia is under reasonable control from medication I am still able to ride my motorbikes although muscle weakness and fatigue has to be managed.

Although the little matter of a heart attack last November (not related to the myasthenia and thankfully from which I have fully recovered) means I can no longer get an enduro licence but I am allowed a trials registration.

So on this basis I entered, well why not?

Foolhardy for a healthy person i'm sure many would say (those that don't appreciate classic trials of course) let alone a myasthenic but what the heck 😊

After various starting failures despite the bike being fitted with a brand new battery and after jump starting it from the van and laden down with the snappily named Pyridostigmine Bromide (the drug that improves the neurologist muscular exchange and helps stave off fatigue but only lasts 3-4 hours) I set off as mentioned above.

My start time was 00:21 but alas it was not to be! After 50 miles or so on the way down to Tamworth Services at around 11:30pm the rear wheel bearings on my bike failed in spectacular fashion just on the outskirts of town!

Annoyingly it passed an MOT only last week 😣

I limped into the services but there was nothing to be done and I had to withdraw before Iíd even started ☹️

A friend of one of the car competitors overheard my plight and kindly offered me and the bike a lift back to the pub (thanks Tony!) and I got back there at around 02:30 😱

After three hours or so sleep, I was woken by the sound of bikes turning up so got up and joined them for breakfast and caught up with some friends, who reported the going was fairly good despite the heavy rain earlier in the week, yeah rub it in why don't you!

I considered going out to spectate but the lead riders would be heading up past Buxton towards Incline, in the opposite direction to home and I might have a long wait before they arrived at closer sections, so just before 08:00 I headed for home.

So Iím now back home, having been aided by several stops, lots of coffee and more medication and after crashing out in bed for a few more hours.

Total fatigued?

You bet! (even my fatigue has fatigue)

Disappointed?

Absolutely!

Going to enter next year?

Or maybe give the Exeter or Lands End a try?

Hell yeah!

See you out there soon.

Offline Paul K

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Re: Well that was disappointing!
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2019, 07:55:55 am »
Tony, that's a real disappointment, especially in light of you having to overcome your health problems.  However, you're not alone in having to pull out after you've just started, or even before you've started.  There's plenty of us been in the same boat at some time, though, that doesn't make it any the less painful.  The Exeter entries are open now so get online and enter. 

Offline Alastair Queen

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Re: Well that was disappointing!
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2019, 10:02:15 am »
Oh well [philosophical face on?], never mind, as they say, Tony......Next year?

I once reckoned, at one time, my 'failure-to-show' rate, as compared to entries made, ran at about 50% .... at one time...but..I also reckon, if I didn't make the effort, then .....?

Offline Tony Ferrari (Nomad)

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Re: Well that was disappointing!
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2019, 03:18:40 pm »
I have to say I have prided myself on always finishing, my previous discipline of choice was Cross Country Rally and i've only twice DNF'ed, once due to engine breakdown at a sprint rally at Sweet Lamb in Wales and once due to having a complete sense of humour failure at the Ryedale Rally when fighting a fully equipped rally bike through the mud was no longer funny.

Previously I had only one DNS when my car broke down on the way to the Tarrenig Rally, so this is a pretty rare event for me.

I've just spotted there's a LDT being held at Braintree in Essex in three weeks time, only just over an hour from me so I think i'll give that a go to keep my eye in.

After i've replaced my wheel bearings of course :D

Offline Jason Potts

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Re: Well that was disappointing!
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2019, 07:56:45 pm »
Gutted for you tony, better it have failed there than up some blacked out lane in the middle of derbyshire where theres no phone signal. Hope to see you next time.

I went t over a at dudwood. Bike went upside down and I ended up sliding down the section on my face. Took a bash to my left thigh on a rock or tree stump which resulted in a dead leg. Massive sense of humour failure so rode through the following observed test. I was pretty shook up and leg was killing me so apologies to all who marshalled there. My leg is still aching now but I'm happy I got round and bike never missed a beat again. That's hondas for ya.

I'd like to thank the Marshals at dudwood who helped me up off the floor and made sure I was OK. Thanks guys.

Anyone who has anymore woe's please post them here. I know it's not going to make Tony feel any better but it will prove that these trials are not easy and are a challenge and are not to be taken lightly.

Thanks to the organisers and Marshals, you did a great job.  8)

Offline Paul Wheatley

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Re: Well that was disappointing!
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2019, 08:04:05 pm »
You're not alone, Tony. I entered the daylight only part, starting at 0934 from the Duke of York on my Royal Enfield. I failed the first section "Incline" (in style, I might add - the top restart observer's picnic stool might never be the same). On leaving the section (at about 10.30) the bike suffered a terminal rear wheel puncture and I spent the next five and a half hours at Pym chair road junction on Cat Hill above Jenkin Chapel waiting for the RAC to arrive - so much for their "Someone will be with you in under ninety minutes, sir"!
PW.

Offline Tony Bishop

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Re: Well that was disappointing!
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2019, 08:18:09 pm »
Hi Tony,
Don't know how proficient you are but I rode that Braintree LDT with friend a few years ago and the sections are VERY tricky.
I actually got a puncture just as I arrived at about the fifth that I had failed spectacularly and was quite grateful that another friend was there with a van so I took the easy way out. My pal Gary decided to continue without me riding shotgun but quit shortly after saying that the sections were so hard that he was just getting depressed.
This post is not intended as a criticism of the trial "per se" but just an observation as compared to MCC events.

Offline Jason Potts

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Re: Well that was disappointing!
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2019, 09:29:32 pm »
This post is titled 'well that was disappointing' but im pretty sure thats no reflection on this event. Im still suffering from sleep deprivation and a saw leg but I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed this year's Ed.

These LDT's are hard work. The only thing on my mind right now is how I can do better on the next one.  ;)

These events are like drugs  :o

Offline Tony Ferrari (Nomad)

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Re: Well that was disappointing!
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2019, 11:34:43 pm »
You're not alone, Tony. I entered the daylight only part, starting at 0934 from the Duke of York on my Royal Enfield. I failed the first section "Incline" (in style, I might add - the top restart observer's picnic stool might never be the same). On leaving the section (at about 10.30) the bike suffered a terminal rear wheel puncture and I spent the next five and a half hours at Pym chair road junction on Cat Hill above Jenkin Chapel waiting for the RAC to arrive - so much for their "Someone will be with you in under ninety minutes, sir"!

Blimey Paul! I was about to call out the RAC at Tamworth Services when I got the offer of the lift back to the Duke of York, OK having to sit in the services for several hours would I guess be preferable to sat beside the road at Pym Chair but if that was the likely service I might have received,  I'm even more grateful for my "alternative recovery service".

Offline Tony Ferrari (Nomad)

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Re: Well that was disappointing!
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2019, 12:03:43 am »
Hi Tony,
Don't know how proficient you are but I rode that Braintree LDT with friend a few years ago and the sections are VERY tricky.
I actually got a puncture just as I arrived at about the fifth that I had failed spectacularly and was quite grateful that another friend was there with a van so I took the easy way out. My pal Gary decided to continue without me riding shotgun but quit shortly after saying that the sections were so hard that he was just getting depressed.
This post is not intended as a criticism of the trial "per se" but just an observation as compared to MCC events.

Tony, thanks for the heads up!

I like to think of myself as able to muddle through, not sure about "proficient" :D

I only started LDTs this year but after eight years of competing in Cross Country Rallies. Although at my first event the Clee Hill Trial I took 5th in Class (B) I was told it was comparable to MCC events but a bit harder, then at the Launceston Classic Trial I took 11th in class and that was definitely harder.

In March I did the Golden Valley, March Hare Trial and that sounds like your experience, it was piggin hard! And cold and wet, so after failing on section after section, I gave up and went home!

Mind you I did cheat a bit on these events as I borrowed my wife's KTM Freeride 250F for those rather than my mount for the Edinburgh, my 525 EXC in full rally trim (apart from the tyres).

I've just had a minor setback regarding the Braintree event as the ACU online entry system tells me:

"Our records show that you are currently unable to compete due to the reason below...

Caution: only allowed to enter trials events"
::)

OK so I can't enter a trials event because I'm only allowed to enter trials events!

No I can't work it out either, needless to say an email has been sent  :-\

Offline Paul K

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Re: Well that was disappointing!
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2019, 08:33:00 am »
I spent the next five and a half hours at Pym chair road junction on Cat Hill above Jenkin Chapel waiting for the RAC to arrive - so much for their "Someone will be with you in under ninety minutes, sir"!
That's been my experience with the RAC on the three occasions I've had to call the RAC out in the past for my road bikes; not a five hour wait, but a couple of hours.  Exasperating to say the least >:( .  My experience with the RAC is that their vehicles have no facilities for bike recovery so the RAC guy confirms you need to be recovered, then you wait again for their sub-contractor to turn up with a low loader.  I eventually gave up on subscribing to them and now subscribe to L&V through our bank account.  Not had to use them yet, but reviews were good.

RAC experiences with the car are better, but I suspect as a lone male, you are not a top priority.  In hind sight, might be an idea to say your 90 year-old mother is riding pillion on her way to a hospital appointment.  You can always claim a kind passer-by offered her a lift when the recovery turn up and she's not there ;) .

Always carry spare tubes. Even if the punctured tube is a write off and the tyre wall is split, it may not be terminal.  Put a new tube in the tyre and wrap those parts of the new tube that will rub against the split wall with bits of the old tube.  (Place an equal size piece of old tube on the opposite side so the wheel is not severely out of balance.)  Worked for me part-way through an MCC trial, including the blat home for about 200 plus miles :) .

Offline Paul Wheatley

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Re: Well that was disappointing!
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2019, 03:08:09 pm »
I've fitted many a bike tyre over the last forty years or so, including three tyre changes on this one but having struggled to fit the tube in this particular back tyre, even in ideal circumstances at home, it was never an option in the situation I found myself in on Saturday, especially as the bike doesn't have a centre stand and is twice my own weight.
PW.

Offline Tony Ferrari (Nomad)

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Re: Well that was disappointing!
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2019, 04:09:23 pm »
Iíve always been with either the RAC or AA and have found them both the same, they wonít send out a relay truck until a patrol has confirmed you need one!

Although I have to say my last experience with the RAC was not bad. My EXC cut out towards the end of a day in the Peaks. Ironically enough on the side road just to north of the Duke of York! A patrol turned up I. The standard VW Transporter after an hour and of course decided I need recovery. So he asks where to?

ďTo my van in Milldale pleaseĒ (all of eight miles away)

He thought about it for a moment and said ďforget the relay, if you donít mind leaving the bike here a while, why donít I just give you a lift to your van and you do the recovery?Ē

Suited me so all done and dusted in less than half an hour!

Offline Tony Ferrari (Nomad)

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Re: Well that was disappointing!
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2019, 04:11:24 pm »
And I have to say I was impressed with the customer service from the ACU, emailed last night and had a response by 10:00 this morning. My account settings have been corrected so all sorted!

Offline Tony Bishop

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Re: Well that was disappointing!
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2019, 07:10:23 pm »
Hi Tony,
Please post your observations on the Braintree trial if you do ride, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts.

My experiences of vehicle recovery, fortunately very few over the years, has been that the RAC and AA are by far the worst. I have always found the best are the smaller services that use a local recovery service/mechanic.
My best experience was when a friend ran a big end on his MZ when we were on the Isle of Man and he informed me that he had no recovery. We limped the bike back to Douglas and just outside the ferry port in Heysham I rang my recovery and told them about the failure on "my" bike.
Whilst we waited for the recovery truck we sheltered from the pouring rain in a bus shelter and swapped number plates to "prove" which bike was to be recovered.
The truck duly arrived and the guy chatted through the issue and then started to load my friend's bike (with my number plate) whilst my friend started to gear up for the very wet ride home to Essex on my bike, at which point the recovery driver said "what the heck are you doing, why don't we put your bike on the truck as well and then you can both be driven home in comfort".
Needless to say he didn't need to be asked twice !!!