Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Punctures, Rain, Sunshine and the Lanes

I wanted to do a bit a of a shakedown on some things I've upgraded on my bike, so decided to go out for a few days with the bags packed and see how things got on... not so well it turns out!!

Tuesday was a beautiful sunny day so once I'd finished some jobs and some packing I headed out with a couple of options in mind but no real direction...

 A bunch of old classics saw me heading east towards Hawes before a bit of a camp under a wall for the night, sheltering from the wind and rain to come!

The night started out pretty cool with the big moon rising in a window of cloud, the stars were out and the wind wasn't too bad. I managed to ride all of the rocky steps in the dark, (I'm liking the new X2 light for a bit of night time riding!). Dinner was samosas, a sausage roll and a can of Hobgoblin beer!

As the night wore on though, the wind picked up, the rain came down and temperature dropped, so ear plugs were called for as the tent was moving around a fair bit by now!

Morning brought that grey mizzle so special to the northern UK, oh and high winds, I packed up inside the tent until all that was left was the flysheet, pole and pegs of the tent itself, once done I forced myself out into the weather. I loaded the panniers onto the bike then it was off onto the rest of the lane, a feat in the side ways winds!!

As I headed over to Stalling Busk, I got a puncture in my front tyre, so parked up by the side of the little flooded lake and got it sorted... a nice old farmer stopped to see if I was alright and we had a bit of a gossip, then it was back up the hill... I promptly got a second puncture after about 20 minutes and my electric start died, so it was back to kick starting the bike again.. mmm a few things stacking up here!

This was my spare tube, the rain was sheeting in again, so I decided to head back to Hawes to the cafe for some late breakfast, once there and warm again, I decided to go up to Martin at MHB Motorcycles in Kirkby Stephen and get a replacement tube. We ended up gossipping about all kinds of things and I left there at 3pm. During all of this, the electric start wasn't working and we couldn't find the reason why, but I was also struggling with lights and it appears there is a drain on the system somewhere, so it was home time before it got too dark to ride.

I took in a couple more new lanes as I headed west again, however I also found that the panniers were now bending the plastic rear panel into the tyre, which if nothing else made a right row. Then to cap it all off, I ran out of petrol, luckily about 400 metres from my next fuel stop, so not as far to push the bike!

The final ride back was cold, dark and a little scary, car drivers aren't very friendly in the UK on the whole, especially to slow moving trail bikes, and a couple were more than a little close for comfort, still my light seems to have worked fine again which makes me wonder about water ingress as well as the battery... oh well, more sorting to be done...