Bike On! I like riding motorcycles, especially the longer tours. I currently have a Yamaha FJR1300. Thats a big (1300cc), comfortable, heavy(280 kg) but powerful (140 hp) tourer. Earlier this year I did the longest-day ride. This is a decentralised tour, with just five rules.
This is the (b)log of the ride.
On the road again : So I choose a day [earlier this summer] (a Sunday, so there would be no lorries or trucks (HGVs) on the road) which the weather report predicts will be fine and not too hot and prepare the bike (but not fuelling it), equipment and myself and go to bed early. Up at four, light breakfast and on the road just after five am. 200 meters to the village's automated gas station, fuelling up and getting a timestamped (05:10am) receipt (documentation, geddit). The FJR has a 400+ km range, so I would need to refuel twice, so I had planned a triangular course. Leg 1 was Henglarn to Pottenstein in Bavaria, I know the roads in the area there from a previous trip to Pottenstein back in 2001.
Leg one : Roads empty at this time of day, so I am able to get a move on while cruising fast and watching the world wake up. Birds first, then cows, then paperboys, then dogs, then churchgoers driving sleepily to first mass. Leg 1 takes me 380 km before the reserve-warning bleeps at me and starts counting down. Just 4 km as it happens, to get to the pre-planned gas-station. Fuel at 9:31, having spent 4 hours 21 on the road. 88,6 km/h rolling average. Good going for roads with a speed-limit of 100, interspersed by villages (I avoid the towns).
Fill up the bike, getting the timestamped receipt and putting 23.4 liters in a 25 liter tank, so I had just 26 km reserve. That's cutting it too tight for a sunday morning usually. Next task is to empty me :) and drink a big bottle of water. Coffee or coke are NOT a good idea for long distance riding. Photograph the village name sign on the roadside with the bike (& its numberplate) in the photo too. Strip off a layer of clothing under the leathers. Nine whole minutes gone without moving! Take off 9:40 on leg 2.
The second leg is east to west, avoiding the sun in my eyes which had been annoying at the end of leg 1 which had been on a southeastern heading. Always plan your tours to keep the sun out of your eyes.
Leg two : is Pottenstein to Idar Oberstein. 355 km, 4 hours 22, rolling average is below 82, because the day-tripper traffic has built up during the morning. People going sightseeing and stopping for a sunday lunch. Sunday drivers, some of them. Yeough! Need to stay WIDE awake! But I am a bit tired, so I take a longer break, having a light salad for lunch and drinking another bottle of water.That's three liters of water so far, so I emptied me again too :) Have a short nap on the grass bank of the restauraunt parking lot too, having set my portable alarm to wake me after 45 minutes. Refuel, getting the timestamped receipt. Consumption on leg 2 only 5.8 l/h, probably due to the lower speed. Photograph the town limit sign, again with the bike in the pic. This time me too, thanks to a friendly pedestrian lady :)
Covered 385+355=740 km so far. Need 260 then, plus some (at least 50?) to account for the inevitable optimism that odometers always have. It's now 15:02. About six hours to sunset, so I'm well on track there, and about 300 km SSW of home, so the distance could be borderline. I decide to add a small detour. I'll go via Olpe and then to Korbach and home from there. That adds about 30 to 40 km. And besides, I know the road that way from Olpe on, so I'll pick up some speed if I need to, and can cut-across short if I'm on the safe side distance-wise.
Leg three : starts out fast, because all the day trippers are now in the cafes for coffee and cake :) But then they head for home, blocking the roads. I'm tiring too, so I accept a pace slower than leg 1 , more like leg 2. Reckon five hours maybe? However, the traffic thins out as I get into the hills north of Montabaur, and the pace picks up. Near Betzdorf I need to take a leak (all that water!) and allow myself a quick roadside coffee. No need for fuel. 3 Minute total! After Olpe I know the road well, the day trippers are mostly gone, and I can really whistle along. Whoops! Approaching cars flashing me, so I slow down in time to avoid the cops' radar trap. Thanks, you anonymous tin-can drivers :) Through the twisties and the hills back from Korbach which I know so well I can really get flying. Leg three takes only 3 hours fiftyone minutes after all. 329 km and an 85,8 km/h rolling average. 20.5 liters means a consumption of 6.2 l/h on leg three. Get the timestamped fuel receipt (18:52) and photograph the bike at the Henglarn village signpost.
Summary : So 385+355+329=1069 by my reckoning. The odometer says 1091. Should be on the safe side though, it's unlikely to go 10% fast. Departure 05:10, arrival 18:53 makes 13:43 for 1069 calculated kms makes 78 km/h average including all stops. Rolling average 82,5 km/h. Pretty good for country roads and a guy approaching 60 himself :) I'm tired but happy. Bike ran like clockwork; thanks Yamaha.
Take a relaxing bath. I'll clean the bike and submit the paperwork tomorrow. End of a really good day out :) Aching muscles the next morning though!
Megameter confirmed : That was the day's log. And why am I only blogging it now? Well the confirmation arrived yesterday, crediting only 1031 km (so my odometer goes 6% fast and my map program goes 3% faster than theirs. But I made it. Next target is an Iron Butt Saddlesore award, 1000 miles in 24 hours (or maybe the BunBurner Gold, 1500 miles in 24 hours), but autobahn is permitted, should be a piece of cake getting around ;-)