Tuesday, 13 November 2018

R66 shirts!

When we were driving the Arizona section of Route 66 I didn't really think about a t-shirt.  Okay, we didn't do it all from Chicago to the Pacific but some of it.  And we took loads of photos.

Sadly, not on a bike but in a Dodge Charger.  So when I saw these at a clearance price on Fat Skeleton's website I had to get a couple, especially with an extra 15% discount. One for me and one for my (now) BMW megabike riding brother, Neill.

At the time of writing I am probably going to keep the winged one.

And give him the other one! He has done the whole thing twice, once on a bike and once in a car.

Friday, 2 November 2018

FL19 - Car Hire

Going through the motions of checking to see what the rates are.  For some reason National who I have been using for years appear to have hiked their rates up and for the "full size" bracket the quote is about 50% higher than last October (2017)

Will look later. I prefer the idea of booking and not paying until I am face to face with the counter clerk! But too many are pay now.

Friday, 12 October 2018

FL19 - Aer Lingus

I had an email from Aer Lingus.  They have re-timed the outward flight to Miami from Dublin.  It is now an hour later.

It shouldn't affect the car hire or the overnight hotel by very much.

NL19 - Assen BSB

We enjoyed our weekend away so much, even with the traffic difficulties, that I have made a booking at another local hotel for the same race weekend in 2019.

This one, Wapen van Vries,  is actually almost opposite the pizza place we went to this year in Vries.  It's maybe five minutes further along from the motorway than this year's place.  

It's all free cancellation and no prepayment so we can cancel if need be. It's also some €60 cheaper for us, although I don't think Neill will save much, if he comes.

Hopefully after her operation in October 2018,  Claire will be back on the bike and not in the pain she was the last time and we can make a more sedate holiday out of the trip.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

NL18 - Assen - Monday

After the journey up we decided not to hang about too long on the way home in case the traffic was as bad and we would be endanger of missing the train home.

So we were up and ready to leave before 9am.  Neill was still there as we left and Claire and he had set Google to we could see where we were on the road.  it wasn't working that well when we left though.

Rather than risk getting to Antwerp and once again getting stuck in heavy or non-moving traffic, I decided fill the Insignai's tank with cheaper diesel. On Sunday it was €1.379 a litre, by Monday it has leapt up by 4 centts. Still cheap enough.

When I later entered the figures into Fuelly we had managed 46.26mpg despite sitting in traffic for hours on Friday. I had high hopes then for this tank as long as the traffic wasn't as horrendous.

Claire kept checking google maps and it showed Neill still at the hotel.  Despite warnings from TomTom of heavy traffic it was only near Hoogeveen where the A28 leaves itself and becomes the A28 after a large junction.

There was another short delay at Utrecht when we had to turn off the A28 onto the A27.  But it wasn't for long and we barely had to actually stop.

As Antwerp drew nearer we decide it was time to have a coffee break.  Neill was still at the hotel according to Google.  So we stopped at the services just before Breda.  A coffee and a cake and twenty minutes later we were off.   Neill was now on the way and about 50 miles behind us.

Amazingly Antwerp wasn't the disaster it has been every other time we have tried to get through.  Traffic couldn't be claled light but we were through and on the A11 (re-badged from an N road we have used before) and on the way to Brugge.

We didn't stop again. As we crossed into France we saw that Neill was a Jabbeke Services so he caught up with us pretty rapidly.  

We arrived at the Shuttle way too early to check in. You are supposed to only arrive two hours before your crossing.  But as they don't actually run a service to time ever, what does it matter!!

We got in a longish queue.  Through the barriers we could see about quarter of a square mile of cars al jammed and trying to get through French passports.  Usually the laissez-faire French don't give much of a shit to people leaving.....  But today?  

The computer offered us a 1650 crossing instead of the booked 1750 and for free. So we took it. The ticket "hanger" for the internal mirror was S.  Time to get through the controls and have comfort breaks.

Neill was still at Jabbeke according to google.  

After queuing for about fifteen minutes the French bloke simply waved us through.  We then stopped at their customes and a guy came and swabbed the bonnet (?) around the catch, my door handle and window frame.  Looking for explosives.  We sat here for ages until they shifted a cone and we headed for UK passports...  Another 15 minutes lost.

We entered the terminal building with our "call" still 40 minutes away. It works like the airlines... a call to the gate. Neill finally arrived and messaged he was queuing to get through. He was told that he had to travel as booked. And got T.

We were called to proceed just as he parked next to us. A quick "hello" and we set off.  

Of course, it wouldn't be Eurotunnel if we had actually got on the S-train at 1650.  We queued in the S-lanes and the train went and we moved forward a little bit. The barrier dropped.  We waited another 25 minutes and then got loaded on the T-train! We were near the front of the double deck half of the train and Neill right at the back. What a shambles.

Eurotunnel blamed the queues on the border controls for the delays.  Surely the trains run to a schedule and whoever is there queuing gets on? More BS from Eurotunnel.

We had hoped to get on an earlier train so that we could go and get Reggie from the kennels but that was thwarted and we didn't save the overnight fee for him.

Once home we unpacked the car and had a sit down.  I know we had been sitting down in the car since before 9am, or 8am UK time, but sitting with a cup of coffee and not in the car was very nice.

I forgot to check TomTom's statistics to see what they looked like.


Had a short lie-in and then went to get Reggie. he was pleased to see me and jumped into my arms and then went to sleep in the car.  At least this time he seems to not have sore throat from barking!

I stopped at Tesco.  The round trip Tesco-Assen-Tesco was 728.8 miles.  Although I had hoped to maybe top 50mpg when it was all entered into Fuelly. As it was, it was the best ever but only 47.5mpg.  I blame the traffic queues at Eurotunnel for that!