Grim Rider's Websites
A site dedicated to long distance motorcycling &
home of the Grim Riders MCC; the British Long Distance Riders;
and the Moped Challenge
On every ride or rally there is a learning point to be recognised and taken away to improve your future performance. Sometimes these are minor points; a more efficient way of managing fuel stops, a better sysytem for keeeping your rally flag safe - sometimes they are major ones which have a big imapct on your ride. So it was with the Brit Butt Light for 2012. This is what happens when you do not listen carefully to all instructions!
This was the fourth running of the BBL but only the first time I had taken part as a rider, since I had set up the rally and been rallymaster for the first three events. Now the shoe was definitely on the other foot!
As in previous years, the rallybook was sent out the week before, giving riders plenty of time to plan different routes and possibilities. It also follwed a theme, with the intriguing title of 'Lost Boys and Rude Girls'. I had not had much time to go over the book in the week but had come up with a route which basically took me across to Northamptonshire, then down towards London before heading west to South Wales and then up through Worcestershire to the finish in Stoke on Trent. I was not entirely happy with it and was sure other riders would have the same route as there was a grouping of high points value bonuses to the north of London which stood out; but they would be moving faster than me and be able to pick up more points. There is quite a difference between a 12 hour and a 36 hour rally -like the difference between running 1500 and 10000 metres, and I had always been better at the longer distance. In a 12 hour rally you do not need to pace yourself in the same way as you do over 36 hours and it favours those wih newer, faster bikes.
On the day I got up late after a bad night with the twins and ended up arriving in Stoke on Trent only a couple of minutes before the 8am start. As the rallmaster, Rick, handed out the rally flags he provided us with further instructions which completely changed the nature of the rally. He told us that results for the rally would not be calculated on the total number of points accrued, as is usually the case, but on the basis of points gained per mile travelled - with a minimum requirement of travelling 250 miles.
I knew what I should do was stop, get out my laptop and work out some different options and compare there points per mile values. I knew this, and kept thinking this as I rode along my route, especially when I looked at the number of miles I had to travel between London and Cardiff with no points gained. I knew this but for some reason, lethargy took over and I just kept going and completed the ride as I had planned it. The riders who were smartest stopped, worked out the options and ended up riding half the distance I did for a better points per mile value and ended up first and second. The rest of us filled the remaining positions and I came fourth of the sixteen riders. A lesson learned!