It was a dark & stormy night, and the rain came down in torrents...

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by MikeO, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. vagueout

    vagueout Long timer

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    sydney, east
    So what caused this to happen?? only yesterday i was reading about your engine knock with no idea you were a long way from home.:eek1:eek1
    #81
  2. Irishrover63

    Irishrover63 Adventurer

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    Sep 24, 2011
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    Scotland
    Don't forget to make those "Mooing" noises when standing in the queue waiting to board.
    #82
  3. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    Jul 29, 2012
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    I feel bad for you Mike....such a rotten thing to have happen, but as others have said you were not too badly hurt and will ride again! Looking forward to following your next adventure on your next bike!
    #83
  4. MikeO

    MikeO Part-time wage slave...

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    7,156
    Location:
    Scarning, Norfolk, today...
    11th November 2012

    After a day spent starting the various administrative balls rolling with insurance companies, today I travel home.

    I am fortified for my forthcoming journey with...

    [​IMG]

    ...pumpkin soup - delicious, followed by...

    [​IMG]

    ...a sadly unimaginative chicken fillet.

    Oh, and - of course...

    [​IMG]

    Just the one - I'll be driving later this evening.

    I have decided the tank bag is to remain here - it's a write off, so I take a pic for the insurance company...

    [​IMG]

    ...and put it in the bin.

    It has occurred to me that my luggage - perfect for the bike - is not best suited to travel by air. Especially Ryanair, as I seem to remember reading they have strict allowances...

    [​IMG]

    That said, I am where I am - this gear has got to come back with me, so I load it into the taxi that AA Assist have ordered and which turns up on the dot of 1420.

    It's a half-hour trip to Terminal One at Madrid airport and I grab a baggage trolley and go in search of the Ryanair check-in desk...

    [​IMG]

    When I reach the head of the queue, I am directed to Inez, on Ryanair's ground staff. I ask her if she speaks English and she says she does. This proves to be bordering on an exaggeration, but we work though it.

    Things are complex. I am allowed only ONE piece of hold baggage (I have four) and one item for the cabin, which must fit into a frame they have at check in. My crash helmet won’t fit in the frame. Naturally reluctant to trust a crash helmet to hold baggage, I decide to put this aside for a moment until we've sorted out the hold baggage. We weigh it and it's a total of 29kg. The limit is 20kg and the extra charge is €20 PER KILOGRAMME over that - in other words €180...:eek

    I rearrange some stuff and manage to get the total down to 26kg - or €120 - I've decided I'll wear the bloody helmet if necessary (I already have my bike trousers in a bag and my bike jacket as a coat).

    I contact AA Direct and ask them to confirm that they will pay the excess baggage charge. They say they definitely will NOT. When I questioned this, they pointed out that they were just charged with recovering my vehicle and arranging my onward travel. Eurotunnel travel insurance should pick up ancillary costs. I try ringing them but they are 9-5 Mon to Fri (with an medical emergencies only number manned 24/7).

    I am out of options so agree to pay the excess. I still have the problem over how many bags. I'd hoped to find somewhere in the concourse to buy some luggage, but there are just food shops.

    Inez keeps telling me to go and see the 'plastic man' - but is unable to explain what this means, although he's clearly at the far end of the concourse. I wander off with my trolley and eventually find this chap...

    [​IMG]

    He weighs up the problem, then picks up his phone and rings a chap who turns up a few minutes later. For €15 he sells me a vast laundry bag which all four pieces of luggage will fit in. I then have this sealed up on the Clingfilmotron™ ...

    [​IMG]

    ...for another €9 and return to the Ryanair check in desk and the long-suffering Inez. I pay the €120 excess baggage fee and then enter the undignified world of security. After removing boots, belt phone etc etc and putting it all through the scanner, I eventually get to the boarding gate (which is bloody miles away) and wait. And wait. The flight is delayed and we eventually board at around our planned take off time. Luck, in the shape of cabin attendant Rosa, smiles on me and I am allocated an emergency exit row seat, with some legroom...

    [​IMG]

    Ryanair is a no-frills airline. The in-flight entertainment comprises of staring at the emergency notice on the back of the seat in front of you for two and a half hours...

    [​IMG]

    We are pretty much full, although I am lucky enough to have a spare seat next to me. We go through the emergency procedures...

    [​IMG]

    ...and then set off, at what I thought was a pretty ambitious pace, for the end of the runway. Halfway there, we screech (literally) to an emergency stop. No explanation as to why - and we continue after a short stop. People in the cabin are not looking relaxed...:D

    We get airborne and I am struck by how money-hungry Ryanair is. There is no way you could have slept, as there is a regular series of tannoys in English and then in Spanish, advertising all sorts of things they can sell you: Food, drink, sightseeing tour bus tickets for London, some kind of charity lotto ticket, gifts, duty free - it went on and on. I tuned it out (hoping I’d notice if they used the words 'Brace Brace Brace' in a tannoy and tune back in) and continued reading my Bomb Hunters book.

    Eventually it was over and we arrived at a cold and dark Stanstead Airport. I clear Immigration, Customs etc, and wheel my shapeless mass of clingfilm over to the Enterprise car rental desk, where the AA has arranged for a 24-hour hire car for me. Pat looks at the bandages on my fingers and asked what has happened. I tell him the story and he can’t do too much to help. He gives me the keys to a Vauxhall Insomnia (or something like that) and arranges for it to be collected from my house tomorrow at no charge. Pat’s attitude is exactly what is needed after a bit of a fraught couple of days and I send his boss an ‘atta-boy’ email the next day about my experience… :thumb

    I push my cart to the outskirts of Colchester (or so it feels) where my car is parked. It is a big, roomy diesel (with a stupid electric handbrake)...

    [​IMG]

    I drive slowly up the M11 to my friends Paul & Mandy for a restorative cup of coffee (and to have a look at Paul’s recently acquired MV Brutale [​IMG]).

    After a bit of a wind down I drive home, arriving at about 2330 local, 0030 body clock time.

    I unload the car and – unable to settle (possibly not totally unconnected with having just drunk two double espressos) – watch the latest two episodes of Homeland off my BT recorder thing.

    I eventually decide to turn in, but first take the dressings off my fingers to allow air to heal them (the more squeamish should look away now)…

    [​IMG]

    I take a couple of paracetemol and lie down in my own bed – I go out like a light…
    #84
  5. CaptnSlo

    CaptnSlo Derelicte

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
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    VA
    It sucks that your trip had to get cut short in such a manner, especially on such a nice bike. But it makes for a cool story - definitely one of the more memorable RRs. Hope you find a suitable replacement and I'm glad to hear you made it home safely.
    #85
  6. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    MS. Gulf Coast
    Glad you made it home safely. Let us know how the insurance thing goes.
    #86
  7. Irishrover63

    Irishrover63 Adventurer

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    Scotland
    I did mention Robbing Air is good at herding cattle.
    #87
  8. FixxiT

    FixxiT Lunitic Fringe

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    954
    Location:
    TaxToll Island, NY Elevation: 22 feet

    OH NOOOOOOOOOoooooo!!!! :eek1 :cry
    #88
  9. GSgal

    GSgal Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    781
    Location:
    NW Montana
    Welcome home, MikeO. What some people won't do to grab a headline on ADVrider... :kboom


    Tee hee hee!
    #89
  10. hairnet

    hairnet will travel for cake

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
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    Location:
    very small rock in the north atlantic
    MikeO on a 12?

    [shawshank] Never Happen [/shawshank]

    hope the ins sort you quickly Mike
    #90
  11. NotAllWhoWanderRLost

    NotAllWhoWanderRLost Lost

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
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    Location:
    Bend, Oregon
    I'm glad to hear you made it home safe despite what look like some serious burns on your fingers... :eek1

    I was really enjoying your ride report and great photography right up until the fire. :yikes Do you have any idea what caused the fire?

    Wishing you all of the best in your healing as well as with the acquisition of a new bike! :beer
    #91
  12. tee bee

    tee bee Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
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    in the fens uk, mostly
    Good luck with the insurance claim mike ....:eek1
    #92
  13. helmik

    helmik Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    On a motorway near you!!
    I was totally engrossed in the RR, talk about took me by surprise!! That was not the outcome i was expecting.
    Glad your'e not too bad, the burns will heal and if your'e lucky you end up with no recognisable fingerprints, opens up a whole raft of future possibilities!!
    You want a nice 2002 K2 V Strom 1000 you do, funnily enough i am selling one!!

    Good luck Mike, hope the outcome is all you want from the experience,

    Mick.
    #93
  14. northern phil

    northern phil n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
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    Durham UK
    Mike, whether you like it or not you get the honour of my first post on here. :D

    Ive been a lurcker for ages, and was saving my first post for my first travel report, (maybe not a wise decision).

    Any how your last report "dolomite sprint" was an inspiration, i was also enjoying this one untill, well you know.

    Heartfelt commiserations, i just have it in the back of my mind your gonna lose out with the insurance debackle.

    The bike will of been worth alot more to you than some insurance companies valuation.

    Best of luck, :clap

    Phil.
    #94
  15. Thumpercrazee

    Thumpercrazee Long timer

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    Georgia, USA
    Hey Mike!!
    Man, I thought I had all the bad luck! Sorry about the Beemer...Glad you made it mostly unscathed. I hope the fingers heal quickly. Really great report and photos. Best of thoughts in your insurance claim and finding that next bike, I'm sure the paperwork will be stacked high before things get settled. Take care and ride safe...
    TC:D
    #95
  16. Frey Bentos

    Frey Bentos not listening

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    702
    Location:
    Fermanagh. Ireland
    Jesus chap. Hard luck. The picture of the beloved bike going up is just fecking horrible. Hope I never see mine that way( I do my own mechanical work, so .........) Glad you got home safe. Your story is a great advertisement for travel insurance. SOmetimes life does go tits up.
    Any thoughts to the cause?
    #96
  17. luckybum

    luckybum old n tard

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
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    151
    Location:
    Redmond, Oregon
    Bad luck all around Mike. As they say, "Everything will be all right in the end. If it's not all right, it's not the end".
    #97
  18. AteamNM

    AteamNM Wonna Be ADVrider

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    Location:
    Sandia Mountains New Mexico
    Great ride report. Tragic ending but you will ride on and I hope continue to write on.

    Please follow up with all the detail and the cause of the fire.

    Salute to you sir, a true adventurer.
    #98
  19. Neil Claydon

    Neil Claydon Don't follow me, I'm lost

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    Rochford, Essex, UK
    What a horrible way for a ride to end, I feel for you as I know first hand just what it feels like :cry

    Neil. :1drink
    #99
  20. Manuel1200

    Manuel1200 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    30
    Location:
    Madrid, SP
    ...but the bike went in Style
    Sorry, very Sorry to read and see what has happened, but you are OK and that's the most important thing.
    And, if i have read it right, you save Betty and your computer, so we only have to find you anote ADV 1150!!!...we'll keep you informed about the "Search and Rescue ADV 1150 Operation" in Spain

    FIGHT'S ON