In January 2010, my SV and myself celebrated 100.000km together, we had covered them in less tan 5 years.
Life is like a twisty and bumpy road, and the following year, we were leaving Barcelona to go (together) to live in Paris. Although Paris is “glamour” for most people, it’s not the best place to enjoy motorbikes as it’s ALL FLAT, you have to ride for 400km before you find some twisties. So that while living there, the yearly kilometres average went down quite a bit.
In spite of not using it every day, it was when living in Paris that we went furthest away with our bikes until now:
Ireland for our Honeymoon trip –which would change our lives- (click on the pics to access to the corresponding posts)
and the following year to Czech Republic,
We also had some opportunities to discover a little bit of France, mainly the East part:
and Les Vosges:
area that I didn’t know at all.
In 2015 we moved again, this time to Ireland. During the first year or so, we had good opportunities to keep knowing this beautiful country, with areas we didn’t know yet, including the one where we now live:
And also some longer holidays to visit co. Antrim
From mid-2016, the kilometres then became almost nothing, with the birth of our daughter Emma. In 2015-2016 we did about 5000km, and since then, I’d say about 500 lol .
Anyway, what’s important is not quantity but quality, and even if we didn’t take the bike as much since the 100.000km, we have discovered more distant places with very different people.
So finally, on the first Saturday of September, coming back from having breakfast in Ballyhoura Mountains,
my SV and myself celebrated our 150.000km together.
Since 2010, apart from usual servicing and tyres changing, this is what we did:
-Before leaving Barcelona, we changed the clutch. It was not giving any problem, but it was “just in case” as we didn’t know when we would find a trustful mechanic again.
-On our way to Paris, I changed for the first time the battery. We changed it again in 2017, for lack of use of the bike and probably excess of humidity around.
-For our honeymoon trip we bought a Givi topbox and Givi rigid saddle bags with SV-MOTECH frame, very handy for long trips.
-I changed the rider seat as the padding had been damaged during the ferry trip. I also changed the screen as it had been scratched in 2005, during my stay in sweet Marseille…
-When we arrived in Ireland, I had to change the exhaust seal, as it had completely fallen apart.
-The only recurrent problem I had with the bike in 150.000km was that when it rained A LOT and for a long time, some water would get into the front cylinder sparkplug cavity, and after a while the bike would run on one cylinder and stop. When we arrived in Ireland we changed the sparkplug cap. In the following long trip we did to the North, we had some rain on the way back and I had no problem. Last month on our way back from the Munster 100, Juan rode my bike for 40km under heavy rain and the bike showed no issue.
So given that I don’t use the bike too often, and that when I use it I now try to avoid rainy days, I guess we won’t have the problems for many years now. Lol
-During our Holidays 2016, the bike was refusing to start every now and then. In Ballymoney they diagnosed a fault of the starter motor and told us how to start the bike when that happened as they didn’t have the spares for repairing. When we came back Juan bought the little parts inside the starter motor and repaired it. Working perfect since.
-We removed the heating grips that stopped working a while back, and we put back the original grips. If I’m going to use the bike to do max 500km per year, I don’t think I’ll take her out when it’s too cold outside anyway LOL.
After 150.000km I’ve still no intention of letting her go, I’m still very happy with her and no recent motorbike really attracts me. So even if I only use her for 500km per year, when I do go for a spin I really enjoy every single kilometre.
So now I suppose it will take us a few year to get to celebrate 200.000km, but the objective is just enjoying with her every single kilometre, on nice twisty roads, surrounded by beautiful landscapes and with the best company!
6 years ago we went to our first road race, in Armoy, during our Honeymoon travel. There we bought the “Road Racing Ireland” for the first time. There was a short article on a road race in Cork being cancelled on the day due to heavy rain and track unsuitable for racing.
Who would have told us then that 2 years later we would be living in Cork, and that 5 years later a small group of people would pull together to revive the Munster 100 on the same Glanmire track.
We actually came on board of the organisation late, when a big part of the job of fundraising and looking for sponsors was well advanced, but tried to help as much as possible over the last few months.
This was a lovely experience to become part of this group of passionate and hardworking men, who put a lot of effort and time to get the Munster 100 back on track.
So the racing week-end of our first road race in Cork was lived in a completely different way. From inside and mostly in the paddock. And with very few pictures. But seeing how much time and work has to be put in to get everything needed, the track put together, signage around and close to the track, protections all around, paddock organised, work on entries, passes, lists of stuffs to be done, finding people to do a million of small or big tasks before, during and after the event…
Comes Friday before racing. Paddock is still very quiet, podium is being finished with all sponsors.
Many people working around the track from early morning until late that night. It’s early evening now, paddock is now filling up. I’m there but only baby sitting while Juan is doing his little bit with signage.
For the night we had booked a “VIP” place to stay on the track, very handy with a little girl.
Saturday morning I started “working” while Juan is baby-sitting. I’ve been given a task in the scrutiny tent handing over to the riders or their assistant/mechanics/helper/friend the document that will be signed by the scrutineers. A couple of “moments of panic” lol. Hope I didn’t do too bad.
When I’m finished with my task I get back to my baby-sitting role and Juan is helping at one of the gates.
Practice starts with a slight delay. It’s raining most of the day, practice is untimed.
We are under a tent most of the day, where the merchandising is being sold.
Emma was so nice all day. She had a few “laps” on the carrousel just in front of us, a lovely man taking care of it. And when the rain gave us a break we walked a little around the paddock. One of the riders is selling very nice tracks maps carved in wood to help financing his racing: 108 Art . Giving us ideas for home decoration. 🙂
Practice ended, and they could run the first 2 races, “non championship.” When I heard through the speakers that the first race of the Munster 100 was on, I felt a little emotional to be honest…
After the racing was over, we regrouped for preparing the big day, then Juan, myself and Emma went for some food in Glanmire and we headed back to the B&B for the night.
An early wake on race day for me, back to the scrutiny tent, this time a little more prepared, but also with a slight moment of panic. Lol.
A particular mention there to marshals and other people who came to help over the week-end from other Clubs from different points of Ireland. This IS what makes us so proud of the road racing community, and gets it to move forward. A big “family” in which people always pull together in difficult moments and help each other when needed.
After the job was done, the races order was announced.
and given the forecast, the idea was to get as much racing as possible between 10am and 2pm, as by 3pm there was a huge storm announced…
So I went back to my baby-sitting tasks while Juan was going on duty at one gate.
I tried to get Emma to see some racing as she had enjoyed it so much in Faugheen 2 weeks earlier. It was the Open race, and we went to the gate next to the start/finish. They are very fast there.
So we saw them pass by twice, but she got upset 🙁 . So we had to turn back and to the paddock again.
So for us the rest of the day was spent between the merchandising tent (there were a few showers), the carousel, walking around the paddock, playing with other kids, chatting with the neighbours (the West Cork MCC, Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and Road Racing Ireland).
I couldn’t see any racing, just listening to the comments (which were great by the way!). But racing went smoothly all day. The Grand Final was advanced from programme and after a first start was stopped because of rain (typical!). It was restarted a little later and went perfect!
Just around 2.30pm the racing was over!!!
The podium ceremony started shortly after as weather conditions were starting to deteriorate. I was able to stay at the podium taking pics for the first time of the week-end, while Juan had to pack up with a wrecked Emma.
I joined them back to the B&B to load the car shortly after, and after a while we were on the way back home under pouring rain. Juan on my bike in front got soaked, mainly his waterproof jacket…
But we were SO HAPPY that the rain had waited until racing was over.
This was such a great reward for the people who put so much effort and time in getting the MUNSTER 100 back on the calendar.
I have very few pictures of what I feel I can now call “my local road race”, but I really don’t mind as it was such a lovely experience to live it from inside, and give something back to the sport we love, even if it was not much.
Hope we’ll be able to help a little more next year.
ROLL ON MUNSTER 100 2020!!!