John Young is soon to depart on this epic adventure. He’s supplied the following report:
Four weeks tomorrow myself and Martyn will be leaving the UK, bound for Morocco, (Chris and John Jnr are flying down 3 days later) so I thought it was worth bringing you up to speed. The last couple of weeks have been hard for me. In addition to having to prepare the bike, I have had the added problems of being really pushed at work but now it’s full steam ahead on the rally. Next Sunday (7th Feb), I’m off to Richard Darby’s workshop to:
- Split the outfit to make sure that it fits in the van (it doesn’t at the moment)
- Fix the primary drive oil leak
- Fabricate fixings for the 20 litre Jerry Can bracket so that it doubles up as a support for the oil tank
This week, most nights will be spent on the rewire and creating the final wiring loom for the bike. The bike has developed a problem in that it is running very rich since the new manifold was bolted on. However, I think I have now discovered what the problem is and so I’m off to see Martin Russell this afternoon to have the manifold “modified”. I had asked for a hole to be blocked up that shouldn’t have been! This is the 4th time the manifold has been changed now! I think Martin is beginning to hate seeing me walking through his door.
The spending continues unabated – £800 for medical / rally insurance, over £200 for a rally computer, spare tyres, chains etc and an as yet unspecified “£” for the Garmin Sat Nav 9 that I’m trying to buy second hand off ebay …… (my kids are again watching their inheritance diminish!) As to how I feel, well I lurch from slightly depressed to very depressed each time I enter the garage as I contemplate the seemingly never ending mountain of things left to do – but one by one the list is getting ticked off. Sonia is again bearing the brunt of my frustration – as she did leading up to the IBA, and the Krystal Rally ….At least she must be getting used to it by now. The most difficult thing for me though, is knowing that even I’m ploughing so much time, money and effort into this, we’re unlikely to make it to the finish So what are the (realistic) targets? Well, if we make it to day two, I will be happy. If by some miracle we can get to day four, I will consider it to be a total success. I feel that we have no hope of finishing though. Too many things are against us – the age of the bike (engine and frame), the terrain, the weather and most of all my riding ability.
And that’s about it really. A bit depressing isn’t it? I’m planning on going down to the Bristol Classic Bike show on Saturday and I’ll be visiting the Classic Off Road show at Telford on the 20th February. Bristol is just to buy various spares to take, but also to look for last minute ideas. Telford is when me and John (Jnr) are buying our off road bike gear
Perhaps I may be able to meet up with some of you at one or other of these shows? If everything goes well, I am planning on giving the outfit, one final good run and having a ride up to the Dragon Rally in Snowdonia on Saturday 13th February as I seem to have inherited Dave Pugh’s ticket. I’m not planning on staying over as I’ll want to work on the bike on the Sunday, but I thought that it would give it one good last “shake-down” run.