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BunBurner 1500

 Ride Statistics
 1 August 2009  Depart: Derbyshire: 00:01 - 01 Aug 2009  Arrive Folkstone: 02:50 - 01 Aug 2009  Arrive Colditz: 14:25 - 01 Aug 2009
   Arrive Brandenburg Gate: 17:40 - 01 Aug 2009  Arrive Calais:???  - 02 Aug 2009  Arrive Home: 09:35 - 02 Aug 2009
 Total Miles: 1770 - Bike Odo 1679 Autoroute miles  Total Time: 33:35  Total Fuel Used: 160.33 ltrs

 Ave MPG: 47.61 (based on receipts and actual not odo miles)  Ave MPH: 66.79 - despite the temptation to cain it on the unrestricted autobahns, a cruising speed of around 90mph was riden - fuel v speed - hence the 47 mpg)

Ride Report
When I realised I would be able to attend the Berlin Blitz, after a change in my plans, I thought how could I turn this into a certified ride. Which ride was next to do, or did I want to do?
Having missed the chance to see Colditz Castle last year due to an oversight with a wrist-watch and time zones,I thought that as it was only a couple of hours south of Berlin, I could include this in the ride. Conveniently, this would make a round-trip of around 1600 miles. Ideal for the BB1500, the Gold if I didn't stop for long at Colditz or Brandenburg Gate, or even an SS2000 if the times worked out.
A route was planned that would mix both motorways and A-roads. I need to enjoy the roads as well as covering the distance. I also allowed for the non-riding distance across the channel and the time difference. The plan would mean leaving at around midnight and this should get me to the Channel Tunnel for 02:50 to cross at 03:20 (BST) with a hoped for arrival at Colditz of 14:30 (CEST), an hour rest break then on to Berlin for around 17:30 (CEST). Depending on the ride I go for, I could just stop for a breif rest or stay longer and enjoy the time. As a contingency for the ride to Colditz, I also have the option to jump on the motorway all the way instead of using the A-roads.
With the prep done, the paperwork printed and ready, the bike loaded (I always carry a tent, sleeping bag and bed mat just-in-case - and it's no effort as they fit easily in one pannier), the water bag full and chilled, I was able to get back from work on the Friday and get a good few hours sleep before heading off.
I hadn't asked for a start witness at random before but thought I'd give it a go at the local 24 hour petrol station. The lady was more than willing to sign the paperwork. I left the station at around 00:15 with a full tank and my Instamapping software on. This would be the first ride outside the UK that I try this.
All went to plan and I got to the services at Folkstone for around 02:40, time to brim the tank and check-in at the specified 02:50. After a 25 minute wait was loaded in the smartie tube and off. I really don't like the tunnel - no drinks, no seats, no veiw... but when time is important what can you do?
The first part of the ride was to near Duisburg and all motorway, before heading south east towards Wickede. This was on A-roads. Unfortunately, if I wanted to keep to the time frame, I would have to go to plan B, come off the A-raods and use the motorways. This worked and I got to Colditz on time. I'd planned to spend an hour here, time for a rest, drink, food and a quick look at the castle. Interesting fact that I didn't know, the castle is actually a youth hostel. Worth remembering in the future.
Having had the rest it was just the short hop up to Berlin and the rendeavous point at the Brandenburg Gate. I was the first to arrive and got there at around 17:40. The boulevards on the way in to town were full of police - bikes, cars, vans. It turns out that there was a big Harley rally on and also a pro cannibis demo. By ten to, 955i had arrived, so had some of the chaps from IBA Europe. After a quick look we also found Roger, Phil (FazerPhil) and others ready for a couple of photo's at the gate.
It was now a case of filling up with fuel and heading off for home - remind me again why I do this?.. I got the fuel and got moving. It had been very hot all day, got through loads of water, and it was still in the 30c's. The ride was good until around midnight. Well when I say good it was for the most part - basically along the A2 - until I hit 3 lots of heavy roadworks. The Germans either aren't used to, or don't like, filtering. My scheduled arrival at Calais now looked optamistic. I would need to be silly to get there. Fortunately the plan had enough slack in it that I could loose a good 5 hours and not be worried - part of the planning.
Around 01:00 the tiredness was coming, with time in the bag, I decided to pull over in a rest area and get an hour and half sleep - on a bench. Refreshed and ready to go, it started to rain. Not just rain but biblical rain, flooded motorway, slow speeds, the works. It was worth wearing the waterproof gear after all. Thought it was a mistake given the day-time temperatures.
With the rain behind me, I got to the tunnel at ?? and as usual had no problem with the missed booking, just got on the next train - guess the tunnel has some advantages. The next step was the routine ride back to Derbyshire and home. Although I had plenty of time, I decided not to go for the SS2000, this can wait for another ride, probably as part of an End To End / End to End Gold combo.
So with 1770 showing on the odo, the receipts all collected, the log done, it was time to get some some sleep and mabe a little wind-down ride in the afternoon.