The Great Birmingham to Wales Distance Trial
We pulled into the petrol station in Harborne and filled up. Just as the pump clicked off I looked down to see petrol pouring out of the rear wheel arch. When we replaced the tank we'd not made sure the filler pipe had enough clearance from the tyres and the wheel had eaten straight through it thin plastic corrugated pipe. So we pushed the car to the side of the forecourt and sprinkled sand everywhere. We also jacked the car up and took the back wheel off so we could try and save some of my new fuel which was running everywhere. In case you hadn't guessed this kind of a problem isn't really sortable. Not at 5:30pm on a Saturday. So our long distance trial was over. We had covered the awe-inspiring distance of 0.5 miles. For those of you with poor maths thats 1/20,000th race distance. This was an unimitigated disaster, a real failure, a big kick in the guts.
The evening wasn't made much better by the constant stream of sniggering chavs, who seem to hang out round the petrol station as part of thier saturday night build up.
Well at least Rich had AA membership, so we waited for two hours for a nice AA man to come and tell us what we already knew. He couldn't 'fix' the pipe, it must be replaced. He couldn't even tow us home, the best he could do would be to follow us home with the promise that he would leap out with a fire extinguisher should we burst into flames.
After wishing us luck with the rally, our chuckling Knight of the Road drove off into the night. We were left to drown our sorrows, with a couple of bottles of lager and three bottles of wine. Nice though the wine was, it couldn't shift our sense of failure. Oh well, tomorrow would be another day...
Today was another day. A day characterised by storming hang-overs, raging thirsts, stinging eyes and closed Fiat Parts Desks.