SkiBike Tour 2011-12 - Driving Home

Posted: Saturday, 4 February 2012 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: , , ,

We had it all planned out so well; clean up the apartment, a leisurely breakfast, load up the car, followed by the long drive home. Unfortunately the best laid plans of mice and skibikers...
I thought something must be awry when I realised that Carl had been gone quite a while to collect the car from the car park at the top of the hill. I switched on my phone to grab a few last minute pictures of Flaine and the text message came in "Battery totally dead! Even with battery pack on! Loads of people up here with dead batteries".
This didn't bode well, I made my way up the hill to the car park to see if I could offer any moral support. The scene was catastrophic, it had been  under -20 degrees overnight; batteries had died and diesel fuel had solidified in fuel lines. The car park was littered with cars with open bonnets lined up like open mouths at the dentists. After Carl engaged in top level diplomacy with some people from the Czech Republic he got a jump from a humongous Mercedes 4x4 and we were back in business.
We were over 2 hours behind schedule and would probably miss our ferry. Having a good driver is definitely the way to go, we motored on solidly for 8 hours and arrived within a minute of the E T A stated from the outset in Flaine. On the plus side P&O ferries came good on the next available crossing, we were straight on the ferry and on our way back before we knew it.

SkiBiker Carl - Cream Crackered
Leaving Dover with every mile the snow came down heavier and heavier, we got as far as Kenley and about half a mile from my home had to refit snow chains to get up the hill for the last stretch. One of the better snow chains broke and Carl had to fit one of the cheaper ones he originally bought for the trip, I suppose you can't have enough spares. Tired but eager to be off home Carl later posted "M40 knackered had to go through London, how many people have driven around Marble Arch with Tyre chains on."