Tail End Charlie

Day 141, Tuesday 9 January 2018.

I was tail-end Charlie on a Ulysses Auckland ride today, which went around the twisty back roads of the Waikato. We had a rest stop at Ruawaro, and soon after we set off again the topbox of the bike in front of me detached itself and bounced along the road towards me. I started to take evasive action, but the box bounced sideways into the verge. We both stopped, and I retrieved the battered topbox. The mount had broken, and it could not be reattached to the bike. Other riders had not immediately noticed our absence, so we continued a little more slowly along the route with the other rider balancing his topbox on his knees. We found some of the riders waiting for us further up the road, and stopped at Ngaruawahia to buy some heavy duty tape to temporarily reattach the topbox before joining the rest of the riders for lunch.

It’s the duty of the TEC to assist other riders in the event of an accident or breakdown. In this case, the rider didn’t particularly need assistance. Neither of us had tools on hand which could have fixed the problem – I do carry a roll of electrical tape, which can be used to fix minor structural problems, but the topbox was too large an item for this to have worked. Nevertheless I could provide moral support, and I think this was appreciated.

The topbox was a GIVI knockoff purchased for a considerably cheaper price than the genuine article. It would appear that this was not a good way to save money.


Picture by Chris Henderson

Distance travelled: 264 km. Total distance so far: 18,700 km

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