BXAGON CHALLENGE

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Philip Chidlow
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BXAGON CHALLENGE

Post by Philip Chidlow » Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:05 pm

As some may have read, I want to do something for charity. I hope to plan a run of BXs around the periphery of France (the 'Hexagon' as it is known).

(see http://bxclub.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php ... highlight= )

(and http://bxclub.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php ... &start=195)

I will try to evaluate the practicalities of it over the next few weeks. Some may consider it a bit ambitious. It might be. But with the help of others I will try to make it happen. If there are enormous and expensive hurdles to doing it so that it's all above board and proper, then I obviously won't be able to do it. Instead it ceases to become an 'event' and more of a solitaire thing - like an individual obtaining sponsorship for bike ride or marathon.

But I'm sure we can sort something out. The main thing is making sure everyone either participating or supporting or indeed those potential sponsors out there are utterly confident that it is all legitimate and beyond reproach. Watch this space.

In the meantime will anyone with the time and inclination (especially those who know France - or a particular, relevent part of it) have a look at the DRAFT route. This is now going to form the basis of the plan, currently being drwn up by Matt and myself. We need to consider how many 'stages' this will be done in. what the rest/stop-over points are and what local conditions may influence (affect) our progress.

All suggestions welcome.

ROUTE:


start
CALAIS > A16/E40 >
Dunkirque > A25/E42 >
Bailleul >
LILLE > A23 through Orchies >
Valenciennes > E19 > N49 >
Bavay >
Maubeuge >
N2 > Avesnes-s-Heipe >
La Capelle >
Hirson > N43/E44 >
Charleville-Meziéres > N43/E44 >
E44/E50 > SEDAN (W) >
Longuyon >
A4/E50 (METZ) > A4 >
St. Avold >
A4/E25 > STRASBOURG >
A35/E25 > Junction 7 N83/E25 >
A35/E25 > Sélestat > Colmar >
MULHOUSE (A35/E25) >
Belfort (A36/E54) >
Montbéliard >
A36/E601 leave J 6.1>
D438 > Pont-de-Roide >
Maîche > Morteau >
Pontarlier >
(D471) Champagnole >
Lons-le-Saunier >
D470 > Orgalet >
Villiards d'Heria >
take D27, D436 > Dortan >
D31 > head of A404 (check details) >
to Junction with A40/E21/E62 (Check road complete) >
Nantua >
(S. of GENÈVE) >
A40/E25/E712 >
Junction 20, S. to Mégeve (N212) >
(Probably best to avoid Chamonix-Mt-Blanc?)
Albertville >
A430 >
to Junction with A43/E70
(? Should we leave it @ J29 and take
D902 via Valloire to Col du Lantaret?)
Then, eventually: N91 >
BRIANÇON >
N94 > Gap >
N85 > A51 > Sisteron >
J21 (on to N85 again) >
Digne-les-Bains > N85 >
Grasse > (via N85 still) >
CANNES
A8/E80 > Aix-en-Provence >
(E80/E714) > Salon-de-Provence >
A54/E80 > ARLES >
N572 > St. Gilles >
N572 > Vauvert > Aimargues (N) >
D979 to J26 A9/E15 >
MONTPELLIER >
BEZIERS >
Narbonne (still on the A9/E15) >
PERPIGNAN >
D117 >
Quillan >
Lavelanet >
Junction with N20/E9 >
(N) to Foix > D117 (continues)>
St. Girons >
J20 A64/E80 >
TARBES >
PAU >
BIARRITZ/Bayonne >
A63/E5/E70 > Junction + N10/E5/E70 >
(N) to Mageseq >
Labouheyre >
Belin-Béliet >
N10 > BORDEAUX >
(Follow ring road (E) to E602 >
A10/E5 > SAINTES >
E602 Rochefort >
N137/E602 >
LA ROCHELLE >
N11 > Junction + N137/E3 >
(Continue (N) via Marans >
Ste. Gemme la Plaine >
A83/E3 >
(N) NANTES >
Ring road (East or West?) >
Ni65/E60 > VANNES >
D767 (N) > Pontivy >
D768 > Loudeac >
N164 (briefly NW) >
D700 (N) > St. Brieuc >
N12/E50 (E) >
Junction + N176/E401 >
Take (N) D976 >
Le Mont St. Michel >
D75 > N175 (A84/E3/E401) >
Avranches >
A84/E401 > CAEN >
Pnot-l'Eveque >
A13/E6 Junction + A29 >
Honfluer/Pont de Normandie >
A29/E44 > A28 Abbeville >
A16 > CALAIS
finish

as you will appreciate this is going to take some doing, covering, as it does well over 2,000 miles of various roads. I have tried to keep a realistic mix of motorway and 'A' roads with few excursions onto lesser roads. There will be an interesting mix of environments and challenges.
• 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
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Jaro
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Post by Jaro » Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:07 pm

Just noticed that according to you proposed route I'm off the track by only about 30 kms between Perpignan and Foix in Alaigne. But more important than that, there's a great mountain route over the Ascou Pailheres near Ax-les-Thermes which at 2000 metres is going to be higher than a lot have done before and that's truly spectacular and that right on your route.
They use this mountain for the Tour de France so if push-bikes can get up there then well some citroens might.
You come down with Eagle shit all over the windscreen though!!.

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TB2
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Post by TB2 » Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:00 pm

Here's an interactive map with approximately your route (google only takes A-Z arguments). Makes it more pleasant to the eye ;)

Clicky

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Kitch
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Post by Kitch » Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:16 pm

So whats the deal with it? You get people to sponsor you to drive this route in your own car?
I reckon people would sponsor me purely as they wouldn't believe it'd make it :lol: It would also cost a bomb! The estate would make it, and I believe Si is looking down the route of putting it back on the road.

Or do you mean to buy a BX for under £100 or whatever and attampt it? Because technically the estate was free, and I don't think many would be up for the idea of buying another BX when they already have one :lol: I'm guessing this is in our original cars?

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Post by Philip Chidlow » Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:56 pm

As it stands in my mind at the moment: Original cars. No limit on how much they cost or are worth. there are other rallys doing that. No, because this is a one make and even the very latest BXs (1994 estates by definition) will be 16 years old I reckon that's challenge enough.

The details of this will have to be worked out over the coming weeks/months and at the moment nothing is set in concrete.

TB2 - thanks for that (note there are a couple of discrepencies - for instance we won't do Rennes from Vannes - well, that's what the draft route says - it is intended to go North from Vannes and take some of the N. Brittany coast in - including a visit to Le Mont St. Michel)... But brilliant. Thanks!
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Post by mat_fenwick » Tue Sep 02, 2008 8:30 pm

When you say original cars, I take you don't mean as they left the factory? As that would rule out my 1.9TD estate. :(
(Mind you that's not looking too healthy at the moment - it ate the rag I had stuffed in the inlet manifold and now won't start. Hopefully it's just wedged further down...doh! :cry: )
I have the draft route and will try and take on board any suggestions - perhaps we could have some 'alternative' routes between points that we can decide on during the trip depending on time available. I am over in Western France next week so hopefully can use the time to map things out in a bit more detail.
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Philip Chidlow
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Post by Philip Chidlow » Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:07 pm

Of course. Any BX - so long as it's going! I would hope that once the details are worked out and we have sufficient legitimacy incorporated (a nicely transparent and simple donation structure that is!) we can settle on the 'rules'. I don't really want there to be many TBH.
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Post by Philip Chidlow » Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:09 pm

And we can invite members from other European (French probably) BX clubs to join in even.

Planete BX for instance? Does anyone have any links with W. European clubs that might want 'in'?
• 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
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Post by docchevron » Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:33 am

Seems like a rather good idea this.
Either of my sheds could do that route every day without me worrying about them making it.

In principle I like this, but as for what the hell I'll be doing by then, or even if I'll still have all my limbs by then is another matter entirely!
Smokes lots, because enough's enough already!

Far too many BX's, a bus, an ambulance a few trucks, not enough time and never enough cash...

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Post by Philip Chidlow » Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:55 am

Good to see you back on Chris. Yes, it is a long way off, but I didn't think it practical to try to do it next year as A. I/we've never done anything like this before so need to be properly organised and B. It gives everyone time to prepare and save sufficient funds for fielding a car. C. I gives members time to sort teams and last, but not least it gives ample time to raise sponsorship and generate those donations.

Although the Challenge looks gruelling at first glance, it is all on roads, and hopefully not in extreme weather etc. so a journey, over two weeks of 2,500+ miles shouldn't be too harsh for a BX in reasonable order.

Chris, would you be interested? You could volunteer to become technical advisor (and be part of a team on the run) and advise (what else would an advisor do?) those taking part as to the ideal BX 'keep on the road/get you going again' pack to carry in the boots of participating cars!
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Post by Philip Chidlow » Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:21 pm

So everyone. Here we are on the start of what hopefully promises to be a worthy and rewarding event. As well as benefiting two great charities, the Challenge will (if all goes well) raise awareness of the dwindling numbers of BXs on the road and encourage its recognition as an emerging classic (well - historically it was the car that actually saved Citroen! so that's enough for me).

I need to establish a rough idea of how many BXs (teams) will be participating. There will be me with a team-mate TBC (any volunteers? - I don't smell. Much.) in - if I can be loyal to my current BX - a GTi auto.

Anyone else with aspirations? Stu? Kermit? etc... let's try and get a list of 'probables'.
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Post by Jaro » Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:22 pm

I will try to get as many from down (South of France) here as possible but so far only two cars are on for it.
We did have organised here last year, a rally to the Gambia where people bought older cars fixed them up then drove them down into Africa and donated them to a local organisation for free.
Well as there are always several older BX's for sale here at any time, or for that matter left in fields and barns (3 in this small village alone), something along the lines of rescue, rally and donate might have the same group down here interested.!

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Post by Philip Chidlow » Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:50 pm

Good stuff. I thing those journeying from here will feel reluctant to sell their BXs - even if it was for charity :D But it is a possibility - or should I say, an option to field a BX and sell it for charity at the end. I don't suggest it's mandatory!

On the subject of charity: We have proposed two UK charities to support. And that's brilliant.

Obviously this now means not involving a French - or at least pan-European charity. (I think donating to a non-UK based charity may prove difficult to 'sell' to potential domestic sponsors. In essence, if we are asking people in this country to give, we must be realistic and assume the attitude 'charity begins at home' will generally prevail).

This means we won't be actively 'collecting' for the causes en route. I don't think this is a problem. Not compared with coordinating the management of these donations. We should, however be prepared to listen to any points raised by expats/French participants. I guess we can cross that bridge when we come to it.
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Post by Philip Chidlow » Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:00 pm

To take up Way2go's point about naming the event.

My suggestion for BXagon (as in HeXagon) is a way of getting the BX bit in there. 'Challenge' is a widely accepted word for charity events and my belief is that it can be easily disassociated from any 'sport' connotations by avoiding any reference to timing stages or rallies etc... in the supporting literature. In my opinion (although I will check) insurers won't worry too much once it is clear it's not a competition. I know where you're coming from Way2go with 'Endeavour', but I believe we still need to hammer a few alternatives out (time for the Roget's!)...

But, I am quite sure if we put our suggestions forward a winning name will emerge.

So: Anyone got any suggestions?
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Post by Philip Chidlow » Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:25 pm

Kitch raises a couple of points we need to discuss:

First why should it matter what it's called? and second, why limit ourselves to two charities and why can't everyone just give to a charity of their choice?

My feelings are:
It does matter what it's called and how it's pitched. It needs marketing and if it sounds or looks indistinct, ill-thought out or even half-hearted it will make it harder to get the message across. It won't be difficult to come up with a name that communicates the essence of what we are intending to do I believe, and I can do a logo etc. It'll be worth it.

Now, onto the question of charity. It was always going to be thorny.
In my opinion, it will be important to make sure potential donators understand that the money they give won't disappear into some black hole. Tracking donations will be vital to ensuring and reinforcing legitimacy. If we make it a free-for-all we might as well all turn up having arranged our own event. The only common aspect will be the car we drive (but if it is such an individual event, not necessarily!). Teams could then elect to drive at a time that suits them and so on...

I'm happy to listen to points of view, don't get me wrong! But if we can say 'Here is an non-profit-making event, supported by a club, which will take place on so-and-so date, over such-and-such route in aid of Charity A and Charity B. Here's our Press Pack. Can you support us?' Rather than 'Me and my mate are taking our BX to France, on so-and-so date, over such-and-such route in aid of Charity(ies) XYZ...' You get the idea.

Why not concentrate our efforts to raise meaningful sums of money for two charities rather than dissipate those efforts?

Right, that's my point of view. Let's try to gather some alternative viewpoints to discuss further?
8) :D
• 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
• 2006 Xsara Picasso 1.6 16v