What I’m Seeing

The title covers what this is about……

06 – Lands End To John O’Groats 2007

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Shep had an idea. Three more of us thought it was a good idea. We’d take a detour on our way to Glen Clova and The Gathering of the Clans weekend. We’d ride down to Lands End then up to John O’Groats before heading for the event.

Burton came down from Sunderland to my house in Nottinghamshire on Tuesday and we went out and entertained a few of the locals in my village

We planned to get away at nine on Wednesday but although I was too excited to sleep and up at seven, Burton seemed happy to fester in the guest wing of Whatton Manor.

We got away a bit later and I smiled for the paparazzi

We got down to Sheps shop in Basingstoke at one to meet up with him and Steptoe. Shep had been to Bakermans shop in the morning and received a load of sandwiches and cakes gratis which was nice of the floury tosser

While we were eating our free lunch Steptoe mentioned that he’d still got the tyre on the bike that had two BMW tyre repair plugs in a hole made by a bolt on his way back from the Morocco Dash at Easter. “2000 miles and not leaked once” he informed us. It had started leaking by the time we got to Yeovil on the way to Lands End. In went the first can of tyre bodge goo….

We got to Lands End and took arty photos and fecked about with worn out rear tyres

The weather was pleasant

We got away at about eight thirty and headed for the M5 with plans to stop for a bite to eat at the first services we came to. We made it to a McDonalds just before it shut at eleven. The weather on Bodmin moor had been shite but it had cleared up as we got back to civilisation. After we’d eaten some McCrap Steptoe stuck some more plugs in the hole in his tyre and we pumped it up again….

Shep took it all in his stride……

At a fuel stop during the night somewhere on a motorway heading North while we stuffed yet another plug into Steptoe’s hole we bumped into two other GS’ers riding the LE to JOG run. We would run into them a couple more times during the next twenty hours.

At one point I was riding at the rear with Steptoe in front of me. His wheel went down very quickly and we ended up on the hard shoulder pumping it up. Shep and Burton, in front of us pulled off at the next junction to wait for us when they noticed we’d dropped off the back.

We limped to a services and texted the front two to wait for us at the next services.

Problem was they didn’t receive to text till they’d stopped at the forth next services. We plugged Steptoe’s tyre with two of my “monkey shit” tyre plugs, one of Burtons “Tyre Plugger” plugs and two BMW tyre plugs and stuck another can of goo in. We felt confident about this “all or nothing approach” to tyre repair.

The sun was rising and the birds were singing, all was well with the world. The two of us toured the next four service areas looking for the advance party before we found them leaving what appeared to be the worst fried breakfast ever served at a service area North of Stoke on Trent. The two other GS Joggers were there too

Onwards and upward, we rode along my favourite bit of Motorway of the whole trip where the M6 goes Cumbria. MP3 tunes blaring away in my helmet kept the spirits up when any sane person would be pulling in and finding a hotel room to kip in.

I’d been awake for twenty four hours at this stage.

The devil tyre decided to spit it’s dummies out just South of Glasgow, we pulled off the motorway and found a tyre shop. While we waited for it to open Burton wandered off in search of breakfast. He returned with sausage baps, excellent work that man.

When the shop owner turned up he said he didn’t mend tyres. He told us about a place five miles away that did though. We pumped up the bastard tyre from hell one more time and set off for Cooper Brothers Tyres.

When we found the shop the motorbike expert there didn’t have a Tourance or anything like that. He did have an Avon Racing Monkey type tyre that he thought he could cram onto the rim. Which he did, he also mended the Tourance and gave it Steptoe to take as a spare.

For all this he charged the spawny cockernee chap £30. We gave the tyre fitter 10 out of date doughnuts that Steptoe had bought for 10p in Asda the day before…

The tyre lowered the bike a bit but that’s a bonus if your Steptoe’s height

So now we had a new tyre and it was a new day. We were in Scotland and the roads would start getting better. We hammered on………

At lunchtime we pulled off at Blair Athol and found a nice café by the river.

We order local caught fresh water loch haddock and chips. Which was good. The boys were looking a bit tired now…

We had an hour rest stop and then ploughed on. It started to rain soon after we left and it wasn’t namby pamby English rain either. The fookin heavens opened. My trip mileage passed the 1000 mile mark somewhere during this time but I missed it due to concentrating on staying upright in the rain.

We made John O’Groats five o’clock. What a god forsaken shit hole of a place. Still we were happy to be there.

Burton opened up the cocktail top box and cracked open a little bottle of champagne…..

The final tally on the gps…….

The two other Joggers pulled in twenty minutes after us. I’m sorry I can’t remember your names but I was a bit tired by now. We found a B&B and cleaned up before heading for the bar of the Sea View Hotel for drinks and food

I lasted till eleven then retired to bed. Forty hours awake and 1248 miles had done me in. But it felt good. The next day we rode 280 miles of the best roads I’ve done for a long while to get to Glen Clova but that’s another story

Thanks to Shep for letting me ride with him on his trip. He’s a top bloke even if he does look like a bad ass biker….


Written by whatton

November 25, 2008 at 10:48 pm

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