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John O’Groats to Lands End and back to High Halstow Update

Just to say we had an excellent journey, all 1100 miles covered with no breakdowns or accidents and as promised here is an update

First of all could we please say a massive thank you to all the people who sponsored us at the High Halstow shop, both me and Claire have raised over £750 and the total raised by all the riders was £23,000!

So Day 1,

Was spent driving from Kent to Norfolk in our 1967 Vw camper to stay at a rider’s house his name was Andy, we had met for 10 minutes and chatted through VZI about his moped project.

We arrived in pouring rain at about half 10 with a bottle of wine and the hope of relaxing! No chance Andy and a few others were still modifying the trailer to fit all of the bikes on, so we got stuck in and finished at about 1am!

Day 2,

Woke up, with flat air bed, to an alarm at 6am, time to hit the road and collect other riders in the mini bus and get bikes loaded onto the trailer.

We stayed that night at another forum member’s house just out side of Glasgow.

Day 3

Another night with a flat air bed and up again at 6am for shower then back on road to John O’Groats, (via a camping shop for new air bed) we arrived at JOG that evening and me and Claire were reunited with our mopeds we had a quick ride around the site before we got the tent up and attended the organisational meeting at bar.

Day 3 ,

Up at 6am after a cold night in thermals, luckily most of the snow had melted but there was enough about on the hills and fields and all the locals had said if we were 3 days earlier we would have been snowed in! After photos at the JOG sign we set of in packs of 10, the first days riding totaled about 150 miles and took us to a campsite in Borlum , near Loch Ness. Spent that evening helping some other riders repair a clutch issue so had a late night.

Day 4 ,

Up early after a long night , served crossoints with jam and lots of coffee by the support crew and fuelled up ready for the 2nd days riding wich would take us through some of the best scenery in Scottland , – Glen Coe.

Then finishing up back down at the second house we stayed in on way up , we had a sit down meal in the village hall and a most welcome warm shower, but not before more bike repairs to other’s mopeds.

Day 5 ,

Long days riding today total miles = 170 finishing up in lake district;

Fairly uneventful day just pushing on through some more urban ares feeling a bit tired and wet after 3 days riding in the rain and knowing we had some serious miles to put in plus we kept getting lost as well, but it all made sense when we hit the lakes and took on Kirkstone Pass which climbs in to the clouds and had all the bikes in first gear and down to 6 mph for a long time! We made it to Ambleside after dropping down a 1;20 incline in the dark and rain! The bike went in the tent at the campsite and we got some food and some sleep feeling we had over come the most challenging day.

We were woken up at 2am with the tent in our face , it was blowing a gale and the pegs had come out plus we had put it up badly as too tired ! a bit of rallying around from a few others in the same sitaution had it sorted , but didn’t get much sleep that night

Day 6 ,

Very tired at this stage and spent a fair bit of time getting lost and confused riding through some city centers – and nearly rode on to a motorway at one stage we avoided by bumping bikes down the grass verge and riding down the cycle paths and back up to the correct junction !The campsite that night was just outside Worksop at a rugby club we had very nice sit down carvery and double servings of chocolate cake after, plus beer which was much needed.

After food I spent some time in the big army tents supplied so we could work on our bikes , Claire’s Simson had a sticky throttle cable, another rider was replacing his clutch, and I changed my oil and casually did a service whilst being smug that my old bike was giving me no cause for concern.
Had a fairly early night as we planned to be away early to get to Nottingham hospital early for a press shoot and be shown the foundations of teenage cancer ward that we were raising the money for, plus have a chat with Brad’s mum who started the charity.

Day 7 ,

Quick ride through Nottingham to meet at the pub opposite hospital so we could all ride in together;

(article of us in local paper
http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/Colwi … story.html )

We rode in to the hospital as one large group and parked up.The charity had organised a few people to come down and say thank you and talk about the benefits of the teenage cancer ward to patients, including one of the hospitals cancer patients and I must admit it got a bit emotional when Brad’s mum told us we had raised £23,000 between us (target was £10,000).

It was also the lift we needed after a few rough days with little sleep and frayed tempers.We left focused and determined. That night we ended up at the Tunnel House near Cirencester, after riding down the Fosse way.

Had another sit down meal in pub few beers and my first shower since John’s house!

Day 8 ,

We ended up leaving at about 10am as one of our group was having trouble with his bike, sadly we didn’t have time to get it right and had to leave so that was him out. Both me and Claire were looking forward to today as we planned to pass through Bath town centre and stop for a few snaps, very interesting town I would love to come back and explore properly but we had to push on.
Next stop was Glastonbury we made a detour as a few of the group had never visited and it seemed a shame to ride past and the sun had come out, so we wheeled the bikes in to town centre for a few photos.

It was getting a bit late so we decided to push on to Dartmoor and our camping stop the fox and hounds pub which had camping out back.

Had a few beers and went to bed feeling a bit sad knowing it was last days riding tomorrow.

Day 9,

So last day riding, another rider in the group had issues with his rear brake locking up so he stripped and sorted that as it had nearly caused him to crash just before the campsite!
I know Cornwall well as my mum lives in Wadebridge, the offical route was A303, I planned in some scenic detours and a road with a ‘welcome to Cornwall’ sign this way our group could see some of Dartmoor and have a photo at the sign.

The last few miles crept up on us and before we knew it we where 10 miles from Lands End, as we rode in we had a big welcome from a large crowd and spent along time taking photos and talking to the other groups and cheering them as they arrived.

That weekend was spent at a local show ground that the Charity had hired for us so we could relax and unwind and let it all sink in before heading off back home.

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