Wednesday, 17 June 2015

1800 on an 1800

Now if you've just read ‘eighteen hundred on an eighteen hundred’ you're on my wavelength.

IOM TT 2015

It’s been an absolutely incredible couple of weeks in the saddle. First up was the IOM TT 2015 visit to celebrate Lefty’s 50th birthday, which was superb. Followed the next week by a steady mooch up to Scotland to collect the northern collection of MancRider Café Racer Challenge Café’s.

I must admit I was a little skeptical of taking the Wing over to the IOM TT but as I'd sold the Fireblade between booking the ticket late last year and getting on the catamaran in Liverpool, there was very little I could do about the situation.  All I can say is “I was chuffed I'd chosen not to cancel the trip”. It was brilliant.

Now that's how you load bikes!

The trip over was horrendous as we set sail into one of the worst storms the islanders have ever experienced. They were even opening up church halls, community centres and large buildings to shelter the beleaguered campers already on the Isle of Man, the weather was so bad.

Luckily after a soggy walk into Douglas that evening for our dinner, we all woke to a gloriously sunny Tuesday morning. Up and out by 6.15, we were sat at the road block at the bottom of the mountain mile waiting for the police officer to move so we could start our first ‘Mountain Mile Ride’.

Come on Officer get out the way!

I got some great footage of the first ride over but will YouTube let me upload it? Will it hell!

Tuesday was spent circling the course, taking a detour at Creg-ny-baa back to Ramsey so we could circle the mountain mile a few times. All in all it was a very enjoyable day. Paul took us to a nice sea front café before we headed back to the SnoozeBox accommodation to freshen up. Then it was out and about in the TT Village that sprang up at the back of the start/finish grandstand for a bite to eat and a beer. Watching the TT competitors taking their bikes through scrutineering and later, practice laps was fantastic.

How much fun was that first lap folks?

Me, Lefty, Shiner, Paul, LBK & Ella
The MancRiders IOM TT 2015 Crew

Early doors on Wednesday I took off around the TT course and found I'd missed the others so I did what I do best, and spent the day exploring the island alone. 

I'm happy with that.

Paul being very knowledgeable about the Isle of Man took the others on a guided tour for the day. We only managed to pass each other once throughout the whole day. That evening the guy’s and Ella got stranded up the mountain after a fatal crash during practice. I spent the evening watching practice from the side of the grandstand as they had decided to start and charge £5 to sit in the grandstand, which annoyingly had been free the previous night.

TT Scrutineering. What a place!

Thursday it was back to real life with a bump but what a fantastic 4 days we'd had on the IOM. Would I take the Wing around the TT Course again? Why not, it was a laugh and to be honest I whooped and shouted with joy all the way round.

The Isle of Man 
What an absolutely stunning place to visit.

The weekend flew by and before I knew it I was mounting up again after seeing the kids off to school. It was 9.00 on Monday morning and here I was heading North once again. Happy Days.

My route north to John O'Groats took me via Moffatt, Breamar and Aviemore collecting cafes along the way. Reaching John O'Groats around 7.30 that evening I did no more, I carried on riding all the way back to Kendal via Loch Ness and Loch Lomond.

That's 40 Cafes, DONE!

I covered 990 miles in 19 hours putting me in my sleeping bag on the decking at 0500 on Tuesday morning for no other reason than, that’s what I fancied doing.




John O'Groats

As I’d missed a café up in Scotland I did no more, I had a shower then headed to the Filling Station Café for breakfast before riding back up into Scotland. Passing Loch Lomond in the daylight was far more enjoyable than the previous night's ride and the Green Welly Stop is a brilliant location to stop and refresh. I sat outside chatting to three locals who gave me the low down on the area and some of the best biking roads throughout that part of Scotland. Then it was back down to Kendal for a well earned night's sleep.



Wednesday I took a leisurely trip along the coast from Morecambe down to Lythm St Annes. Then back home just in time for a bite to eat before joining the Anvil MCC folks at the Smithy Bridge for Club Night and a couple of pints and good catch up on what we had all been up to over the past two weeks.


That’s how to enjoy, 1800 miles on the back of a GL1800 Goldwing.

Now if that’s not your kind of biking heaven, well all I can say is “You’re reading the wrong Blog!”

"We will remember them"

 So what’s next?

First up it’s Barton-Upon-Humber Bike Night on Wednesday the 1st July followed rapidly on Friday the 3rd July by the ‘MancRiders Ride Into Redwood’ to present the cheque to RED-AID on RED-AID Day at Redwood Secondary School.

Then we're off down south to take part in the first ever ‘Simply Bikes’ at Beaulieu on Sunday the 12th July. As it takes place on the Sunday, Jeannie and I will be making a weekend of it and staying at a nice little B&B on the south coast for the weekend. Obviously we'll be picking off the remaining 2 Cafes before the Special One Day Event plus calling in on Poole Bike Night just to make the trip really worthwhile.

That will leave me just Land’s End, Paigton Bike Night and Weston Bike Night to visit plus the last two One Day Special Events which are the Brackley Festivalof Motorcycling on 16th August and the very last One Day Special Event and final destination in the 50 MancRiders Café Racer Challenge Ride locations the RTTW 2015 on Saturday 3rd October.

 Here’s hoping to see you out and about folks, and remember….

“Ride well, stay safe because it’s a jungle out there”.