Tales from a Motorcycle Saddle.

Tim's Groats End Scoot

June 2016

Braintree - John O'Groats - Lands End - Braintree on a Honda Forza scooter raising money for Parkinson’s UK.

A summary of the trip.

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1991

2016

This is a factual write up of my trip. A longer and more detailed one will appear when I get my hands on that elusive round tuit.

I departed Braintree at 07.30 on Saturday 18th June and arrived home on Saturday 25th June during a very loud, very wet and persistent thunderstorm. That was the worst of the weather, although Scotland lived up to its reputation, especially regarding midges. Because of the bad weather I wasn’t able to attempt an assault on Ben Nevis. My knees were relieved even if I wasn’t.

To avoid monotonous motorways and dual carriageways I wasted a lot of time trying to keep to single carriage roads. Sometimes it worked, such as on the A6 near Shap with an empty sweeping road and almost no traffic. Down south I rode for over four hours and covered 100 miles. You can work out the mph.

I did resort to dual carriageways which probably helped me cover 380 miles in one day, albeit not all in the right direction – you try navigating whilst riding a scooter. I was able to achieve my 80 mpg that I wanted. I had taped over the display and once home I peeled it off to reveal 80.1 mpg.

I reached John O’Groats on Monday and celebrated with haggis and chips. I would have preferred mash but that wasn’t an option. The next night I stayed on a small campsite with “20 level pitches”. I can only assume the owner was born on a hillside with one leg longer than the other. And midges? The next day my forehead and wrists felt like bubble wrap. The bites got worse and by the Friday I had to buy some cream from a chemist. I should have bought some earlier.

The route? Braintree, Cambridge, Peterborough, Lincoln, Humber Bridge, Thirsk, Northallerton, Darlington, Edinburgh, John O’Groats, Inverness, Fort William, Glasgow, Kendal, Wales, Bristol, Cheddar, Bodmin, St. Ives, Land’s End, Plymouth, Bournmouth, Portsmouth, Brighton, Tunbridge Wells, Dartford tunnel and home. I typed that from memory so it may not be exact!

I arrived at Land’s End on Friday and was allowed to bring my scooter to the famous signpost and have my photo taken by the photographer. He also took some with my camera and phone which Catherine posted on Facebook. (Don’t get me started on that subject.)

A tailwind helped me get home speedily on Saturday. A welcome banner and a warm welcome awaited. I had covered 2142 miles and raised just under £1400 for Parkinson’s UK due to everyone’s generosity.

 The scooter hummed along with no problems and was supremely comfortable, especially being able to move my feet to different positions on the running boards. I had a few frustrations but no real problems. A good trip.