"BeMoreGigsy" Memorial C90 Ride 2022
On the 12th June, Jay joined Lee Morrall (who did Lands End to John 'o Groats previously, and organised this trip) Simon Marchant ( who is 6'4" ) and Lee 'freddy' Starr (with a full 50 miles of riding experience before this trip) for a 1440 mile challenge, to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, around the Scottish Highlands, most of the NC500 and loads of b roads . . . Camping & unsupported . . . On Honda C90's !! This is their story . . . .
Tadcaster - Edinburgh Set off at 8.30, they got as far as Helmsley when the Garmin bikenav had a hissy fit so the pushbike backup was promoted, a couple of things had worked loose on Si's bike, as all the riders were using intercoms it was easier to deal with these things. The intercoms were finicky to set up, resulting in a daily game of 'intercom roulette' where either 2,3 or rarely 4 would be paired. Before they entered Scotland, Jay found out he'd loaded his bike with all the weight on the back end ( everyone else had the fuel can on a front rack ), when exiting a wet corner, he lost the front end. With no major damage, they carried on and arrived in Edinburgh at 18.30, set up tents, showered then headed off for a steak to the local pub ( recommended by the campsite owner ), only to find they'd stopped cooking and steak night is Thursday anyway ! So it was off to the local chinese for ( i kid you not ) a 'lonely box meal' which they took back to the pub.
Edinburgh - Inverness The ride over the Forth bridge was magical, there are 3 bridges, the left is for motorway traffic, the right is for trains, the middle is for buses and bikes under 125cc. With buses quite sporadic, the guys rode Top gear style 4 abreast across like their own private bridge ! This was quickly topped by the amazing views experienced riding through the Cairngorms, Si was struggling on some uphills, so Jay helped by pushing him on his top box ! Stuff still falling of Si's bike, Jay stayed upright, Freddy rode up an embankment, with Jay on the intercom saying ' he's off, he's off, wait, he's back on' natural skill or lucky save ?
Inverness - Scourie This was probably the most poignant day as the guys reached John 'O Groats with a pop up of Mark Hick ( he was a friend who died of cancer and prompted the first challenge ) A stop at a burger van let Freddy sample a haggis butty and Jay had the bike well off the clock on nice downhill. The north coast has mega scenery which was limited by dodgy weather about 50 miles from the end. Lee had wet balls by this point so he wasn't hanging around, with only one road the others couldn't get lost, Jay went with him, Si and Freddy stayed together, which was just as well, when Si got a puncture. Lee and Jay reached the campsite at Scourie, after waiting for a while they got info about what happened, so Lee went back to assist. With all the guy's tents set up, in the clubhouse later Freddy ordered coleslaw as a side and got an eggcup full for £3 !! He was ribbed about this for the rest of the trip.
Scourie - Glen Nevis The weather wasn't being too kind, Si's bike had taken to breaking something at least once a day, spark plug's, exhaust, rear rack. Freddy's bike had developed a bit of a drinking problem, with a worrying consumption of oil. The ride over the top at Applecross was sketchy at best, this was the longest day in terms of mileage so the guys were happy to reach Glen Nevis. . . . .until they met the swarms of midges, it was like they were breeding them there !
Glen Nevis - Ayr The guys packed up in the morning at a speed an F1 team would be proud of ! They decided to relocate to Macdonald's for breakfast so they didn't get eaten too much. Si's bike started missing and backfiring so they pulled up at Lochgilphead where Freddy's ambulance driving mate Dazza met them. We needed better tools to check Si's bike over so Dazza gave them a blue light escort to the local garage ! Bike fixed, they set off again only to refuel outside Clyde Navel Base, in front of a load of Clyde's police force, who asked them if they were there to protest !
Ayr - Tadcaster Homeward bound ! The guys jubilation at heading home was short lived when about a mile from the Park Dean campsite Jay lost the front (again) this time he tried saving it by putting his foot down, only for his body to rotate, twisting his knee. Si's bike was behaving itself now, Lee's bike was missing and playing up in the rain. Feeling left out Freddy's bike had a blow out, the tube popped due to a big hole in the tyre ! he was lucky to stay onboard, in the middle of nowhere the guys super glued a strip of rubber matting into the tyre, popped in a new tube ( thanks to Transit Motorcycles ) and carried on about 35 miles to Asda in Carlisle where Freddy's mate Chris met them with a new tyre which they fitted in a covered trolley shelter ! Due to Si's battery not holding charge he had to get into neutral at each junction then rev and bang into gear to set off. Leaving Penrith Si gave it too much throttle and ended up nearly flipping it, much to the laughs from the guys on the intercoms ! They rolled back into Tadcaster for a hero's welcome at 19.30 having overcome many problems on the challenge. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lee-mark-shane "#bemoregigsy"
All the photos from this memorial ride can be found in our event photos