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Blogs by the Team and Latest News

So as to keep everyone informed and up to date of the current situation, check back here at [very] regular intervals to keep up to date with all the latest news from Fat Bloke On A Moped central. All news is in reverse order so the latest will be at the top.

Click here for the blog and full story on the Round Norfolk Trip, September 2010.

Keep up to date with the Project Britain Itinerary

Not sure how I'm going to report this blog while I'm away, but I'll do my best. To keep you on your toes, I'm doing it top to bottom rather than bottom to top. Click on the pics for little galleries of the days events (apologies for not having my usual gallery creator but I forgot to upload it onto my lappy before I left.)

If you would like to see where we are, go to Google Latitude and create a free account (there is also a free iPhone app, so you can get that from the app store.) Then request to add Once I've approved it my end (bear in mind I'm on the bike during the day) you'll be able to see where I am on the map of Britain.

Day Mileage Notes

1 - 25th June


We set off on time at 2pm with a lovelly send off commitee. Someone at Boston Council needs to check their road signs though as we followed the sign for Skegness albeit the A52 went in the opposite direction. Wasn't too much of a problem though and we got back on track fairly quickly. Peter from the pub had escorted us this far and we parted company here.
Our route card seemed to work ok until we got to Grimsby where the lack of sign posts at the critical moment let us down. We pulled over and broke out the sat nav which we cable tied to Kevin's bike. Following that was just a formality to Keith and Maz's.
The intcomms worked brilliantly but I had trouble hearing above 40mph. Battery lasted all the way for 4 hours although we were getting low battery warning beeps for the last 40mins.

2 - 26th June

You can just about see the damage to the bikes in the last few pics.


We had such a great day... until later. We were up and out by 9.05 on a gloriously sunny day. We'd not gone too far before Kev had a bee in his bonnet - literally! He couldn't pull over and get his helmet off quick enough.
Made our way over to Spurn Head but they were asking £3 a vehicle to ride to the end of the peninsula so we were happy to take a pic.
Worked our way up the coast doing all the tourist stop over points, we were even a bit cheeky and rode to the bottom of Robin Hoods Bay, we just done our best to look official.
Great roads, great scenery and great riding, you just have to love these Yorkshire coast roads.

ACCIDENT: Well the worst thing that could happen happened and it was all my fault. We were just getting onto the Middlesborough ring road and working out where we needed to go. Kevin had the lead as we came up to some traffic lights on a roundabout, the lights just changed to amber as we reached them and I thought we were going over them so I checked over my shoulder to see if it was clear (but rather than a quick look that I should have done, I took too long) to move across into the same lane as Kev, looked back forward and he stopped but I didn't. Kevin had his brakes applied and was as good as stopped when I hit him so impact velocity was a full 25mph .My front left fork caught his exhaust pipe and somersaulted my bike. Me and my bike rolled with the bike ending up on me. Kev was knocked over and I had the wind completely knocked out of me.
Overhead a police helicopter was out trying to catch some scrotes and obviously reported the RTA. Middlesborough's finiest were with us within 2 mins and had a paramedic on the way. I had really bad chest pains and awful pain in my left shoulder when the ambulance arrived. Kevin was sorting out the bikes with the police and getting hold of Roger and consequently wasn't attended to for the whole 45mins while at the scene.
The police weren't keen for us to leave the bikes on the middle of the roundabout so we said we'd make our own way to the A&E dept.
By the time we made it to A&E Kevin was in agony with his back. The fabulous medics at the University Hospital Middlesborough saw to us almost immediately. I was X-Rayed and dealt with pretty quickly with the result of no broken bones but pulled muscles and bruising.
Kevin was a lot more of a concern for them because he could hardly move with his back pain by now. They got him on a bed with a neck brace, taped him down and done a few tests. They spent quite a while with the X-Ray department and there was a delay with one of them that they weren't happy with so had to go in again for another. All this took a lot of time before we were finally discharged at 11.45pm.

During the wait in A&E I rang my insurance company and my bike was recovered from outside of A&E. It was unrideable. As the recovery truck drove away with it on the back into the dark, I had a sense of thinking I was never going to see it again.
3 - 27th June
What to do today.
We all knew we had to make a decision on how we carry on. It was obvious that Kevin's bad back was going to prevent him to do any riding, so for him to carry on and share the riding in stints wasn't an option. He decided he had to go home and we agreed that a fast train would be the bst option via Darlington.
With a sore shoulder I set off on the bike I hit yesterday. I swapped the insurance over to cover me and set off into the hot sun. It was a lonely ride and mainly dual carriageways and busy A roads. I'd agreed with Roger it was best to press on to the Burntisland B&B and rest up, rather than call off at the stop off points I'd planned.
The weather got colder and colder and I went over to full wet and cold kit as I reached the Scotish border and met up with Roger from dropping Kevin off at the station. By the time we went over the Forth bridge (Wow! What an amazing structure the Forth Rail Bridge is!) it was really chucking it down. Arrived at 69 Cromwell Rd B&B to a warm reception.
I was a bit concerned witht he bike making a funny noise as the speed increased so Eddie pointed me toward a local garage who were ever so helpful. The heat shield to the exhaust was all the noise was, so they removed it for me.
We had a fantastic evening meal and retired early to bed, aching and wanting sleep.
Spoke with Kevin on the phone this evening and he got back safe and sound to blistering heat.
Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

4 - 28th June
New Pitsligo

Remembered to start doing some pics


What a breakfast! Last night, our hosts Anne and Eddie not only cooked us a fantastic meal last night (Eddie used to be a chef) but he asked us what we'd like for breakfast. I decided to go for a mini-full Scottish. Well, come morning, the smell of breakfast came wafting up the stairs and when my breakfast was laid before me, it was just as well I had the mini! Needless to say we weren't going to be needing lunch.
The weather looked nice and shiny and bright but I went for the full wet kit anyway. Turned out to be the right decision as although sunny it was quite cold.
Despite my shoulder still killing me, the bruise on the palm of my right hand giving me gip, abraision and bruising on both knees and thighs, the ride went very well today. Biggest pain was my botty on the unfamilar seat of the bike. The AirHawk seat seems to help but it's not negating the numbness.
We made good time though. Roger and I have decided it better to change strategy and for him to keep with me for the trip. It makes the navigation through the difficult areas easier for me as I can follow Rog with the twat nav. On the open road though he can follow me at my pace. The mixture of the good weather and clear roads meant we wafted in to New Pitsligo arms at 3pm.
Colin and Norman gave us a very warm welcome and were very interested in the project. The food was fantastic, Roger now wants to try to replicate the black pudding and ceasar salad combo he had when he gets home.
Our thanks to Colin, Norman and thier customers for their donations.

5 - 29th June
New Pitsligo

Roger and I are in the two rooms right at the top with the little windows


Roger and I discussed last night how we want to do things for the next few weeks. He's an early riser and aiming for an 8am breakfast with a view for a 9am departure seems like a good idea. Due to the time of year, it's very light in the morning so I'm rising about 7am anyway at the moment. An early night the night before is wise too.
This morning we said ourfarwells to Colin & Norman and headed off at just past 9. We knew it was a shorter days journey today, but saw no point in hanging about. As per every day so far, it started off sunny and bright, moved toward overcast and cloud, had the odd downpour and now, as I type, it's clear calm and a wonderful summer evening.
The bike is a different experience for me. Knowing I cloutd it on Sunday with 300Kg of steel, plastic and blubber, I'm listening out for all sorts of odd noises. As it's unfamiliar to me, it's difficult to ascertain what's right and what's not. One thing is clear, it's far quicker with Kevin on it than me. As he weighs 10 and a half stones lighter than me it's hardly surprising, but even so, it's still a worry for me. That said, I've done just over 500miles on it since Hartlepool and not had a problem [yet.] I've settled down to a more sedate 50 to 55mph, which sort of suits the Scotish roads and suits Roger following up behind.
The Eagle Hotel in Dornoch was easy to find and after 140 miles, we arrived rather early, just after 2.30pm. (It might not seem like a lot of miles, but my botty really can feel every one of those miles.) The staff here are wonderful, our rooms are on the top floor as we have the annex with a kitchen. If you look at the picture, we have the rooms attached to those two little windows in the roof.
Great food and a great spa bath to sooth my aching shoulder. Just about to gargle some paracetamol for this throat of mine that feels like tree bark.
Our thanks to Gawain for putting us up and making us feel so welcome.

6 - 30th June

Just outside Tongue (that'll be 'Lips' then)


Awake again at 6pm and had to take the horse drops again. The discomfort in my left shoulder was unbearable. Managed to drop off again until 7am though - a positive lie in!
Cuillien FM rang at 8.15am for a live radio interview. Between going to sleep last night and waking up this morning though I appeared to have mislaid my voice. It was very gravelly but I seemed to muscle through the 3 minute interview ok (with a bit of blubbing on my behalf ;-)
Yet again the weather was good when we set off. Yet again it lozzed it down during the ride but had cleared again when we got to John O'Groats. Done the obligatory tourist pics to placate the masses and despite the bright and warm sun, I resorted to donning a jumper as I was concerned the chills I was getting and my throat of gravel was actualy the flu bursting to break through.
The ride across the top of Scotland was fantastic. It's pretty much one road, so it's not like you can get lost, but despite being an 'A' road, it was mainly single track with passing places.
Look out in the pics gallery [on the left] for a panoramic of John O'Groats, Upper Dounreay decommissioned nuclear power plant, a telephone box in the middle of nowhere, a house where my mum would absolutely love to live in (and coincidentally where I wished my dad currently lived ;-) and the last few pics of the bay just around the corner of our hosts for the night in Durness.
Our B&B for the evening was easy to find and Tony & Jill not only provided a warm welcome but also home cooked spagbol, wine, apple tart and ice cream. :-) We have a fine view of the surrounding mountainside, the sun is out, the wind is calm. Apparently it currently doesn't get dark here until around gone midnight.

7 - 1st July

Views (lots!)


Off up out again at the crack of 9.15am after a fabulous breakfast.
The roads started off and continued to be the single gauge 'A' roads with passing places as we ended up with yesterday.
The scenery today was spectacular. I had to follow the coast road which meant I took the A869 to Lochinver loop road and then the A896 to Shieldaig. After today's ride, I can see why the Scots have so passionately defended their territories throughout history and I think I'll be petitioning the governement to reinvade at some point in the future. If I stopped everytime I saw a breathtaking view in order to take a picture, I'd still be on the road. Even so, today was still our longest ride/drive at 234.6 indicated on the bike.
I thought there was a very peculiar breed of white furry pig indigineous to the area as thery were everywhere. Roger pointed out they were sheep. It's an easy mistake to make.
Jim provided a fantastic warm welcome to the Donan Guest House and it has an absolute iconic view to the front in the form of Eilean Donan castle. See the pics to the left.


8 - 2nd July

More views, seagulls in Oban & two dozen of the delightful Tarbert harbour

Set off this morning a bit concerned about the bike. I wasn't able to do more than 50mph - downhill! After I while I pulled over to check the oil but it was ok. Also, I think it just doesn't like being left outside overnight and is a bit slow to get itself going. After a while I was managing a cruise of 55mph on the level with more throttle to go. Roger pointed out we were still in the Highlands and slight inclines and declines are difficult to deduce with such dramatic backdrops.
At about midmorning, Donald rang from Springside B&B in Tarbert wondering on our ETA as they were going out and would be unlikely to be home before 5pm. It set our schedule for the day and as we were making good time, we decided to pull over in Oban on the sea front to decide what we could do. As we stood there, we found that passerby's were stopping and reading the posters that Roger had stuck to the side of the van, so we got the bucket out and put it beside the van. Not sure how much we got in the bucket, but it was nice to get support from well wishers and lots of people took a card.
With the Highlands behind us we arrived in Tarbert to the end of a festival of sorts. Appraently there was a Fish Festival today in the harbour and there was a carnival atmosphere. It was a surprise to me as when I Google Earth'd Tarbert, I could have sworn it was a lot smaller. Pleasant surprise really.
Alison greeted us and showed us around the delightful cottage that is Springside B&B. Situaated just on the outskirts of the town toward the little ferry terminal, it has a delightful view over the harbour. My mum would love it.
Spoke with Claire in the evening. She had a good few hours bucket rattling at Ely BP petrol station helped by Rose, Sam and Emily. The good customers managed £288.82 donated.

9 - 3rd July

Ferry nice

I had to make sure I was on the 9am ferry from Tarbert this morning as the next one wasn't until 10.15am. I needn't have worried about not getting on as there was myself, a car and one passenger. At the other side the road wasn't quite as the map had led me to believe, so I asked a policewoman who was helping out at a triathlon in Kames if the road classifications were different than I had on the map. She was ever so kind and informed me to get a ticket from the postoffice when I pulled in to Hunters Quay as it was half the price than buying it on the boat. Useful bit of knowledge as the first ticket had cost me £12!
I knew I didn't have a huge distance to ride today but the ferry timings could make for a longer day. As luck would have it, I got to the 2nd ferry just as it had landed so didn't have to wait long.
As the cost of the ferry was rather expensive for the van, it was cheaper for Roger to drive round the long way as it's on LPG. Distance to where we met up, just before Ayr, was 60 miles for me, 120 for Roger and we arrived within 5 mins of each other.
Great weather today, hot in fact, and being a Sunday there were absolutely loads of bikers on the road. I must have looked like a nodding dog in Rogers rear view mirror.
Easily found the Baylett B&B and Pat greeted us with beer. Mmmmmmm. :-)
I've added some sunset pics which I took after I updatd the site, hence two hot links today for my pics.

10 - 4th July

Steak tonight!

The cabin we stopped in last night was entirely self sufficient. Great if you're a couple with up to 3 children.
Although it was a relatively short distance almost exactly due East to our destination today, true to my brief, I carried on while hugging the coast. This has added to my mileage more than I had anticipated but it's still doable in a day. Besides, the weather was hot and the wind was calm and without the searing pain through my left shoulder every time I went over a bump, it was another cracking ride.
Roger didn't follow at first, instead he went direct to Newton Stewart to fill up with LPG as the van was on vapour and I met him there after mornings 50 mile ride. He then followed me for the next leg but by the time we'd got to Dumfries we pulled over and decided it was a bit daft wasting fuel in 3rd gear trailing me (in other words, he couldn't keep up :-) so easier for him to travel direct to the next rendevous point, which this time happened to be Gretna Green.
Rather than just make for the border, we thought it might be wiser to blend in with the natives and look all romantic at the commercial debacle that is Gretna Green. There were quite a few people milling around but I couldn't really see what there was to look at. The famous wedding room and anvil was chargable to view and lets face it, there can be much more to see than that. Each to their own I suppose.
Found Gilsland and the Bush Nook B&B easy enough. It's a full house tonight and as coincidence would have it, all the other guests are American. They're having a 4th July celebration BBQ.

11 - 5th July

Only 7 pics today

The weather today was supposed to be lousy. We set off on time to over cast skies but the rain seemed to hold off until well past Carlisle. Roger went direct to Maryport, I went via the coast road, as per usual. 60 miles marked off and although we didn't know it, we wouldn't see each other again for 6 hours and 140 miles.
The coast road was twisty, up hill and down dale. The bike coped fine, Roger got stuck behind a furniture removal van for 90mins (he even pulled over to speak to Lou on the phone and then caught the van up again!)
I had a phone call from Vic, who'd seen what I was up to via the Stox Car forum and had decided to come along to show his support by wanting to meet up at Blackpool. I was still some way away from there though so decided to get a shift on. The heavens opened up though and that didn't help my navigation as I went a bit wayward in Lancaster. For some reason, all the signs in Lancaster just kept pointing me back toward Morcambe and not Blackpool. Reluctantly, Lancaster admitted there were other places to visit and I finally found the A588 toward Blackpool. My original guesstimate of 3.30pm for Blackpool was a bit out but managed to drift on to the seafront by 4.20pm. I spotted Vic straight away. Roger had parked up around the corner.
Arrived at my cousins place just after 6.15pm. It had been a long day and at 240 miles, my longest days ride yet.

12 - 6th July

7 is the new 54

Today was our shortest mileage yet but as so many of the roads we travelled on were 30mph limits, it was just as tiring on the botty. My left shoulder is getting better but still interupting me sleeping over night.
I hadn't even got on the bike this morning when I had a phone call from my insurance company regarding my bike. As I had guessed, they have written it off. A real shame as it was going so well and I was so happy on the FES. As Roger said though, it's just a lump of plastic and metal. I'll get some money from the insurers, but it's never enough once the excess has been deducted. Looks like I'll have to get used to riding and using Claire's bike for the mean time but I was so wanting her to join me for some ride outs when I get back. Have to deliver her bike back safely yet!
Llandudno seems like a lovely place. While parked up on the sea front I was observing the populace which consisted mainly of OAP's in heavy coats, smiling and enjoying 'how they used to have holidays.' Who knows, maybe one day.
Hats off to Owen, Rachael & Danny at Enoch's Fish & Chip shop in Llandudno Junction for providing us with a slap up feed. Great food folks!

13 - 7th July

No prizes for spotting the first non tourist pic. Old habits and all that... ;-)

Anna from the Stoneleigh Guest House very kindly provided Roger and myself with a packed lunch! So far on this project, both Roger and myself have been completely amazed at the generosity of the people we've met. In this day an age, it's very refreshing and restores your faith in human kindness.
I'd only done 2 miles before I came to a grinding halt with a strange sign at the entrance to the A55. It was almost as if it was claiming to be an M road as it said "No 'L' plates, no mopeds, no 50cc bikes, no bicycles, etc. Needless to say, being a law abiding citizen, I followed the letter of the law. <AHEM!>
Finally saw and rode over the Menai and Britannia bridges. Utterly iconic. It's one of my little life boxes ticked. Although it was raining when I arrived to take take the pics, the clouds parted and the sun came out for me. Someone, somewhere was smiling on me at last.
The rain stayed off for the rest of my ride to Aberyswyth. Fantastic scenery and great for the scooter that was singing away under my increasingly sore botty. The further I go on this trip, the shorter I can stay in the saddle before I need a break.
I met up with Medwyn from MAG Aberyswyth who accompanied me to the sea front to a group of MAG members who had turned out to greet me, where upon the heavens opened and the rain was torrential. Glad I was riding in that! We had a good chat and discussed the project, Medwyn had even gone to the trouble of getting sponsorship for the project too. Absolutely fantastic!
Left Aberyswyth at 3pm with quite a mileage still to cover. The A487 was plagued with 30 and 40 speed limits through the villages and towns and I'd picked up a real strong head wind which made the bike feel really sluggish.
It was nice to breeze into St. David's and see the Cathederal but it was coming up to 6pm and I couldn't hang about so made my way to Walkers Lodge Accomodation where Karen had been preparing our evening curry and rice. A nice end to my longest days ride to date (by 1.9 miles!)

14 - 8th July

Note weather at Tenby on the 5th picture in

Emily from the local paper (she did tell me which one it was but I wasn't able to write it down and I've forgotten what it was called) met us in the lounge at Walkers Lodge just after 9am. We had a bit of a chat and done the obligatory photo and we were on our way by 9.30am.
Both Roger and I loved the down to earth nature of Karen & Chris and Walkers Lodge. If you want a break on a buget with a young family, we can't recommend it enough.
I wasn't looking forward to today's ride. When I set off I knew the weather was going to be against me too. We'd had torrential rain overnight so the roads were wet to start with and with a strong sun between the clouds and heavy rain showers, visibility wasn't good either.
Ticked another life box by visiting Pendine sands (see the pic with the wind and the flags) although I'd have loved to have stopped at Pembroke castle but I knew time may have been against me and I was being followed by a police car at the time, but luckily further down the road I came across another castle by the side of the road. Fancy just leaving it lying about like that!
Pressing on I found the A484 easy enough but it ran out of steam when I reached Swansea where I should have picked up the A48 however due to a lack of sign posts I ended up heading in to the middle of town, where upon I hit a load of road works. I queued for a while then realised I was on a scoot and started filtering.
After about an hour I finally found the A48, but after 2 miles at the next junction, no A48. Followed my nose and avoided turning on to the M4 (for abut the 5th time) and followed a road parallel to the M4 which eventually led back to the A48. I agreed to meet Roger at the first service station after Cowbridge that sold LPG. Turned out there were no garages full stop, so I finally met with Roger at the B&B!
Barbara & David were on hand to greet us at Radford House. They invited us out to the Roman Amphitheatre in the village [of Caerleon] for the evning as it's the start of the villages festival and they're screening The Life Of Brian. (Altogether now - 'He's not coming out to play, he's been a very naughty boy!')

15 - 9th July

Thanks to the nice lady I spoke to in Lynmouth for taking the pic


Roger and I wimped out a bit last night. It was cold in the Amphitheatre and we were both tired. As it was still pretty light, the film didn't start until an hour later than planned, so we saw enough to realise what the Romans had done for us and went back to the room. We were both out like a light in no time.
Speaking to our host in the morning, it didn't finish until 1.15am, so just as wel we wimped out.
First order of the day today was to get the oil changed on the bike. The oil change warning light popped up the day before yesterday just before I got to Fishguard, which was a timely reminder. I'd booked in at Cromwell Rode Motorcycles a few weeks ago but the lads there didn't seem to know anything about it. Arse and elbow syndrome I guess. They changed and disposed of the oil pretty quick though so we were on our way by 9.45am.
Last time I crossed the Severn bridge must have been 15 years ago and before tht I was about 7 or 8 when I went with mum to visit relatives in [funnily enough] Newport. The bridge is still an awsome sight though, and trundling over it on the cycle pathway at 10mph was still an inspiring vision.
The route I found today to be pretty straight forward. I didn't need to refer to the map at all, and in fact I can still remember it nowwhile typing this - A48, M4, A403, A4, A38, A39. Easy.
Had some fun on Porlock Hill. Was following a little silver car in a queue of traffic and nobody seemed to spare a thought for the twat on the scooter who had to lean forward while going up the 1 in 4 hill. I knew if I stopped it would be curtains, such is the gradient of the hill, but some Muppet in a blue Disco (registration number YD05 DTZ - just in case you want to look it up) decided the 'Low Gear' signs didn't apply and promptly stalled on the steepest bit just after a hairpin. Silver car in front of me stopped - I didn't. Learning lessons from last Sunday week, I played a joker, used the force and threw a double six, wound up the throttle to full, swerved and sped past at a heady 24mph. 'Hmmph!' I thought, 'That taught him a lesson - Ped Power!' Roger who was following behind me thought I'd hit the silver car, but it was only a Daewoo Matiz and frankly I'd prefer my chances on the scoot.
Arriving in Lynmouth some 20mins later, Roger went on ahead to see some old friends but I hovered to do some pics. I got chatting to a really nice lady who lived in Lynton that sort of made my day. She very kindly gave me a donation for the pot too. Thank you anonymous lady.
I reached the Hotel Penarvor in Bude before Roger as he was still galavanting about the countryside. Kim was ever so welcoming.
Bude I remember from about 10 years ago when I brought my mum to Cornwall when I was separating from my first wife and was hoping to make in roads with this new bit of totty that ended up being my wife. Claire never did call me from Italy though while I was away in Cornwall :-( She doesn't know how close she came to not...........

16 - 10th July

Goonhilly Earth Station, largest in the World [apparently]

I didn't check the weather this morning when I set out. I saw it was overcast so automatically put the jumper on under my jacket. Shall we just say that by the time I'd got to the B&B in Falmouth at 5pm, I was smelling a little 'funky.'
I wasn't looking forward to today's ride due to the navigational problems it presented. There were a lots of little bits I wanted to visit while maintaining the coastal route, but as anyone who has been to Cornwall can testify, there are lots of little roads with high sided hedges which makes navigating just that little bit more difficult. Thankfully though the Cornish County Council had all the signs up to date and my navigational fears were unfounded.
First stop was Tintagel but I couldn't get close enough on the bike so the first pic is roughly where the castle is (in other words, it's a picture of a hill and some rocks) but it was great to visit the set of Doc Martin and see Port Isaac. We got there not long past 10am, so it was pretty quiet.
The milestone today though was reaching Lands End. The guy at the kiosk waved the £1 admittance fee as I was doing a charity run, which was nice. I checked my mileage and can report that, John O'Groats to Lands End via the coast route took 1,865.3 miles. The accepted distance via a more direct route is 874[ish] miles, so going by the coast road adds roughly 1,000 miles to the distance.
Both Roger and I really feel like we've turned a corner in this project now that Lands End is behind us and every mile now is a mile closer to home.

17 - 11th July

Looe =80)

What a mother of a blow out we had for breakfast at the Trelawney Guest House. Mushrooms cooked in olive oil and whole grain mustard was superb!
Another day that I wasn't looking forward to. I'd had this image of lots of traffic on little roads that can only just cope and my fears this time, proved to be correct. I spent 20 miles behind a snake of cars of 7 holiday makers through 20 and 30 mph limits. I finally got past them just before the ferry at Dartmouth (see pics of the bike parked in front of a gold coloured twonk.) Strutted about and took a few pics while waiting for the ferry, twonks sat in their cars with their engines running. (?) When the green light allowed us to board the ferry, I was waved in to a side area while all the cars were queued up in front of me. Not a happy bunny.
Progress was real slow today, the traffic was horrendous. The vibration noise from somewhere at the front of the bike seems to be getting worse. I think I've pinpointed one of the noises though - Kevin's shades in the glove box were definitely rattling like a good un.
Had a nice surprise this evening. Jason, my best man came to visit me and Roger at our B&B at West Bay (next to Bridport.) He was supposed to have been on this trip with me on another scoot, but he has such a bad back that surgery has been talked about and he's walking with a stick. Thanks for visiting J - makes the pain in my shoulder seem like nothing.

18 - 12th July

Enjoy today's 'choice' pics

I was expecting more of the same today and I was disappointed. It was worse. Spent nearly the whole day at 30mph. The A259 from Havant all the way to the B&B was especially frustrating as the mix of traffic and lack of speed, combined with the coming rain made for a really depressing ride. On the plus point it was great to arrive at the B&B and have a nice hot bath.
Both Roger and myself are completely shattered.It's only 8.30pm as I type this and I can't see me staying awake too much longer.
I think I've found another source of vibration noise on the bike. The tax disc mount was a little loose so I gave it a twist this morning to tighten it up and there was definitely far less noise today while riding from the front of the bike.
While I remember, after I had successfully nagotiated the Southampton one way system and was out the other side heading toward the A27, I had a severe crustation up my right nostril I just had to take care off. Sorry to impart that with you if you were eating, but with the helmet and gloves, the luxury of picking your nose while driving is just one of the many things you take for granted while driving. (Hoping the traffic light will turn red is another one, so you can stand up and adjust yourself! <AHEM!>)

19 - 13th July

Aim. Fire!

The forecast was rain but it started off very bright and warm. Thankfully the A259 wasn't too bad at all and it turned into quite a nice ride heading along the last part of the South coast. It was however quite windy but it didn't hamper the ride.
I've finally stopped taking the pain killers for the shoulder although I'm still waking up at 5am and just not able to get my shoulder comfortable. Riding seems to be fine though, providing I can avoid the worst of the man hole covers.
Roger worked the route out today on the Sat Nav and direct it measured 86 miles but go via the coast road and I clocked up 190.8 today. I also experienced the single most scariest ride of my [short] biking career so far, that of the 5 lanes of the A2 on the approach to the M25 Dartford crossing. I was wringing the neck of the poor little scoot and it done me proud by keeping to a screaming 60. Giving it a decent thrashing on the A299 for 25miles seemed to help! :-)
It was a weird sensation arriving in Southend-On-Sea. I used to live 20 miles down the road so came here a few times. The roads were familiar but only in a sense that I'd seen them on [say] Google Earth as opposed to having been here a few times in the past.

I get to see my wife tomorrow evening for the first time in over 460 hours and 3,500 miles. Hope I recognise her.

20 - 14th July
Gt. Yarmouth

Furthest point East, completing my 4 points of the compass of the mainland

The Essex coastline is not an easy one to navigate. If you look at a map you'll see it has lots of inlets and you have to travel quite a way inland just to get round the body of water. At one point approaching Colchester, I looked to my right and all I could see was land for miles with no sight of the sea. No one would believe I was riding a coastal route if they could have seen me then.
Leaving Essex behind me, it's aparent that all the speedo's of the cars there are calibrated differently to the rest of the country. In Scotland for instance, I'd be travelling at 40 in a 40 limit and I'd neither catch the car up in front or be caught up by the vehicle behind. In Essex though, I thought I'd found an unknown reverse gear on the bike. They do all seem to have some ritual 'slowing down' ceremony though when they approach little tellow boxes beside the road. Bizzare.
The ride was tough due to the constant drizzle that plagued the day. I'm still not that confident in the wet, especially as the rear tyre is near it's tread depth indicators. I've been keeping an eye on it as the tyre has worn quite a bit over the last 3 weeks. In fact, it's taken on more of a car tyre shape, i.e.: flat across the width, rather than the more customery 'curved' of a bike tyre.
Arrived at Chimes B&B in Gt. Yarmouth and met up with Roger. Today had been the biggest discrepancy in our two milages by 60miles. My bum aches.
It was only 20 mins later that Claire turned up. An emotional reunion ensued. Naturally ;-)
21 - 15th July
Gt Yarmouth
Had a day's bucket rattling on Gt. Yarmouth sea front today, as was the plan, so not a lot to report on. The day was very pleasant and bright although the forcast tomorrow is grim. Hopefully it won't affect the number of riders tomorrow too much.

22 - 16th July
Gt. Yarmouth
Southery (Home!)



In deference to yesterday's weather, true to form, it was raining. It started off quite light and seemed like it would be manageable but as the morning progressed it got quite heavy.
Over the course of the morning, bedraggled riders turned up and, not surprisingly, because of the weather, not all 31 riders showed. I still thought that 9 was pretty good though.
At 12.30 we headed off into the rain, with me leading the group. The rain didn't let up until we finally reached Sunny Hunstanton, where upon the sun came out and shone to help dry us.
The ride from Hunny back to home couldn't have gone quick enough for me, I had the bike flat out all the way and at some points topped out at 58mph! Heady stuff!
I was welcomed home (i.e.: the pub) to a very large welcoming crowd that had gathered of well-wishers, family and friends.
I may have shed a little tear.

June 2011
David, 24th June: PM: Roger and Lou arrived after a bit of delay. The van is superb! Gallons of room. Kevin dropped his gear off in the evening, just laptops and electrical stuff yet to pack.
David, 24th June: AM: I'm all at 7's and 6's. Nipped over to JD Signs who had done the last of the sponsorship stickers. Washed the bike and applied them. Printed off our legal documents - licence, insurance, MOT, etc. Just copied the web site over to my MacBook so I can update this on the move, Wi-Fi permitting.
David, 23rd June: Finally cleared all my work for the next 3 weeks. That's a big weight off my shoulders. Leaves me the whole of tomorrow to sort out final details.
David, 22nd June: Kevin and I finally finished off the route cards. We've also booked the bikes in to have thier oil changed in Newport as that should be round the 2,500 mile mark. Turns out the owner won't be there as he's riding a Honda C90 to Spain and back....... Sounds familiar!
David, 21st June: Tested the helmet communication system on loan to us today with a trip into King's Lynn for some clothes for the trip. Works absolutely superbly!
David, 20th June: Continued routes today. Five days to go.
David, 19th June: Many thanks to Skoda who instigated and organised today's pool competition at the Old White Bell in Southery. We had a total of 16 player take part from the Live & Let Live in Downham Market, The Bell in Denver and of course the local's from the Old White Bell including yours truly. Luck proved to be as much a part of the game as skill as I managed to beat Kevin in the first round but was easily thapped when my luck ran out in the 2nd round. Eventual winner was Graham, who walked away with the first prize of £40. Many thanks to all who donated to and who took part in the raffle, especially Pete & Nic. Total raised was £139.
We've left a pink collection bucket behind the bar for the next 4 weeks, so if you pay a visit to the Old White Bell, be sure to give generously.
David, 18th June: One week to go. I'm still finalising the exact route and route cards. I'm up to day 10 now.
Best news today though is that our loan equipment of the helmet communication system turned up today. Seems to be fairly straight forward to opperate and my set is already installed into my helmet. As I've a bit of a fat face though, the microphone is a bit of a squeeze in front of my chin. Tickles a bit!
David, 17th June: Both Kevin and I had a trip over to Lings Honda in Harleston for our final services of the bikes. I'd brought my major 15,000 mile service forward by 2,700 miles as I knew I'd be hitting it somewhere around Devon and didn't really want it playing on my mind. Biggest component to change was the drive belt and on the ride home it felt smoother with a better pickup. Kevin reported the same on his too, so it could have been the change of the gear oil that both bikes had. Also done on both bikes was brake fluid and coolant. It may seem like routine stuff, but it's peace of mind before we set off next week.
Lovely write up in the Lynn News today, catch us on page 19.
David, 16th June: We were on the cover on Full House magazine as well as a nice article on page 16. It was written as a Mills & Boon type narrative which seems odd but the facts are nearly all correct. I've just got to break it to Kevin's parents, Barry and Rose that [apparently] Peter the landlord of the Old White Bell is in fact Kevin's father. Oh dear. :-)
Spent most of today route finalising. It's taking me about an hour per day to do becuase I'm writing it in a book along with contact details, typing up a route card for subsequent lamination which will then be Bulldog clipped to my screen and then updating the site itinerary as the route displayed is a little out of date. I know where I want to go and which roads I want to go on, so by using Google Earth I can see what road sign I need to look out for and then add it to my route card. I'm also using a highlighter pen on the road map for the preferred route but marking alternate's should the need arise. The road map also has a list of the places I'd like to visit after watching numerous episodes of Coast.
David, 15th June: Ten days to go.
David, 14th June: A big thanks to Sean at Russ Williams Garage in Downham Market for donating a brand new spare front tyre that can fit either bike as well as a can of tyre foam and a few puncture repair kits. Kevin had a new front tyre fitted today at Russ Williams in order to try to eliminate some front wheel vibration. Seems to have done the trick. While chatting to Sean, he generously made the gesture.
David, 13th June: The AirHawk seats turned up today from BykeBitz. Hopefully they will solve my numb botty issues on a long ride. I'll be able to put it to the test over the next week as we've got our services at Honda at the end of the week.
David, 11th June: We've had a cracking few hours bucket waving at the King's Lynn Speedway circuit this evening. It was a major header for the Stock Car championship and the crowds were out in force. We were allowed to move amongst the crowd with the buckets and raised a frankly staggering £714.31
We were also in the EDP today too. Click here to see the web link on the EDP.
David, 9th June: Cracking news today, spoke with Graham at BykeBitz who is very graciously letting Kevin and I borrow an AirHawk seat each for our trip. Good news for my coccyx!
Just had an absolutely fantastic online donation! Many thanks to all at Orange Aero Ltd and of course everyone else who has donated online too.
David, 8th June: Managed to organise a press call with the EDP and the Lynn News for Friday at 10.30am at Marshall Toyota King's Lynn.
Kevin, 6th June: i have a big thank you to say to for giving me my new CBT for free. Please check him out as he is a very good tutor and the track is the best way to get to grips with a bike rather than in an old car park.
David, 5th June: It was a lovely day at Norwich Cathederal for the celebrity cricket match and the crowd poured in. We thought the wind may be an issue for the gazebo but the weights clamped to the corners were well worth the £20 we paid for them. As it was a Breast Cancer event, it wasn't appropriate to waive buckets so we pushed on direct sponsorship. I thought we done really well as at the close of play we'd managed to raise £90 toward our total.
The nice news about the extra £90 is that I'm proud to announce that the entire Fat Bloke On A Moped projects has now raised just over £5,000. Thanks to everyone that's helped.
David, 4th June: Spent most of the day at JD Signs as Adam was re-jigging our signage on the bikes to make room for our Marshall Toyota King's Lynn sponsorship. I think it looks really cracking now. I'll get some pics done tomorrow at the celebrity cricket match in Norwich as I've some other bits to do today in time for tomorrows event.
Had an email from a friend of mine who lives up north, he's got a helmet communication system we can borrow for the duration. Thanks Adrian, I'll promise I'll look after it.
May 2011
David, 31st May: Kevin and I visited Phil Saunders at Marshall Toyota King's Lynn today and he is very kindly sponsoring the project to the tune of the fuel for the bikes! This is a huge weight off our minds with just over 3 weeks before we depart. Needless to say, if you want to buy a car, go and buy one from Marshall Toyota King's Lynn.
David, 30th May: An overcast but dry start to the day looked hopeful for the Downham Show. We were in the parade and had Rhonda Evens and Rosemary Rooney escorting us on the crawl from the bottom of Downham Market to the Howdale playing field. The streets were lined with loads of people and both the girls done really well with the collection. By the time we arrived at the playing field the heavens had opened and as the rain persisted the crowds dispersed. We couldn't complain though, we made a grand total of £110.93 (£5 of which was sponsorship.)
David, 28th May: JD Signs affixed our latest sponsorship stickers to the bikes and our banner in time for Monday's parade at the Downham Market Festival.
David, 26th May: Spoke today with Phil Saunders of Marshalls Toyota King's Lynn who is keen to help us out. He's invited us along to a meeting with him on Tuesday.
David, 25th May: One Month to go.
David, 23rd May: Roger rang me today to let me know that our support vehicle had blown it's engine. Oh dear. Another engine is being sourced and should be fitted by the weekend however the Transit Connect has an LPG conversion and this [apparently] will make things more difficult.
David, 21st May: The regular Friday night bingo players allowed us to run the bingo last night to raise funds. It was a light hearted affair with Youth Club leader Spike standing in for the regular caller, Claire in her pink top and pink cowboy hat she bought at Truck Fest, Rose (Kevin's mum) helping at the front door, Kevin and myself doing the dolly dealing and chaecking the cards and Sam Satchwell, Emma Paul and Charlene Nicholson helping in the kitchen providing the half time teas. Total raised for the eveing, after the deduction of hall hire, bingo cards, prizes and prize money, came to an amazing £278.32. If you consider the bulk of the 75 attendee's were drawing a pension, I really do think that is a fantastic amount of money to raise from a small village. My thanks to you all.
David, 14th May: We've had a spectacular day today bucket rattling at the Vancouver Quarter in King's Lynn shopping centre and have managed to collect an astonishing £412.89. Our thanks to all the generous shoppers at King's Lynn today and and to Abbie for allowing us to set up there today.

David, 13th May: I found myself riding past Wayland Radio on Wednesday and the good folk there sorted out a copy of my interview from the beginning of April, so if you missed the interview you can download and listen to the 17mins of broadcasting gold dust by clicking the image below. NB: It's a .MOV file so if you're on a PC you may need to download and install QuickTime from if you haven't already. If like me you're a smug Mac user then it'll just work. Naturally.

David, 6th May: Had a water meter installed today at the house. Only thought I'd mention it as the foreman in attendance donated a fiver to the cause.
Kevin had the PS125i stickered up at JD Signs today. Will get a picture of the 'Fleet' over the weekend and get it posted.
Attended Bingo at my village hall this evening as I'm involved with raising funds for our village's 2012 jubilee carnival (I have many strings to my bow ;-) and this event was in aid of funds for that project. Spoke with a few of the ladies who are happy to do a Bingo night in aid of this project. Next available slot is in 2 weeks time! Yoikes! We've got ourselves a Bingo night to organise now!
David, 3rd May: Had a phone call this evening from PC Gray of Gt. Yarmouth police, informing me he's been assigned to my event on the sea front on the 15th and 16th July. I thought the proactive nature of the call was a rather nice touch, hence the mention here.
David, 1st & 2nd May: Claire, Kevin and myself attended TruckFest along with two volunteers from the Keeping Abreast King's Lynn branch of Michelle on the Sunday and Rhonda on the Bank Holiday Monday. Claire and I had gone along to set the pitch up of the gazeebo on a quite windy Saturday and I guess we were a little surprised to see it still standing when we arrived for the show bright and early at Peterborough Show Ground on the Sunday. We set the rest of the stand up and despite it being a lovelly sunny day it was still pretty darned windy. So much so that come the end of the day when we were all packed away ready to leave, Kevin and Claire had just left when the gazeebo blew down. Thanks to Martin from and his good lady wife at the stall beside ours, they prevented it from becoming a kite and held on to it while I arrived. (In fact, our thanks to Martin, his wife and daughter for a good deal many things while we were there including the gift, donation and cups of coffee! :-) We ended Sunday on a downer then with a wrecked pitch and a lacklustre day with the bucket waving.
Monday was a fresh start and thanks to Pete and Nic from the Old White Bell (my local pub) for the loan of a table for the pitch, along with a plank of wood and a few laminated signs we'd created over night we were ready for the new day. We tried a new approach with the buckets and despite the sun being out and a lovelly looking day, it was pretty darn cold, it didn't deter us from putting in the effort. Grand Total raised of monies in the bucket: £256.53
In the final few hours of the Monday, Kevin got the bit between his teeth to approach the trade stalls for some goodies. He was really proud with his haul (click pic above) which consisted of - H2o Free wash bottle and cloths, [pricey] car wax, remote controlled car, Tommy Tropical Sun perfume, Love Actually perfume, Aquafleur perfume, Bling perfume, digital caliper gauge, Cool Blue perfume, Carrie Pour Femme Collection perfume, 10AWG Amplifier Wiring Kit, Whistling Kettle, 2 x Eco Friendly Flying Lanterns, 4 x Ice Road Truckers Series 1 DVD's, 4 x Ice Road Truckers Series 4 DVD's, Infinite Shower Gel Set, remote controlled motorcycle, Volo model truck, Ice Road Truckers Series 1 to 3 DVD Boxed Set including book, Iggy T-shirt, 3 pairs of sunnies, water and wind proof DAF jacket, 3 x Ice Road Truckers T-Shirts Medium, 3 x Ice Road Truckers T-Shirts Large, 2 x giant footballs, an Inflatable Willy fancy dress outfit and a cuddly toy (Scooby Doo, no less.) Looks like we've got ourselves a raffle! (When I tie in with Kevin, I'll endeavour to link web sites to all the donators.)
So was TruckFest worth doing? Difficult to say really. It was a good experience but one of the reasons we attended was a promise of being able to ride around the arena and talk to the crowd via the compare as to what we were doing. Every time I called the organiser [now with the wisdom of hindsight] I was fobbed off phone call after phone call and it never transpired. As a result, I feel our bucket takings were not as high as they could have been so naturally I feel disappointed.
Click on any of the images above to be taken to the TruckFest Gallery
April 2011
David, 28th April: JD Signs have came up trumps with our fantastic banner to be used primarily on our gazeebo stand at the forthcoming shows and just in time for TruckFest which we'll be at this Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday. They also added stickers to my bike for my latest sponsors, namely Shining Tree, C & A Superbikes and Fletch Photography (Ok, so the last one is me, but I think I'm putting some effort into this project and therefore allowed however, you won't find too much on my web link because despite being a self employed photographer for the best part of 8 years, I've still never actually got round to doing my own web site! That said, I think there are some pics I took in an unofficial capacity at my brothers wedding three years ago, so if you like that sort of thing and you're not reading this in the year 2015 by which time I should have got round to doing it, then by all means knock yourself out on them)

David, 26th April: Kevin and I took a ride over toLing's Honda in Harleston today to have a screen fitted to the PS125. It does make it look like it's from the set of Heartbeat! Kevin will evaluate it's suitability for his riding style for Britain as it looks easy enough to remove if we need to.
We carried on to Gt Yarmouth as we visited Samantha at the Prince Regent pub in Regent Rd. She is very kindly putting on a pool competition for the night of 15th July at her pub in aid of our cause and a regular is volunteering to have his back waxed for sponsorship too! I took some pics of the freshly painted exterior for Sam to use on her up and coming Facebook page, so when that's done I'll bung the link up here.
We carried on riding to put some mileage on the bikes and ended up with a total days mileage of around 180miles. The relevance of this task was to see how knackered we'd be. The conclusions we drew were;

  1. We both had sore botty's - I'll look in to some form of cushion's for us. Someone I know has thoroughly recommended one called AirHawk however they're £80 a pop for the cheap ones! And we need two!!
  2. Fuel economy was better than expected - We ran both bikes out until they coughed. I was amaxed to get a range of 208.8miles out of mine and with its 9.4 litre tank meant I returned an astonishing 100.87mpg! Kevins PS125 managed 155.5 miles from his tank, however we're getting conflicting information as to the capacity of the tank with web searches saying anything from 7.2 litres all the way up to 9.4. Honda's web site says 8 litres though, so based on that it returned 88.36mpg. I'm sure once Kevin gets used to cruising at 60mph rather than trying to draft Thrust SSC on every trip, that figure could be improved. One thing to bear in mind though is these figures were achieved on the relatively flat Norfolk highways. No doubt that the nature of our 'up hill and down dale' route around the coast could mean lower figures.
  3. Communication between bikes could still be an issue - Slowing down, riding side by side and shouting to one another above the engine and road noise to communicate with one another is less than ideal. This will make navigational calls at roundabouts and junctions more of a challenge. Hand signals are all very well on roads we know but we'll be unfamiliar with 90% of the route. Can anyone recommend a decent cost effective system or can we borrow yours? :-)
  4. We're both really looking forward to the challenge - So stop reading this and click on the donate button to make it worth our while.
David, 19th April: Kevin's not been having a lot of luck with his Piaggio B125. First the exhaust fell off, then the gearbox went then the water pump gave up the ghost. Twice. It was fair to say the bike wasn't fit for purpose but the good news is we've secured a new[er] bike, a Honda PS125i with less than 3000 miles on the clock. It's interesting to think that the bikes previous owner took 3 years to complete that mileage yet we'll be doing that (and more) in 3 weeks!
David, 9th April: Kevin and myself set up the Gazebo for the first time today at C & A Superbikes, one of our sponsors. I guess our bike on the stand was never going to stick out when it was surrounded by bikes sat in a motorbike park outside of a motorbike shop, however we did take donations in the buckets totalling £58.83 but more importantly we managed to generate a lot of interest for participents to ride the final leg of trip on the 16th July from Gt Yarmouth sea front back to Southery.
We did take a few pics of the classic Vespa's there too, click the image on the right to see all the pics taken on the day.
David, 6th & 7th April: Claire went in to the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital King's Lynn on Wednesday 6th April for her 2nd operation. Her expansion implants were swapped over for the more permenant silicone variety. So far everything has gone well and I collected Claire yesterday from the hospital around 1pm. Despite being a little bit sore around the edges, Claire is very pleased with the results.
David, 1st April: I'm very pleased to announce the very lovelly Veronica & Richard have very kindly offered to put us up for both of the 14th & 15th July of our nights stay in Gt. Yarmouth at The Chimes Hotel. Our warmest thanks to them both for putting up with us over our last two nights.
March 2011
David, 31st March: I'm going on the radio tomorrow. Wayland Radio is a local radio station based just outside Swaffham and they've invited me along to talk about the project. You can tune in online by clicking on thier icon to the left and then click the green 'Listen' tab near the top. I should be on sometime from about 5.30pm onwards and being interviewed by Roger Woods.
David, 25th March: Had authorisation from Gt. Yarmouth Borough Council for street collecting on Gt. Yarmouth sea front on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th July.
Nipped over to Ling's Honda of Harleston today to have my bike's 10,000mile service. I was a little disappointed as when I'd booked the bike in I requested they order a top head bearing as it had been said by Sean at Russ Williams in Downham Market when he'd replaced my tyre that it was shot to pieces, but low an behold it was looked at, told I needed it replaced and it would be ordered for me. Just means I've got to go back again and now make a special trip. Ho hum.

David, 16th March: Colin and Norman of The Pits Ligo Arms have very kindly donated a nights accommodation for us on the 28th June. Our heart felt thanks to them both for their kind offer.
the marvelous Sue has offered us accommodation at the Beachcroft B&B on the evening of the 11th July. Many thanks from all the crew for this fabulous offer.
Louise has been pretty busy yesterday it seems as the ab fab Jim at Donan House is fully booked on the night of 1st July, but he's letting us pitch our tent in the garden and use the loo. If it's really lozzing it down, he's even letting us set up a bed in the garage! Top man Jim, many thanks for the kind offer.

David, 14th March: Had an unexpected phone call today from a gentleman called Danny. Turns out he's heard about our trip around Britain and he's very kindly offering us a Fish & Chip supper at his restaurant in Llandudno when we pass through on the evening of 6th July. Absolutely fantastic! That's one meal less we'll have to worry about. Cheers Danny! We all look forward to seeing you on the 6th!

David, 11th March: Another fantastic offer of accommodation for the night of 6th July. Anna has very kindly donated the nights accommodation at the Soneleigh Guest House. Our heart felt thanks to Anna for this very kind offer.

David, 7th March: The really great Louise & Norman are kind enough to donate a nights accommodation for us at the Silverdale Guest House in Seaford on the night of 12th July. Our thanks to them both for this kind and generous offer,

David, 4th March: The really generous Anne & Eddie have been very kind at squeezing us in at the 69 Cromwell Road B & B on the night of 27th June despite the Edinburgh Fringe festival being on during our vist. Our heart felt thanks to them both for their generosity.

David, 3rd March: The thermostat, thermostat housing and exhaust arrived for Kevin's bike today from C & A Superbikes which I fitted in the afternoon, despite me suffering from a bad back. Exhaust is lovely and quiet now (unless you're a teenager in which case it's horrible and quiet) but the bike is still over heating when ridden. I poked my fingers into an air vent near the front and one side of the radiator is hot the other side cold, so I'm wondering if the radiator is blocked or the water pump isn't pumping. Top man Craig at C & A Superbikes will come and collect it Tuesday and sort it out for us.
Keeping Abreast
Fashion Show

Norwich 3rd March 2011
Rather than me rabbit on about me, me, me all the time, Keeping Abreast obviously has a lot more fund raising events they organise too. Last year the 2010 Fashion Show proved so popular that this year it was back, bigger and better than before.
Claire and myself were in the audience and alas not at the best vantage point for the pics but the stars of the show were the Keeping Abreast ladies modelling the outfits.
Click on an image above to be taken to the gallery
February 2011

David, 28th Feb: The fabulous Eagle Hotel, Dornoch have donated the evening's accommodation and hospitality for the night of 29th June. A big thanks to Gawain for his generous offer. Also (Louise has been busy!) The really hospitable Barbara and David have donated the evening's accommodation at the Radford House Bed & Breakfast in Newport for the night of the 8th July. Our warmest thanks to them both for their generosity.
Had to take my tyre back today as it feels like it has the shape of a 50 pence piece. The replacement is due in tomorrow.

David, 27th Feb: Kevin, his mate Phil and myself went out for a ride in the afternoon, mainly to test his bike, but also because kevin had an interview. Bike seemed to go well so I headed home.
Spoke too soon though, Kev rang me in the evening to say when he got back to the village he was accompanied by a cloud of steam. Adding water to the cooling system a few hours later just saw it run through and come out the bottom somewhere. We'll investigate on Tuesday as Kevin's got the day off college.

David, 26th Feb: Had the bit between my teeth this morning. My local garage welded in a temp exhaust pipe on Kevin's bike to connect the silencer to the downpipe, and for the rest of the day I took it upon myself to sort out the rest of the blowing exhaust with gungum and a bandage, the blown headlight bulb and a dashboard light. Least of all it doesn't sound like an old VW Beatle now!

David, 25th Feb: I must check with Louise to see if she is having a break for more mundane things like sleep and work as she has struck gold again. The very kind Kim has been wonderful and donated our nights accommodation on the 9th July at the The Hotel Penarvor. Our thanks from all the team.

David, 24th Feb: Tessa & Sean have very kindly offered their hospitality on the 10th July at the Trelawney Guest House in Falmouth. Our heart felt thanks to them both for such an excellent offer.

Kevin, 23rd Feb: Ok, so this is the first blog I've written but it didn't feel right writing until I had a bike and now I have one thanks to C & A Superbikes Tottenhill, although on the first friday I had a bit of bad luck but all is sorted now with a new exhaust on order. I'm really looking forward to this trip it's going to be a great adventure for both David and myself. I'm also going to again thank in advance the kindness of all of the places that have already offered us use of their facilities for a night. Cheers!

David, 22nd Feb: The very generous Donald & Alison are providing our accommodation for the night of 2nd July at Springside B&B, over looking the lovely Tarbert Harbour. Many thanks to you both and our best wishes from all the team are with Alison for a speedy recovery.

David, 22nd Feb: The Very Wonderful Malcolm is able to put us up for the evening of 4th July at the Bush Nook Guest House in Gilsland, which is just outside Carlisle. Our heart felt thanks for this cracking offer.
We've now 6 guest houses that are making room for us and importantly we know that no matter how wet we get or how windy it is, we're assured of a dry roof over our heads for a third of our trip so far. I'm amazed and stunned at the generosity of everyone's kind offers and it gives me a very warm feeling inside.

David, 19th Feb: Another superb offer of a donated room for the evening of 7th July at Walkers Lodge Accommodation in Haverfordwest. Our sincerest thanks to Karen & Chris for donating the room for the evening.
Part of Kevins exhaust fell off yesterday evening. Makes one hell of a racket now. Turns out it's quite a common failing, so hopefully we can get that fixed PDQ.

David, 18th Feb: Another fabulous offer of accommodation for the night of 13th July donated from the Pier View Guest House in Southend. Our thanks go to Ed, Barbera & The Team for their kindness.
Had to have a new tyre fitted today on the front of my bike as my old one had developed a bulge. I thought £42 fitted was quite reasonable.
Nice little feature in the EDP today which is also available online, albeit the important links to this web site and the donations page are not working. I've emailed them to let them know so hopefully by the time you check it they'll be fixed.

David, 17th Feb: Woke up this morning to find an email from Louise (Rogers wife) who has secured another nights accommodation for the team on the 3rd July at Balyett B&B and Guesthouse in Stranraer. Our thanks from all the team go to Pat for her kind and generous offer.
It's now evening time and we've had another offer of accommodation for the night of 30th June from Tony & Jill at Hillside B&B in Durness. Once again, our thanks from the team for your kind and generous offer.
David, 16th Feb: At last Kevin now has a bike. He's got a 2005 Piaggio B125 which we picked up today. He'll be making sure the bike is fit for the task and be putting it through its paces over the next few weeks, looking for anything that may cause problems while navigating Britain.
Also, fabulous news, we've secured accommodation in Hartlepool for the night of 26th June at the Brafferton Guest House whereby Alistair and Julie have donated the rooms for the night. Out heartfelt thanks to them both for their kind and generous offer.
David, 15th Feb: Had a response back from JD Wetherspoon who are very kindly granting us the priviledge of being able to wave a collection bucket at any of their establishments upon our trip. That's a really nice gesture from them as one of the problems we have with bucket waving is that if it's in a public place we need permission from the local council, highways agencies and need to inform the police. Not too bad if you know where you're going to be but as we're at a different location every day for 3 weeks, you can imagine the logistical nightmare that could ensue.
David, 11th Feb: Kevin reminded me last night that it was his 18th Birthday Bash at the pub tomorrow evening and 10.30am on theSunday may be a bit more than he'll be able to cope with so I changed the interview for 11.00am in Southery at the Playing Field.
Been running about this week with one thing and another, all should be revealed tomorrow.
JD Signs have revamped the A-Board for me to reflect the new project. I think it looks really cracking. Click on the thumbnail pic to have a look.
David, 9th Feb: Had an annoymous donation today of a comprehensive first aid kit. A very useful item indeed, just hope we don't have to use it!
It was a lovely day too, so I went for a ride to a local Caravan and Campervan business to drop off my information and hopefully speak to someone that may be able to help. Unfortunately the man I needed to speak to wasn't there.
Spoke to the EDP, we have an interview 10.30 Sunday morning at C & A Superbikes.
David, 3rd Feb: Think I've just about updated all I can think off to refelect the Project Britain side of things on the web site. The map isn't as detailed as I'd like it to be but I guess it gives an over all idea of where we'll be on each day and the approximate route we'll be travelling.
The equipment required list has grown too. The one thing that is an absolute necessity is Kevin needs a bike! His 50cc is not only not working again, but also highly unsuitable for the task. He needs a reliable 125cc and the sooner the better. As he's a student, price is also an important factor too!

January 2011

David, 30th Jan: Had a bit of a set back today, in that our team of 4 is now a team of 3. Stuart has made the calculations and he just can't make the trip viable, coupled up with the difficulty of trying to get the time off work and having to leave his good lady for 3 weeks to be able to cope with the babe in arms, he reluctantly informed me this morning that it's probably best for everyone if he pulled out now rather than further down the project.
On the bright side, we're now only looking for a 3 [seperate] birth camper van to borrow! :-)
David, 28th Jan: In our [now] weekly meeting, Kevin and myself marked out the route for going around Britain, noting the areas where we're likely to stop every evening. We used a large map of Britain I bought last week and a piece of string cut to a guesstimate of the daily distance we expect to cover. We were both amazed that our rudimentary calculations had us arriving in Great Yarmouth on day 20, a whole day earlier than we anticipated, however we both agreed that it would be sensible to leave it like it is to allow for a day's contingency.
We updated the Britain page and I now need to adjust the map to reflect the stop over points. Hopefully we'll have some volunteers who'll be able to put us up for the night around about those locations.
David, 18th Jan: Sat down with Kevin today and watched an episode of Coast (Claire bought me the entire first 4 series for my birthday last August.) The plan here is to get a feel for the journey and look for for things we'd definitely like to see as we go round. We also executed a little excercise with a piece of string and the map to try to ascertain the mileage of the trip, with an interesting result. Next step is to start updating this web site to reflect Project Britain (by reading this, it means I've [obviously] started) and then work out where we're roughly expecting to be at the end of every day.
We also decided that the nicest way for people to donate would also be to submit a guess of the distance we travel to win some fabulous prize (TBA) as it proved quite popular with Project Norfolk and therefore should hopefuly maintain interest.
David, 1st Jan: This is a big year for me, Kevin, Stuart and Roger. I sit here writing this with the enormity of the task stretching out in front of me. All four of us have our reasons for wanting to undertake the challenge and maybe, by the time 25th June arrives, there may be less of us. Already Tina has had to pull out due to personal reasons. It's a real blow as her experience and that of her husband, Euan, on the Norfolk trip was invaluable. Indeed Euan had plotted a route around Britain for this year, and so it's sad to not see them more involved in the Britain trip after they had put a lot of effort in already.
The biggest problem I percieve at the moment for the circumnavigation of mainland Britain is accommodation. We have to sort out a different place to stop every night. Camping is an option however camp sites have got so darned expensive. Plus we musn't loose sight of the fact that as young as Roger feels he is, he's still a pensioner who had a replacement knee operation last year. Ideally a camper van that sleeps 4 (in seperate berths) would fit the bill as it means we can pretty much stop anywhere knowing we can at least have a dry bed for the night. So if anyone knows of anyone...?

December 2010

David, 12th Dec: I set off from home just after 9am to get to Peterborough for a 10.30am meet up and 11am departure. The heated grips proved to be invaluable and I just couldn't see myself being able to do today's ride without them.
The ride today was with the Peterborough Motorcycle Club and is the Addenbrookes Toy Run, whereby the ride culminates at Addenbrookes Hospital delivery toys for children who have to spend Christmas on the Wards. We eventually set off from Peterborough at 11.15am and arrived some time after 1.15pm. Spent a good hour at the hospital and had a much needed coffee but by 3pm it was time to leave. Rather than go back to Peterborough it made sense I went straight up the A11. Getting in just after 4pm I'd covered a total mileage of 140miles on a cold icy day. It was good excercise in team riding and the distance possible on a cold icy day, so all good experience. My hands were warm too.

David, 11th Dec: Started installing the heated handle bar grips in my dressing gown at 9.30am. Decided to get scrubbed up and do it properly, so rather than find an ignition live wire from behind the instrument binacle, I ran a new dedicated fused ignition live cable from the battery from the back of the bike.
As a fact finding mission of getting to know how my bike comes apart, it was very useful, but with all Christmas presents, early or not, you want to get it working as soon as possible. I didn't rush it at all though and 5 hours later I was really chuffed they were installed, but more importantly, working.
A quick test ride had me turning the thermostat controller down as they got soooooo hot. Excellent :-)
Had a bit of a fogging up problem with the anti fog system on my helmet so called in to C & A Superbikes on my test ride to have a word with Ed. I bought another inner screen for the visor which seemed to cure the problem on the way home.
David, 10th Dec: Over the preceeding weeks, I'd only been out a few times on the bike, the weather being the main culprit of its lack of usage. Despite 'warm' gloves for colder days my hands really suffered even on a relatively short trip to King's Lynn this week. The glovesmay be wind proof but they're not cold proof.
After a late one at the pub, moaning about how cold I'm going to be on this trip on Sunday to the landlord, he couldn't stand it no longer and went and got my Xmas present that he wanted me to open now. Heated handle bar grips. Excellent!

November 2010

David, 13th Nov: The Mayor's Appeal run is an organised ride run by the mayor of King's Lynn and on this date it wasin its 16th year. The ride aims to raise food, gifts and money for the local elderly. I decided it was a great thing to get involved with and to take a trip along with all the other bikers so armed with the camera I set off to C & A Superbikes in Tottenhill to join the throng.
With over 200 bikers in attendance, it was a very successful day. The ride itself lasted about an hour and was 30 miles long. The sight of 200 bikers in King's Lynn town centre was a true spectacle. I was near the front of the queue and tried my best to get some decent pics. You can judge for yourself and have a look at the gallery by clicking on the picture to your right.
I made a few contacts too, vowing to attend another ride with the Peterborough Motorcycle Club on the 12th December. They were represented today by the group of bikers in the closing few pics of the gallery.

Our Sponsors
JD Signs 01366 377771
Pace Fuelcare
Estuary Road, King's Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 2HH
King's Lynn , 01553 614800
Stevenage, 01438 313251
Southery, 01366 377444
Salters Lode, 01366 386711
Yateley, Hampshire 01252 870900
Fletch Photography
Weddings on a budget, candids, celebrations & general Photography
Southery, 07919 902902
Cards, Stationery & Giftware
14 High Street, Downham Mkt, Norfolk, PE38 9DB
Downham Mkt, 01366 382198
Tottenhill, Norfolk, PE33 0RL
Marshall Toyota King's Lynn are sponsoring the fuel for the bikes for the entire route around Britain

Click the pics below to see the sponsorship decals

...And a big thanks also go to:

(While not able to sponsor us, the following companies and individuals offered help in some way)

Alan Breeze: For embracing this project and handling the national journalistic duties of contacting the press and radio throughout the country.

JD Wetherspoon: Head office approval to rattle buckets for an hour at any/all JD Wetherspoon outlets while on our ride around Britain. All the B&B's and guest houses who have so kindly offered us accommodation and breakfast and in some cases evening meals too! Click on our map to see all the places donated Vancouver Quarter King's Lynn: For allowing us to bucket wave in the shopping centre at a zero cost.
Andy at Anglia Training Services for waiving the cost of Kevin renewing his CBT with them.      


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Last updated 16th Jul 2011

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