Four corners Gold ends up as a SS1000

Firstpeke

Well-Known Member
#1
Well..... planning..... I clearly fell over at the first hurdle by ignoring my instinct to leave at dark o'clock and almost immediately knew I was not going to get a gold when I came up to the back of the first queue of traffic...

Lands End to Penzance was fine, fuelling and receipt, check... picture of ODO with receipt... check.... first stationary queue of traffic after just twenty miles, check, doh!

It seems that. compared to when we used to holiday in Cornwall, every man, his brother, sister, cousin and their dogs, ALL decided to leave for home way earlier than they used to…

The first major hurdle is the non dual carriageway section between the Three Burrows roundabout and the Carland Cross roundabout, only 9.5 miles, but with heavy two way traffic, it is a bottleneck which feels like it has a cork in it…..

Once on the dualled sections, I was then presented with the typical outside lane queue as far as the eye can see, with a spaced out line of slow moving traffic, or even no traffic for half a mile, in the inside lane….
Well I am afraid I use the leftmost lane that is clear and move back out when presented with slower traffic, so progress was reasonable, if slow…. Of course one had to contend with those drivers who decide that once you are on the inside lane they will do their utmost to stop you getting back out again…
One mini driver accelerated so hard as I moved out he nearly hit me, even with a lifesaver showing him to be a few car lengths away as I started my move!!!

Anyway, I don’t know what is in these people’s heads when they just use the car as a weapon to try things like this…..

So, this continued all the way to Exeter.. traffic eased a little on the M5, at least until Taunton where it increased heavily… I think I filtered through more slow and stationary traffic up to the split for the bridge to Wales than I have in the rest of my motorcycling life…
I actually went off at a couple of junctions when traffic was near stationary just to stop for a moment and check for alternate routes, of course I should know there are no viable ones…..

South Wales was bad in places but nowhere near as bad as the A30 or M5…. So good progress was made up to St Davids… My fuel strategy changed as I wasn’t using as much with the heavy traffic so an expensive splash and dash at a service area was made to give me enough to get to St Davids.
A fuel up, pictures, a cold drink and a sandwich and off to the car park up the road as the Texaco garage doesn’t have a toilet… the car park does….

Retraced my route back to the split to the A449 which was way better as far as traffic is concerned.. and on up to the M50 and then M5, which was a little quieter… split off for the M40, then M42 for the M6 to the A14, a fair way on then the A11.. I had skipped a couple of potential fuel stops and ended up doing two splash and dash ones due to a mental aberration with regards to fuel against distance remaining….

Lowestoft – after filling up a went around to the store to get a drink and sandwich as well as a toilet break… at this point my stomach was beginning to indicate all may not be as well as it should, so the toilet break took longer than I would have liked, if one can “like” urgent toilet breaks…

Back on the road after washing up, eating my sandwich and drinking my drink…..

There is no great road to get back to the motorway network as such with much of the A17 not being dualled…. but at this time of night there aren’t many hold ups…

Once on the A1 the next planned stop was Scotch corner, the roads are now near deserted apart from the trunkers…

I made an unplanned stopped at Blyth for a short break and needed a drink, made a crucial mistake by getting a coffee…. with an already unsettled gut, this was not a wise choice I would deeply regret.

Scotch corner for fuel and a very much needed repeat toilet break…. This was where I started to think I may not get to John O Groats…..

A few miles short of Penrith, just a short while before sun up and I knew I was going to have to stop for a sleep break… so into Morrisons Iron Butt Hotel and parked next to a trolley park and sat down next to the bike and within a few minutes I was asleep….


Awoke to a bright new day about 45 minutes later, felt much better in terms of not feeling tired…
Got a quick ATM receipt just as a proof of visit if needed, although I do run a Spot tracker.

After setting off I felt quite refreshed but my gut was really starting to tell me that John O Groats may be easily achievable in terms of bike and time, but in no way was I going to get there without a potential toilet emergency….

With a somewhat heavy heart I took to the A75 and headed for Dumfries…. a top up of fuel at the Shell station at Dumfries and a steady but enjoyable ride home through the twisties and home for a light breakfast….

Annoyingly my stomach settled down after a small bowl of cereal and a glass of cranberry juice… theoretically I could have had a quick kip and set off and still made JOG in plenty of time to complete the ride…. but anyone who has ever desperately needed to get to a toilet and only just made it, will know the risk of not getting to that toilet…..

I live to ride another day with clean underwear, but I am still, well, gutted.

There are enough miles to bag another SS1000 so will submit accordingly, but I would say that gut issues aside, my plan failed because I failed to recognise that traffic would be as big an issue as it was.

My next attempt at a four corners will NOT be during any form of holiday season… and I will definitely be departing earlier.

Plan the ride and ride the plan, but don’t miss the obvious.

Doh. Lands End 110921_25percent.jpg
 

michiel kerkhof

European Ride to Eat Coordinator
Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#2
Well as they say....shit happens....BTDT ....great report thanks for sharing....at least you now have an excuse to do it all over again,make sureyou are OK before you start and start at a time that is more convenient trafficwise!
 
#3
Thanks for the write-up. I regularly pass the M4/M5 junction and the increased traffic heading to cornwall is quite alarming. Hopefully once school holidays have calmed down a bit things will improve and you can give it another go.
 

Firstpeke

Well-Known Member
#4
Received my verification email from Martin, so the consolation prize will need to do for now....

Was considering and E2E Gold at the end of October but the weather forecast may not be good... we have had heavy rain every day for the last good few days and the long range forecast doesn't look promising... will need to decide nearer the time... may put it off and start planning for next year's rides!

At the moment though, Annan still looks good for the 16th October!

Was looking at the NEC bike show in December.....