Full Monty Group Ride August 2021

GSears

Premier Member
#1
Had the Full Monty pencilled in for a few years now. Well since Mark did the first one in 2016. Just been too much on to get the 48 hours to do it.

I needed a bit of incentive to make sure I did the ride. So i organised a group ride. 4 willing volunteers (pressed men) found. Hotel booked at Colchester for Wednesday 11th and Friday 13th August. Leave about 0400 and back for drinks in the bar before it closes on the 13th. Thursday should see us staying at the Travelodge at Broxden, Perth.

First question, why don’t we leave from Lowestoft, then if we fail on the last leg, we’ve got 4 corners in the bag? Good point well made. Leaving Colchester at 0400 we would be round London and well on the way to Lands End before rush hour (0600 – 1000) round London. We’d need to leave Lowestoft before 0300 to achieve the same.

Unfortunately, Shell had decided to demolish and refurb the 24-hour petrol station outside the Hotel. So the start (and finish) was moved 3 miles to a 24 hour BP station. Receipt at 0335. Having paid, the other 4 riders were waiting. Glasses? After 2 minutes searching spare pair used.

We knew the A12 was closed at Chelmsford for major roadworks, and we made our way down the A120 to the M11, the extra time had been factored in. As we approached the M25 Matrix Signs informed us the M25 was also closed between Junction 26 and Junction 25. An extra 10 minutes on the diversion and a clash between my centre stand and an unlit island showered the riders behind me with sparks. We then had an uneventful 298 miles to the first fuel stop for 4 of us (0820 Bodmin Moor). Graham had peeled off earlier as his Triumph has a range of 200 miles. We filled and set off for our first named receipt at Lands End. Pulled in at 0950, not bad 6 hours. £2.00 for parking, but a parking receipt is not good enough for the Full Monty. We wandered through to the Café and found Graham already there, drinking his coffee and awaiting a hot pasty. Sandwiches for the rest of us. Named Lands End receipt and eat the sandwiches as we walked back to the bikes.

Out and back off up the A30. Major roadworks, duelling and solid white lines. Most of the locals were good and pulled as far left as they could. However, there were, as usual, one or two ‘vacationers’ who seemed to enjoy moving to the right. This of course created room on the left….. About 10 miles of filtering, so not too bad. Up the M5 and left onto the M4. Traffic not too bad for August and Holiday time. But it was Thursday. Then the 50mph average speed cameras. So a block of slower moving traffic. 299 miles after Bodmin we stopped at Cardiff to refuel. Time was ticking on, 1400 hours. We had not seen Graham since Lands End. As we were hydrating as we rode I took the opportunity to grab a quick bite whilst refuelling. Who’s that on the overpass waving? Lynn who had been unable to join us on the ride (but was following our spot Walla tracks), wishing us well and cheering us on. It was then a progressive 2 hours and 107 miles to Ocean Haze at St David’s. Another named receipt and splash of Fuel.

As we left St. David’s, we retraced our route in. I anticipated seeing Graham coming the other way soon. However, it was 40 or 50 minutes until I saw him. The route then took us across Central Wales on the A483. 2 and a half hours on a glorious motorcycling road. I teamed up with Kim. Jaybee and Jonnyp teamed up. I received a call from Colin who was also watching our Spot Walla track that the M6 was closed, and Google was suggesting a diversion via the A1. As we joined the M56 Matrix signs were again illuminated, confirming the M6 was closed at Preston and 2-3 hour delays. Our day was looking more challenging. The Garmin with its traffic updates also suggested the A1 and an additional 2 and a half hours.

The next fuel stop At Haydock Island, 2010 hours and 212 miles after St David’s. Jaybee and Jonnyp (who had ridden the A483 separately to us) had just finished filling. Paper map out and some re-plotting of the route. We decided to stick with the M6 and filter as best we could. The M6 was closed at J32 and we left with everyone else. Most of the traffic was trying to get onto the single carriageway A6 to head north. We continued West on the M56 and turned right onto the A585, re-joining the A6 at Garstang, when the traffic had all but sorted itself out. Our diversion had added about 40 minutes to our ETA. Much less than Google or Garmin had wanted to add.

As we entered Scotland the heavens opened, visibility plummeted. Kim stayed with me as we rode to our booked hotel room at Perth. We filled at the pumps to get a finish receipt for the day 0042. 21 hours after starting and 1177 miles covered. Jonnyp disappeared for a McD. The rest of us retired for the night. Start time for John O’Groats would be 0600. Cereal bar and bed.

0545 parade by the bikes. Graham had arrived overnight. All bikes refuelled and we set off for The Groat 0600. A slow start through the roadworks on the A9 north of Perth and then the Average Speed Cameras up to Inverness. Graham called his ride as he reached Pitlochry. There will be another opportunity. A glorious 110 miles from Inverness to The Groat. The sun was coming up to our right, the sea was calm, beautiful riding. John O’Groats for 1000 hours. Receipt from the Post Office. “Jonnyp why have you bought a beginners fishing rod set?” I asked. ‘ I have my receipt.” He walked outside and said “Kim I have a present for you” handing over the rod. We got on our bikes and rode off. Kim looking at his gift and wondering how he would secure it to his bike.

Down to Tain along that glorious section of the A99 and A9 with a refuel at Asda. 315 miles from Broxden and the last fill. Back down to Perth, via the A9 and the average speed cameras. As we entered Perth at 1430, eight and a half hours after we had left it to go north to The Groat, we were greeted by stationary traffic around the ring road. The traffic was solid. We filtered until we started south on the M74 from Glasgow. Fun filtering in Scotland on a Friday afternoon. I had lost sight of the others as we filtered in Perth. As I was filtering south of Glasgow I was joined by Jaybee. Jonnyp tagged on as we approached the Border. The next fill was at Penrith, 304 miles after Tain. We pulled in and Jonnyp explained Kim was running low on fuel and had stopped earlier. We filled and waited 20 minutes, but he never arrived. Checking his Spot Walla track showed him 5 or 10 minutes in front of us. A fun filled hour was then experienced as we filtered East through the Appleby Horse Fair Traffic and returning Holiday makers on the A66.

An uneventful journey south on the A1 and left onto the A17 across to Kings Lynn and on to Lowestoft. Morrisons for 2228 and the last of our named receipts, 285 miles from Penrith. The cashiers locked the pumps as we finished filling and locked the kiosk as we drove out. Two minutes to spare as it was 2230 closing. A leisurely 58 mile ride back to the BP at Colchester and a 2344 finish time.

Back to the Hotel and a few drinks before the bar closed at 0100. “Oh, you’ve been where? You’ve done what? We’ll stay open till 0200.”

2139 miles and about 44 hours. Additional challenges, yes. Was the traffic heavy? Yes This is the UK with its traffic. That’s what makes the
rides challenging. And the social after makes it enjoyable.

WE RIDE ALONE TO BE TOGETHER.
 
Last edited:

Jonnyp

IBA Member
#5
We got a little bit of everything on that ride weather wise some of which I’ve forgotten as, the fond memories out weight every thing else… thanks chaps… :)
 

wully

Brit Butt Tour Admin.
#7
Great write up, good adventure.
The question i have is a simple one how many have asked you why.

Well done
 

GSears

Premier Member
#8
Once it was raised, it was discussed by all. There's usually room for fine tweaking. A McD at Perth:p and a 4 feet long fishing rod set at JoG.o_O

We did just miss an End to End Gold via St David's by a couple of minutes. But that would have been 2 rides in one, anyway.
 

Firstpeke

Well-Known Member
#9
Great report..... undoubtedly a great ride and well done on finishing!

Reports of adverse weather may put an end to my LD rides for this year, I don't do snow....