My Full Monty or the trials and tribulations of an old fart and a weekend of rain.


Well-Known Member
Full Monty Ride Report
I had decided to try and raise a little money for a Cancer Research UK. I chose this charity because I recently lost my big sister to it, losing my sis made me look around and realise that pretty much everyone I know has been affected by this awful disease. 10 years ago I did the RBLR 1000, for another good charity, I said back then I would do another, I thought of doing a four pointer but starting from home so it would have been a four pointer and an SS2000, I never got round to it, then when I decided to something in memory of my sister I noticed FJR Pilots post about the Full Monty and it just seemed fitting this was the ride, the only other thing was when, could only be one date really, the first anniversary of my sisters passing, 29th July 2018... So months of planning and fund raising for the charity, saving for fuel etc, the date arrived after a couple of months of glorious weather I thought I was going to be in for a dry if not warm ride... oh well
So Sunday morning out the door at 2:50am, bikes packed gassed and ready to roll, latest weather report shows it’s going to be wet so waterproof over suit on top of my textiles, new waterproof gloves donned and off to Tesco’s cashpoint for a start receipt, get to the cashpoint, withdraw £20, forget to hit cash with receipt, do it again this time get it right.. good start.. mileage recorded, photo taken, boom were off.... that time of a Sunday morning there is little on the roads so it’s settle into a comfortable pace and eagerly await the sunrise, 30 mins later the heavens opened, sorry did I say opened ? more like the heavens collapsed, a bit like a ceiling when the upstairs has flooded, only it didn’t stop, it didn’t stop at all.. my first stop was to be at Sainsburys Swindon only it was shut.... hmm range on my
bike is a comfortable 150 miles, Exeter is 180 odd from home, lets go for it, short shift, keep the revs sensible and the pace consistent, hit the M4, no traffic, rain is getting heavier, where the hell is all this water coming from???? Hang on a minute, my hands are getting wet, 160 quids worth of brand spanking shiny new Held gortex lined waterproof gloves bought for the occasion and my hands are now soaking wet... and then that cold trickle that runs down and settles in my groin, can this day get any worse? ( the answer is yes, just in case you were wondering) Press on, it’s only water and besides the country side needs it right now, forecast shows it is heading west so by the time I turn around at Lands End the rain clouds should have moved away... M5 still light traffic though the wind is picking up, leaning the bike over just to keep her in a straight line, feels like any further and I will get my elbow down... 160 miles I hit reserve, as I watch the fuel gauge go down faster than a whores drawers, I decide to fill up at the next services.. fuelled up, receipt shenanigans done, whip my boots off and empty out the water collected in them, wished I hadn’t at least that water was warm... press on, rain all the way to Lands End various levels of precipitation but all wet. Roll into a deserted Lands End with the exception of two surfer looking types sat in a VW camper, stereotypical I know, but I kid you not.. in my tank bag I stowed the £6 in coins (scavenged from around the house the night before) I knew I needed for the parking machine (research pays off) to give me the much coveted receipt, in goes the 50p coins display tops up the total, in goes the 20p coins, in goes the £1 coins, all good, in goes the £2 coin, out comes the £2 coin, bugger, in goes the £2 coin, out comes the £2 coin... argh, rub the £2 coin (why do we do that?) in goes the £2 coin out comes the £2 coin, out come all the coins, purchased cancelled...... grab my wallet off the bike, coppers all that is in there is coppers, machine doesn’t take notes or cards ( what centaury are we living in people) ok, what to do, look
around see the occupants of the VW camper staring at me from across the car park, so off I splosh, “ excuse me, any chance you can break a twenty?” the pair just burst into hysterics, personally I didn’t see the funny side, I can only assume the pungent smell emanating from the van had a little to do with it, they could at least of had the decency to shut the window as I walked away, I could hear their laughter all the way back to the machine, that was just cruel......
So what to do, I notice the digital display on the machine has the location, the time and the date nicely displayed, everything required on a receipt, grab the phone, snap a pic, drop a quick message to Phil the Prez to see if this was acceptable, time is tight on this run so didn’t wait for a response, I remembered there was a Geocache at the entrance to the car park and had a good idea of what it was, spotted it straight away, logged it, no time lost, crack on, better eat, stopped at the Hog and Hedge at Oakhampton for a traditional breakfast, hmmmm lovely it was too, even the staff were friendly despite me leaving a huge puddle on the floor and chair, press onto St Davids, uneventful run up to the Severn crossing, the crossing itself was, err, entertaining to say the least, tucked in alongside a truck to hold the worst of the wind and rain off, guessing the driver knew what I was doing as gave me the thumbs up... the run to St Davids I know well as I use Fishguard a lot for crossing to Ireland, so this bit should be easy enough despite the constant rain and buffeting winds, make St Davids still a little ahead of schedule so pretty pleased with myself, next fuel stop is the Texaco garage at Mold A494, looking forward to some more interesting roads despite feeling like I was wearing a nappy full of cold water that was slowly seeping down my legs to be collected by my boots, but don’t for a moment think that at least the nappy was emptying, oh no that was being topped up at an equal if not greater rate by the water running
down my back and chest etc, oh the joys of riding in the uk, ok so the roads would be fun in better conditions and to be fair the roads themselves were in a better condition than most I have ridden for a while but having the bike spin up on me in a straight line a couple of times helped to keep me on my toes, arrived at Mold fuelled up and needed to pee, thank god that’s all I needed wouldn’t want to have to sit down in there.... the puddle I left on the floor wasn’t pee, that went where it was supposed to go, while I have my helmet off I thought I would check to see if there was a response from President Phil, there as, bad news, verifier says no, it’s a receipt or nothing..... So that’s it, no ride verification, boom like a punch to the back of my head, went all wobbly and had to sit down, logic of it all escaped me, Is it time to knock it on the head and try again another day? I set out to do this, on this day, in memory of my big Sis and to raise some money, a lot of people had donated and that is more of a reason than anything, helmet on crack on, Perth and a bed beckon.
I am now emotionally wrecked, rain is coming down hard and the wind has picked up again, twice the cross winds have out powered the magnets on my tank bag, ripping it from the tank, my thought are not on my riding but more on memories of my sister and why I am doing this and the fact my efforts won’t be recognised. On a plus it no longer matters if I finish on time, just try and get home early enough to get some sleep so I can go to work for 7:30, still kicking myself for not having more loose change on me, how something so simple can bring down all that planning.. press on, M6 and the sun is setting any other time the fabulous scenery and amazing reds and purples generated by the setting sun would have been breath taking but right here right now all i can see is this bloody great burning ball in the sky blinding me to everything but its presence, just bloody set already for crying out loud... at least the rain has stopped... spoke to
soon, it’s coming down again... finally get to the Travelodge at Perth A9 (don’t judge me, it’s all I could afford) it’s now 11pm, i unload the bike and squelch my way to reception. There is a customer, his wife and two young kids complaining about their accommodation they have been to a wedding, had a few sherbets, returned to the hotel to discover a mix up and you would think it was the end of the world, the poor desk clerk was doing his best and had a couple of solutions but the guest was having none of it and was demanding things that were unreasonable and started getting abusive, this went on for a good 20 mins and I am stood there patiently, his wife is looking embarrassed and his kids are getting out of control, this isn’t going to end anytime soon, I ask the irate guest, would he mind if I just check in, I have an early start, I’m knackered I need to sleep.... this is where he turned on me... talk about bad timing ( on his behalf) this is where I let rip, after I did feel a little guilty because kids that young shouldn’t hear such things but kinda justified it by their fathers language to the desk clerk, wife suitably shocked dragged hubby outside, I get booked in, can hear hubby ranting in the car park about he is going to do this that and the other and wife saying well you didn’t did you, police turn up, take hubby away, wife takes one of the solutions the desk clerk offered. At this point I am so tired wet gear all over the floor and I forget to plug in my headset and camera to recharge, open my top box to find my alarm clock, everything is soaking wet... of course it is, oh and to top it all the alarm clock is broken... it’s gone midnight, set an alarm on my phone try and sleep, I’m shattered but can’t seem to nod off, I must have , next thing i look at my phone it’s 3:45, alarm should have gone off 15 mins ago, I’m late, have a lot of miles to cover today, quick shower, put on my still soaking wet gear and out the door, it’s raining, next stop Inverness, if I remember rightly (from 2010) the road to Inverness was a good place to pick up some time..... not now, 120 miles and
what seemed like 100 off those miles is now average speed cameras.... oh well, press on, forgot to charge my scala headset the night before so decided to use it only where necessary, turned it on as I approached Inverness to discover it has packed up, maybe the rain was just too much and it decided to pack up and leave, one speaker totally gone the other sounds like she is talking Japanese with her head underwater, oh well, just something else to add to the list of fails, on a plus as i am heading up the A9 toward wick the rain stops, still heavily overcast but at least it’s not raining and I am on what I consider the best biking road in the UK , get to JOG 15 mins early, ok lets grab the most northern geocache, check my phone for one and i’m off, find it almost straight away, log it, back to the post office just as she is unlocking the pumps, top up with the most expensive pump gas on the planet and off to Tescos at wick for some breakfast. Full English on the cards, finished up quicker than I should; back out to the bike, blue skies and sunshine, yes, I seem to have attracted some attention, local PC looking at my bike.. heart sinks, now what, “ is this your bike Sir” doing my utmost to refrain from being sarcastic, I reply “yes, yes it is” “we’ve had a complaint abooot noise ya see” ( in my head i’m say from who the fekin sheep?) “really?” says I, “this a standard exhaust?” oh dear.... “no, but you can see from the markings on it that it is a fully road legal system” “ok” says he “you won’t be minding starting it up then” I hit the button, she bursts into life and sits there burbling away, “ok then, this number plate, isn’t it a bit small?” “ do you know, I never realised, I can read it from the required distance so never gave it a thought” followed by the usual name, address, what you doing here, where are you going and ending with “well get that plate sorted” ...
Any way suns out blue skies, pc has gone, “waterproof” oversuit off, dark visor and summer gloves on, full tank of gas and my fave road
for the next 90 miles or so, happy days, really enjoy the A9 back to Cromarty Bridge , suns still out even the A9 to Perth is looking inviting, Perth , more fuel stops on the way and dark clouds are looming, press on, heavy showers on the way down, no water proofs just my textiles whose waterproofing qualities would be admirable if they were teabags and a dark visor, press on till next stop, change visor, not a lot of point putting the oversuit on, change gloves to the “waterproof” held ones, sporadic heavy showers and road works really hamper the pace but at least the showers aren’t cold, I’m wet but warm, press on, get to Kings Lynn and it has finally stopped raining, sun is retiring for the day but I am still warm , by the time I get to Lowestoft it is dark and I remember how woeful my headlight is since I removed the HID kit, but I have made up some time and have plenty in hand, my body is cursing me, I’m too old to be riding naked bikes in this weather for this amount of time, shoulders and back are screaming for me to stop and my legs no longer have the strength to stand let alone support the bike, 130 miles to go, i know these roads, i have plenty of time, lets do it... it’s funny how your mind deceives you when you are more tired than you think, determination comes like a drug and pushes you, I slow the pace, knowing what is coming, can’t see diddly squat because the headlight is so poor so latch onto a car that is travelling at my pace, use his lights, all good, get to the A14 and its shut, detour to Duxford and up the M11, thank god for sat navs, then plain sailing home on roads I know well, get to Tescos where I started got my last receipt, 2 hours to spare, my bike done me proud yet again 2 IBA rides 10 years apart, I love my ZRX to bits, but bless her she isn’t built for such long distances, better for upsetting the power, 3 miles to home, pull onto the drive and the roller garage door starts to open, wife has been following me on spotwalla and hit the button to save me finding the remote, despite the weather and no recognition I
loved it. Following day I check Facebook to find I have had lots of encouragement and people following me via the spotwalla and bubbler apps and the best part of it all, at the last count over £1900 raised for cancer research uk....

And to top it all Looks like (assuming i have done it all correctly) verification is a possibility...

Next ride is being planned, but no IBA rides can be tweaked to suit this one, so I will be on my own, If it works out it’s a doozy...
Watch this space........


IBA Member
Top marks for persistence given the rain, nothing worse than a soggy crotch Can I suggest you invest in some Gore-Tex you will find the water will not get inside your gloves and boots.
Also a pair of boxing gloves next time you visit a Travelodge:D
Looking forward to the next ride.


Well-Known Member
I was wearing these Held air n dry gloves, despite the gortex they didn't stay dry for long, were better on day two in the heavy showers, prolonged heavy rain and they lasted a couple of hours maximum.
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IBA Member
I bought a pair of these a few years ago and rode for 13hrs in the rain, with out getting wet hands.
Rev'it Spokane H2O Over Gloves - Black