Sunday, 9 June 2013

Lands End To John O'Groats Challenge!

I think I'm having a midlife crisis!

We have just bought a sports car, and now I'm looking at doing something a bit mad by going from Lands End to John O'Groats.

I say Lands End to John O'Groats but actually once I get up the top end I'll be heading along the Scottish Northern coast to Durness. Then South to Margate/Dover along the Southern coast of England and back down to Lands End - approx 2600 miles!

A corner to corner challenge! Just going one way would be normal and logical, but everyone does that!

So how do I intend to do this journey?

Well, as I'm not an athlete, (no shit)! walking, running or riding a push bike is out of the question. 

So what would suit an over weight middle aged bloke?

Maybe take the MX5 or even the Pajero with the roof tent (which we still haven't found yet)!

No, it needs to be sensible, rugged, comfortable and reliable. I know a Honda C90 Moped! (or similar).

So that is the plan, ok, not much of a plan but it's as good as it's going to get at this stage.

The date will be April 2014. I've two weeks leave in which to complete the task I've set myself.

I've already planned a route, which may or may not change, and I've been putting together a wishlist on Amazon for the equipment needed.

But first I have to find a motorbike, then I have to complete my CBT training, which is basically a test to ensure that I know my left from right and can read a road sign. Along with other necessary life saving techniques such as checking blind spots etc.

Why a Honda C90 (or similar), well it's the simplicity of them that appeals to me. Also the fact that so many were made that parts are in abundance, they are ultra reliable and are more than capable of carrying my svelte like body up North and back again!

In my quest to find a bike I came across these folk at Riders Motorcycles. They are not a million miles away and they import a Chinese copy of the famous Honda C90. Their version is a 110cc so a tad more powerful and it's cheap!

Follow the link HERE to see the spec of the bike for those who wish to know these types of things!

The only snag with these brand new bikes is that it comes in a crate and you have to assemble it yourself!

Well for £795 what could possibly go wrong!

So bike found, route sorted (ish) just need a few other bits and pieces and off I go!

Actually the planning has taken a bit of time so far as there is a lot of things to consider when riding a bike and staying away from home for two weeks.

Just thinking about what I need to ride the bike is a hurdle, seeing as I have only ever ridden a moped once which was in Spain with my old Army mate Paddy Breadbin. But that doesn't count as I was pissed at the time, and our safety attire then consisted of flip flops, and sun lotion!

So far I have a pair of gel pants and a lot of determination!

I will be setting up a separate blog for this escapade, along with a way of donating money to my chosen charity which rather predictably will be "Help For Heroes"

You can visit my new blog for this escaped here -

If you so wish, which would be rather nice of you, please make a donation however small via my justgiving page at

So off now to look at one man tents, multi fuel stoves and crash helmets!

Till later......................

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Simply Camping And Camping Simply

Camping comes in all sorts of different varieties, from Static Homes to living rough finding shelter where one can.

I personally have done all of it and more or less everything in between.

During my time in the services we managed to survive in some fairly inhospitable places. 

Myself and my good friend Mark were two of the few who survived several nights out on the Northumberland moors of Otterburn whilst the elements tried to kill us off! With only a sleeping bag and poncho to fend off the driving freezing wind and rain.

A good number of them had to be evacuated out after going down with hyperthermia. We were found the next day brewing up and getting on with it as others were carted off.

I once had to dig myself out of a tent whilst in Germany as 4ft of snow had fallen over night. I was buried as it had drifted completely over my tent!

So camping is not new to me at all.

However the luxury of a 4 berth caravan with island bed, shower, loo and full facilities on board with a massive awning is something else.

But, is that really camping?

I've got to honestly say no, it's not. We have now wild camped in the Pajero on a good few occasions. No plans or agendas, just following a road to see where it leads to.

Then when it's time to pitch up for the night we look for a suitable spot where we are likely to be undisturbed, cook and brew up, then bed down for the night.

Making sure we leave zero footprint when we leave in the morning.

The urge to travel seems to be getting to me, probably inspired by my old mate Will Geordie English who I was also in the Army with.

He has taken a scooter to Africa, and has ridden around the world on another bike!

He has just gone over to America to travel from Florida to Alaska and then I think the rough plan is to head to Mexico! You can see his blog here!

Another guy  Ed Marsh who I came across recently has taken a Honda C90 Cub around the world! Also in another trip up to the Arctic Circle! This is one crazy guy, and if you watch his video's on youtube is a funny bloke. You can see him here!

Anyway time to go as I've just caught myself looking at C90's on ebay! Cheap and fun or what?

Till later...................