is dedicated to member Ian Walkers' attempt at a 4,800 mile ride
around the coast roads of the UK. Starting from The Old Union
Inn on 23rd June, he plans to ride alone, around the coastline
of mainland Britain within 2 weeks on a Honda Transalp.
is to raise funds for the Devon Air Ambulance, a valuable resource
for the whole community of Devon.
the route by clicking here here
Day One 23rd
diary in red
goodbye to my wife Dawn and two children Shona & Aidan made me well
up, but it was to late now to back out and not go, I had to do this
moreso for myself than for the air ambulance.
left The Old Union Inn, Stibb Cross just after 13.00hrs.
His family and a group of well-wishers made up of pub regulars,
B.A.N.D members and a few other bikers including an impressive
turnout by our friends from Kilkhampton.
of bikers then accompanied Ian via Bideford and Instow as
far as Barnstaple. He spent his first night at Brean, close
to Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset.
would like to thank everybody who turned out in support.
and family can be seen on the right just before he got on
his Transalp to start his round Britain charity ride.
its here at last, all the waiting and wondering if it was
ever going to happen is now here. I was met at the old union
inn Stibb Cross by several bikers who would follow me for
a short distance to see me off, then I would be on my own,
on this 4800 mile tour of Britain's mainland coast.
first days riding went well, only did 114 miles to get me to Brean
but that gives me a full day in Wales tomorrow. The campsite is
huge, with shops and entertainment, but not for me I just want
to hear dawns voice, tell her I love her and go to sleep, ready
Ian's diary in red
Heavy rain lead to a late start at about 10am.
A problematic chain meant that speed was kept down to 40mph until
it was adjusted to loose a tight spot.
finishes at Midfield Campsite at Aberystwyth at 7pm.
here in my tent I feel good, the view is mind blowing, its 10.40
at night and the sky is a deep orange with hints of purple and
dark blue reflecting on the sea around Aberystwyth, the mountain
in the distance a silhouette against the sky. Today had been a
mixture of highs and lows, the lows when waking this morning in
Brean and the rain was coming down in stair rods so the tent was
put away wet, so I did not get underway until 10am, not the early
start I had wanted.
Then I seemed to take an age to do short distances due to the
GPS sending me every which way but the I wanted to go due to poor
satellite reception, even ended up in someone's farm yard at one
point, so I went back to the good old map in the end, then to
top it all off the bike started to make a horrible clunking sound
due to 2 tight links in the chain, of all the things I packed
I forgot the chain lube, so an hour was spent trying to free them
with plenty of WD40 and so gearbox oil from a local garage.
The high was the A487 just outside of Aberystwyth looking around
the coast and seeing Snowdonia in the distance, this is what its
all about, this makes up for the lows, that one moment, rounding
that corner to be faced with a view like that, my feelings took
an instant up, plus taking to mum & dad, dawn and ray in the pub
and a good hot shower- I FEEL GOOD shame about the crap weather
forecast for the next 36 hours- NEVER MIND.
diary in red
Ian was awoken at 3am in his tent by very strong
winds and torrential downpours. He waited until lunch time for
a break, but it never came. So he packed up his very soggy tent
and carried on to around Southport and about 7pm chose a Travel
Lodge so that he could dry his clothes and the rest of the gear.
The rain got through everything and he is using the hotel hair
dryer to dry his boots as this is being typed.
The day has
seen a total of 630 miles racked up since leaving Stibb Cross.
The weather forecast for tomorrow is much better. Here's hoping.
high has its lows, and with yesterdays high comes today's
big low. Woke up this morning at 6.00am to the worst rain
I have seen for years, it was pissing down with gale force
winds to boot. This had to be the worst riding weather I
have ever experienced, not only did the rain go straight
though my SPADA one piece rain suit, but my wulf sport textile
jacket my stobart shower proof jacket and my t shirt even
the notes in my money belt were soaked though, I spent 15
miles riding though water up yo the footpegs on the bike
the water was hitting my boots and washing up around my
knees filling my boots to the top with water, you could
feel the force of the water pushing against the bike, I
was cold, wet and at times scared that the wing would blow
me off the bike, after much shouting and swearing in my
helmet I came though the worst of it and got to Southport.
tent was put away wet, I was wet so I decided to book into a motel
for the night, love them or hate them there's a lot to be said,
when you cold, wet and fed up stepping into a warm room with a
proper bed and a hot shower, just for one night to lift the sprit,
and it worked tomorrow's forecast looks good and I am looking
forward to a full days ride.
am missing dawn like mad and I crave just to hear her voice on
the phone and tell Ilove her, apart from that things now feel
Well the weather was much better as forecast. The
days riding began at 7am so that a lot of miles could be covered.
However, at about 12 noon after 150 miles, Ian noticed a hot coolant
type smell emitting from the bike.
inspection, it was due to a knackered water pump. Mr Honda seems
to think that these are surplus to requirements and a replacement
could not be located. Ian has now had to return to dear old Devon
by break down truck in order to sort the bike out.
He will repair
the bike as soon as possible and dash back up to Morecambe to
restart his trip.
a difference, woke up this morning after a good nights sleep to
clear blue skies and warm sunshine, 07.00 was my start time and
I was in black pool by 08.30 riding up the golden mile and queens
promenade towards Fleetwood, this morning I felt good, the bike
felt good and the weather was great and I was making good time.
But all was to end with a bang.
riding though Morecambe I thought I would stop for a quick
ciggi, so I pulled over in a lay-by lit up and I could smell
hot coolant upon looking down I saw a large pool under the
bike, I knew this was bad news so with truck haven only
being about 4 or 5 miles away, a large truck stop on the
A6 where I have stayed many times when I was driving trucks
for a living.
I decided to slowly ride there, if the worst came to the
worst I knew I could get a room , food and a shower. It
turned out the water pump had packed up and a new one was
RAC phoned around trying to locate a new one with no joy
and I was told by Honda UK that it could take 2 to 6 weeks
to ship a new one to me. So that was it. At that moment
my heart sank and my stomach turned I knew that it was the
end of the ride, I phoned my mum back in Devon telling her
of the news and felt myself welling up with emotion, I wanted
to carry on, it couldn't end like this on the side of the
road due to a poxy water pump, a few tears fell, trying
not to look at passers by, but I didn't care who saw me.
dream, my big plan had failed, I felt like I was letting
everyone down who donated money, I felt every one would
laugh "oh another failed plan" or" I want my money back"
how could I show my face in my local pub, I felt embarrassed
to go home, but I had no choice.
home I feel like crap, I miss the bike, the riding even the weather,
I just want the road, the wind and the freedom that only a motorbike
can give you, and still no luck fining a water pump. The week
old GPS has packed up and I feel low. But as soon as I get the
bike fixed I will ride to Morecambe bay and carry on where I broke
down, I will not be beaten by this and will complete what I set
out to do, I WILL FINISH THIS RIDE............
Ian now has
the bike repaired and is getting set to resume when he can get
away from work committments. He had help from member of xrv.org
who very kindly supplied Ian with a second hand water pump free
of charge. I am would to send a big thank you to Steve Thomas
of Lhanbryde, North East Scotland.
Ian is looking for donations from businesses that can supply
equipment that can be used on the run. E-mail
Items such as a small one man tent, sat nav system, and some
other bike clothing. If you are in a position to supply these
items please contact the club. On his return, any items donated
for the ride will be auctioned to raise still more funds for the
who have officially
sanctioned this venture.
Money can be donated easily by:
Trustees of the funds are:
John Mills, Buckland Filleigh
Lyn Watts, Shebbear
website has a forum running on Ian's trip. You need to register
to take part in the forum.
trail rider website has a forum also running on Ian's trip.
Details of the clubs
at The Old Union Inn, Stibb Cross, February 2007
North Devon Journal article
December 2006 (large file)
details when they are available
sponsors have supplied equipment to help Ian and in most
cases, the equipment will be auctioned after the ride
Walker Builders, Bideford, Devon. Tel; 01237-476510
Thanks to carol walker of R. Walker builders for covering
all fuel costs for the run.
Units 2&3, 15A North Road, Bideford, Devon, EX39
Tel; 01237-425140 E-Mail
Feather Motorcycles(DFM), Bradworthy, Devon Tel: 01409-241380
for their support goes to the following:
Ward of shebbear for designing and making the pannier
Tilsley of Rowden, Shebbear for donating a Garmin GPS
Another sponsor is signed up at the Shebbear bike show