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This page 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.

The aim is to raise funds for the Devon Air Ambulance, a valuable resource for the whole community of Devon.

Follow the route by clicking here here

Day One 23rd June Ian's diary in red

Ian 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.

A group 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.

Ian would like to thank everybody who turned out in support.

Ian and family can be seen on the right just before he got on his Transalp to start his round Britain charity ride.

Well, 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.

Saying 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.

The 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 for tomorrow.

Day Two 24th June 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.

The riding finishes at Midfield Campsite at Aberystwyth at 7pm.

Sat 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.

Day Three 25th June Ian's 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.

Every 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.

The 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.

I 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 good....

DAY Four 26th June
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.

On closer 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.

Watch this space!

What 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.

After 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 needed.

The 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.

My 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.

Now 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............

4th July
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 at the start and finish point

Ian is looking for donations from businesses that can supply equipment that can be used on the run. E-mail Ian.

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 DAAT who have officially sanctioned this venture.

Money can be donated easily by:

Trustees of the funds are:

John Mills, Buckland Filleigh
Lyn Watts, Shebbear

The Transalp website has a forum running on Ian's trip. You need to register to take part in the forum.

A Honda trail rider website has a forum also running on Ian's trip.

Details of the clubs quiz night at The Old Union Inn, Stibb Cross, February 2007

North Devon Journal article December 2006 (large file)

More details when they are available

 

Commercial sponsors
These sponsors have supplied equipment to help Ian and in most cases, the equipment will be auctioned after the ride
R. Walker Builders, Bideford, Devon. Tel; 01237-476510 E-Mail
Thanks to carol walker of R. Walker builders for covering all fuel costs for the run.
Graffitiprints, Units 2&3, 15A North Road, Bideford, Devon, EX39 2NW
Tel; 01237-425140 E-Mail Website
Dick Feather Motorcycles(DFM), Bradworthy, Devon Tel: 01409-241380 E-Mail
 
Thanks for their support goes to the following:
  • BBC Radio Devon
  • Lantern FM
  • North Devon Journal
  • Brian Ward of shebbear for designing and making the pannier frames
  • Paul Tilsley of Rowden, Shebbear for donating a Garmin GPS
 
Private sponsors
here...
Another sponsor is signed up at the Shebbear bike show