It’s taken a bottle of wine, fine food, followed by coffee, two iPads, an iPhone, a computer and a good old fashioned Reader’s Digest atlas – but we’ve done it. We’ve finally worked out a route that we’ll take for our MAD JOGLE (John O’Groats to Land’s End) motorcycle ride in aid of Erskine.
Of course, the best laid plans and all that – the next challenge is actually sticking to the plan but we’re very hopeful that our navigational skills will be supported with Jack the ever faithful sat nav.
Last year, Jeanie and I took on Route 66 – just under 3,000 miles in just under three weeks. We were fully supported by the amazing Hadrian V-Twin Motorcycle tour – aka Nige and Jan Collis. It was a case of follow the leader and our very large suitcases were carried in a van. So what possessed us to embark on an unsupported ride up and down the UK I’ll never know – it sure sounded like fun at the time and yikes, we’re just over a month away.
For those that don’t know – Erskine (www.erskine.org.uk) has been providing care to veterans since 1916 – so this centenary year is very special and there are lots of events being planned to celebrate, but also importantly raise awareness. It costs £8.5 million a year to provide the care to our veterans through Erskine. We’ve been baking cakes, selling unwanted motorcycle gear and now we’re in the process of asking for sponsorship and looking for prizes to raffle in order to raise money. The trip itself is self-funded – any money donated is going straight to Erskine through our just giving site – www.justgiving.com/JOGLEMAD.
We leave Edinburgh on 21 May and this is our planned route:
|Saturday 21 May||Edinburgh Pitlochry, Aviemore, Tain, Wick John O’Groats|
|Sunday 22 May||John O’Groats (Thurso, Helmsdale, Inverness, Blair Atholl, Kinross Edinburgh|
|Monday 23 May||Edinburgh (Abington, Gretna Green, Kendal) Chester|
|Tuesday 24 May||Chester (Bristol and various other stops) Okehampton|
|Wednesday 25 May||Okehampton (Land’s End) St Austell|
|Thursday 26 May||St Austell (Torquay, Glastonbury) Trowbridge|
|Friday 27 May||Trowbridge via Swindon to York|
|Saturday 28 May||York via Jedburgh to Edinburgh|
|Sunday 29 May||Edinburgh to Erskine (Glasgow)|
There may be a few tweaks here and there before we finally set off, however we think we’ve got something that we’re happy with. We’re sure there are lots of alternatives that folks will offer but we have selected a route, which we feel ensures we have adequate access to fuel and little chance of getting lost (too much).
I have always wanted to visit the Eden Project so excited we’ll be doing that mid week on the trip. I lived down in the south west for a couple of years and never made it.
As well as ensuring our trusty Harley’s are ready for the trip, we’re now ramping up our fundraising efforts – every time I’ve been asked to make a cake – the profits (after ingredients) have been going to Erskine. And we’ve had a massive boost to our fundraising thanks to IME – the Scottish based property company, who has pledged £500 sponsorship to Erskine in support of our trip. Founder and Director Ian McDonald made the pledge on behalf of the company and we are so grateful – to have support from businesses in Scotland as well from our friends and family makes this trip all the more worthwhile.
We’ll be doing daily blogs of our trip and there will be video too – think Thelma and Louise and you’ll get the picture. Of course we’d love it if any local bikers wanted to join us on any part of the trip. Get in touch and let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.