I had attached a For Sale sign to my XJR1300 and left it with a friend before leaving for Istria in the spring. By the end of the summer the bike still hadn’t been sold so I decided to do a long-distance charity ride on it in aid of the Helicopter Fund.
The fund goes towards the cost of the emergency helicopter service which is often called on to ferry climbers, bikers and others unfortunate enough to have been injured while out in remote areas to hospital. As you will see it is quite a useful organisation.
My ride started on the south coast of England just across from the Isle of Wight.
I had no set timetable and spent some time with the ponies in the new forest.
Aren’t they lovely?
Then it was up to Stonehenge for another photo — sorry about the helmet spoiling a good photo —
and just to prove I was there —
Then another one with the White Horse at Malmesbury in the background — I wonder who weeds it —
before heading over to Lynmouth in north Devon – scene of a flood disaster many years ago. Well not that many cos I can remember it —
After Lynmouth I followed the coast road to Bristol and over the Severn Bridge into Wales where I found some highland cattle for company —
not far from the source of the River Severn —
Palm tree? This must be Aberdovey on the Cardigan Bay coast —
Then it was up through Snowdonia to the Isle of Anglesay for a photo with the Thomas Telford bridge in the background —
After that it was a slog across north Wales and up to Skipton in Yorkshire to meet a bunch of mates from the XJR Owner’s Club who were to ride across the Lakeland passes of Wrynose and Hardknott with me —
must have made us all hungry because we certainly demolished my sannies when we reached Ravenglass —
and a photo on the grass bank at Ravenglass — I have had a few from that spot over the years —
Things didn’t go to plan after that – strong coffee always makes the bikes go quicker and one of our guys demolished a stone wall —
Didn’t do his bike much good either — OOPS!!!
The first medic on the scene was riding a motor bike and he called in the very helicopter I was raising money for —
My mate was checked out and loaded up in jigtime —
After visiting the badly injured Martin in hospital down in Lancaster I rode on up Scotland but it was just a matter of putting in the miles after that body blow. My last day was the toughest – bucking into driving winds and torrential rain over the Yorkshire moors to the Humber Bridge and on down to Southampton to complete my ride. I was soaked and well frazzled by the time I got there.
But – a couple of days R&R with friends in Southampton saw myself and the XJR well sorted and ready for the ride north to Scotland again.
The Lakeland farmer was pleased to see his wall rebuilt and Martin is back riding again.
As for the charity ride – despite my best efforts I doubt if I raised enough money to pay for the helicopter that was called out for our injured rider.