Shadow Crew

                         

The Great North Tour 7th-16th July 2018


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If any one has any pictures please let me know and I will add them for you. If you can host them on an external site and send me links this would be preferable but I am happy to host some images on the server.

The itinerary can be seen here

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Everyone safely reported home after the Great North Tour! What a tour that was 1800 or so miles, give or take a few. Torrential rain north of the border and tropical south of the border. The roads are absolutely stunning, I will definitely be going back to ride those roads and take in some touristy things too. The journey started for us on Saturday, stopping off at Ros and Duncs for a spot of lunch, although Dunc decided it best if he went out for the day so we had a lovely meal with Piglet before carrying on to Scunthorpe for the night. Sunday we moved on to Newcastle where the tour would start from on Monday morning. We met up with Flyer and had dinner and a few beers.

I am not going to give a blow by blow account of everyday but its fair to say it was incident packed.

Day 1:
Jeff had a little trouble starting his bike but this was sorted out quite quickly and we were off. I have to say the Kielder forest road is absolutely stunning. Incident 2 happened at the filling station where Kel forgot her side stand and promptly fell over with her bike. I jumped off mine forgetting to check my stand (it was down) and without putting my fuel cap back on to check she was OK and lift the bike up quickly (at 1.45p a litre I didn't want to waste any at that price) Kel was fine, bruised leg and a slightly bruised ego!! We stopped at Jedburgh for coffee. Perth for lunch then onto Aviemore. Accommodation here was excellent.

Day2:
we went up to the Cairngorm mountain railway but the cloud cover was too low to really see anything. Whilst turning on an adverse camber Jeff managed to roll of his bike too. Again I jumped off my bike to aid in the righting of said motorcycle. THATS THREE THINGS, right? Apparently not!!! I got back on my bike and tried to start it and nothing. weird. Tried again and it fired up, phew. However later on the bike again refused to start and it felt like a dead battery, so out with the jumper pack and it started. The rest of the day was day was fine and we made it to Fort William.

Day 3:
Today was the day! Wonderful roads around Glencoe, Obahn, Inverary and the like. Unfortunately the DC decided that it wasn't starting and needed a jump every time we stopped. It was getting a pain in the arse but at least it was running and getting me around.

Day 4:
Applecross pass and the coast road, absolutely stunning and worth the trip just for this. The bike seemed to be behaving and was starting OK all day. Which was nice because the roads were amazing and it left me time to enjoy it. Kel got congratulated by an american on reaching the top of the pass. Condescending bastard!! When Kel said why, because I am a girl he backtracked slightly. Nevertheless he didn't congratulate me or Jeff!!! Probably the best riding day ever. I will say that the pass was not as technically challenging as I had expected. Hard Knott Pass in Cumbria is much more difficult technically. On the way back we stopped at a little petrol station and the bike just wouldnt start, not even with the jumper pack. I had a suspicion that maybe it was the solenoid but before I could test it a guy pulled up next to us and promptly told us his mate was a dab hand with "Harleys" and that he would go get him and bring him back. Now before any of us could say they werent harleys he was gone up the road!! Broke down by the side of the road I guess it was an easy mistake to make. So we waited the 10 minutes for the guy to come back fully expecting a "these arent bloody harleys" reaction but instead he just called his mate a knob head and carried on. It was the solenoid and jumping this with a starter pack did the job, so now we knew. I didn't turn the bike off for the rest of the trip to the hotel just in case. When I got back I ordered a solenoid but it wouldn't be delivered until we were in Harrogate on the Saturday so I had one more day to suffer. But its just one day, right!

Day 5:
(Friday the 13th) We left Fort William for Carlisle. The bike started! We cpontinued out through Glencoe and down to Loch Lomond for a rest break. Bike wouldnt start. Booster pack out and boom! I blew the booster pack up!! I mean completely destroyed it LOL So now we moved into the dreaded bump start. Easy for me, not so for the others. I think we bump started it a couple more times that day, one prolonged effort at a fuel stop had me worried but it was all good in the end. Only to look up and see Gordy struggling to start his bike, oh no!! but this was user error so it was fine.All along the route and trying everywhere no one had jump leads. We continued to Carlisle where we managed to get some and temporarily the problem was nullified.

Day 6:
Onto Harrogate. Again the bike was playing up and we managed to lose Jeff so we headed directly to the hotel. The bike was giving me too much stress to continue. Jeff continued ont he planned route and we hit the A66 to the hotel. Solenoid was at the hotel and fitted Sunday morning. Awesome, bike started ready for the run around Harrogate lead by my friend from work. Before that we headed to his house to do a few minor adjustments like adjust my chain and rewire my indicator (I know I forgot to mention that!) Off we went on what promised to be a fantastic route, unfortunately my bike decided that it now wanted to lose all power and give up FFS!! Jump started it and it behaved for the rest of the day but I stopped and bought a new battery and fitted that before we set off for home on the Sunday morning,

I know all of this sounds like a complete disaster, it wasn't, it was so much fun and without all these little mishaps and inconveniences where would the memories be? We rode some great roads, spent some time with some great people, had a laugh and drank beer. Although when the bike died on Sunday I could quite happily have picked it up and thrown it over a cliff edge. However, I would do it all again and I would do it all over again on the DC because lets face it what else can go wrong. On the plus side the carbs didnt leak!!

Remember this is just my perspective, each and everyone of us will have a different view on how the week went.

I will get some more photos and video up as soon as Harriet sorts them out.

Thank you Flyer for organising it, it was amazing! And thanks to Will and H for the big blue support truck