Sunday, April 27, 2014

Day 6 Lands End - John O'Groats - Lands End On A Honda C90

After getting directions for the tyre shop from the owners who thought I was slightly barking but emptied all their change into my collection tin on the front of "Lucille" I was off.

5 minutes down the road and I pull in to the garage. Unfortunately they were unable to help but they did give me directions to another dealer at the bottom of town who could do bike tyres.

I wasn't expecting miracles, but there wasn't even a chance that this guy was willing to help. However he did say that there was a place 8 miles away at Denholm that may be able to help.

Now this was in the opposite direction, but as I viewed the whole trip as an adventure, thought why not try them. Off I rode, and after a short ride I pulled into Thos. B Oliver's Garage at Denholm.

Every now and again you come across folk that are so amazingly helpful and brilliant that you cannot praise them enough. This is one of those occasions!

I got off "Lucille" and walked up to the office where I met Wendy the owner who had taken the business over from her father. 

I explained the situation to her and what I was doing and she soon had things under control and things set in motion.

I stripped my bike of gear to much amusement from the lads in the workshop who were all really friendly and interested in what I was doing. I think it helped that they were a bike dealer as well and the guys all rode bikes.

A brew soon appeared for me and "Lucille" was soon minus her back wheel!

My tyre was looking pretty thin in the centre so it was a wise move to have it replaced. I carried two spares, a front and rear tyre. This did leave me without a spare rear tyre so I asked Wendy if it was possible and how long would it take to get a spare factored in. 

She said it would only take an hour and that she would get it organised, brilliant. Little did I know that she sent her 80 year old mother off in her car to get it for me!

My tyre had obviously been getting rather warm as the inside of the tyre had bubbled and stuck itself to the inner tube.

I was also carrying 4 heavy duty inner tubes so with my cheapo Chinese tyre and a new inner tube all was replaced.

Now since Darlington I could here a bit of rubbing on the chain guard, which on examination I found out to be the chain, which was now slacker than a whores knicker elastic. So with the wheel having to come off, on refitting it would be an easy task to tighten it up.

But on closer examination it was found that the chain was pretty much worn out, and looking a bit shabby, so my spares policy once more paid off. I was carrying a heavy duty chain, which we linked to the old one, pulled it through and joined it up. Job done in seconds.

I should of really changed it before I left, but I went on the basis of it it ain't broke don't touch it!

It didn't take too much longer to get the back wheel fitted and the bike loaded up.

My tyre arrived courtesy of Wendy's Mum and it was just a case of settling the bill.

This is when I felt very humbled. Wendy would not let me pay for a thing, I tried to pay for it all, then just labour, then just for the tyre, but she was having none of it.

I have read many motorcycle adventures over the last 12 months and have heard of these sort of things happening, but I really didn't expect anything like this to happen to me!

I did manage to get one of their stickers put on my wind shield and a photograph of everyone.

I cannot say a big enough thank you to Wendy and her lads who helped me out, they had no need to or cause to, they just did and that as I said before is very humbling indeed!

Leaving here I knew the bike was in tip top order, and it certainly felt better to ride, but it did take most of the morning to sort so I had to get a few miles behind me.

Heading for Selkirk on the A7 before turning onto the A72 and Peebles. Following the A721, past Carstairs and the Mental Institution where I refuelled but did not hang around!

On towards Carluke, through Airdrie and up towards Cumbernauld. I used to live not far from here and the roads were all familiar. 

I stopped at Burger King in Cumbernauld and had a big meal as I was starving and it was the first real break of the day and it was nearly 1700.

From here I only lived 10 minutes away and curiosity did get the better of me and so I headed off to get a glimpse of my old house.

Went to cut through the old lane but they had blocked the road and so I could not get to it, but could see it in the distance snuggled up against the hill side. It would of been an hours ride to get back to it so decided to let it stay in the past where it belongs.

However I did manage to get a picture from streetview maps, it was set in a wonderful location.

Onwards once more, through Denny and towards Stirling, where I spent a lot of time teaching folk to drive. I did enjoy living up there, but where I am now is better, it's warmer and dryer for a start!

A quick pit stop in Sainsbury's for fuel and grub and it was off again. It was starting to get late, but it takes a while longer to get dark up there so with a bit more light I started looking for a camp site.

Now being in Scotland they are more relaxed with wild camping, and this was part of the plan, but if a camp site cropped up I would take advantage of a proper loo and a shower.

Somewhere between Lochearnhead and Crainlarich I came across a camp site. This is a bit vague as I cannot remember the name of the site!

I pulled in and the reception as to be expected was closed as it was gone 1900. There was a phone with a direct line to the owners so as I picked it up the owner came to the door and we sorted out a price and where to go, which was anywhere and off I went to start my routine.

I had just managed to get set up when it started to rain, thankfully I was dry and so was all my gear. Snuggled in my maggot (sleeping bag) it was time for some grub. I had packed a few emergency rations, none of which looked to appetising. Mind you I did have a burger king earlier but by this time it was dark, raining and I was a bit chilly, so there was only one thing for it.

I can assure you that when tired and cold these taste wonderful! Along with a brew and a phone call back to Kiera who had been in constant touch with me these last few days and had also said that she would be at Lands End to meet me meant I slept a very happy and contented man.

The Journey continues.......

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