coastbusters: chapter 7 Aberdeen to Hull 11h30m 420.6miles
by, 21-09-08 at 07:39 (492 Views)
Dad and I had plans to join my Uncle and Aunt in St Andrews for a coffee after which Dad would turn back and I’d press on. Seventh day in a row on the bike and I was feeling good. Still no aches and still enjoying the feeling of making progress. Today was more familiar territory for me, initially anyway. North East Scotland where I’m from then Edinburgh where I lived for three years. On the one hand it felt nice to be in familiar country but on the other- the sense of adventure wasn’t as great as it felt like riding in my own back yard, so to speak. We had a quick photo stop at Dunnotar castle, one of the regular family outings from my childhood, before heading on to St Andrews.
Ah, how civilised. Coffee and cake! And I met my Uncle’s neighbour outside who, as it turns out, rode a motorbike round Australia many years ago- just for fun. That makes my trip seem quite short and pathetic! He gave me an on the spot donation to the charity too....what a decent chap.
Before heading south I decided to pop back into St Andrews proper for a picture of the famous cathedral. I’d been there recently for my cousin’s wedding so it was nice to make a brief return.
Then it was on to Edinburgh. Nothing unfamiliar about this but I love the city so it was great to be there. Good job I know the city well as I chose to bypass the bypass and take the city centre route down through Leith and Musselburgh. The signposting was pretty crap though so I pity the tourists who try to do this.
I was pressing on through Edinburgh and down towards Alnwick (pronounced “Annick”) where I was meeting Gary, aka Gazmoose. I was running low on fuel as I exited Edinburgh and planned to stop at the next fuel station I saw. However, as far as I could see there are NO fuel stations for MILES south of Edinburgh!?!?!?! As mentioned above I was getting about 150miles on average to the reserve on the bike. Well, by the time I found a petrol station on a desperate detour into Dunbar the trip counter was reading 181.7miles! I’d become convinced I was going to be either walking to a petrol station to buy a can of fuel or phoning the AA. I made it though.
Here’s my and Gazmoose’s bikes outside a cafe in Alnwick where he shouted me a lunch. I asked a passer by to take a picture of the two of us but pressing the button seemed to have been a task too much as, when I checked over the day’s pictures, there were none of us!
After Alnwick it was a blast south with Gary who led the way through Newcastle and through the claustrophobic and reeking Tyne tunnel before peeling off and going on his merry way. Alone again I pushed on for the next meeting point which was with Steve (arti) just north of Scarborough at about 4pm. Bless him, he’d come out early and put coastbusters logos at mile marks running up to the meet point to lead me in.....and I rode past them all without noticing!! I did see him at the side of the road with the coastbusters logo on a sheet of A4 though.... so yet another meet point made. It was quite incredible how, on such a long trip, with meet points planned weeks in advance of knowing how swift progress was going to be, all were working out so smoothly! Luck?? Or am I actually good at this?!!
Arti was yet another example of the generosity I’d experienced on the trip....never met the guy before but he was putting me up for the night, providing dinner and filling me up with lovely cold beer! But that was in Hull and we were still in Scarborough. Arti had an idea though.... before stopping for dinner why not take a trip out to Oliver’s Mount? He mentioned that this was a favourite spot for bikers. He didn’t mention that it was an international race circuit!!! Embarassingly, I’d never heard of it although I don’t think they race much there anymore? The great thing about it though is that you can just ride on and do a few laps at your own pace and ride off again. What an excellent way to round off a day’s riding!
An effervescent Aussie on a Honda SP-1 came roaring round a couple of times as we were chatting on the verge and eventually pulled in for a blether. He was VERY enthusiastic about the track urging us in the strongest possible way to come back where there’s racing on. “Ahhh it’s fakkin’ unbelievable, you’ve got come back and watch the fakkin’ racing it’ll blow your fakkin’ mind” etc! As I said, effervescent! He then wheelied off down the start/finish straight and could be heard for miles ragging his v-twin out round a few more laps! A word of caution though- we also saw a small group of bikers heading the wrong way (!!!!) up the track, one of whom dropped his bike attempting a simple U-turn. You get all mentalities and abilities there so if you go be aware!
We got to Hull sometime around 6.30pm. Tired but smiling.
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