In 1911 when Ivan B. Hart-Davies became the holder of the final Land's End to John o' Groats record for solo motorcycles, things were a lot tougher than they are today. Riding his 3.5 hp single-speed Triumph, he covered the 886 miles in 29 hours, 12 minutes. Since then the End to End has been completed many times by motorcyclists. But as the years have rolled by, and while the magic of the ride remains the same, things have definitely got easier.
This year, to add a bit of spice to the traditional E2E challenge, I propose to undertake a sponsored ride from ‘end to end’ in aid of the British Red Cross on my 1979 MZ TS 150. I shall be aiming to travel unsupported (carrying all supplies, except water and petrol) and not using motorways.
Provisionally the route will run:
Lands end to Liskeard, over Dartmoor to Exeter, via Tiverton and Wellington to Taunton, over the Somerset levels via Glastonbury and Wells to Keynsham and Wick, onto the A46 to Kingscote, where left to Nymphsfield and Frocester, down to the A38, round the back of Gloucester, via Newent, to Leominster and up A49 to Church Stretton to Camp 1;
Run up the A49 via Warrington on to the A6, up over Shap to Longtown, via minor roads to Moffat, down the Valley of the Tweed to camp 2 in the Pentland Hills;
Over the Forth Road Bridge via Dumfernline and minor roads to the A9 and thence all the way to John O Groats where we will be met by Kim Allen, Chairman of the Vintage Motorcycle Club.
The overall distance is approximately 900 miles. The lowest mean speed to complete the e2e slowly challenge in, for example, three days, sleeping/recuperating for 10hrs per day, is 21.4 mph. A maximum daily journey time of 14 hours per day (with stops) will require cruising speeds of 35 - 40 mph. Riders will need to aim for a fuel efficient machine, low overall supplies/equipment/luggage weight, low rolling resistance/frontal area, flattest route, constant speed, minimum stops etc. But with safety in mind it is important that riders participating should be suitably fit and avail themselves of sufficient sleep and rest.
Suggestions about camping sites for overnight stops will be sought and group bookings made if necessary.
* 900 miles * 143cc * 21.4mph * 14 Hours/day*