L.O.S.T "Run to the Point" 2015.
A 3 day, 550 mile enduro camp to Lands End, Cornwall.
DAY 1 - Friday 08:00hrs Brent Knoll, Somerset to St Agnes, Cornwall - 182mile.
Packed, tuned and decidedly excited the L.O.S.T crew assembled. 10 geared scoots all filled and primed for 3 days of B road mayhem. The customary welcoming but slightly abusive greetings made and subsequent gadget off completed, it was an off.
Riding at the head of a column of packed scoots is always awesome but always strikes me as a damn sight easier than riding back in the throng. It always impresses me how well the guys ride across some of the routes we take. Marc G at anchor as normal to mop the spills and breakdowns. He's meant to be videoing the thing but no one has actually ever seen any evidence of this over the years. Comforting all the same.
The usual route up through Spaxton forest and Hawkridge came to an abrupt stop as Marc G's GP decides to spill it's fuel suppy with a faulty connection. Mr Moody's down on his knees reconnecting his centre stand to much piss taking and applause. He has been known to throw a paddy, especially if it's cold..
The top 'B' road across the back of Exmoor to Wheddon Cross is a truly amazing Scootering road. Open straights, sweeping corners and lovely surfaces and of course the Emoor backdrop in the Sun doesn't get better. The line stretched out nicely as the scoots were opened up for the first real time of the weekend and soon we dropped down into Withpool for Breakfast and bacon baps at the retro biker cafe. New Enduro T shirts handed out and quickly adorned it was back in the steed with full bellies for the toughest section of the day. Now, the guys like to be pushed, and I like to serve up a couple of treats over the weekends so it was on the unmettaled route out of the village and up over the moors, culminating in a grass track down into South Molten.
The best about finishing a tough road section is the moaning that commences at the next fag stop. Boy did they moan! I guess grass growing across the road is something not normally encountered in Bristol. As usual, it's something to tell the Grand kids I tell them.
Russell was by now itching to get to fiddling with his newly built Monza powered GP. Under strict orders to "just leave it alone" it was only a matter of time before he got to work with his pocket's worth of spanners whilst no one was looking. Great! it pretty much stopped, started and stopped again all the way to Cornwall.
The last sections of the day across Bodmin and down the A39 came and went with a last big push and at last we were at our first stop of the Weekend, Perranorth.
What would turn into be the first of many stops at a Witherspoons we drank and watch the England Rugby team complete there only win of the World Cup and drink the night away. taxi's all round got us back to our campsite.
The evening's 'gadget off' was to reach new heights of ingenuity with Mr G's portable fire pit. An absolute winner of the weekend, Malcolm and Baz got utterly bladdered, fell around a lot and giggled us all to sleep. A great night and what makes these enduro's so much fun. I think it might of been the Special Brew cocktail that killed off Baz.
Our weekend guest was of course, Mr Jim the Baker. Mods and camping don't go but Jim's sporty T5 was doing him proud and even Si Turner had let him borrow a decentish tent within which he could rest easy, baggy pants n all. I even think he was quietly enjoying the rough life.
Day 2 St Agnes to Lands End to Fellworthy Reservoir. - 173 miles
A bright start, hangovers in place and a Witheroons in nearby Perranporth awaits. As is common, the day 2 was a slow start and Russels timeless quote when asked "how is it this morning Russ?", he replied - "hmmm, another day I have to live" had us in stitches, poor fellow but ice creams in the sun on the headland above St Ives put some warmth back into things and we readied our selves for the 30 miles of twists that make up the coastal B road approach to the Point. A great road with a never ending horizon kept the group on their toes. Up front it was a blast as the corners came thick and fast. I could only wonder what mayhem was happening behind. Plenty of Russticle fiddling persisted apparently. This is a long 30 miles section but eventually the Lands End gate appeared and we had made it. I've always thought the end is a bit of a let down and it was always the getting there that counted. However, photo's were needed and we even managed it with the Scoots crammed in. Great stuff and another memory locked in.
The trouble with riding in Cornwall is the lack of real roads. Tarmac real estate is limited and what is there is busy and wide so getting back out to Devon was a priority. A rather prompt escape was needed so duel carriageways was the order and keep the head down. The aim was to get to our wild camp site in the middle of Dartmoor before dark. The joy of riding the top roads across Dartmoor cannot be surpassed in this part of the world. It was cool, damp and the TS1 just loved it. A group of three of us just leg rip in the failing light. Truly awesome stuff and recommended. The group spread out well as we traversed the sections pass the Prison and down into the Frenworthy Reservoir site. Mark H had another puncture so got left behind in the dark so Malcolm (mr sense of direction) was dispatched to go collect his riding partner. 15 minutes later they both rejoined us through the gloom. When I say another puncture, he had one here last year??.
We have used this wild camp location before as it offers complete isolation but provides a public loo and a number of handy benches to use. Having stocked up on food and plenty of alcohol we set about a barbecue in the dark. Camp fire banter flying, we were interrupted by a bunch of Ravers who had the same idea as us. After realising that we were in fact a load of middle aged grey haired or bald headed gits they soon left us to return to their own entertainment.
Day 3 - Fernworthy Reservoir to Brent Knoll, Somerset.
The best bit about wild camping is of course the morning and this time it did not disappoint. Pompey Dave awoke at Dawn to make Colin his morning tea and promptly woke everyone else up but so glad he did. Fabulous scene before us as the early morning mist sat across the glassen lake. Stunning........and makes you realise why you do this in the first place.
Mark H had been struggling the day before in terms of pace and was complaining of a slipping clutch. after some investigation it was found that the clutch inner cable had unravelled in the outer and was in fact sticking on. A quick cable change and the difference was staggering.
The route home from Dartmoor followed some lovely leafy roads through the heart of Devon. Some of these sections offer the best mix of short sharp hills and massive drops. You just have to scream with joy (or fear...ed) as you crest the top of one hill and are faced with a Big Dipper of a drop off the other side. You just got to flat it out on the downside and hope for the best.
A final Lunch/ Breakfast at another Witherspoons was definitely needed and the talk centred around the final section of road and the joy of completing such a big undertaking and succeeding.
We arrived back at Brent Knoll at 3pm, all 10 riders, weathered and tired said there farewells and headed home for the so necessary post enduro bath.
A fantastic enduro route, great campsites, a massive giggle, flawless scooters and wonderful bunch of maniacs. Next time it will be icy.........