Filtering the North Circular on a grey Friday morning – 90 minutes
Getting bored to death on the outside lane of the M4 – 2 hours
Thawing out over a Little Chef baked potato – 35 minutes
Riding over the Severn Bridge as the sun comes out – priceless
Despite predictions of a Bank Holiday Sizzler Friday started both overcast and chilly – so I had to dig into the winter riding pile and get my flask back out. Maybe I hang out with the wrong crowd but the drug of choice among UK bikers seems to be a sensible thermos of coffee…
The RBR landmarks were exactly where they were supposed to be according to my map reading – it’s just making the map resemble the facts on the ground that causes me grief. Part of this challenge is due to the first two rules of Round Britan Rally:
• The first rule: given a choice at a junction, you will always choose the wrong direction. This rule applies even if you try and fool it by saying, normally I would choose left, but that would be wrong, so I will go right instead. Right is still the wrong direction and you should have gone left.
• The second rule: the signpost is always obvious in the direction you are not approaching from.
These are mere Rules, while the First Commandment is, Thou Shalt Not Give Away Landmark Locations until the Rally is Over. So I can’t really tell you about the stops, except to say that the Maharajah’s Well is splendidly incongruous in the stockbroker belt, the Berkshire Museum of Aviation looks exactly like what would happen if someone stopped collecting garden gnomes and started collecting aeroplanes, Kellaway’s Pillar is the kind of bonkers slice of English history that I do the rally for, Pure Life Pure Water earned my undying gratitude for having a parking spot right next to it (one day I fear I am going to get smeared across the landscape trying to Frogger my way across a dual carriageway, camera in one hand, control card in the other), Blaenavon Ironworks made me glad I have a desk job, and Swansea Jack is a much bigger hero than Captain Jack and deserves his own TV series too.
Since pictures of these lovely things are not allowed until October, here’s a picture of the car park of Swansea North Travelodge.