UK Tour 1984


A Tale of Long Ago


I feel at last the time has come to regale you all with  a tale from the past. At least it may help a lot of you understand quite a lot more about me.

Way back in 1984 I decided at the grand old age of 21 I could at last move up from a 250(Honda CB250RS a cracking little bike) to a 400 and so I treated myself to a 1 year old Honda CB400n, resplendent in red and gold, with panniers and a barn door fairing.

During my very drunken 21st birthday party, Keith my mate from Lincoln with a VF400 said lets tour England and so the plan was hatched. Persuading  girlfriends parents was another matter and so we joined the YHA for cheap (and parent friendly) places to stay. Decided on the end of August and so we were all set.

With as much stuff packed on as possible Nicky and I went and met Keith and Pauline up in Lincoln and then headed off to York, for those of you used to my navigational skills I was in charge of route planning (Ha Ha), and finding of pubs, hostels etc etc. 

We had a loosely fixed plan which was ride a day, rest a day as long as we reached Oswestry by the weekend. Each pub we found we hit the bar & jukebox in unison. and then stagger back to Youth hostel and fight over who had top bunk.

The girls would swap bikes as we went as it was soon found a VF400 was not an ideal touring machine. The cross England route was interesting and Pauline lost one of several maps as she tried to read it on the motorway at speed, along with several pairs of sunglasses.  

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Chesterís Hostel reminded us so much of a German POW camp and the person in charge also thought the same.

From here we went sight seeing and found a picturesque waterfall which we decided to stroll up.

Now I really must remind you that this was the early 80ís so my riding kit consisted of a mixture of Millets waterproof trousers, flappy jeans ,  wax jacket and Cowboy boots (Cuban heeled with smooth soles). I can hear you all gasp at such sartorial eloquence.  

So as we started to navigate back down the waterfall I fell bounced and plummeted several yards down, bruised blooded and bleeding I reached the bottom, only to find my bike had done just the same , oh how we laughed.

 So we did what every good biker does nonchantly right the bike (wincing with pain) kick bent bits straight and ride off, ignoring the stares of onlookers, as if nothing had ever happened. We then found the best tasting cream tea I have ever had.

We had a room booked in Oswestry and we spent a pleasant few days there, it was then the time to head to Wales, and needless to say it rained, and rained and rained. As we headed through the mountains near Bala visibility was down to zero, add the single track roads, hairpin bends, huge drop on one side, rain pouring down the mountain like a river it was one of the worse journeys I have ever had, oh and my laughable waterproof gear gave up the ghost a long time ago as well.  

Not finding the youth hostel we found a very cheap hotel and a grim chippie and pub. The next morning Keith and Pauline had had enough and so rode home. We carried on for a few days in glorious sunshine, blatting back and forth over the Bangor bridge to Anglesey for no other reason than it was there and it was so pretty. Finally we headed back across to Lincoln for one last night with Keith and then home. 

This got me the urge for touring and so the Dutch trip was planned for the following spring, but that is another story .

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And as a PS Nicky now rides her own bike, a 500 Honda, the experience cannot have been that bad