Welcome to Garbage Run 2021, back for its fourth year having largely been postponed in 2020 thanks to the pesky virus. Due to the ongoing restrictions and the uncertainty of the year ahead, Garbage Run has gone back to its routes, focusing on shorter duration UK adventures, rather than continuing to expand into longer duration overseas trips.
As a result I'm proud to unveil the calendar of Summer Safaris, several of which are short three day events that should hopefully still be accessible to those who've had a tough time of things of late. There's Cornish Coastal Run, the Welsh Safari, the Garbage Run festival at Sweet Lamb Adventure Academy as well as the Skegness to Blackpool Seaside and Sandcastles Tour. In August there's also a journey to the Scottish Highlands planned, island hopping to the Outer Hebrides and back.
The season kicks off however with the old favourite; Land's End to John o'Groats, which for this year will be a road book event, open to individuals and teams heading north in a non competitive road book adventure.
Introducing the tours for 2021
THE WELSH SAFARI - 3 days
22nd-25th July 2021
SKEGNESS TO BLACKPOOL - 3 days
29th July-1st Aug 2021
HIGHLAND DRIFTING - 6 days
14th-20th August 2021
THE CORNISH COASTAL RUN - 3 days
1st-4th July 2021
HIMALAYAN ODYSSEY - 3 days
18th- 20th June 2021
Off road and
on road options
SWEETLAMB SUMMER FESTIVAL
13th-16th July 2021
CLASSIC GARBAGE RUN - 7 days
22nd - 28th May 2021
It seems quite clear that even in 2021 things will change and be continuously changing. Any trip will need to adhere to any restrictions currently in place. This could result in a last minute trip cancellation or route or destination alteration. If that occurs the booking will be rolled forward to a time when the trip can go ahead with all monies refundable if the trip can't be rescheduled within 3 months of the original trip date. Bookings can also be transferred to alternative trips/experiences at any time during that three month period.
WHAT IS GARBAGE RUN?
The Garbage Run was born in Spring of 2017 when 29 riders met at Land's End for what was a random gathering of people and bikes, all set on the mission of making it to John o'Groats.
The idea had come about from own frustrations in repeatedly putting off or finding excuses not to tackle the iconic UK point to point adventure. In the end I put it out there that on 13th May at 8,30am I would be down at Land's End and if anyone wanted to join me then they were more than welcome. It was going to be an eight day, back road adventure, camping all the way.
Those 29 people turned up, on all manner of machinery, and from that day on The Garbage Run was born, the name simply referring to the organic beatnik nature of adventure, as opposed to the type of bike, per se. It didn't and doesn't matter what bike you ride - big or small, cheap or expensive - it's about getting out there and going that little bit beyond your comfort zone. It's about making good friends, seeing amazing scenery and hopefully gaining the confidence to go and off explore on future adventures.
The Garbage Run is for anyone - veteran rider or fresh out of the blocks. All it really asks of the rider is to take part and use the framework of the trip to make it their own adventure. Garbage Runs always have a start and finish, they have places for lunch and booked accommodation for the evening, but what happens in between is down to the rider.
They can play follow the leader with me as the guide, or break off and go solo, or form friendships with other riders on the run and go off at your own pace. The idea is to give you enough guidance and back up to get you where we're going but this is not a formal 'follow-my-leader' trip, this is an adventure, designed to challenge people and make them better riders.
Motorcycle travel is a fantastic thing. It can change your life. These trips are just about getting you out there so you can hopefully see that for yourself. The Garbage Run really is a movement of people; of new friends, getting together and riding. It's also a business for me and I aim to make sure everyone enjoys their selves and gets home safely.
Garbage Run isn't a trip. It's a way of life. :)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What do I need to bring?
All of the trips are slightly different, riding in different conditions with a pack list supplied nearer the time for each run. But as a base level you’ll need camping gear comprising of tent, sleeping bag and mat, some good waterproofs - although these don’t have to cost the earth if you get them from an army surplus store - some protective riding gear and a basic change of clothing and equipment. Cooking equipment is optional as in the most part there will be facilities to buy or prepare food when we stop.
Garbage Run started out as being about small bikes but has developed into catering for all manner of machines, from scooters to sports bikes, adventure bikes and cruisers. Honda C90s ride alongside BMW 1200GSs and that’s all part of the semi-guided structure in that no one is expected to keep a pace that they’re either not comfortable with or unable to manage. Generally, smaller groups form as the trip progresses allowing everyone to travel at the speed that suits them and their machine.
It’s advised for all trips that you turn up on a well serviced and well running machine. Garbage by name, but not by nature. Consider consumables such as brake pads, tyres and oil before the trip. Breakdowns are never much fun. Basic tools for puncture repairs and such like are handy to carry, as is membership of some breakdown service just in case the worst does happen and you do need recovering home. No one gets abandoned in the event of a breakdown, but there's only so much that can be done if the problem's serious.
When do I pay the balance?
At the outing I just ask for a deposit to secure your place. Full payment is required further down the line with bank details and payment method sent out in good time. If you do need to pay in instalments then please just let me know.
I've booked, what happens now?
Sit tight and wait for me to get in touch. I’ll send out a welcome email and later set up a WhatsApp group for all riders on the run so that people can share packing ideas and get to know each other before the trip. Further updates come through via email and where necessary an information pack will be sent out by post in the months leading up to the trip. If you do book on a place and haven’t heard anything after a few weeks just drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. Sometimes bookings do slip through the net and it’s always best to check.
The deposit paid is non-refundable. Once the balance is paid that is only refundable if I or you can find someone to fill that place. Generally, if the reason for pulling out is genuine (and we haven’t got a replacement) then I will often roll the booking forward to another trip that year or one the following year. In the first instance of needing to cancel, please just get in touch.
Some people already have a tent, others need to pick one up. Like anything it's a compromise of size, weight and cost. You can get some decent tents in the sale over winter for around £50. I'd generally recommend at least a two-man, even for sole occupancy, just to give you a bit more wrestling space. A free standing dome tent are the easiest to put up and don't require as man guy ropes or pegs. Tunnel tents give a bit more space but are a bit more of a faff to put up. Further assistance can be offered on request.
What happens if I break down?
As noted, it's best that all participants take out necessary break down cover, just in case the worst happens. I don't make use of a support vehicle so we don't have means to collect or transport bikes, but as a group we will always in the first instance try and rectify the situation and get bike and person somewhere safe to either be collected or fixed. Obviously the trip has to continue, but no one will be abandoned.
How many miles will we ride a day?
We tend to cover no more than 200 miles a day, riding approximately 6 hours. This is deemed as manageable for most riders and gives us time to stop and take photos and have longer lunches. We need to cover ground but we also need to see and experience things. There’s generally some flexibility built into the schedule just in case mood or situation changes.
What's included in the price?
Generally included in the price is the camping or accommodation options throughout, and where ferries are part of the trip then so too are they included. Some trips might include a meal or a non motorcycling activity but that will all be listed under the individual trip. You’re effectively paying to have the assurance of being part of the group, having a route and itinerary planned out in advance as well as the assistance on hand if you need it. From experience, what people most get from the Garbage Run is the friendships they make along the way. People can ride these routes solo, but doing so with like-minded individuals seems to add a lot to the experience. Riders from previous groups have begun organising their own trips and ride outs from having met on the Run, and that's what it's all about; encouraging people to get out and ride more.
What I should budget for the trip?
It’s always hard to set a budget as everyone generally has different tastes and budgets. On the whole, whichever trip you go on you’ll need to factor in fuel, food and spending money. There’s no reason why any of these trips should cost you more than £30 per day in other expenses. But some like tap water, some like wine.
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UPDATES ON NEW RUNS
Images from Garbage Runs 2019
My name is Nathan Millward. My background in motorcycle travel began in 2009 when I rode back from Australia to the UK on a 105cc Honda CT110, which I also later rode across America, writing two books about those journeys. I went onto edit Adventure Bike Rider magazine here in the UK before turning freelance. I now publish my own publication: Getting into Adventure and in 2017 founded Garbage Run Tours. I plan and guide all of the trips and my philosophy is to encourage others to travel on two wheels so that they have the confidence to start planning their own two-wheeled adventures.