SUMMER GARBAGE RUN
The UK's biggest road trip, 1400 miles of back roads from Land's End to John o'Groats
WHAT IS IT
The original Garbage Run is a Saturday to Saturday adventure from the bottom corner of the UK to the top. The route takes in the best riding roads along the way, staying as far from towns, cities and busy roads as possible. It's camping most of the way with one night in a bunkhouse mid way through. The route is entirely on Tarmac.
The run is semi-guided with all participants provided with a map and encouraged to ride at their own pace or equally stay as part of the main group. The core element of this run is the camaraderie. What starts as a group of strangers soon develops into a cohesive group of riders helping one another to reach the top.
The main thing is that you don't underestimate the challenge of this run. We will average around 190 miles a day which on the back roads can be as many as 7 hours in the saddle. The weather can sometimes play against us and by the time we've reached the top the sense of achievement is huge.
Total distance of the trip is around 1500 miles for the actual run, plus the distance it takes to get down to Land's End and back from John o'Groats at the end, so around 2400 miles in total. From John o'Groats, people generally ride back down with people they've met on the run.
HOW IT WORKS
We meet at Land's End at around 8.30am on the Saturday morning. Group camping is organised the night before for those who want it. Others stay in B&Bs or hotels of their choosing. We have a riders brief, take some photos and hit the road. It usually takes a few days for the group to find its feet, it all coming together by the Peak District and by the time we hit Scotland the group is riding like a well oiled machine.
WHO IS IT FOR?
The run is for anyone who wants to see and experience more of their own country, or equally for foreign visitors who want to see more of the UK (so far we've had people from Norway, Australia, America and Canada take part).
It's for people who want a degree of flexibility but also the security or ease of having all the camping spots and route mapped out for them. It's for people who like the social aspect of motorcycling but don't have anyone to ride with. It's a run for novices and experienced riders alike. The pace isn't fast, as fast or as slow as you like given its semi-guided nature. No one gets left behind and the idea is to increase the confidence of every rider in order for them to go on and further experience their own two-wheeled adventures.
WHO IS IT NOT FOR?
The run isn't for any hot-heads or speed demons. If you like to blast past a group at break neck speed then perhaps look elsewhere. I request that everyone ride within their abilities and consider the safety of the group when riding as part of it. Equally, the run isn't for anyone who wants or needs a lot of hand holding. You need to be prepared and willing to navigate for yourself or make your own decisions.
Included in the price is the road book and mapping, all nights accommodation and a meal on the first night and at Haggs Bank Bunkhouse.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?
The price doesn't include your fuel, food and spending money. It also doesn't include the cost of the ferry from Gourock to Dunoon, simply because you pay the fee on the boat (around £7) and as the group may have split down by then, it's easier for people to take care of it themselves. The same goes for the turntable ferry onto Skye, also around £7.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?
You'll need a well serviced and road worthy bike. Any bike will do, although bear in mind that if you come on anything less than 125cc there's a chance that at times you'll have to make your own way at your own pace. A bike that can sustain at least 50mph is probably best.
You'll also need basic camping gear - tent, sleeping bag, pillow and mat - good waterproofs, with cooking gear an option as at most places we stay there are facilities to either cook or buy food. It's advised that you have full breakdown cover for your bike just in case you do have problems that are beyond simple roadside repair.
HOW DO I SIGN UP?
To secure you place click on the SIGN UP icon above-right which will take you to a payment area where you can pay a £50 non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The remainder of the balance will be due further down the line, with further information also provided upon sign up.
FOR ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS PLEASE JUST MESSAGE ME USING THE CONTACT BOX BELOW.
IN A NUTSHELL:
A ride from the bottom of the country to the top, camping most of the way, riding only the back roads and making some great friends along the way. Suitable for all riders, with a limited number of places for L plate riders.
PILLIONS £100 additional fee.
Cornish and Devonshire coastline
The Welsh borders
Peak District back roads and reservoirs
Yorkshire Dales and the great railway viaduct
The Scottish borders and a ferry to the Highlands
The famous NC500 coastal road around North Scotland.
SMALL BIKE FRIENDLY
Having met at Land's End in the morning, we then begin our journey through Cornwall and Devon, hugging the northern coastline and winding along narrow lanes with several stops for refreshments along the way. We camp that night on a working farm just outside of Combe Martin.
After complimentary breakfast we ride the breathtaking coastal road towards Minehead and Bridgewater. There's option here to take in some very tight and twisting back roads, offering some of the most exciting riding in the UK. We lunch near Bridgwater, before riding up through Cheddar Gorge, skirting around Bristol and into Wales for a night at Dom's Bike Stop just outside Leominster.
Today we head for the Peak District, riding cross country avoiding the main towns and cities of the West Midlands, before landing at the foot of the Derbyshire Dales where the real riding begins. We have an excellent run into Matlock, before continuing north to the village of Castleton where we camp, with option of a bunkhouse upgrade. That evening we eat at a pub in the village.
We cut a winding path between Sheffield and Manchester on Day 4, working our way up through the rest of the Peak District, passing beneath the bustling M62 before crossing into the Yorkshire Dales where landscape opens out and the best biking roads in Britain lay ahead of us. It's bunkhouse tonight, staying at the excellent facility of Haggs Bank just outside Alston.
Scotland beckons. After fuelling up in Alston we ride some great roads in the direction of Gretna, with time for a shotgun weddings if anyone fancies it. We then cross the border and continue heading in a north westerly direction until we finally reach the Firth of Clyde. After icecream in Largs we catch a short ferry to the highlands. (Ferry ticket not included in the price), arriving that evening at the stunning Glendaruel Campsite where we'll cook up a group BBQ.
Our end destination for this day is the Isle of Skye, camping on the Sligachan campsite with an excellent pub just over the road. Before that we have some excellent riding to do; skirting the shores of Loch Fyne, stopping for a bacon butty in Inveraray before heading north towards Glencoe and Fort William for lunch. The road gets better and better. We ride them all, before finally catching another short ferry - the oldest turn table ferry in the world - that takes us the back route onto Skye. Fingers crossed for some good weather.
By now we're well and truly on the famous NC500, heading back off Skye and picking up the famous route as it winds around the lochs and coves of Scotland's West Coast. The notorious pass into Applecross is an option for anyone that fancies it - it can be a bit tricky in rough conditions - with an easy bypass for anyone who doesn't. There's a couple of great lunch options before we finally arrive in the scenic port town of Ullapool, enjoying a group curry at the Indian restaurant at the entrance to the campsite.
The final day, and a little bit shorter than the rest. From Ullapool we continue on along the NC500, taking in the stunning single track loop through Drumbeg. In Durness we tuck into what the owners of the cafe claim to be the best hot chocolate in the world, before riding along the top road of Scotland, past Thurso and finally into John o'Groats for around 3pm. Journey's end!
A few head off straight away, many head the short ride back to Thurso for a well deserved nigh in a hotel. Farewells are said the next morning.
PLEASE NOTE: Routes and accommodation stops are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.