With 2013 drawing to a close, thoughts were being directed towards the New Year and reasons to get out and about on the bike being considered. For 2013 I had signed up for the first time to the Grim Riders annual challenge which this year consisted of visiting places with a motorcycle heritage and taking a photograph with your bike and entry number in view. Great concept but with them being spaced far and wide I did not get to many, however I did do some of the previous year’s locations to make the trips out worthwhile and in some cases very educational. During the year Grim had announced that he wouldn’t be setting any further challenges so a new adventure was needed, step forward Rigsville, I was perusing Rigs excellent website and came across a suggestion to participate in The Motorbike Forum UK challenge 100, scuttling off to the said forum to research this I read up on what this challenge entailed, signed up for an entry number and waited for the 1st of January to come round when the new tags were released.
It just so happened that I was in work on the 2nd January so had chance to look over the list, the set 100 points to visit are supplemented by a list of 10 generic pub names but no locations given so any of these names count. Looking down the list I spotted three which were in a radius of 2-3 miles from my gaff so when I left work (nice and early) I went to these 3 places, took the necessary photographs and went home with barely 5 additional miles on the clock than would have been normal, I was off and running with my initial 30 points.
Uploading the pictures to the forum was not the easiest task and I ended up trying several methods throughout the year, none of which is really satisfactory but it got the job done.
After the initial flurry I managed to pick off several localish tags and kept the count ticking upwards, it took me a while to sort out a methodology to the challenge but found that planning the trips was extremely therapeutic and fun, the thought of visiting parts of the country which I had not been to before was all part of the experience.
During the year we had several great day trips which involved all aspects of the challenge, planning, visiting, taking the photographs etc. etc. not to mention finding suitable cafes to stop for the obligatory breakfast.
This year has seen me complete more miles on the bike than back in the 70’s, when they were my only form of transport and it was off to race meetings every weekend during the summer, with the only blight being a garage/helmet incident at the Abergavenny Shell/Waitrose outlet.
In all I have managed to rack up a total of 600 points out of a possible 1800 (ish) so I am happy with that, a big thank you has to go out to the organisers from the forum who no doubt take many hours to select and locate suitable tags, also not forgetting Rig for the initial suggestion.
With another year drawing to a close, I have signed up again for next year and hopefully will get an earlier start at the distance stuff to increase the points tally. It is surprising how short our summer actually is and I found that the weekends of good daylight hours soon ran out.
If you are looking for an excuse to get out and about don’t hesitate get yourself over to the forum and sign up, you won’t be disappointed.
If you want to see all of the places I visited in 2014 and one or two photo’s, check out my page.