The Bike Trip, May 1999

After much persuading Mark finally agreed to buy a bike. We spent four consecutive weekends at various bike shops and finally he decided on a BMW 650. The day after he got it was the start of the May bank holiday weekend so we set off for three days of riding.

We set off on the Saturday to Bath. The ride there was not too inspiring and we did get separated a few times on the way. Fortunately we both had cell-phones with us.

Once in bath we met up with some friends who were on a camping trip and tried to arrange to spend the night at a local B&B. We phoned numerous places but they were all full. Eventually we managed to book two rooms at a small hotel close to Bristol.

The owner of the hotel turned out to be a member of the local Ducati club and gave us some excellent recommendations for the following day's riding.

Sunday was consequently one of the best days riding I've ever had. We left the hotel after a rather large breakfast and headed off towards Glastonbury and then accross to Dunster. Here we had a look at the castle before heading south on the A396 down to Exeter. This road was amazing - very twisty and fairly quiet so we were able to keep up a very brisk pace. I had the biggest grin ever for the length of that road!

After Exeter we headed east along the coast hoping to find a quiet fishing village to spend the night. The main coastal road was very busy and eventually we got sick of it and turned off down a small road with plenty of place names on the sign-post. After a few miles we reached Branscombe and decided to spend the night there at the Masons Arms.

The following day we headed back to London. Along the coast as fas as Weymouth and then back inland via Winchester and Farnham.

Below are thumb-nail versions of photos taken on the trip - not nearly enough but we spent too much time riding and not enough time stopping. Clicking on an image will display its full-size counterpart.

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