Announcing the Total

After counting and checking and counting again we are very pleased to announce that the Graham Homes Memorial Ride has raised…


Nice and casual at Lowestoft Ness

As promised, we have split our total between Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK. There was one donation we were given for Macmillan Cancer Support only (not to be split 50/50) and so it works out that we are donating £1,668.53 to Macmillan Cancer Support and £1,648.53 to Cancer Research UK. I have every confidence that each charity will make excellent use of our efforts by using the money for their good work.

We did not raise this amount; you did, by giving your money to these two important charities in memory of Graham. So thank you very VERY much for supporting our challenge motorcycle ride.

Target Met! And More to Come…?

It’s a few weeks since we embarked on our little motorcycle trip around Great Britain, and we are incredibly happy to announce that we have met our fundraising target!

That’s right – our total currently stands at £2,628.09, which means we know we will be able to send £1,314 and a few pennies each to Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support. At least.

I say at least because there are still a few people left to give us their promised donations – and of course there is still time to donate yourselves too. A friend has also organised a coffee morning with her friends that will add even more.

At our final compass point - Dunnet Head, Scotland

Thank you ever-so-much to every one of you who has supported us and donated money in memory of Graham. It means a lot that you all took our little challenge seriously and did your bit to help us raise a decent sum.

If you would like to donate the easiest way is on our online fundraising page, or contact us if you would like to donate in a different way.

The bikes in very rural Scotland

PS I haven’t had time to finish sorting out the photos from the trip yet, but as soon as I do there will be more updates on here, so keep following!

The Ride as a Pillion

Written by Veronica Addis

It is fair to say that as pillion my life on the Memorial Ride was a lot easier than for those actually riding motorbikes. That’s not to say it wasn’t without challenges, however. I admit I was a little sceptical at first; sat doing nothing for hours on end was something I never did, I am used to being busy and always doing stuff. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed myself and how much I enjoyed being pillion, seeing such a vast amount of the UK. I am so pleased I chose to be a part of this venture and had the opportunity to raise money in memory of Graham at the same time.

Veronica at Loch Lomond

My highlights:

The scenery (without a doubt my top highlight). It was absolutely breath-taking! Travelling through Devon, Cornwall, over the Severn Bridge (and loads more bridges), I could go on. I am not sure which part of the UK was my favourite but Glencoe and the coastal route through North Scotland are definitely up there.

Riding through Cornwall - Taken by Veronica on Allister's Bike

The sea – you’d probably argue this is the same as no.1 but there is nothing more satisfying than standing on the cliffs over-looking miles and miles of ocean.

Memories – being a Salvation Army officer’s kid I’ve moved all over the place and during this week I reflected on how fortunate I was to have been able to experience such an upbringing. It was great to visit and travel through places that I could associate with memories and people that I have known in my life. It also made the more boring bits of the journey more bearable! Thanks mum and dad!

Firsts – there have been many of these and I love experiencing new things. Before this week I had never been over the Severn Bridge, never been through the Tyne Tunnel, and never visited North Scotland or much of the West Midlands/Gloucestershire. And, of course, I’ve never been pillion for any longer than a couple of hours!

The sunshine – who would have thought we’d only have one bad weather day!

Riding to Ardnamurchan - Taken by Veronica on Allister's Bike

Lowlights and Challenges

Motorways – these weren’t very exciting roads and as pillion I found my mind wandering as there wasn’t much to look at

Rain – I hate rain! Thankfully there was only one day of it!

The need for fuel – on the way to Thurso fuel was getting very low – I am sure there were six emergency prayers being said simultaneously along that road!

Aching knees – after a week of sitting in the same position everyone had lots of aches and pains and it was my knees that hurt the most.

Earplugs – great for preventing permanent damage to your hearing but a complete pain to wear for eight hours a day!

Riding over Glencoe - Taken by Veronica on Allister's Bike

Final thoughts:

So, this was a real experience. Lots of fun but lots of challenges. It would be remissive to not mention the yummy puddings (and not feeling guilty about eating them!) and to thank everyone for staying chirpy – the social aspect of the trip was fab.

Oh, and I am proud to say I have mastered the art of take photographs whilst sat on the back of a motorbike (but don’t tell my mum this involved using two hands!).

Thanks to everyone who have supported us and have donated money to the two cancer charities – it was this (and only this on some days) that kept us motivated.

There is still time to donate. Please head over to our online donation page to give what you can to Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Day Eight – Ashington to Home

I’m writing this blog post sat at my own dining table in my kitchen, listening to the washing machine having sorted out our bags and had a drink. It’s been a really fantastic week, but we all agree it is good to be home. Time to relax.

Today started a little soggy, but thankfully it dried up for us as we got further south (good job really, as I’d decided not to wear my waterproof over-trousers!). After filling up we headed through the Tyne Tunnel (free for motorbikes) before joining the A1 for the 160 or so miles from there to home. It was a pretty dull journey to be honest, it was always going to be, but the aim was simply “home”. There was a traffic jam near Doncaster, which gave us some clutch control practice again, but apart from that it was plain sailing. Off the A1 at Newark we made our finishing point at Sleaford so we could all say our goodbyes and head off in the various directions to our own houses.

So we completed our challenge of visiting all four compass points of mainland Great Britain, rode 2,200 miles, had the bike engines running for over 52 hours, saw some absolutely stunning scenery, checked the sea was still there many times, travelled along all kinds of roads, and had our own little adventure with plenty of stories to tell for years to come. It has been a great week, we are all pleased to have done it.

You all know the reason we embarked on this trip – to raise money for Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support in honour of Graham. Our official total currently stands at £1,390 (and nine pence), although we know that there is much “promised” cash to be collected in which should take that over the £2,000 mark. We would very much like to make that £2,500, so if you haven’t already donated and would like to please do so using the button over on the right of this page, it will really be making a difference.

Thank you all for following this blog and our updates over on twitter and facebook, your support has been very much appreciated. There are more posts to come over the next few weeks as we reflect and remember (and look through all the photos), so don’t go away just yet.

Total mileage – 2,204.3 (186.6 today)
Compass points visited – 4/4



Day Seven – Inverness to Ashington

It has been another glorious day for riding our motorbikes. Today we started our journey back home, starting in Inverness. We had well over 200 miles to travel so we chose the direct route, which lead us down the A9 over the Cairngorms – more stunning views including snow capped mountains and rolling hills.

We picked up the motorway at Perth so we could ride over another bridge – the Forth Road bridge of course. From there it was around Edinburgh with practically no traffic, thankfully, and onto the A1 which is pretty much our route from here to home.

We bumped into two people unexpectedly today. My good friend Aggi tapped me on the shoulder while I was buying lunch at a services outside Edinburgh, which was a nice surprise. And then we met up with a biker we’d met earlier in the week in a lay by near Erskine Bridge on the A1 – he’d been touring Scotland this week and was on his way home. It was good to be recognised!

We had a little time this afternoon thanks to a good start this morning so we decided to ride over the causeway to Holy Island and have an ice cream. Once again we were treated to simply fabulous sea views courtesy of the British coast – definitely one of the perks of taking part in this Memorial Ride.

After that we headed straight to our lodgings in Ashington – our group took two different routes, oops, but we all made it to the right place in the end! We’re now sat in a very busy Brewers Fayre waiting for our last meal together before we finish our journey tomorrow.

If you haven’t already donated to Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of Graham, now is definitely a good time – every single donation counts. Thank you.

Mileage so far – 2017.7 (285.2 today)
Compass points visited – 4/4





Day Six – Fort William to Inverness via Dunnet Head

What a glorious day! Bright sunshine, clear skies, nice roads, and the last of our four compass points of mainland Great Britain.

Starting in Fort William we headed north on the A82 to Inverness, along the edge of Loch Ness – we didn’t spot Nessie (sadly) but we did all admire the perfectly flat water reflecting the surrounding trees; we really are being treated to some awesome sights this week. Then it was a mere 120 miles up to Thurso along the, again, stunning scenery that is the east coast of Scotland. The clear skies While we knew that this part of Scotland is very rural we were stunned by the baron landscape in places. We also overestimated how many miles there would be without a petrol station… It turns out Edward can get 179 miles to a tank – it’s a good job really!

It was just another 10 miles from there to Dunnet Head, it was single track road again but much more open this time so easier riding. As we got off the bikes the cloud started to fall over the hill and the temperature really dropped, but we managed to get some shots with the blue skies to prove it was as gorgeous as we said!

There was only one way back – the way we came – and it soon brightened up again once we were a few miles south of Dunnet. We all agreed it was a pretty good day for riding.

Our challenge is now complete – the four compass points of mainland Great Britain visited. But of course our journey is not over yet, there is a little matter of the ride home to do over the next two days. So keep following and keep donating. Thanks.

Mileage so far – 1732.5 (314.3 today)
Compass points visited – 4/4

Oh, and Allister’s bike engine has been running for 42 hours since we started our challenge on Saturday morning. That’s a lot of hours riding!





Day Five – East Kilbride to Fort William via Ardnamurchan Point

After leaving our lodgings we headed to the motorway through Glasgow (where we had a slight mishap with the junctions and some of us saw a little more of the city than we were planning) and then over Erskine Bridge and up alongside Loch Lomond to Luss for a short get-off. The weather was being kind and some of us even removed the thermal linings from our bike gear – so much nicer than Tuesday!!

We were all very much looking forward to riding over Glencoe – there is something about that place that is very special, and it was somewhere we know Graham loved too. We rode over, stopped to take some photos, and then made our way to the Mountain Centre where we knew we’d get a decent lunch (we recommend their cakes too!). We did have to file past a couple of miles of stationery traffic after a caravan overturned and closed the road, a definite benefit of being on bikes – some cars had been there quite some time.

After Glencoe it was on to the Corran ferry and to Ardnamurchan Point. We knew we were in for some single track road but what we were faced with took some patience and skill… The main A road turned to single track not long after we got off the ferry, and when we reached our turning for Ardnamurchan we realised our journey was going to take a very long time! 25 miles of narrow single track road with passing places, gravel sprinkled over it at random, grass growing up the middle in places, and suicidal sheep darting about all over the place. We had to concentrate well! Thankfully the highland cows stayed put and there were no deer to contend with; a dog did try to eat Paul’s rear tyre though!

It might have been slow and difficult riding but we couldn’t argue with the scenery – absolutely stunning for miles and miles around. It’s a good job it was a clear day and not the same as the previous day, that would have been rather demoralising! By the time we got to the most westerly point of mainland Great Britain it was already 6pm – and we had to get back on that single track road to come back yet! We eventually made our lodgings at sometime after 8pm before heading straight to a curry house for a well deserved dinner!

Mileage so far – 1418.2 (236.8 today)
Compass points visited – 3/4






Day Four – Stafford to East Kilbride

Today we spent most of the day cloud spotting – rain clouds that is. Lots of rain clouds with plenty of rain falling from them.

We knew we’d get wet at some point this week; it was inevitable because it’s a motorbike trip and therefore has to rain at some point.

Thankfully the rain wasn’t actually that heavy, it could have been worse, but the fact that it was relentless meant we gradually got more and more wet. Wet through. Ask Paul and Allister…! We rang out our gloves several times during the day but I think we all got away with dry toes. It made us all very tired and even a little bit grumpy if we’re honest. But right now we’re sat warm and dry in a carvery having filled our bellies with meat and vegetables, so all is well.

We blame the rain completely for our very slow start today. We headed from Stafford over towards Buxton (where a kind gentleman gave us a donation while we had breakfast at Morrisons – thanks) and then Holmfirth to Skipton, and the views were often clouds. I wish we’d have taken a photo or two to show you the nothingness that we could see from the two summits we climbed, it was quite eerie, and a shame we couldn’t see the scenery, but we can’t have everything.

Once we reached Kirkby Lonsdale we took to the motorway and made some progress north, having decided Hartside Pass was a no-go today. It took a while but we made it to Glasgow and we’re all ok.

Mileage so far – 1181.4 (297.4 today)
Compass points visited – 2/4

Day Three – Helston to Stafford

Today was a travelling day – we had a good number of miles to complete and the added incentive that rain was forecast to be moving across the country in the same direction as us. We vowed to stay ahead of the weather front… and managed it right until the last 30 minutes of our journey where we had a few spots land on us as we made our way to our destination here in Stafford.

To stay ahead of the weather we took the fast route for the first 200 miles courtesy of the A30 through Cornwall and Devon (after a ride around Truro and a far-too-good-shouldn’t-have-enjoyed-it-that-much McDonald’s breakfast) and M5 to Bristol. We said goodbye to Bradley before the junction with the M4 when he headed back home to London and we took the road in the opposite direction towards Wales. It was great to have him with us for the southerly leg of our journey.

We do like a good bridge and so hopped over the Severn Bridge (great to see that it’s free for motorbikes) and to Chepstow – well we couldn’t do the four compass points of mainland Great Britain without touching Wales could we? The bridge was incredibly windy and we heeded the notice asking bikers to be careful, but it was clear and so we did get great views of the hills and murky waters beneath us. We were in Wales for all of ten minutes before heading towards Gloucester.

It was there another biker joined us for a few miles – I love that biking is a community pastime; it’s ok to tag onto the back of a group of bikes and see where you end up. “Biker Bri” emailed to wish is a safe trip thanks to reading the blog details on the back of our hi vis vests – so hi Brian, thanks for joining us for a while and for the email. And just up the road from there, at one of our very regular fuel stops (we’re going through many litres!), a gentleman came over and gave us a donation. Thanks!!!

After 200 miles on fast duel carriageways and another 100+ miles on winding roads through the Malvern hills and up here to Stafford it is fair to say we’re all feeling it this evening. The aches have started and we are tired. But it is worth it; not only for the opportunity to ride through some stunning scenery, but also to raise money for these two cancer charities in memory of Graham. Please keep the donations coming using the link over on the right of the page, it really makes a difference.

Mileage so far – 884 (317.8 today)
Compass points visited – 2/4