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.
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.
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!
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!
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.