23 March, 2015

Second Time Lucky

Ted Lawson of Worcester Park, Surrey, began his motorcycle LEJOG in 2012 with his partner on the back, but they had accident on the A9. He always wanted to begin again and complete the trip, and in September 2014, he was successful. Ted travelled up the east side of the country to John o’ Groats and down the west side to Land’s End. His favourite times were driving through Glencoe and the Lake District. 

by Ted Lawson

My journey started in September 2012. I had a Honda Goldwing which I thought would be an ideal touring bike, so my partner and I decided to try the trip from Land’s End to John o’ Groats. We rode from London to Land’s End via the A303 and on return we stayed in the Jamaica Inn for the night. Then we went on to Wales, and camped in north Wales. The next leg was the lake district, and we stayed at a campsite in Keswick, a beautiful place next to the lake.

From there, it was up to Scotland the next day, and we rode to the Highlands via the Erskine bridge, through Glencoe to Roybridge. We stayed the night in the Roybridge Hotel, and the next day we were off to John o’ Groats, past Loch Ness, onto the A9, up to our goal. Unfortunately, we never made it past a place called The Mound near Brora. Something happened to the rear of the bike as I was overtaking: it started swerving violently and I lost control . My partner was airlifted to hospital, unconscious, and I went by ambulance. She had broken both wrists, and I’d broken one of mine, with heavy grazing on my back and stomach. We both healed up, but spent a few months in plaster with family looking after us.

The damaged Goldwing

After this accident, I’ve had a lot of flashbacks when out on my bike. Determined to undertake the journey again, and face my demons if you like, I did it this year, this time sadly on my own as I am still not comfortable with my partner on the back.

This time I travelled up the east side on the A1 toward Yorkshire. I stayed in Thirsk in the Three Tuns pub for two nights as I wanted to Ted Lawson at John o’ Groats see Whitby and Yorkshire. Then I rode up to Scotland via Northumberland I stayed in the Glen Hotel, National Park, on to Edinburgh over the booked in for two nights, Forth bridge and up to Newtonmore. and travelled up to John o’ Groats the next day and back the long way via Loch Ness as the scenery was so beautiful. The loch waters were so still, they were like mirrors reflecting the glens.

Ted Lawson at John o' Groats

The next day I decided to go back down through Glen Coe (the picture says it all) towards Glasgow and on to the Lake District. I got to Keswick and again camped the night there. As I had already done the journey through Wales, I motorwayed to Exeter on the M6 and M5, a mundane journey, making me very saddle sore. I set up camp in Cornwall for the last stop, and on to Land’s End, then home.

Glen Coe Pass

I must say, I loved the trip: eating out at different pubs - venison casserole, Yorkshire pud with steak and ale stew in it, a seafood platter, fish and chips in Whitby (yum). The scenery, people, and accents were always changing, and I was lucky: the weather was great.

Ted Lawson at Land’s End for the second time, having completed his end-to-end. 
This time, he rode a Honda Deauville which went well, with no problems.

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