Great Britain Harley Davidson Dealership Endurance Challenge.
LATEST UPDATE: The ride took place on 20th October 2019 at 1:30am. All Great British Harley Davidson dealerships were completed in 35hrs 43mins. Here is the story and a book with greater detail has been published and is available on the Books and Media page.
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Long distance riding has been a great interest of mine for some years now, however more than that I do enjoy the challenge of endurance riding and testing my own boundaries in unusual routes and points of interest.
Over the last coupe of years I had ventured more onto dirt trails for other kinds of challenges, however now has become the time to return to more road adventures. My last long endurance ride was a ride around Britain; England, Wales and Scotland in 24hrs in which I covered 1457miles. However my feeling afterwards was that I could have covered a much greater distance if the forces of nature and traffic contraflows had not delayed me.
I wanted a new and different kind of challenge in which to visit every Harley Davidson dealership in Great Britain in the quickest time possible…well for me at least and I also wanted to raise money and awareness in aid of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance charity. Over £500 pounds was raised and great support was gained from all over the biking world.
That is 29 dealerships in England, Wales and Scotland plus the H-D Euro HQ at Oxford too. I live quite close to Reading Harley Davidson in Berkshire, hence my challenge started from my home then onto Reading HD as the first stop…to be followed by the rest in a counterclockwise route which start at 1:30a.m. to beat the traffic in the South East.
These were my checkpoints:
Reading Harley Davidson, Guildford Harley Davidson 29.7m, Sykes Harley Davidson 56.9m, Maidstone Harley Davidson 39.7m, Lakeside Harley Davidson 25.1m, Warr’s Harley Davidson South East 17.3m, Warr’s Harley Davidson 13.5m, Newmarket Harley Davidson 78.2m, Norwich Harley Davidson 49.5m, Sycamore Harley Davidson 102m, Robin Hood Harley Davidson 42.4m
Robin Hood Harley Davidson, Harleyworld Chesterfield Harley 29.6m, Leeds Harley Davidson 49.3m, Gateshead Harley Davidson 96.2m, Edinburgh Harley Davidson 129m, West Coast Harley Davidson 47m, Bowker Harley Davidson 187m, Manchester Harley Davidson 35.4m (717m), Chester Harley Davidson 36m, Stratstone Wolverhampton Harley Davidson 81.4m
Stratstone Wolverhampton Harley Davidson, Stratstone Birmingham Harley Davidson 18.4m, Cheltenham Harley Davidson 57.2m, Cardiff Harley Davidson 78.6m, Swansea Harley Davidson 45.8m, Riders Bristol Harley Davidson 87.1m, Riders Bridgewater Harley Davidson 39m, Plymouth Harley Davidson 83.5m, Southampton Harley Davidson 143m, Oxford Harley Davidson 61.6m ( Total 1760.6 miles)
Although the official challenge will end at Oxford H-D dealership, I am creating another two legs to add just more emphasis to what is proving to be a mammoth task. From Oxford Harley Davidson I shall ride to H-D HQ in Oxford 9.1m and finally back to Reading Harley Davidson 28.6m for a grand total of 1798.3 miles.
The aim was to achieve this route in under 48hrs, which allows for breaks, both comfort and rest…however my true aim was to get as near as 36hrs as possible but depending on how I was feeling and able to maintai a suitable safety margin, it could well extend beyond 48hrs.
Updates were made available on the YouTube channel regular posts were tracked by monitoring the social media channels too as I gave quick updates at each stop. All support whether online or physical was very much appreciated and a huge thank you to all of those who have already emailed in and sent good will messages in video comments too.
Given my time constraints and the time of year too; late October, I was under no illusion that this was truly going to be a huge undertaking. Whether I succeeded or not was not a foregone conclusion and it took all of my determination, resilience and sheer stubbornness to achieve the route and time.
In the end I rode to all dealerships at a grand distance of 1802 miles in 35hrs and 43mins. The total journey to return home was 1845mile and 37hrs.
The recovery was a long drawn out process.