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BigSkyBrad

Scottish Lowlands Mystery/Navigation Run - August 25th Saturday - POSTPONED 'til 2019

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Initially this is to gauge the level of interest, as it takes a fair bit of preparation/organisation for such an event and quite frankly not worth putting on for 5-6 cars. Ideally, at least 15-20 cars would make it worthwhile, and if successful, encouraging to run it again next year. It would take 3-4 weekends of my own time, and about 6-800 miles to map and test the route, so I need to feel confident that would be well-subscribed.

Similar to the old-school night (road) rallies, regularity rallies and historic rallies, it would be run with 'tulip navigation' but in a non-competitive way with questions asked along the route to make it a bit more fun and ensure the full route has been covered. The route will cover the Borders/Lanarkshire/Dumfries area - ideal for both Clan McWesty and the north of England (provided you have a valid passport! - and keep your eyes off our cattle). It's easier done two-up (driver and navigator) and have chosen a Saturday for the run so that you can shout your navigator (wife/girlfriend/mistress...) a nice night in a hotel and make the most of the bank holiday weekend. There's nothing stopping anyone doing it solo though - just need to multi-task. At this initial stage, I plan the finish to be near Peebles, where there is a range of hotels/accommodation, and we can crash one of the pubs on the Saturday night.. The start would be around mid-late morning and covering around 150-200 miles, with a lunch/fuel stop midway. Cars depart the start, one or two minutes apart, start positions pulled from a hat. The route can on occasion cross over itself, so it's not unusual to see cars coming the other way, making you second-guess your navigation. In the spirit of the event, and it's old-school nature, GPS etc is discouraged - just the route book and your speedo/tripmeter is all you need. Included is a sealed envelope with the destination if you get horribly lost.

I thought such an event might add something a bit different to the usual Sunday run-out and Stoneleigh-once-a-year calendar. Back home in New Zealand in the '90's, there was an event run in the same format for motorcyclists that I entered called the Egmont 300 (300kms) which attracted well over 100 road bikes each year. It ran for five years, of which I attended four of - I missed the last one as I was in plaster with a broken foot from a crash, absolutely gutted as I would have been one of just a dozen to have done all five. After the first event, myself and many others made DIY map scrollers like on the Dakar bikes. We'd be given our route books about 1-1/2 hour before the start, and then madly cut up and tape the instructions into a long scroll before the start. Those green to the event (or couldn't be arsed) just duct-taped the pages (in the supplied poly-pocket) to their fuel tank. The finish was always at the start - a horse racecourse, where there was plenty of room for camping and a hall for a party/prize-giving.
When that event stopped running (I think the routes were starting to repeat itself), my best mate and I ran the same format but smaller event in our own county for three years, which up to 40 bikes attended each time, called the Most Excellent Adventure. It covered around 200kms, and always finished in a different remote spot somewhere, where we all pitched our tents and wild-camped around a fire, got sozzled and told lies!


So, who's up for it?!

 

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I'm in Brad.

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What a Great plan, a bit like plot and bash!

Unfortunately I am away that w/end otherwise I would have definately been up for it.

If you need any ideas for the Dumfries area, and I can help, let me know.

 

Dave.

 

 

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If my car survives it's first REAL run out to Applecross tomorrow, I'm very interested in this, 

Cheers,

Stephen.

 

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I'm up for this, either as a driver if anyone wants to take the other seat,, or as a nav if anyone's looking for someone to do the maps.

Cheers,

Brian

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Well. the route was penciled on OS maps on the weekend - and it's a very full day of driving by the looks of it! Plenty of B roads and single track lanes, with a smattering of A roads to link things up. Looks to be six petrol stations on the route for the gas-guzzlers.

This weekend we are driving the route to see if it works and to populate the route book. I'll update early next week on how we got on.

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Well, we now have a route book in principle. We spent eight hours behind the wheel yesterday, ripping around the Lowlands in our Suzuki Swift (air-con) converting my squiggles on OS maps into tulip instructions for the route book - pretty much bang-on 200 miles of almost all B-roads and single track lanes, with some absolute gems of secluded twistology.

It starts at Cairn Lodge (Happendon) Services on the M74 and ends on the outskirts of Peebles - 25 miles as the crow flies, so 200 miles is sure to please! It will be a long day, and you are sure to be a bit frazzled at the end of it ( maybe even starting divorce proceedings with your navigator/wife!).

My next step is to drive it again, but in the Westfield, and using GPS to exact the distances in the route book. To make this event really count, there needs to be at least 15-20 cars starting. It would be really great if we could get some cars from south of the border, Lancs, Yorks Newcastle etc to add to the mix - your travelling distance would be no more than a McWesty coming down from the Highlands.

The run in a nut-shell...

09:00  - meet at Cairn Lodge

09:30  - drivers & navigators briefing/route map instruction

10:00  - first car leaves, the rest in 1 or 2 minute intervals (depending on numbers)

No GPS-enabled device is to be used, just the re-settable trip meter on your speedo.

There is a 30-min lunch break (compulsory), with parking, food and fuel.

There is five fuel stations on the route, includes the start.

There will be no sweeper car - I will be at the start and the finish, and possibly at the lunch break if I think I can get to the finish before the first car. There will be an emergency envelope should you get really lost. Breakdowns, crashes and/or injury are your own responsibility. Though as I have learnt from this club, those about you are very helpful if you need it.

This is not a race or competition. It is a fun mystery run, using tulips as route instruction. Some of the single-tracks will be daunting at Westfield height and line of sight, you need to keep your wits about you and your speed in check.

There is a range of accommodation in Peebles for the Saturday night, and for those travelling some distance to the start, the nearest accommodation is the Days Inn at Abington Services 10 miles south on the M74, and there are plenty more at Moffat/Gretna etc. All accommodation is to be sorted by yourselves. Saturday, we can meet at a pub/restaurant - I can look into this once I know numbers of people.

Please PM me with any questions you have

It's at this point that I need a number of committed names/cars, to continue sorting the event.

Thanks, Brad

 

 

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