I left work at a quarter to five on Friday and did the journey in four and three-quarter hours, with a couple of quick stops for pee, petrol and Penguin bar. The last twenty miles or so were a bit of a struggle, as it was dark and drizzly and I'd had enough. I found my way to the hotel but missed the car park, and turned into a side street only to find it was one-way and I had to go all round the block.
As I neared the hotel again Joyce ran out to tell me which turning I needed, then Jim appeared to wave me into the car park, then Colin came out to show me the way in to the hotel. The manageress gave me my room key and Brian informed her "we must look after her, she's one of our Gems". Way to make me feel wanted, you guys!
The rideout on Saturday was pure joy. Up Porlock Hill, 'the UK's steepest A road', rev counter going off the scale and speedo bumping along the bottom. We stopped in Lynton, town of ludicrous gradients, to laugh at the tourist tat and enjoy a hot chocolate. More ear-popping ups and downs took us to our lunch stop, the Grampus in Lee Bay, whose landlord was cross that he'd taken a booking for 20+ bikers expecting us to eat huge greasy meals and we all wanted sandwiches.
All afternoon we were followed by black clouds, but managed to keep ourselves in the sun as we headed round Woolacombe Bay for tea in Simonsbath. What wonderful placenames you find in that part of the world, incidentally: Westonzoyland; Queen Camel; Huish Episcopi; Zeals.
Minehead is a lovely resort, as well - before dinner on Saturday I had an ice cream and a paddle and a quick go in the amusement arcade.
I forgot to set my trip meter so I don't know how many miles we covered. I really could have done with an altimeter to record the highest and lowest points.
There are rumours of Norfolk next year. I hear it's very flat.