The idea was put into motion by Lofty Lofthouse who had an idea to ride down to Gibraltar for a weekend. Once it became a go the planning was started. Lofty hadn't toured with a group before let alone lead one through France Spain and into Gib so he gave a shout out and a Rider "Nomad" living in Spain stepped up to help with routes etc. Shiner Write living in France heard about it and offered to accommodate everyone in his garden for the 1st night in France and as a gathering RV before the ride south began. it became known as The Gib Recce Trip

A route was conceived utilising campsites along the route so local Riders could dip in and out of the ride if they wished.. an event was created on Facebook and before we knew it everyone wanted to come along. Sadly COVID19 struck and plans were on, off, on and off more times than you could shake a stick to... eventually the Trip was officially cancelled due to travel restrictions. But... then they created a vaccine and it was on again for those who could make it. sadly some couldn't due to rescheduling and new plans being made due to cancellation. the dates were set for. 19th– 29th September 2021 - 1700 miles

Tony Lofthouse – Triumph Tiger 1050Xr

Scott Duncan – Kawasaki  ZZR1400

Norman Wareing – Triumph Tiger 800XCx

David Wright – Triumph Tiger 1200

Chris Hills – Yamaha XVF 650

Tony Lang - BMW R1200GS (to join in Spain)

Caen to Saint Jean de Sauves - 215 miles

We arrived from Portsmouth on the overnight ferry and after clearing French Port Authorities we headed towards Caen. It was early morning and the traffic was building up for the rush hour. This was probably the busiest part of the whole trip. Once clear of Caen we headed South on the A168 to Falaise, passed Alencon and Le Mans to meet up with Shiner and Chris at Loudun. From there we refuelled and then followed Shiner to his house. After sorting out bed spaces we settled down for a few beers and a BBQ of local produce.

Saint Jean de Sauves  to Aire sur L’Adour – 291 miles

After breakfast we packed up to leave and mustered the bikes at the gates of the property so that Shiner could secure the place. During the manoeuvring, Norman was knocked off his bike, fortunately his safety air vest fired and he fell without injury. The only damage to the bike was a broken indicator lens but the light still worked.

 by Lofty we set off through the French countryside on one of the longest legs of the trip. We stopped for lunch at Brantome, a small town on a tributary of the River Gironde, a town with some fantastic structures.

Towards the end of the leg we rode through a rain storm but finally arrived at the campsite at dusk. Once set up we walked into town for a meal. We settled on the first restaurant we found and ordered food. The escalope steaks were delicious.

Aire sur L’Adour to Bronchales – 257 miles

Spain is the next stop after crossing the Pyrenees. A very interesting ride on Route De Fromage over a high pass into Spain. Once above the tree line there are fantastic views of the mountains. At the campsite we met up with Tony Lang and he had persuaded the owner to keep the bar and restaurant open for us. The day ended with beer and some good food.



Bronchales to Santa Elana - 276 miles

Another long ride today down the Pyrenees onto the Spanish plain, which is vast. The highlight of the day was a visit to Campo de Criptana to see the Windmills of Don Quixote, the view from the hilltop was stunning. 

The campsite that night wasn’t exactly tent friendly because the ground was rock hard. Eventually we fastened down the tents and had a shower. A bar for beer and food was a short walk down the hill to the town. 

Santa Elana to Gibraltar  - 268 miles

The highlight of this day was a visit to Ronda, the town separated by a vast canyon with a spectacular bridge spanning it. The town was rammed with tourist so we made our way across the bridge without stopping to see the canyon and headed for a place for lunch. This was the place where Shiner and me had lamb chops for the second time.

From Ronda we rode towards Gibraltar keeping to the West of  Marbella and Estepona and in the late afternoon we finally saw the rock. 


Gibraltar weekend

After checking into our Hotels we headed for the Admiral Nelson pub for a few wets. The place was full of RMA Rugby crowd and a good night was had by all. It was at this time where we finally met up with Dia(Taff) Charles and  Steve (Mally) Mallison who had rode down from Santander.


The Return Trip

Gibraltar to Merida – 270 miles

After breakfast we set off for our next campsite at Merida. The journey was largely through arable farmland on very quiet roads. We arrived at our planned stop for the night only to discover that it was a naturalist site. It is quite a liberating feeling to pitch your tent naked. Fortunately it was a hot day and after setting up camp we went to the swimming pool for a swim and a beer.  We didn’t see many people as it was a secluded site but I reckon we were the youngest there.

We had to get rigged again to ride to Merida Town for dinner, a place that would not be out of place in a Spaghetti Western. Lamb chops once again.



Merida to Salamanca - 209 miles

The next day we headed North to Salamanca. Sticking to main roads this time we made good progress until we reached Trujillo where we lost Lofty. I was behind him and with the sun in my eyes and did not see him turn off my satnav route. We didn’t meet up again until we reached the Salamanca campsite. Around the halfway point we said goodbye to Shiner who was heading back to his house in France. It was a tiring ride and Scott and I stopped a few time during the day to take on fluids. The Salamanca campsite was busy largely with Campervans but the facilities where very good.


Salamanca to Riano – 196 miles

From Salamanca we headed North again through Zamora, Villalpando and Leon to the Picos Mountains and the final campsite at Riano. Great roads and great scenery and a grand finale finish to our road trip. Luckily there was two chalets available at the site so the tents were not needed. Lofty, Scott and myself enjoyed a good meal with a beer that evening in the sites bar before enjoying a good nights rest on a proper bed.


Riano to Santander – 100 miles

On this day we had to ride to Santander to catch our Ferry so we set off in good time and head down the mountains and some great twisty roads. I had said earlier that some of these mountain roads where pushing me to my riding skill limit on a bike and this one was no exception.

We finally made Santander in time for a coffee before entering the port and embarking on the MV Galicia for the 36 hour transit to Portsmouth.