Spring 1989, I was 19. I’d been working in a local pottery making reproduction Staffordshire figures, hideous tat. My boss had been looking for an excuse to sack me for weeks. His opportunity came one Friday afternoon when I decided to come back from my Wednesday lunch break, two days late.
So, I had two weeks wages, a second-hand Olympus OM1 and a Honda 125cc motorbike. I decided I was going to ride to Scotland. I got on the Isle of Man ferry to Liverpool at 8am on a Saturday and rode the 435 miles to the Isle of Skye, sleeping for a while in the night in Glen Etive. I arrived at the Sligachan Hotel, at the foot of the Cuillin mountains at 3pm the day after, it was a beautiful spring afternoon.
I don’t know what I’d planned to do in Scotland, but when I arrived I got a pint and a meal at the Hotel, lay in the sun and then got my sleeping bag out and slept by my bike. I woke-up at 4am the next day, got on my Honda and rode all the way home.
That was 23 years ago,almost to the day, I had no idea about f numbers and shutter speeds, no clue how a light meter worked, and best of all, no concept of how far a 1000 mile road trip is on a 125cc motorcycle.