Leeds biker picks up pen after 2,000 mile journey

Noel Whittall.
Noel Whittall.
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A 73-year-old biker has written a book about his epic 2,000-mile ride around Britain.

Noel Whittall rode his belt-driven 1918 Model H Triumph – called “H” – from his Rawdon home to John O’Groats, then to Land’s End and back to Leeds.

A Stupid Thing To Do charts his progress during his two-and-a-half week End to End odyssey back in 2009.

His exploits are all the more incredible as he suffered a major heart attack in 2008 - while paragliding at 1,500ft.

He had to have four stents surgically inserted to keep his arteries open.

The daredevil said: “The journey came off the back of a fairly significant illness I had.

“But I did actually go out and do it. I wondered if I can perhaps inspire other people to go out and have their own adventure.

“I set off [on the bike journey] just to please myself. I didn’t set off intending to write the book.

“The book came out of the diary that I kept when I did this run from end to end.

“I started writing about it and I realised that there was more to it so I tried to add in other items of interest, of how the country has changed and that sort of thing.

“It seems to have worked quite well.

“I even get letters from the wives of other motorcyclists, many of whom don’t like motorcycling, who’ve read the book and liked it.”

He added: “I spent half my life selling spares for motor vehicles. Second half I spent as a writer and editor, now I am retired.

“Before the ride I had been reading over the heroic days before 1911.

“Where it was sort of a competition between manufacturers to see who could get from John O’Groats to Land’s End fastest.”

On the book’s title, he said: “It’s pretty hard to set off on your own on a 90 year old motorcycle. You can’t really justify it so I think a lot of people would say its a stupid thing to do.

“But I’ve had a lot of nice correspondents so it might not have been a stupid thing to do after all. Next I’d want to do something outside the UK, on H.”

To buy the £10 book call Stan Sharp 0113 275 5058 or e-mail: propagatorpress@virginmedia.com

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