Just wanted to thank everyone for helping to make my first run such a great experience. I'd also like to particularly congratulate everyone on the quality of their riding, and also their willingness to all become ad-hoc marshals. Without your help we would have either gotten lost, or had to go very slow indeed. We had no breakdowns, no accidents, no excursions into ditches, and no-one got lost. So thank you all.
I have taken on board feedback from people to apply to future runs:
1) Avoid dirt tracks - the MSXs might be able to cope, but the 'real' monkeys tend to struggle. Stick to fast flowing country roads and lanes.
2) Make it slightly shorter. The feeling I've got is that most people would have been happy with about 20 miles less (so 100 total), which equates to finishing just after where we visited the animal sanctuary.
3) Start slightly earlier (10am-ish), and have a proper lunch break about 1pm.
4) Have two rear marshals. The only issue we had on the run was when the rear marshal himself had to turn back briefly to collect some luggage that had dropped off. Not his fault, and he did sterling work all day. But the whole ad-hoc marshalling system relied on him. So he should have a deputy in-case either one has problems.
5) Always appoint a rear marshal, even on the last trip home. Slight issues when poor Mal marked a corner only to realise that we no longer had a rear marshal, so he had to guess when we'd all passed.
6) Get home before dark, since some bike have poorer headlights than others.
7) No need for such extensive breakfast facilities since many people eat before leaving. I will probably still arrange something next time, but not so grand.
8) Try to pick a weekend that isn't sandwiched between two other major Monkey events - should ensure a better turn out.
The general feedback I got was very positive (less the niggles mentioned above), especially regarding the marshalling system. Given that we covered 120 miles with no official marshals, I must say I'm impressed.
See you all next year!