Idavegorman091-LST066371 n 2009, standup comedian Dave Gorman set off on a unique national tour across the UK. The intention: to cycle over 1500 miles across Britain in 33 days… with a gig each night.

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This is the same Dave Gorman that previously traveled the world to find 54 other people named Dave Gorman in his ‘Are you Dave Gorman’ challenge. This time he wanted a different challenge so he cycled from the southernmost point of the British mainland to the easternmost, then the westernmost and finally the northernmost point. The ride started from Lizard Point (UK’s most southernmost) to Lowestoft Ness to Ardnamurchan to Dunnet Head – which – contrary to popular opinion – is actually the UK’s  northernmost point while Dave performed his comedy standup show ‘sit down, pedal, pedal, stop and stand up’ each night along the way.

Dave Gorman at the most Western point in the UK

Initially he was planning it just as a bike ride. It seemed more than enough as it was. But around that same time Dave also started going back to the clubs and doing bits of stand up. When the idea of combining the two was first mooted it was irresistible. The deal he struck with his agent was that Dave would allow them to book a tour along the way but only if they accepted certain conditions.

Dave Gorman - Morecambe

Dave describes them as follows:
“Firstly… the route came first. Cycling between the four corners is a big task and I wasn’t going to add in any big detours because there was a theatre available in town A or City B. The ride came first. Secondly… I wasn’t going to take a day off. I know myself. I know that I need momentum to keep something like that up. If I spent a day off waiting for a venue to come available then I’d find it much, much harder to get on the bike the next day. There had to be a ride each day… and a show each night.”

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They agreed… and set about the mammoth task of booking things up. It’s not tricky. If you look at anyone else’s tour poster you’ll see that they’re playing Aberdeen one night and Portsmouth the next. That’s because that’s when the venues are available. And as a rule, a venue doesn’t want you appearing fifty miles up the road the next day because it can split their audience. They sometimes put clauses in your contract to prevent it.
So finding a venue roughly 50 miles up the road each day was a tough task. But they did it. The shortest ride was just 30 miles and the longest was around 90. But it happened.

There were some weird and wonderful performing locations, including Glenfinnan Station in the Highlands as well as regular theatres, a few village halls, a hotel bar, a train carriage and a barn… but it happened.

He also used ‘human SatNavs’ to guide him (other cyclists who volunteered to show him the route) making that Dave never rode alone.

Dunnet Head, the finishing point

Dunnet Head, the finishing point

2009 TOUR: SIT DOWN, PEDAL, PEDAL, STOP AND STAND UP

When Where Whereabouts
August 30, 2009

SOLD OUT

Grampound (nr Truro) Grampound Village Hall
August 31, 2009

SOLD OUT

Liskeard Sterts Theatre
September 1, 2009

SOLD OUT

Exeter Northcott Theatre
September 2, 2009

SOLD OUT

Taunton The Brewhouse
September 3, 2009

SOLD OUT

Bristol Colston Hall
September 4, 2009

SOLD OUT

Swindon Wyvern Theatre
September 5, 2009

SOLD OUT

High Wycombe Wycombe Town Hall
September 6, 2009

SOLD OUT

Cambridge Corn Exchange
September 7, 2009

SOLD OUT

Ipswich Regent Theatre
September 8, 2009 Lowestoft Marina Theatre
September 9, 2009 Kings Lynn Corn Exchange
September 10, 2009

SOLD OUT

Peterborough The Cresset Theatre
September 11, 2009

SOLD OUT

Leicester The Y Theatre
September 12, 2009

SOLD OUT

Stoke on Trent Victoria Hall
September 13, 2009

SOLD OUT

Salford The Lowry Centre
September 14, 2009

SOLD OUT

Preston The Guildhall
September 15, 2009

SOLD OUT

Lancaster Grand Theatre
September 16, 2009

SOLD OUT

Kendal Brewery Arts Centre
September 17, 2009

SOLD OUT

Threlkeld, nr Keswick Threlkeld Village Hall
September 18, 2009

SOLD OUT

Carlisle The Brickyard
September 19, 2009

SOLD OUT

Dumfries Bridgend Theatre
September 20, 2009 Cumnock Town Hall
September 21, 2009

SOLD OUT

Glasgow The Pavilion
September 22, 2009 Dumbarton Denny Civic Hall
September 23, 2009 Ardlui The Ardlui Hotel
September 24, 2009

SOLD OUT

Fort William Fired Art
September 25, 2009 Ardnamurchan The Big Barn, Sonachan Hotel
September 26, 2009

SOLD OUT

Glenfinnan Railway Station Dining Car
September 27, 2009 Fort Augustus Fort Augustus Public Hall
September 28, 2009

SOLD OUT

Inverness The Ironworks
September 29, 2009 Dornoch Carnegie Hall
September 30, 2009

SOLD OUT

Lyth Lyth Arts Centre

Dave had a great time. And it’s safe to say that when he arrived at Dunnet Head on October 1st that year he was the fittest he had ever been. And – these are his own words – “the fittest I’ll ever be.”

The show was well received and lots of venues that weren’t on the route asked if they could host the show so he did another tour in the spring of 2010 of the same show. This time he didn’t cycle between venues. It wasn’t really possible and it wasn’t really the point. It was never a show about cycling in any case and he didn’t do the original bike ride in order to do a tour… he let an existing bike ride become a tour. So the second batch of dates became a conventional tour of the same show… although he kept the same title because he didn’t want anyone to come along and buy a ticket thinking it was meant to be a different show.

Kickass adventure by a kickass comedian.

 

Sources: Davegorman.com, Dave’s blog, Mattsbikeblog