A few weeks ago a friend was killed on his Fireblade, on the A40 at Llandovery. Yesterday was his funeral, near Caerphilly, where he lived. My mate Daryl and I went - or rather, we didn't. Met up with some others at Shrewsbury Services for the ride down the A49, A449 and M4. We were pushing it to Hereford, where we had a coffee stop. Mike said we'd have to up the pace a bit - well that would have been difficult - so set off down the A49 towards Ross. I could just about keep up, onto the A449 (two lane dual carriageway) and I got caught behind about a dozen artics all overtaking each other on the hilly bit around Symons Yat. Daryl got past but I couldn't so he kindly waited for me - the others buggered off. Finally got past the wagons, the others were no place to be seen. We were doing 80+, they must have been doing three figures. Thought they might have waited at the roundabout of the A449 with J24 M4 - but no. The M4 between Newport and Cardiff has a 50 limit with specs and gatsos, the specs are backward facing but the gatsos aren't, and the traffic was a nightmare, caught in the contraflow behind several slow trucks. So we got to the meet point at the Asda fuel station on the roundabout of J32 M4 about 15 mins late - nobody there. Oops. The church was up in the valleys - oh shit, I hadn't brought the map with me. So I called my office, they gave directions. But would we find the A469? Or the A468? Nope. Got hopelessly lost, kept having to stop to call the office, and stopped to ask locals - I knew it was all of about 5 miles from Caerphilly but nobody had even heard of the place let alone knew where it was. Finally got into Caerphilly, by now had missed the church service, decided we'd go to the crem for stage 2. More calls to the office, finally found the right road off the A470, it was even signed, but then no sign of the crem and we kept going - nearly in Aberfan and well on the way to Merthyr by this stage - would have missed stage 2 too - decided we'd had enough, turned the bikes round, and headed home. Back via the A470, M4, A449 and A49. Just over 300 miles round trip for nothing. I bet Dave was up there laughing his ass off. But I usually hate motorways and yet I popped the cherry, found I could do it no problem, ditto all the trucks on the A449. We had a day out - but I certainly wouldn't choose the M4 for a rideout Moral - (a) set off in plenty of time, (b) don't rely on others, (c) bring the bloody map!!!