Well we made it in one piece, and it was a hell of a journey. We’ve encountered just about every kind of weather including snow up over Bodmin Moor – i kid you not. After some challenging hills at the start of the final day we met up with some friends to guide us to the finish line. The thing with hills is that where there is an up, there is a down, this was definitely a highlight of the southwest reaching our top speed of the entire trip down the twisty steep descents. Trying not to think too much of the finish line on the last day, rather let it come to us, it did however hit me when we reached Penzance (the last town) and wasn’t sure I was going to be able to hold back the tears. The Cornish land scape had one last sting in its tail, leaving Penzance we hit a wall of a climb at about 20% but we re-grouped at the top and rolled along to the end of this surprisingly big, little island. We were greeted by a welcoming committee including a real surprise to rider Bry Watt who’s parents had seen us off the start line at John O’Groats drove covertly all the way to see us finish.They even brought the fine Scottish weather with them as we basked in our glory as a perfect sunset faded over the North Atlantic. No time to dwell we still had to get rider Matt Loake to his wedding – thanks Fabs for letting him ride with us at this time and thanks to Matt for draughting us most of the way. The wedding was as beautiful and unique as you guys.
What an amazing trip (probably once in a lifetime) this has been and now the body has healed I am keen to get pedalling again and will never say never.
I would like to thank everyone who helped make this ride possible and as awesome as it was. Not least the Support crew Karen Brennan, Lauren Little and Daniel King who fed, guided and encouraged us along the way – big up to you. Also we had Huge backing from http://www.thecoolbus.co.uk guys donating a van and fuel and driver for the entire trip. Also from TrailHead and Dave Mellor Cycles in Shrewsbury and friends and family who contributed (you know who you are). One last massive thanks to all who donated you will be glad to know we reached our ambitious target of £10,000. If you missed to donate, my just giving will remain open till the end of May so PLEASE do.
Its been a few days since my last post i apologise but writing is the last thing on your mind after a hard day in the saddle. A lot has happened since then, we had a short recovery day into Shrewsbury for the BBQ at the TrailHead which was awesome and we raised another £700 which was amazing – thanks to all who helped organise.
Leaving my own bed the next day was tough especially with the impending weather, the forecast said only venture out in your cars if nessesary – no mention of bikes then, must be OK! I dont want to bang on about the weather but the rain in the afternoon was biblical – we’re talking a months rain in a day in the Wye valley. Everyone was freezing – i was border line hypothermic!
Not to keen to get going yesterday we stopped for an early lunch at Cheddar Gorge and time just slipped away and we didn’t take heed of the warnings of the Devon hills. We paid the price, we rolled in at 10 O’Clock in the dark completely spanked. Another lumpy day, I think it could be another tough one but we can see the finish line.
Who would have thought the best of the weather would have been in the furthest reaches of the Scottish highlands, but that is the way it has turned out. We’ve also learnt not to be complacent when a supposed easy day is on the cards, like Glasgow to Carlisle where it rained most of the day and we had five punctures and navigation through the city proved to be a nightmare. With a bit of chain ganging and reaching speeds of 33mph on the flat we finally reached our guest house (thanks to Andy from Standard Clothing for the lead in).
Today we faced a big day from Carlisle to Haydock so were a bit more on the ball and got over Shap (classic road climb) before the weather hit. But despite this I hit an all time low trying to dry my clothes under a hand drier in a Sainsbury cafe toilet. It took a large can of ‘man up’ to leave the cafe into the pouring rain for the remaining 60 miles, but our spirits remain unbroken and we look forward to an EASY day into Shrewsbury and the fundraising party at the TrailHead bike shop in Frankwell – hope to see you there.
Two days have passed since I last wrote, back then we were like bouncing little lambs waiting for slaughter house. For the second day from Bonar Bridge to Fort William we rolled the lucky dice once again and got a second successive dry and sunny day. It was looking we were on a roll again today however our hopes were smashed and the heavens opened around lunch time leaving us to do 70miles in the rain on our biggest and hilliest day so far. Despite the weather and our rear ends feeling like they’ve done twelve rounds with Dale Winton we are all in good spirits, but between the banter you may spot us with the thousand yard stare with eyes that could tell a whole different tale.
Now that we are leaving the Scottish highlands behind and I will certainly miss the spectacular scenery but am looking forward to an easier – only 100miles day tomorrow.
Team talk last night we planned to roll out of the start gates at a steady pace. However with a good dose of enthusiasm, fresh legs and blue skys, 100m down the road we turned to follow the north coast and the wind hit us from behind and straight away we were cruising along at swift 20mph. We got to the half way point at Bettys Hill in no time. Here we turned south into a fairly brisk head wind and onto the first real climb but we still made it to our lunch stop in good spirits and there was a fair amount self congratulation with only 30 miles to go. With full stomachs and a stiffening wind we all tucked into Matt Loakes slip stream (clearly the strongest rider of the day) and we made back to the comfort of our bed for the night at Bonar Bridge pondering the question -how are we going to do that again. Hopefully another day of spectacular scenery and good weather will push us along to our next stop at Fort William.
Big thanks for the massive support of Mr Brennan and the kids of 3rd Class in Bohermeen National School in Ireland, keep up the good work. Bigiddy bigiddy bong!
Its late now, but we’ve arrived at the end of the road and got to the watch the sun go down. Early start for our first day on the bikes! Looking forward to getting started now and hit the high road to Bonar Bridge where a 5 star Michelin dinner awaits. Weather is looking pretty ok for Scotland only the odd heavy shower and gail force wind! Bry and Rob are now clean shaven, airstreamed and ready to roll out of the starting gate at John O’Groats. Big on day one…
It seems an eternity away, or at least 600 miles, but anyway we are planning a bit of a shindig at the Trailhead bike shop on day 6 of the ride into Shrewsbury (May 13th). The small but perfectly formed Tardis like bike shop in Frankwell will play host to the fundraising soiree.
We are anticipating arriving into Shrewsbury around 4 O’Clock and shop will remain open till 9pm with plenty to keep you entertained. There will be a free BBQ – however it is for charity so we will have a honesty box and all profits will go to Cancer Research UK.
You as guests will be able to sponsor a rider (£20) to give him the opportunity to have a massage from Lou Caswell who has kindly donated her services. We will also be offering you the chance to win a cash prize by entering the power-tap challenge, to see who can generate the most output on the training wheels.
We also have a signed GT Factory, One Industries race jersey donated and signed by Gee & Rachel Atherton from her 2012 DH world series winning season, which will be up for auction in the shop and live on ebay simultaneously.
Hope to see you there.