Thirty years later, with men and women returning from Afghanistan and Iraq with horrific injuries, Matt and Julia’s sons – Guy (16) and Tom (15) – asked if they could spend a fortnight of their summer holiday 2010 cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End in aid of Help for Heroes. Matt thought it was such a fantastic idea he had better cycle with them. The plan is for the entire family to leave Penzance for John O’Groats on July 9th and then leave John O’Groats for Land’s End on July 11th aiming to arrive back at Land's End on Saturday, July 24th.
Guy is a member of Penzance Wheelers cycle club, the Pirates rugby club and is a cross country runner for Cornwall so is super fit and ready to go. Tom is Captain of St Just Boxing Club and has just completed a full rugby season and Ten Tors so is fully fit and ready to go. Matt has joined Weight Watchers and lost 1.5 stone so far (with more to go) and is running in the mornings - the entire family is worried about him!! If you see him struggling around West Penwith, sweating profusely on his bike, give him a cheer!!
Julia will be driving the backup campervan and the boys were concerned that she would get terribly bored waiting for them. And so the idea of the “End to End Sweater” was born. Designed by Tina Barrett and knitted in Cornish Organic Wool (obviously) the sweater will be cast on by Julia at John O’Groats and, all being well, she will be wearing it at Land’s End 13 days later.
Julia says she doesn't think she's ever knitted a sweater in such a short space of time and she's not a particularly fast knitter so can see knitting going on late into the night when the exhausted cyclists are snoring around her. So far as we know, this has never been done before and we think getting the Guinness Record for the Largest Knitting Needles was a doddle compared to this challenge!
The boys’ school (The Bolitho School, Penzance) has kindly agreed to lend them a laptop and Julia is hoping to update her blog daily so you can follow their progress (both cycling and knitting) at www.knitwitspenzance.co.uk and then click on “Julia’s Blog”.