Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page and a special thank you to all who made donations 3 years ago. I hope you will support me and Treat again this year.
Having cycled Land's End to John O'Groats in 2010 with support from Eileen, my wife, in a van alongside me I am now repeating the ride at the age of 66 as a challenge and to raise more money for Treat Trust Wales. I will be alone and for much of this ride: I will be unsupported, carrying my equipment in panniers. I shall use the peace and solitude to try to answer problems that have troubled me over the years, such as ‘Why do teddy bears go around the garden'.
Devon, Cornwall, Cumbria and the Highlands will be the toughest terrain but the April weather could be a problem.
Day 1 15/4/2013 Land's End to Bodmin 72 miles
A good opening day with a tailwind. A30 not a great road to cycle. Lots of big lorries. Dry.
Day 2 16/4/2013 Bodmin to Cullompton 65 miles total 137
Tailwind has continued. More and more lorries as I approached Exeter on A30. Manage to leave at Cheriton Bishop and bypass Exeter on minor roads. Still dry.
Day 3 17/4/2013 Cullompton to Clevedon 55 miles total 192
Out of Cornwall and Devon and onto the Somerset levels. Over Avon on cycle path which accompanies M5. Nice meal in my hotel in Clevedon. Still good cycling conditions.
Day 4 18/4/2013 Clevedon to Leominster 73 miles total 265
indy. Crossed Severn Bridge (very, very windy got off and walked for fear of being blown over). Dodged showers but got wet from lying water. Helped by tailwind.
Day 5 19/4/2013 Leominster to whitchurch 61 miles total 326
Should have picked somewher else to stay as my computer will not register a capital 'w'. Met up with Roger Thomas who had driven from Trdegar to give moral support. Enjoyed having a friend to dine with. Dry.
Day 6 20/4/2013 whitchurch to Lancaster 88 miles total 414
Glorious day, terrible route. From arrington, through igan right up to Preston was aweful. Got to Preston and pressed on. I now know how thy decided on 22 yards for a cricket pitch, it matches exactly the average distance between traffic lights in the industrial belt of North erst England. I now also know why the computer shuns a capital 'w'. It wants to avoid igan and arrington.
Day 7 21/4/2013 Lancaster to Gretna 80 miles total 494
Need now to choose a route to avoid places with a w. Went through Kirkby Lonsdale over the Pennines and there found water. It falls from the sky here and there is plenty of it. Cold, wet, tired, miserable and deaming of West Glamorgan (I told you the computer was shunning igan and arrington W works now). I'm in Scotland.
Day 8 22/4/2013 Gretna to Lockerbie 17 miles total 511
A bit of a disaster. Howling wind, temp of 3 deg, massive wind chill factor and unable to retain my core temp. Stopped at Lockerbie and hopped on train for Edinburgh and to stay with my son Rhys, Gini and my Grandson Cai. Time to reasses strategy.
Day 9 23/4/2013. Rest Day
Spent day buying warm weather cycling gear,playing with my grandson and reuniting with a favourite guitar given several years ago to my son.
Day 10 24/4/2013 Lockerbie to Carnwath
53 miles. Total 564 miles
Took train back to Lockerbie and pushed on. A headwind and a day of climbing so a tough ride but I was warm and I looked lovely in my new tights.
Tomorrow I hope to get to Perth but a troubling headwind dominates the forecast. I have plenty of swear words to use against the wind and I practiced them all yesterday.
Day11 25/4/2013 Carnwath to Perth 69 miles
Total 633 miles
A good day. Light rain for the first half hour and ending the day in sunshine. Enjoyed crossing the Forth Road Bridge even though I was misdirected up the closed side and had to retrace my steps. Tomorrow I face the Pass of Brander, a long climb and against a headwind. It could well be the day that decides if I will be able to complete the whole ride. My wife (Eileen) will be with me in the afternoon for support after driving up from Swansea.
Day 12 Perth to Aviemore. 80 miles total 713
An extreme day. 5 hours of climbing against at headwind to get to the Pass of Brander and when I got there it was snowing, blowing and as I descended it turned tosleet, hail and rain. I had a real strugglebut managed to get to Aviemore. Hands so cold Icouldn't change gear and when I stopped I was unable tmy undo the clasp on my cycle helmet. Hope tomorrow is better.
Day 13. Aviemore to Golspie. 76 miles total 789 miles
Slocd summit faced me in the morning 1328 feet but my starting point this time was Aviemore and there was precious little climbing needed and then it was downhill to Inverness and on over the Black Isle and the flat bit. Cold at the start but warmed up at lower altitude. Now within sight of my ultimate goal. I've been eating anything that doesn't move for two weeks and still my weight has come down. It'll be hard to suppress this appetite when I stop cycling.
Day14 Golspie to John o Groats 72 miles. Total 861 mile
Finished but the weather was less than perfect with wind which was gusty and hail. This part of Scotland is flat but very exposed and it was difficult to keep the bike on a straight line at times. Berriedale hill is steep and long but after two weeks of conditioning it didn't proe too much of a problem.
I've learned a lot during the past two weeks such as "know exactly where the key is before locking your bike".