UPDATE SUNDAY 20th JUNE
I made it!
The last 3 days were tough. Yesterday's stage through Devon was undoubtedly the hardest of the lot with some riders on the road for over 14 hours. Today was a 95 mile 'stroll' through Cornwall bathed in glorious sunshine. The finish was clearly visible from about a mile out and was a euphoric site for everyone.
The whole experience has been a quite something. Being thrown together with 500 random people, riding 100 or so miles every day and camping every night meant that lots of folk with nothing much in common were bound by something they had very much in common. Unremarkable people doing something a little remarkable.
Anyway, thanks again to all of you who have donated...I am off to lie down.
UPDATE THURSDAY 17th JUNE
Well I've made it thus far! 682 miles in 6 days.
I crossed the start line (with James Cracknell, as it goes) at 7.45AM on Saturday. 230 miles later I unzipped my waterproof for the first time. It is fair to say the weather for the first 48 hours was pretty shocking. In fact, I think the only thing that prevented my tent from blowing away at John o' Groats was the fact that I was lying in it.
On Day 3 we awoke to the sight of the summit of Ben Nevis bathed in glorious sunshine. Everything since has been absolutely amazing. The base camps are becoming more and more like field hospitals every night as people's bodies become more and more battered by the experience. The spirit is really good though and nightly a feeling pervades of relief-at-another-day-completed and a mixture of excitement and trepidation at what is to come.
Onward to Cheddar Gorge in the morning.
In June, I will be endeavouring to ride from John O'Groats to Land's End.
Buying a red Ferrari or having an affair would probably be a more appropriate way to express my mid-life crisis but I don't have the finances to do the former nor the inclination to do the latter.
The ride will be 1000 miles in 9 days with a total vertical ascent of more than 22,000 metres. I am quite frightened.
I am keen to raise money for Birmingham Children's Hospital while I'm at it. The medical care Anna received there was remarkable and I would love to give something back. The link below describes her journey (be warned there are some quite 'medical' images):
The efforts of the Charity endeavour to ensure that what can be a frightening and bewildering experience for children (and therefore parents) is as comfortable and relaxing as it is possible for it to be. We encountered many children on the wards whose experience was enlivened by the work of the Charity.