Updated on Aug 29th 2011 at 9:37 PM from the JustGiving API
......Day 9 is the day we'd all been looking forward to - the last day. It's felt like a long time but, at the same time, as if we set off from John O'Groats yesterday. It's great to be on the run in. The 57 miles to the finish was still tough, involving 3,000ft of climbing over Cornish hills and the busy A30 to negotiate. It didn't pass without event. Chris managed to squeeze in 2 punctures in this, our shortest stage. Pete introduced millionaire's shortbread and fruit squares on the catering front at the morning break - boodiful! The support from Pete (and his band of helpers) has been nothing short of superb for the whole trip - we can't thank him enough. Back to the ride.....the aches and pains and tender under carriage didn't go away because this was the last leg, at least not until the last 5 miles. The group paused for one final stop, donned our BTUK t-shirts and rolled as a united 8 down to the finish. In putting the t-shirts on we were transformed from annoying cyclists into a colourful team, receiving copious honks of the horn and waves of encouragement. Just a mile before the finish we passed Anthony B, the barefoot runner who took 29 days to run the distance. Then, the emotional arrival to friends and family - party poppers, banners, cheers, waves and smiles from people we couldn't wait to see, the photo call at the official sign and the bucket of ice cold beers. A great way to celebrate the finish of an epic journey. Thanks to those who came and made it so unforgettable. (Update from Mark H).
Updated on Aug 28th 2011 at 3:47 PM from the JustGiving API
Day 8 Nearly there! The day of hell in the hills we all feared didn't disappoint! The only moment of slight joy being turning up at the first drink's stop to find out that after Matt had shot off this morning, he'd gone 5 miles in the wrong direction! Sympathy....there was none! The brutal 25% climbs that soon followed put a rude end to the hilarity, although the mood was again slightly lifted as Phil & Fret came to a complete stop on one 25% climb and just toppled into the edge! The morning rain died off, but unfortunately the wind, and pain, didn't. It didn't however deter us from battling on to Wadebridge, although the final steep climb to the hotel was a cruel final joke! Today's stats: 115 miles, 9 hours 03 mins in the saddle, average speed 12.76 mph, total ascent 8230 feet! A truly monumental effort by all! 1 more day to go! (update from Brendan)
Updated on Aug 27th 2011 at 8:55 AM from the JustGiving API
Day 7: once again the British summer cooked up a feast of rain, wind and general grayness, but this merely stiffened the resolve of the boys determined to finish well before darkness....the start was brutal with four monster climbs (two at 15+%), there was respite as we floated over the Seven bridge and the day finished with a grueling 40 miles in torrential rain along the A38 into deepest darkest Somerset.....what doesn't break you... Daily stats: 4110ft of ascent, 93miles, average spd 16mph, average wattage 201...off to bed, the biggest baddest day hovers like a bad smell
Updated on Aug 27th 2011 at 8:54 AM from the JustGiving API
Day6Warrington to Hereford. Today started so brightly...the first 50 miles were bathed in glorious sunshine and pretty flat....then it all went pete tongue. A split chain link got caught in the rear mech and ripped it off!! For those not familiar with bikes...basically you're f***ed! 2hrs and £250 later we were rolling...now through pouring rain.. by 8.30pm we had made it 112miles to Hereford...time to sleep!
Updated on Aug 24th 2011 at 11:52 PM from the JustGiving API
Day 5 Penrith to Warrington Today saw the team travel 104 miles from the heart of the lake district to the industrial North West. Initially we climbed to over 1400ft as we crossed Shap Fell, however once out of the lake district the terrain flattened out and we had a gentle cruise to Warrington, interrupted by a couple of punctures. The day included 3000ft of climbing and rain of biblical proportions.....but we're over half way there and ready for day6..... (Update from Miles)
Updated on Aug 24th 2011 at 7:25 AM from the JustGiving API
Up bright and early at 6.30, but awake at 6.00. Applied plenty of Arnica muscle rub to my sore legs and completed my warm up stretches. Strong coffee and chicken, tomato and basil pasta for breakfast, then on our way to Carluke to start the 4th day. Legs are now feeling really heavy. Completed the 105 mile ride in 7 hours and 6 minutes at an average speed of 14.8 mph ascending a total of 3500 feet. We finished the days ride in Penrith, then drove to our overnight stay in Carlisle (update by Mark C)
Updated on Aug 22nd 2011 at 9:47 PM from the JustGiving API
Well, the day started so well. A weather forecast of sun all day and a relatively short ride of 98 miles. The good start ended when we opened the curtains to dirty grey skys. Not to worry we were expecting a nice scenic ride over gentle undulating terrain. The tranquility was shattered at mile three by the first of a relentess number of tough climbs. In total we climed 6000 feet. Not to worry we still had the relatively short distance to cover. We were bombing along nicely to the 79 mile point when we realised we should have turned right 7 miles earlier! Here starteth the most gruelling day of cycling I've ever done. We eventually got to our end point after 7 hours 25 minutes of cycling and 114 miles, with two cyclists with knee injuries. Oh and I fell off at the traffic lights 400 metres before the end. Happy days. Not to worry less than 12 hours before we start again. Ave speed 15.28mph(update from Chris)
Updated on Aug 21st 2011 at 10:27 PM from the JustGiving API
Not the best way to start 100 miles after a dicky tummy. Protein shakes taking hold of certain individuals guts. Good day all round sunny and good banter. Stats: Distance 96.6 miles. Riding time 6hr 16m. Ave 15.4mph. Total ascent 4765ft. (update from Ian)
Updated on Aug 20th 2011 at 7:39 PM from the JustGiving API
John O'Groats to Alness, 103 miles into a brutal southerly headwind. All 8 riders suffered on the relentless hills, after 75 miles we'd lost a man to cramp but he dug deep and made it to the finish. As if the ride wasn't tough enough Mark found his brakes were binding on! The team are now praying for the wind to drop over night! Stats Distance 103 miles Riding time 6hr55m. Ave 14.91mph Total ascent 5000ft Wind speed 20mph (update from Miles)
Updated on Aug 19th 2011 at 9:27 AM from the JustGiving API
19.08.11 the team are making their way to John O Groats today - first days cycling starts tomorrow. Updates will be made daily. Donations can now be made from your mobile using our justtextgiving code, text JOGL88 £? to 70070.
Updated 14 July 2011
A big thank you to all those who have donated so far. We are over halfway toward our target with just over 5 weeks before the start of the event. Thank you so much.
The team have been putting many hours of hard training in since I last wrote on this page. I've no idea how many miles have been covered but I would estimate an average of 100-200 miles per person per week for the past 3 months! Whatever happens no one will be able to say the team havent put in the work.
We are getting excited and nervous as we near the last 5 weeks before the event. 5 weeks tomorrow we will be travelling to John O Groats and the day after the event begins! The route is planned, accomodation booked and support crew in place. We're just praying now for a bit of luck. Oh and some nice weather!
We're completing the event to raise awareness and funds for Brain Tumour UK in the name of Lee Wilkinson, a special man who fought a brave battle (please see below for more details on this). All of your donations however large or small are greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to visit our page and for making a donation.
Chris & the team
Thanks for taking the time to visit our JustGiving page.
In late 2010 a group of slightly deranged would be Tour De France cyclists decided riding from John O Groats to Lands End would be a good use of nine days in August.
The group is
Mark Cheetham, Miles Drew, Ian Fretwell, Mark Hendricks, Chris Holmes, Matthew McDermott, Brendan McNallen, Phil Pearson and Dean Radford
As well as this hopefully being a fun (albeit painful) "roadtrip", there is a serious cause at the heart of what we are doing. We are aiming to raise awareness and funds for Brain Tumour UK, in the memory of Lee Wilkinson.
Lee passed away on 21 September 2009 after a 3 year fight with a brain tumour. Lee was a larger than life character and his passing has deeply affected a lot of people. Lee left his wife and two children. If you have the time please visit Lee's memorial page at lee.wilkinson.muchloved.com to read all about his battle and also the fundraising activities completed so far by friends and colleagues that have raised c.£5000 in little over a year.
We are hoping this event which will see us cycle close to 1000 miles over nine consecutive days will be another fitting tribute to Lee and raise much needed awareness and funds for Brain Tumour Uk.
Brain Tumour UK is the UK's leading, caring charity committed to fighting brain tumours by providing support, funding research and raising awareness.
Brain Tumour UK is a great charity and we really hope we can help them with their mission. If you think our efforts and the cause are one you can support please make a donation and help us reach our target.
This page will be updated during the next 6 months with our progress. So if stories of hard training and sweaty lycra interest you then bookmark this page!
Chris and the team.
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So please dig deep and donate now.