The 15th November 2018... was where it all went wrong!
Reminiscing about our traveling days... it hit us... we had become old, unfit and boring.
We needed something to look forward to, an adventure, a challenge.... yet another one of our stupid ideas.
Sitting in the pub after a couple of pints of beer, we started mentioning ideas.
'We should do something fun, something out of our comfort zone, something that's a challenge! Yet again, we had come up with another one of our 'never going to happen', hair brained schemes.
“We’ve both got bikes... I know.... lets cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats.”, said middle aged unfit fool number 1 (Neil).
Great idea!!, said middle aged unfit fool number 2 (Jon).
It was something possible, something vaguely achievable.... but luckily there was absolutely no chance of the pair of us actually getting around to doing it.
We both agreed that this brilliant idea was something we definitely would have to do at some point in the future. So we celebrated with another round or two of beers.
“How about later this year?", said out of shape fool number 2 in a ridiculously misguided manner.
At this point we both had now gone way beyond any planning that any of our previous clever pub ideas had progressed to.
Now for the sentence that sealed it.
“Let’s do it for charity”.
The deal was done, we would cycle from Lands End to John O'Groats for charity, more importantly... we would do it for the Hillingdon Hospital's Charity.
We will do it for the Hospital!!!
We would both suffer for days and days on a bike, in order to try to raise some much needed money to help the Hospital and all of the patients!!
We would let the Charity know ASAP, so we didn't have a chance to change our minds, or see sense that this really is a stupid idea!! With Neil working there, once the charity knew..... there really would be no turning back.
So we are actually doing it, we are really doing this!!??
Neither of us worried about cycling the 1,000 mile journey, the hours of training, the planning and preparation that would be needed to complete the ridiculous challenge.
Both of us knew that being family men, both of us with partners, both of us with two young children and both with work responsibilities.... we would literally have no time to train.
That's ok, we will just suffer!
The thing that worried us the most, the hardest part of the whole thing, the part of the of the adventure we both feared but had to face up to, where it all hung in the balance….
“How are we going to tell the other halves?”
Fool number 2’s words sent a crash of reality to proceedings, this whole thing would be a lot harder than we thought. To be honest, more preparation has gone into the answering of this last question than planning the actual trip itself.
Fool number 1 went with the classic approach that involved months and months of doing extra work around the house, spending more time with the children and generally sucking up. While fool number 2 went for the 'tried and tested' write it on the calendar and pretend it was always there method.
“You won’t make it”, “It’s much too far”, “You have to go to work”, “Who’s going to look after the kids while you’re gone?” "You are too old", "You are not fit enough", "You have no sense of direction, do you even know where Scotland is?"
These were just a few of the words of encouragement we have received from the other halves so far.
Well, we are still doing it. More importantly, we are doing it for the Hillingdon Hospital Charity, for a really worthy cause, one close to both of our hearts.
Both of fool number 1's (Neil) children were born at Hillingdon Hospital and his son had two operations performed there, with fantastic care provided by the staff each time. Despite working at the Hospital, he still felt like he wanted to do something more to help to say thanks.
Fool number 2 (Jon) was born at Hillingdon Hospital has frequently popped into it's accident and emergency service to test their repair skills as a child.
We all know how a little extra in way of donations can make a massive difference to patients and the hospital, maybe doing this can help?
So how can we do this? Can we actually do it?
Honestly, we don't know!
But, we have set a date... the 15th of September 2019... a mere 7 weeks away!!!
Work commitments and busy family lives means we won't have much time to complete the 1000+ mile trip, we’ve only got 9 days, with maybe a day either side to travel to Lands End then back home from John O’Groats.
We realise that with work and family life we will have no time to train, no time to organise or plan it properly, very little money spare to pay for it (so we are going to have to do it as cheaply as possible), no real clue how to do it.... what could possibly go wrong??
Importantly, we do know where to start and where to finish. We are just slightly vague on the 1,000 miles in between!!
So we’ve come to a decision.
This is going to be ‘Lands End to John O’Groats, Unplanned’.
No proper planning, no 'paid for'organised tour, no support crew, no flash bikes, no help!!! Just two unfit fools on bikes, making it up as we go along.
Please help us make our stupidity, something worthwhile for NHS patients!!!
Thanks for taking the time to visit our JustGiving page.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.