Details of the trip:
Total No of Miles - 2,048
Total No of Days - 30 - 29.8.10-27.9.10
Average number of miles per days cycled (26 days) - 79
Total ascent overall - 83,000 ft
Number of non cycling days - 4
Number of rest days - 1
Number of mountains climbed - 3 - The Three Peaks:
Ben Nevis - 1,344 metres (4,409 ft) (Scotland)
Scafell Pike - 977 metres (3,205 ft) (England)
Snowdon - 1,085 metres (3,560 ft) (Wales)
Number of different B&Bs/hostels stayed in: 21
Wet and windy days - several but was very lucky with the weather, particularly on the way up
Number of times fell off - 1
Several mechanical problems:
2 new wheels / 2 new tyres / several punctures / 1 new
bracket for panniers as it snapped in Cumbria
Did I enjoy it - Yes, it was awesome
Would I do it again - Yes, definitely
Amount raised for Breakthrough Breast Cancer - At least £1,300 but still have a lot to collect so could be more in the end.
Thanks for reading this and for your support.
Mon 27th Sept - Day 30 - 90 miles from Warminster to HOME - yes I've done it - 2,048 miles. Arrived home at 4 pm.
Sun 26th Sept - Day 29 - 98 miles - again!! - from Hereford to Warminster up a very steep hill at Birdlip outside Gloucester - 3 miles - pretty tough going. Can't believe I'll be home tomorrow night - at least I'll have made the 2,000 miles.
Sat 25th Sept - Day 28 - 98 miles from Aberaeron to Hereford - a good day.
Fri 24th Sept - Day 27 - 95 miles from Llanberis to Aberaeron. Quite hard going as it was very hilly. Climbed about 6,000 ft today in total. Got a bit wet first thing but then it brightened up.
Thurs 23rd Sept - Day 26 - Climbed Snowdon today. It was fine till I got to the top then the cloud descended and it rained heavy so couldn't see a thing again! Cafe was good though! Took me 3 hours up and down.
Wed 22nd Sept - Day 25 - 68 miles today from Chester to Llanberis in Snowdonia. Awesome ride over the Llanberis Pass on the way in. Started pouring with rain 10 miles from Llanberis. Hopefully it will be dry tomorrow to climb Snowdon!
Tues 21st Sept - Day 24 - rest day at my Grandma's in Chester. Cleaned my bike and grandma has done all my washing but apart from that have done nothing except read my book!!
Mon 20th Sept - Day 23 - you wouldn't believe it but I was only 5 mins out of Kendal when the spoke went on my back wheel so back to the same cycle shop as yesterday but as they were replacing the spoke they noticed that the wheel was cracked so had to have a new wheel so an expensive couple of days. Didn't leave until 10.30 and got to Chester at 6.40 pm - 103 miles. Fell off for the first time today 4 miles from Chester and have grazed knees!!
Sun 19th Sept - Day 22 - cycled 47 miles in the pouring rain and was just south of Kendal when the arm on my panier carrier sheared off - disaster as I can't go anywhere without it. Fortunately there was a coffee shop and they kindly phoned a taxi for me and I've had to go back to Kendal and book into a Premier Inn for the night. Tried a couple of cycle shops in Kendal who didn't have the same bit but finally found one about 15 mins from Kendal and managed to get the bracket so am going to leave early and try and get to Chester tomorrow.
Sat 18th Sept - Day 21 - Climbed Scafell Pike today. Took 2hrs 10 mins going up - quite hard going. Not as high as Ben Nevis or Snowdon but harder to climb as lots of boulder fields to clamber over. Got a few photos on the way up but couldn't see anything at the top as it was covered in cloud. There are several other peaks so climbed a couple of those before coming down so took about 5 hours altogether.
Fri 17th Sept - Day 20 - 28 miles to Borrowdale in the Lake District. It was extremely hilly though so took me longer than I thought it would. Staying in an Outdoor Activity Centre surrounded by mountains close to the start of Scafell Pike which I intend to climb tomorrow so left my bike at the Centre and got a bus into Keswick this afternoon to have a look round and something to eat.
Thurs 16th Sept - Day 19 - 81 miles today to Penrith - now back in England. Good day, weather nice and the road was good. Managed to take a wrong turning and nearly ended up on the M6 which could have been disastrous!! Off to the Lake District tomorrow - hope the weather stays nice.
Wed 15th Sept - Day 18 - 98 miles today to Sanquhar. Went via Helensburgh to get my gears sorted at the bike shop. Fortunately it was just a cable that had come loose so he fixed it very quickly. Quite a nice day today but the road was awful and full of potholes and I got lost trying to find my way out of Glasgow so wasted quite a bit of time there. My last night in Scotland.
Tues 14th Sept - Day 17 - 69 miles today to Arrachor on Loch Long near Loch Lomond via Glencoe. Got drenched a couple of times. Low gears have gone on my bike so need to get to Helensburgh to get that sorted tomorrow before hopefully carrying on.
Mon 13th Sept - Day 16 - rest day in Fort William. Climbed Ben Nevis today in the pouring rain. Got up there in 2.5 hours but couldn't see a thing as it was so wet and misty but I did it! The lady at the Visitor Centre told me that the wind on the top was gusting to 90 miles an hour - it felt like it as it nearly knocked me off my feet! I wasn't the only idiot climbing it though! Took me nearly as long to get down as it was quite slippery.
Sun 12th Sept - Day 15 - 85 miles from Alness to Fort William. Called into a bike shop in Inverness on the way to ask their advice about the spoke and they recommended a new wheel as they said it would keep dropping out so that cost me £85! Rained for the last 10 miles. Left knee is hurting a bit. Staying in Fort William for 2 nights so I can have a rest tomorrow and climb Ben Nevis! Think its going to be a wet climb as the forecast is not good.
Sat 11th Sept - Day 14 - 68 miles from Tongue to Alness. Poured with rain most of the way but it was better than having the wind. One of the spokes from my front wheel has come out so need to fix that before I leave in the morning.
Fri 10th Sept - Day 13 - 71 miles from John O'Groats along the coast at the top of Scotland to Tongue. Hard going at it was very windy but called at Dunnet Head the most northerly part of the British Isles en route.
955 miles since I started at Lands End, an average of around 79 miles a day, 2 shredded tyres and several punctures but I got there and enjoyed it on the whole. Now for the return journey!_______________________________________________
Thurs 9th Sept - Day 12 - HOORAY MADE IT!! 51 miles today to John O'Groats - a pleasant ride in 3hrs 45mins - the wind has dropped. Went to the finishing hotel and got my form signed and had my official photo taken.
Wed 8th Sept - Day 11 - 68 miles today to Helmsdale. A much better day weather wise but still very windy so quite slow. Should be in John O'Groats tomorrow all being well.
Tues 7th Sept - Day 10 - 84 miles today to Inverness - first day of rain. A pretty scary ride in the pouring rain all day on a very busy and quite narrow A9 with lorries thundering past. Was so cold I couldn't feel my feet for about 6 hrs and had to fix a puncture in the pouring rain. Never thought I was going to get there! Thank goodness I haven't had a lot of rain en route.
Mon 6th Sept - Day 9 - found a bike shop and got a new tyre and went back to the Travelodge and fitted it. 102 miles from Musselburgh to Pitlochry as I got to the Forth Bridge and it was closed to pedestrians and bikes so had to do a 40 mile detour to Stirling! Really strong head wind today which made the going a bit tough.
Sun 5th Sept - Day 8 - 93.5 miles today from Carlisle to Edinburgh - staying in a Travelodge at Musselburgh. My back tyre has shredded so need to find a Halfords or a bike shop in the morning to get a new one before I can start off. Weather still fine.
Sat 4th Sept - Day 7 - can't believe I've been going a whole week. 83 miles today to Carlisle - pretty hilly which was awesome. Staying at a Premier Inn - had to backtrack 3 miles as the one in the centre was full!
Fri 3rd Sept - 75 miles today last 10 pretty tough. Staying at a Youth Hostel overnight in Slaidburn, small village with a population of 300 and a pub! No rain yet but looks set to change next Tues.
Thurs 2nd Sept - 80 miles today to Chester - staying with my Grandma tonight and she took me to the pub for a meal. Leo dropped out this morning just outside Birmingham as his knees hurt.
Wed 1st Sept - 84 miles today mostly along busy A roads so not so good. Staying in Birmingham the night at Leo's house as he's been at Uni there. B&B last night was great with an awesome breakfast!
Tues 31st Aug - 93 miles today and a puncture! Much flatter so felt easier. We are just north of Bristol tonight by the old Severn Bridge in a B&B.
Mon 30th Aug - 80 miles today and we're in Exeter staying with Leo's grandparents for the night. Weather's been great so far.
Sun 29th Aug - we're off! Mum and Dad came to see us off at Lands End and we had our official photo taken at the signpost which will be posted to us in 2 to 3 weeks. Also registered at the Lands End Hotel. We managed 61 miles today as it was very hilly and we started a bit later. Ended up in Padstow - a big mistake as it was full and we ended up in a very expensive hotel for the night!!
Sat 28th Aug - Leo and I have driven down to Lands End today in my car with our bikes on the back and all our gear - so much stuff! Staying in a B&B with my Mum and Dad for the night and then we're off tomorrow - can't believe its here at last.
Little update, I am now going on the 28th August and riding over September instead. This is better as we are hoping to miss some of the holiday traffic and it will be easier to get into hostels along the way.
Hey my name is Matt Cook and I am riding the Lands End to John O'Groats bike trip with my mate Leo Maliphant. I am also riding back as part of the same journey. I am not sure if Leo is riding back with me, so I will keep you updated on whether he is as stupid as me and decides to come back!
A little bit of information on the trip. The ride from Lands End to John O'Groats is about 1000 miles, the way back is also around the same distance depending on whether we come back the same way, also the estimated height of riding there and back is over 30,000 ft which is over the height of Everest. I am not sure if this is entirely correct so I will change it when I find out for sure. We are planning on leaving at the start of August, but this could change but not by much and we are hoping to complete the trip by the end of August depending on how fast or slow we ride.
The main reason for me doing this ride is to raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer as recently my Grandma and Auntie and a close family friend have all died of the disease and I would like to do my bit to try and help these people find a cure, so other people do not have to go through what they did.
I will do my best to keep this page updated as we go along the trip, but if I can't I will post a message on how we did, how long it took etc when we get back from the trip.
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