Track our journey from Lands End to John O Groats starting 12 June 2010


Saturday, 26 June 2010

Day 15 Bettyhill to John O Groats (via Dunnet Head)

We've done it! It's hard to sum up the array of emotions we have experienced not only during the last two weeks but also during the months of training. Around 3.30pm today there were two proud and tearful people cycling into John O Groats. We also know that there were two even more proud people, Ruby and John, looking down on us.

Dunnet Head - Britian's most notherly point.

It has been an amazing and unforgettable journey. We have seen, felt and experienced sights and pains that we never knew existed. It has been a challenge beyond anything we have ever done before. It has been journey like no other. But most of all, with your help, it has been a way to generate funds to Cancer Research UK. With your help we might just have saved another life - how great is that.

Today's stats
Miles - 58.8
Total miles - 1083!
Max speed - 33.5 mph
Detours - 1, well in sunny weather it would have been rude not to visit Britains most northerly tip - Dunnets Head.
Headwinds - YES! Brutal again.
Hills - of course, there was still no let up
Tears - yes
Rain - yes, but no need to feel sorry for us as the shower came whilst we were inside having lunch! How blessed have we been?!
Lost pregnant sheep - 1, we had to stop and turn our hand to sheep herding!
Surprises - 1, and for those that don't yet know you'll be hearing soon!

Jen and fellow cyclist Joe celebrating whilst Alan dismantled bikes for the flight home

It's sad to be writing what is now surely one of the final postings for this blog. We will however keep you updated with final fundraising figures once all donations have been received. Thank you.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Day 14 Evanton to Bettyhill

We had one aim when we set of this morning, and that was to reach the north coast of Scotland. We have made it! Although we are not at our final destination, reaching the north coast of Scotland still feels like a massive achievement. Tomorrow we have a great coastal route planned to reach John O Groats.

Today, like many of the others has been tough. The wind was in our face for much of it and the long and winding road to reach the coast seemed endless. Jen is suffering with a dodgy right knee and mastered one legged pedalling for parts of the day!

Today's stats
Miles - 78.4
Max speed - 29.5 mph
Feet climbed - 3400
Rain - nil!!!
Waterfalls - 1, Falls of Shin
Jumping salmon - 2, at Falls of Shin
Eccentric landlords - 1
Courteous drivers - not enough
Non courteous drivers - too many
Sheep in road - enough for it to feel like an obstacle course! In fact we have seen more sheep than people today!

A few tired cyclists!
So the end is so nearly in sight. As we make that final push with the pedals please remember the lives of Ruby and John and the good work for cancer research that your donations will allow.

Looking forward to updating you tomorrow! Thanks for your support and coming on the journey with us.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Day 13 Fort William to Evanton

Well I'm sure it's not a surprise to hear that it's getting harder to get going each morning. The aches and pains are increasing and tiredness is setting in. But we are determined to succeed in our challenge.

Today was the first morning we have woken up to heavy grey skies. Fortunately for us the rain came in the night and by mid morning the sun was breaking through. So apart from a few brief drops of rain this morning we have had another great day in the saddle.

Our ride took us along the Caledonian canal with plenty of locks and impressive boats. We also cycled along several lochs including the infamous Loch Ness!

Today's stats
Miles - 84
Max speed - 35.4 mph
Annoying noises - 2 bikes with squeaks, or hang on was that our joints?!
Tough climbs - 2, but still no walking!
Official ride briefings - 1
Unofficial ride briefings - 1
Locks and Lochs - lots! The Caledonian Canal was great.
Brave soldiers - 1, Joe after falling down the stairs and visiting A&E but continuing with today's ride!
Birds of prey - 1, startled by Jen cycling past at speed and nearly flying into Alan!

Highlight of the day - cycling along Loch Ness with it's amazing views.
Disappointment of the day - no sign of the Loch Ness monster!

After 13 straight days in the saddle it's still hard to comprehend that we have come so far up the country. It's even harder to believe that we are still well over 100 miles from John O Groats. We will never look at Scotland in the same way again on a distorted TV weather map!

It's fantastic to know, with your help, that we are helping the great work of Cancer Research UK. Keep the support, messages and donations coming - it will be a great encouragement for us over the final stretch.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Day 12 Inveraray to Fort William

We're not sure if it's bad or careful planning by 'Bike Adventures' but so many of our routes seem to start with long climbs. And today was no exception! Another 7 mile climb straight off to warm us up!

As we left the hotel a light shower started, almost unheard of during this trip so far! So we donned our waterproof jackets and took to the road. The shower lasted minutes so we've had another great days cycling. In fact today has been the first day that we have felt any real benefit from a prevailing wind. We were beginning to wonder that the idea of starting in Lands End to take advantage of the wind direction was a joke!

So with our early start we took full advantage of the conditions and great roads to reach Fort William in time for today's important match. We were so quick we arrived at the hotel ahead of our bags. How silly did we all look walking amongst the tourists in our lycra!

Today's stats
Miles - 72.2
Max speed - 35 mph
Minutes in waterproofs - 20
Careless drivers - 2
Sore undercarriage's - sore isn't the word!
Comedy moments -1, both bending down to pick something up and clashing heads - good job we had our helmets on!

Top tip - drink plenty of soda and lime to keep hydrated. Jen even drank one bar dry of lime - makes a change from drinking them dry of alcoholic drinks!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Day 11 Motherwell to Inveraray

Today has been a day of contrasts. The morning was spent negotiating our way into, through and out of Glasgow on the seemingly never ending cycle ways. It was interesting to suddenly appear in the centre of Glasgow after negotiating the complex cycle route. We were very envious of the luxury yacht moored outside the Crown Plaza hotel - a far better choice for a hot sunny day than cycling!

So after negotiating Glasgow and the suburbs we arrived at the shores of Loch Lomond - amazing. Our route then took in a further 3 lochs and we are safely at our destination Loch Fyne.

It's been a tough day, with long climbs and hot weather, but we've had breathtaking views. It's been fantastic to see some of Scotland's finest scenery in glorious weather.

Today's stats
Miles - 83.2
Max speed - 32.9
Feet climbed - 3539
Top temp - 27 degrees
Sheep on road - a flocking lot
Outraged farmers - 1, and it would be highly inappropriate to relay his comments!
Irate dog walkers - 1
Prize bulls - 2
Lochs - 4
Secret MOD installations - 1
Glass on Glasgow cycle paths - plenty!!

We are both tired and suffering with sore muscles and joints. We still have 4 days cycling left and around 300 miles to cover. Let's hope we can eat enough calories, consume enough water and get enough rest to see us through.

The boys want to start early tomorrow to get back for the footie! Early night it is then!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Day 10 Ecclefechan to Motherwell

Today has been another great day - fabulous weather and amazing scenery. We've also had no bike issues! The only thing to hinder us today was our own aches and pains and a 'road closed' sign.

Today's stats
Miles - 87.5
Max speed - 28.2 mph
Longest climb - 7 miles, tough but well worth the scenery and views
Bike issues - 0 yes that's zero!!
Route issues - 1, road closed!!
Language barriers - 1, trying to understand the Scottish road worker at the road closed point!
Men in kilts - 1
Ice showers - 2, to aid relief from the heat and sore muscles!
Unidentified furry animal - 1
Well and truly identifiable animal - 1, the biggest bull ever!
Near misses - 1, Jen almost leaning her bike on an electric fence!

Tomorrow, we venture through Glasgow before moving on to take in several lochs. Should be another good day, midges and rain permitting!

Ollie with the message 'see you Jimmy!'