If you’re a regular reader you may know from an earlier post that my father in law has been riding from John O’Groats to Land’s End for charity. Since he is blind, he’s riding a tandem with his brother in law riding up front. Well, after 11 days of rather bad British weather they finally completed the 930 mile trip and crossed the finish line at Land’s End.
For those readers not in the UK, John O’Groats is the very North-East tip of Britain, right up past the Scottish Highlands, while Land’s End is the very South-West tip down here in Cornwall, making it the longest route you can take across the country. I did the trip solo myself back in 2003, and Steve and Pete took a fairly similar route to me and did it in just about the same time (11 days) despite having 2 “engines” on their tandem – but hey, they are a little older than me
Pete’s son, Paul, joined them in Exeter for the last couple of days, and I joined them yesterday as they passed, to cycle the last 36 miles with them to Land’s End. All my training recently has been running, swimming, weights and yoga and so I’m definitely not bike-fit at the moment. Add to that the fact that I was on a mountain bike, trying to keep up with a tandem and Paul on his racer, and it turned out to be quite a challenge to try and keep up!
Luckily for me the route is pretty hilly, and while I couldn’t keep up on the flats or downhills, I was able to make up time and pass the tandem on the climbs! The weather stayed bright, if rather windy, which made for a very pleasant ride (and made up for quite a bit of rain they had earlier on the trip!)
They have raised around £2000 so far for ABLe and Bowel Cancer UK, and that number should increase a fair bit over the next week or two as the final donations come in. If you want to read up more about the trip, the charities, or to make a small donation head over to Big Ride Old Men.