Welcome to Jeremy’s Bike Ride!

Jeremy (Jer) McConnell will be cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats in May 2011 to raise money for charity and fulfil a personal ambition. The challenge is to complete the gruelling 980 mile journey in just 14 days between May 11-24 2011 on his trusty 30 year old Raleigh Clubman!

Jer's 30 year old Raleigh Clubman

A huge motivation for the challenge is to raise money for the charity, Never Give Up, a foundation that was set up by Jer’s wife, Pamela, in honour of their daughter, Abbi. Abbi passed away in 2010, aged just 17, after a valiant battle against cancer. In the last months of her short life, Abbi turned her thoughts, not to her own struggle, but to her family, friends and the numerous medical professionals who supported her tirelessly. She recognised that in many cases, those looking after a loved one with a terminal illness need support too and Never Give Up was founded to serve that principle. I would urge everyone to check out the official website (http://www.never-give-up.org.uk) to find out more…

It might be worth mentioning right from the start that although Jer has always liked riding bikes, he certainly isn’t an avid cyclist, in fact, he’s only been on the odd Sunday bike ride in the last 20 years! So make no mistake, this is certainly not going to be easy. Jer will have to cycle an average of 70 miles a day ‘up hill and down dell’ in all weather conditions and without any day offs! Jer is currently in training for the big event but owing to hefty work commitments, even this is somewhat behind ‘schedule’. The most he’s been able to do so far is 23 miles in one go and that was cut short because of brake failure down a rather steep hill! The perils of an old bike! All the cycling gurus reckon that he should be cycling 40-45 miles several times a week by now – fat chance! But, we all know he CAN do it…and we’re all 100% behind him.

I am Jer’s brother, Richard, and I will be his support team throughout the ride. The plan is to start at Lands End on May 11th and stay at Youth Hostels and cheap motels all the way up to John O’Groats to finish on the 24th. The route Jer has chosen closely follows the one that Simon Brown describes in his excellent book, A Cycling Guide From Lands End to John O’Groats. Jer is keen to set off early and is hoping to set a pace of around 12 miles an hour. With breaks, we hope to finish by 3pm each day, allowing enough recuperation time, and any bike repairs, before it all starts again the next day. Jer will be on a strict carb heavy diet during the ride and it’s my job to keep him fed, watered and on the right road! It’s quite likely that I will get to know the nation’s bike shops pretty well too!

In the final month or so before the ride, Jer will be intensifying his training and YOU can follow the ups and downs of his preparation here on Jeremysbikeride.co.uk. I will be reporting on all the latest news with photos and even the odd video and once we get going, you can follow his progress on a daily basis. We’re even hoping that you’ll be able to stalk follow him LIVE as he wends his way across Britain. At this point, Jer and I would like to thank the enormous contribution made by Jack McConnell of Voltronik Web Design for the extraordinary design and implementation of this website.

The serious side to this challenge is to raise as much money as possible for Never Give Up in memory of Abbi and Jer is asking for your generous support to reach his target of £1,000. There are lots of friends, family and colleagues waiting in the wings to pledge their support and we will shortly announce the introduction of an online sponsorship form and downloadable print version so that we can officially start our totaliser. Rest assured, ALL the money raised will go to Never Give Up.

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