Author Archive

“He only did it” Day 14: Somewhere on the A30 near Newquay to Lands End

May 22nd, 2011 | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Well the day has come. The final leg of the challenge and the end of an epic journey from John O’Groats to Lands End for ‘Never Give Up’.

After 13 days of cycling from the most northerly tip of the UK to the most southerly, Jer is on the home straight and the end is almost in sight. All that stands between him and the fulfilment of an ambition and a tribute to the memory of Abbi is 34 miles. But would those last miles treat him kindly or does fate have something left up it’s sleeve to dash his hopes…

From the off, the weather was ominous. Cornwall had treated us to overnight rain and decided to throw in strong gusty wind this morning for Jer’s cycling pleasure. As Jer cycled away from the start point just after 8am, the wind was swirling around him and the wind turbines over the next hill were spinning in quick time. The wind wasn’t against him exactly but swiping his side. I held back for a while and overtook him after the first couple of miles. For the first time, Jer didn’t put his thumb up to me and I knew he was already finding it hard going. As I drove on to the 10 mile stop, the clouds joined forces ahead to form a single cloud laden with rain. Just as I passed Redruth, the heavens opened and it was as fierce as any rain Jer had faced. I winced as I knew that within minutes, it would meet Jer head on. Setting down at 9 miles, I watched the cloud roll over the top of me to reveal blue skies. I hoped they were the ones predicted to be with us for the rest of remaining miles.

When Jer reached me, he was not happy. He wasn’t concerned about the weather, he had more important problems. The bearings in one of pedals had gone and every few turns it jammed and tried flipping his foot over. We had spare pedals but they were old ones. One of them had to go on and Jer wasted no time in replacing the pedal. In doing so, he cross-threaded it!  A quick ride round the lay-by showed that it was oscillating each time he pedalled. He was concerned that if he put too much pressure on it, it might work it’s way loose. He was more than mad. Jer cursed all the way through drinking his soup and eating a snack and barely waited for it to go down before setting off. I found a Halfords in Penzance if needed and looked for bike hire shops just in case it went completely pear-shaped. We agreed that I should go to every lay-by from now on.

I stopped at 13 miles and Jer reached me still unhappy. Ahead of us was a long, steep hill and he asked me to wait for 20 minutes to give him plenty of time to reach the top. I did, and as I made it up over the hill myself I dreaded seeing him too soon. Each mile that he was not in my sights was a good mile and each empty lay-by was a comforting sign that he was limping on. I passed him after the 17 mile point and, encouragingly, he put his thumb up. I stopped at the next lay-by. He paused only to acknowledge that the pedal was holding but he was having to push harder than he wanted as the wind was in his face. And it was very strong – he was cycling hard down the hills just to keep going. It was not how it was meant to be today and it was fast becoming a real trial of stamina and bloody mindedness.

Once again, he asked me to hang back for 20 minutes to be safe. There was just over 16 miles to go and it was nail biting. Jer was waiting at the next lay-by at Crowlas and my heart sank as I assumed something was wrong. I needn’t have worried, he wanted to stop for a cuppa and refill his water bottle. There was 13.5 miles to go and the bike was holding…for now at least.

I hung back once more knowing that the next time I caught him up, we would have reached Penzance. Sure enough, I passed Jer on the ring road around the town and he gave me a thumbs up. I pulled in at a makeshift lay-by near a sign saying “Lands End 9”. It was very gratifying to know that Jer was running out of road. We played leap frog a few more miles until the signs for Lands End announced that there was only 4 miles to go. Jer could push it that far if needed and was no longer concerned if the pedal would hold. I followed him for much of the remaining few miles, taking video as he passed Sennen. As the distinctive white facade of the Lands End complex came into view, I overtook Jer to video him coming through the entrance. I went into the car park and took more video of Jer as he passed that finish line. What an achievement! Very well done Jer. It was so worth it and I’m honoured to have been there with you.

There are so many people that we would like to thank for their unreserved support both on the lead up to the challenge and, in particular, during this journey. It’s times like this that you realise just how special your family and friends are and it’s truly humbling. For Jer, during those dark moments in the wind and rain as well as those more serene moments when the sun was shining and the wind was at his back, the thought of those nearest either pushed him on or made him look up and smile.

But that’s not quite the end…we took scores of photos and many minutes of video footage of the journey and we will be posting it here soon. We will also be compiling a behind the scenes look at how it was all done. We will also be telling you how to turn those pledges into cash now that Jer has completed the challenge.

I’ll leave the final words to Jer:

“I will smile whenever I hear your name and be proud that you called me Dad”

20110522-091525.jpg

“It’s all gone a bit Bodmin” Day 13: Okehampton to somewhere on the A30 near Newquay

May 21st, 2011 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

We spent last night at Okehampton YHA. Next to the railway station, the main building is a converted goods shed. This one was full with school kids so we were placed 5 minutes away at another YHA building called ‘The Filter House’ on the edge of Dartmoor. A fairly recently converted barn/outbuilding with two single sex dorms, it was tucked away in woodland on the very edge of the National Park. We were put in an 8 bed dorm but we were the only 2 male guests and ended up having the whole room to ourselves! A tasteful conversion in a quiet location with good self catering facilities, and a powerful shower, it was only let down by rock hard vinyl mattresses! Both Jer and I didn’t manage an uninterrupted night’s sleep.

The weather ended the day yesterday in sunshine so we took the opportunity of taking the van up as high as we could into Dartmoor. The weather was calm and the visibility was so good that we could see to the very distant horizon. The scenery was stunning. Sheep and ponies were grazing on the lower pasture slopes with the green fields giving way to the distinctive purple and browns of the heather and the yellows of the gorse as the landscape ascended to craggy tors. Marred only by the distant rumble of the A30, we marvelled at the stunning vista and captured it on film to remember it all. We even put on a little music and had an impromptu dance…to White Horses. It was the altitude you know. A spectacle to be sure.

We were both up with the lark the next morning thanks to our lovely mattresses and busying away with preparations for this penultimate (hopefully) day of the challenge. After all the cycling and in all conditions, Jer was visibly apprehensive about the ride today. The long hills in Devon yesterday had taken their toll and his legs were tight, the tips of some of his fingers had lost sensation, and the general lack of a good night’s sleep was making him very fatigued. There wasn’t much left in the tank and Jer knew the day ahead could be as bad as yesterday. The mileage may be less today but it becomes irrelevant if all you’re doing is climbing hills.

We agreed to adopt a shorter stop strategy today, and start promptly, so if it did turn into a long day, he could get enough breaks and also have the hours to complete the leg.

We set off at 7:35am in Okehampton town centre. For the most part, we would be following the A30 all the way down to Mitchell, close to the turn off to Truro. The Sat Nav predicted 57 miles in 4.5 hours cycling time but with all the hills, we think TomTom must have used Lance Armstrong as the measuring stick.

So, we ignored the predicted time and Jer set off. I waited for a while and caught up with him as he had just finished a long climb out of Okehampton. Next was the A30 and being an early Saturday morning, the traffic was light. For once the lay-bys were predictably placed with good warning before they were reached. This would help me measure out 5 mile stretches and wait to see if Jer wanted to stop. He pulled in to the 5 and 10 mile lay-bys but was happy to go on despite cycling up some long inclines already. I stopped again at 15 miles and this time Jer paused for a cup of tea, a banana and cereal bar. At this point there was a fairly brisk breeze and overcast skies that looked like they might drop a shower at any time. It was rather fresh too and Jer felt it even though he was exercising hard.

The next 5 miles crossed the border into Cornwall, our last county in this epic journey. Cornwall greeted Jer with a shower and 2 incredibly long climbs just short of Launceston. He declined the stop at the next 5 mile stop but pulled in at the next for more food. Jer had now cycled 27.5 miles and the road had steadily climbed nearly all the way. The reason – Bodmin Moor. Not as dramatic as Dartmoor perhaps but bleak nonetheless, and windy too – very windy! And sure enough, it had pitched round to hit Jer square in the face.

My next stop was up on the highest point that the road passed over Bodmin and it was both windy and cold. I took a video of Jer climbing the long hill towards me but he didn’t want to stop. He just wanted to “get off the hill”. I went on to the next stop which was at 40 miles and knew he would want to rest there. It was lunchtime when Jer reached me and he did stop for a bite to eat and a rest. Jer declined a stop after the next 5 miles and the one after that principally because he wanted to see the back of the dual carriageway as soon as he could. It had also started raining, not heavy but that persistent drizzle that can soak you in no time.

I moved on again to the next stop at 54 miles just 2 short of the end for today. Jer paused this time for a final cup of tea and then said he wanted to carry on for another 8 miles. This would push Jer past 60 miles for the day and leave just 34 miles for the last leg tomorrow. Jer completed the extra miles in quick time and had cycled a total of 62 miles in a little under 6 hours. Not bad for a very tired man and a road that presented more ups than downs.

The 15th different stopover in as many days would be the ‘Trewinda Lodge’ in Newquay about 10 miles away. We arrived at the B&B around 4pm and was greeted by Paula, the owner. Our accommodation for the night is a very comfortable, if compact, room with bunk beds. That takes us back – we haven’t shared bunk beds since we were kids. For old times sake, Jer had the top bunk. A really big thank you must go to Paula for giving Jer £10 back from the room charge as sponsorship. The generosity from perfect strangers throughout the course of this journey has been truly astonishing. It restores your faith doesn’t it. All we can do in return is shamelessly plug the Trewinda Lodge. You can visit their website at http://www.trewinda-lodge.co.uk/index.html.

Well, here we are, on the eve of the final leg of an amazing 880 mile cycle challenge from John O’Groats to Lands End in just 14 days. It doesn’t seem like 13 days ago that Jer pedalled those first metres at the other end of the UK. So many miles, so much wind and rain, so many highs and lows and so much money raised for Never Give Up. We have an idea of the total raised, and all we wan to say that it has surpassed our wildest expectations. But…there’s still time to pledge your support and raise an even bigger total so please, please, please, if you haven’t yet had a chance to sponsor Jer, why don’t you do it now. It only takes a minute to fill out the online form on the website at https://www.jeremysbikeride.co.uk/support/. You can also download a sponsor form and print it off if you wish.

Tune in tomorrow to see if he pulled it off. For those who want Jer to fail, pledge a huge amount of money and I will promise to let his tyres down!

20110521-070632.jpg

“The concrete jungle” Day 8: Carnforth to Warrington

May 16th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Our accommodation for last night was the YHA hostel at Arnside overlooking the northern edge of Morecombe Bay. An Edwardian building, about 8 miles west of Carnforth, the hostel was very well run with a friendly atmosphere. It even had a licensed bar! Those whiskies went down nicely didn’t they Kev? We were in a 4 bed dorm but with no 4th guest, we had the room to ourselves. Being the smallest, Kev ‘won’ the top bunk and we settled down to an evening of chatter and lots of laughs. By 9:30, Jer was staring at the insides of his eyelids and it wasn’t long before the talking faded.

We started this morning with porridge and a cup of tea before packing our things in the van and setting off back to Carnforth for the start point. This is where we also said goodbye to Kev who was taking the next train back to Salisbury. Thanks Kev, it was good to see you. Kev sent us a text later in the day and not content with raising £500, he got chatting to a guy on the train who was so touched by Jer’s challenge that he gave him £20! Kev had no sponsorship form with him either!

The route today would largely take us down the A6 and A49 to Warrington through the towns of Lancaster, Preston and Wigan. The predicted mileage is around 60 and the weather forecast is…wait for it…rain. Oh goody!

The short cycle to Lancaster was mostly urban with only short glimpses of countryside. We both joined a train of vehicles through Lancaster and at one point Jer overtook me as it took more than 20 minutes to get through rush hour traffic before seeing ‘daylight’ on the other side. For the next 10 miles or so towards the first stop at 19 miles, it was a mixture of suburban and village scenes with some open countryside. At least the road was flat and we only encountered moderate traffic once Lancaster had been left behind. But it was raining hard and it wasn’t going to stop any time soon. I knew Jer would have his head down and crunching miles behind. The saving grace was that there was little in the way of scenery to miss.

Despite the rain, Jer was in good spirits when he caught up with me at our first stop just outside of Garstang. A pot noodle and a cereal bar later, Jer wasted little time in getting back on his bike and setting off for another 20 miles. Preston was next and a bit less traffic to follow through the town now that rush hour was over. The urban sprawl finally gave way and next was a series of small towns and villages straddling the A49. I stopped just  beyond Coppull on the outskirts of Wigan at 40 miles.

We decided to put in a stop between Wigan and Warrington and then another on the far side of Warrington so that we could pick up the route from there in the morning and be certain of missing any rush hour traffic. Jer finally finished the leg after nearly 6 hours of cycling and 60.5 miles. A lowly average (for Jer) but navigating the towns and cities that were strewn along his route, and the persistent rain, took it’s toll. It wasn’t the most scenic of journeys either and I’m pretty sure that it won’t feature in Jer’s most memorable days of the challenge.

After 8 days of cycling, Jer has passed through the halfway stage – a fantastic achievement in itself. And he’s done it in some style. if my maths is correct, he has cycled 525 miles since John O’Groats, an average of over 65 miles a day – quite astonishing.

Going into the second week has prompted both of us to reflect on the highs and lows of the days behind us and the reasons why it’s all being done.  Inevitably, thoughts turn to Abbi and I know that in the brief pauses between planning the route for the day ahead, looking up at a mountain range or staring down a valley, Abbi is not far from Jer’s thoughts. On miserable wet and windy days, I’m sure it’s for this reason that he ploughs on at a relentless pace. The support from all our family and friends, and even friends and friends, is truly humbling and there is no question that it spurs him on.

Tomorrow, Jer cycles to Ironbridge. We are promised better weather and open countryside….we’ll see.

It rained. Day 7: Gretna to Carnforth

May 15th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

We were lucky to find accommodation for last night around Gretna given that most had been snapped up weeks ago for the Radio 1 Big Weekend in Carlisle. The hotel that I’d picked out when planning the challenge had availability but suddenly hiked its price by 50% when I called to confirm. Well there’s a surprise! A quick call to Carlisle Tourist Information and by sheer fluke a B&B had called in moments earlier to say they had vacancies. I spoke to Carol, the owner of Kirkpatrick House B&B directly and promptly booked at a very reasonable rate. Carol even took a few pounds off when I explained what Jer was doing! What’s more, the B&B was only a few miles from Gretna – perfect. Kirkpatrick House is a gorgeous small manor with large rooms and high ceilings. Carol was a wonderful hostess – we were treated to coffee and biscuits in front of a roaring fire when we arrived and a splendid cooked breakfast in the morning with local bacon and sausages, and eggs from her own hens. Even the jam and marmalade was home-made. I would recommend Kirkpatrick House to anyone. The address is Kirkpatrick-house.co.uk. Thank you Carol – hope to see you again one day.

Despite the lavish breakfast, we were back at the start point in Carlisle at 7:45. Jer was off once more.

Our destination today is Carnforth looking out over Morecombe Bay. The predicted mileage is around 65. The route passes through Carlisle on the A6 down to Penrith and over Shap on the edge of the Lake District. Jer then heads for Kendall and onto the finish at Carnforth.

Rain was predicted for today and it was certainly grey skies as we left Carlisle. The rain wasn’t far behind and after passing through the town, light rain was already falling. The first 5 miles was spent going through a myriad of traffic lights that seemed to typify Carlisle. The sight of rolling countryside and green pasture fields outside the urban sprawl was much more gratifying. The terrain was moderate but the wind was against Jer today. For this part of the leg, at least, it was tolerable.

Our first stop was at 19 miles just before Penrith and the countryside was much the same. The rain had picked up a little but the effects were calmed by a hot brew and a mug of soup. After 6 days of cycling, Jer appears to face each day with less trepidation and more confident in his ability to handle the rigours of the challenge. It was for this reason, I think, that he seemed very relaxed about the next section today…reaching Shap summit at 430 metres above sea level. Sure enough, after passing through Penrith and the village of Clifton with it’s beautiful apsidal church, the ascent began. The lush pasture fields separated by a chequer board pattern of dry stone walls gave way to open, brown scrubby moorland with hills rising on either side. We were on the eastern edge of the Lake District National Park and it was bleak up there today. The rain was still moderate but was being pushed hard by a very strong cross wind – it was piercing. We agreed to stop at 30 miles. As it turned out this went beyond Shap summit and back down into the valley and a return to pasture fields. I took the time to pause on the peak and take some photos before the sharp descent. I knew Jer was going to have as much trouble going down the other side as he would have going up. I passed a cyclist coming up the opposite way and a side wind nearly knocked him over. At the next stop, Jer told me that it nearly happened to him too.

After another cup of tea, and a consulting the maps, Jer set off for the other side of Kendall and our next stop at 40 miles. I went ahead and sent Jer a text after I’d gone through the town to help with directions as the road we wanted split, turned, veered and generally made a nuisance of itself out of the town. Brief stops at 50 and 58 miles, the last being just beyond Milnthorpe, and Jer did the last few miles into Carnforth to finish a miserable day in the pouring rain. In all, Jer completed 63 miles in 6 hours averaging just a smidge over 10 miles an hour. Once more, the weather was the victor and much of Jer’s view was looking down at the tarmac to avoid the driving rain. Lovely countryside but it’s difficult to appreciate any of it when you can’t raise your head to see it!

We deliberately finished the day at Carnforth railway station so that we could meet our brother-in-law, Kev. Kev sacrificed a short break after a long working week to come up on the train from Salisbury today. Kev will be staying with us overnight at our hostel at Arnside, just a few miles away before making the long trip back. The three of us went out to dinner in Carnforth this evening and Kev took the opportunity to present Jer with a pledge note for an incredible £500! Kev has spent the last month or so collecting pledges from friends and colleagues – the most amazing part is that none of them know Jer personally. What can you say…

I’ll take the high road and you take the low road. Day 3: Dingwall to Fort William

May 11th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

The Garve Hotel. Interesting. Suffice to say we were the youngest guests by at least half a century! We declined the offer of dinner in the main dining room, which was a shame because when we passed the restaurant the other guests were being entreated to a rousing rendition of Delilah by the hotel singer. Everyone was joining in – if only we knew the words…

Ater stocking up with food for the next couple of days at Tesco in Dingwall, we wiled away the evening back at the hotel discussing the day ahead and watching a couple of favourite Laurel and Hardy movies. We know how to live!

After another good night’s sleep, we were up and about at 5.30am for an instant pot-porridge (we were too early for the hotel breakfast) and a cuppa before setting off to the start point back at Dingwall. Sticking to our 7am starts, Jer was cycling off into the distance for the long day ahead.

The route today would take us on a journey inland down through the Great Glen and alongside the magnificent lochs of Ness and Lochie and the Caledonian Canal to Fort William. The ride would start just outside of Dingwall at the junction of the A835 and A862. First heading towards Muir of Ord and Beauly, we would join the A831 near Drumnadrochit and then the A82 all the way down to Fort William. The predicted mileage is staggering today, a whopping 71 miles! This is further than Jer has ever cycled in one stint by some margin…which, incidentally, he did just yesterday! Well, that was the plan anyway…

The strong winds that made cycling so difficult yesterday had abated leaving a calm, sunny morning. The weather forecast predicted sunshine and showers for much of the day with a lightish south-westerly wind.

I went straight to the first scheduled stop at 20 miles, just short of Drumnadrochit. Jer’s consistent pace makes it fairly easy to predict his ETA and it was because of this I thought it strange that he was running late. I tidied the van, began the blog, watched deer run across the field in front of me, took some photos and waited. Fifteen minutes became 30, then 45 and still no sign of him. Finally, I got a call from to say that he realised that he had taken a wrong turn but only when he had reached C?? about 14 miles away from me.

I typed the village into TomTom and took off. About 10 miles down the road, I caught up with him pedalling away from C labouring up a rather steep incline. We quickly bundled the bike into the back of the van and headed towards the first stop…once again. We worked out that Jer had done an extra 6.5 miles – as if he needed the extra challenge today!

Fortunately, the detour was soon forgotten in quick time with the appearance of Loch Ness. Although the wind picked up as it swept across the loch, for the most part the weather stayed comfortably dry with only a few sunny showers. The scenery has everything, wide open views of the water with hills rising above to narrow tree-lined ‘avenues’ hugging the road.

Despite the extra miles, we kept to another 20 mile stop just beyond Invergarry and Jer certainly needed the break after 47 miles. He was only too aware that there was still another 24 to go. On his way after refuelling, Jer was soon dropping down to Loch Lochie and onto the final leg towards Fort William. We split the final stage in two equal sections to give Jer a further break before stopping near our hostel for the night, Glen Nevis. The hostel sits in the shadow of Ben Nevis and in a magnificent setting – a welcome sight for one weary cyclist.

 

Oh, the wind, the wind…Day 2: Helmsdale to Dingwall

May 10th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

A very restful evening was spent in Helmsdale Hostel and a chance to reflect on the day’s cycling and the one ahead. The hostel was very quiet with only two other guests, a couple from Southampton who were on their last leg of a tandem ride from Lands End. It was both wonderful and daunting to hear about what to expect in the days ahead. Some great cycling tips were shared too. By the way, we would highly recommend the hostel if you ever find yourself in this neck of the woods – good decor, comfy sofas and very clean. The roaring wood burner is a nice touch on a chilly evening too.

After the best night’s sleep since leaving home, the obligatory porridge and cuppa for breakfast, Jer set off on the 56 miles to Dingwall. The weather forecast for today predicted light cloud with showers and sunny spells and moderately light winds. It was certainly all of the above but without the rain…at 7am at least.

As yesterday, today’s route followed the A9 for much of the way hugging the North Atlantic coast down through Brora, Golspie, Loch Fleet, Domoch Firth, Alness and into Helmsdale on the A862. The first 20 miles was pretty flat (for the Highlands) and so was the next 20 when there a scheduled stop near Balnagown River.  The only real difference was the appearance of rain for much of the ride between the 20 and 40 mile stops. With it came stronger winds, and in particular some vicious side winds going over the causeway across Domoch Firth. The rain gave way to short showers but the wind never really died down and although the remainder of the ride continued to be relatively level, the wind made it much, much harder than it should have been. At some points, Jer was cycling hard…downhill! Despite blowing a hoolie, Jer decided to extend the today’s leg just beyond Dingwall itself to make an easier start in the morning. In total, Jer clocked up 59 miles  in 5 hours and 14 minutes of cycling today. Not only the furthest yet but the furthest he’s ever cycled in one day!

We’re staying at a budget hotel tonight rather than a hostel as there aren’t any around Dingwall. So we’re off to Garve to chill for a few hours before going back to Dingwall for fresh supplies.

After two days of great cycling, Jer is in high spirits and is both flattered and extremely grateful for the constant enthusiasm and support for his challenge from family and friends. Sponsorship and pledges are coming in every day and the generosity of everyone is astonishing.

And we’re off! Day 1: John O’Groats to Helmsdale

May 9th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

At this time of year, and in this part of the world, it gets light well before 5am and we were nearly up early enough to see the sunrise. What a difference a day makes. Gone were the clouds, rain, and howling gale and in was a clear blue sky and lighter winds. After a porridge breakfast, Jer was eager to set off and finally start the challenge. With only two other guests in the hostel (both end to end cyclists), it was very quiet…too quiet in fact – we couldn’t find the hostel manager to open up the bike shed! She appeared in the end, a little bleary-eyed, just after 7am.

We drove the short distance to John O’Groats and Jer kindly posed for various photos and videos around the start line before taking the cue to ride off into the distance…and head for our first target, Helmsdale, 55 miles away. The route today was very straightforward, a short stretch of A9 before joining the A99 that hugged the coast all the way down to Helmsdale.

I drove ahead and found suitable spots at the 20 mile and 40 mile markers – both, as it turned out, on the forecourts of abandoned petrol stations at Thrumster and Castlehill. We attempted to make a cup of tea at the first stop but Sean’s (aka Shane Lightning) petrol stove produced a little more flame than expected – more of a fireball than a gentle burner! Fortunately Jer managed to wrestle it to the ground and off the flat-bed. We will try something else tomorrow, probably the flask method…

Apart from nearly setting light to the pick-up, Jer’s first day was comfortingly uneventful although one long climb certainly dispelled any idea that this was going to be easy. A quick stop to relieve the onset of cramp and to get the colour back in his lips was all that was needed this time. But…there are many stories from other cyclists that there’s worse to come. Oh goody.

Jer dropped down into Helmsdale around 2pm having cycled for 4 hours 40 minutes at an average speed of just under 12 miles an hour. Nicely done Jer and a well deserved rest this evening.

We can’t close without thanking everyone for sending their good wishes today. It’s so great to know that Jer is being supported by all our family and friends. Please keep it up, it means a huge amount.

20110509-073348.jpg

I thought we were starting at Lands End…

May 4th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Yep, that’s right…there’s been a change of plan! After Jer spent a couple of training rides with his head into the wind, it suddenly occurred that it might be worth looking at the long range forecast to check the wind direction as it’s proving a real energy sapper. Turns out that it’s looking better to cycle in the opposite direction and start from John O’Groats. So we’re off to the Highlands…and what’s more, we’ve decided to go up this Saturday (7th) instead of setting off next Tuesday as planned. There’s nothing like a bit of spontaneity! A quick get together on Monday night and we’ve worked out the first five days ride and booked the accommodation as well. Phew! It’s going to take a couple of days up to John O’Groats and the big ride starts on Monday (9th). A big thank you in advance to the Welldens for putting us up on Saturday night.

Aside from last minute change of plan, Jer’s training has been going really, really well. In the final lead up to the challenge, Jer decided to put in long rides every other day to build some endurance strength. Most of these have been over 40 miles including a 50 mile cycle this morning. And he’s still averaging between 12-14 miles an hour – exactly on target for the challenge. There’s one more ride planned for Friday and that’s it until the big day!

Don’t forget, you can sponsor Jer via the website and it takes just a minute to do so. So why wait, pledge your support and help a very worthwhile charity.

The longest training ride yet…an incredible 53 miles!

April 24th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Jer has rounded off the Easter weekend with a stunning 53.2 mile ride in just over four hours and is his longest training ride yet!

In just over a week of training, Jer has clocked up around 250 miles and has easily surpassed his training regime for this stage of the build up to the big ride. The experts reckon that you should be cycling two thirds of your anticipated daily ride 3-4 times a week – that’s around 135-180 miles in total. Given Jer’s work commitments, it’s not going to be easy to put in long rides during the week but who cares, he’s easily doing the miles!

The long rides have not be totally without incident though – Jer has quickly found out that long rides gives him pins and needles in both hands! However, a trip to the bike shop yesterdsy and the purchase of some thicker gloves seems to have sorted that one out. A handful of sweatbands are also going to be essential if the warm weather continues. The bike’s holding up very nicely too given it’s age and Jer feels a little safer now that the brakes have been upgraded this week!

A big thank you for all the pledges received so far – what wonderful family and friends we have! But please keep those pledges coming in. There is still some way to go to reach that £1,000 target so please spread the word.

www.jeremysbikeride.co.uk

Short video….

April 22nd, 2011 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

LEJOG 2011 training