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Final thoughts – Sam

I am so pleased that all of us managed to complete the ride of more than 1000 miles from Land’s End from John O’Groats. Before we set off, I was worried about how Norman would cope and if he would do himself damage by trying too hard. Actually, he was amazing, being first up many of the hills. The support of Skedaddle made it easier or simply possible for all of us to complete the ride in good humour.

The support offered so many advantages, not least of which was freedom from worry, all the logistics, navigation, finding the best routes and cafes was done for us. All we had to do was turn the pedals. Additionally, the leader, Pete broke each days ride into bite size chunks that were not scary, so that even a long day of the UKs two highest road passes seemed manageable. It really helped with the mental parts of the challenge.

Another huge mental lift was the sponsor money that poured in, each time we heard a friend or relative had given us money, we had a little encouragement to push on. Thank you all so much. It really did make the ride seem easier. I am very proud to be associated with the wonderful charities that do such great things.

I had thought that I had done a lot of cycling in this country but of 1060 miles or so I had only done about 50 of them before! I really enjoyed finding about parts of the country I did not know before.

We were incredibly lucky to have mostly dry weather and tailwinds, this made the cycling a joy and not a chore. I am not sure we would have succeeded with wet headwinds day after day.

There were so many highlights it is impossible to pick one or even a top ten this close to the finish. It was truly inspiring to get to the top of a hill or around a shoulder of land and get a new view with different character as we travelled through the different regions of the country. I loved seeing the wild flowers changing as we travelled across different geology. We cycled over many iconic bridges, old and new, with great views as we did so, its not only the tops of hills that give views but we did learn that a downhill to a bridge means only one thing – an uphill after.

Sadly the worst bits were all related to cars – overtaking on hills approaching a bend. So many ‘lucky’ moments that were avoidable. The next worst bit was the midges but we only had one bad day.

Overall, it was a wonderful holiday and I feel fitter and mentally relaxed, proud of our achievement and wanting to do another long cycle tour but I have no desire to repeat LEJOG, it could only be an anti-climax if the weather were worse and the views were obscured.

Thank you for your interest and your sponsorship.

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Day 5 – cheesy day – Sam

Today we all rode up Cheddar Gorge and Chewed on some local made cheese at Chew Lake, all washed down with some very cheesy puns…. The Munster climb up Cheddar Gorge was (E)dam hard so we had to go Caerphilly, but the downhill after was all to Brie-f.

More cheesy puns grater-fully received.

 

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Another weekend, another ride

Another weekend and another ride. We were invited to camp over with one of the managers of Justice First, who we are raising money for and decided to cycle the long and hilly route, over several climbs where the heather is coming into flower. We camped over in Rosedale. It was a remarkably sociable ride, we were joined for part of it by two friends, one of whom is about to set off on her own 1000 mile trip, unsupported by bike from York to Cadiz (Spain). Good luck Elaine. We plan a ‘1000 mile club dinner’ when we get back. We then met up with some friends by chance on a hill up towards Ralph Cross and had a lovely evening with Pete and Sheila are doing up their home so we camped in their field and cycled home on Sunday, we dodged the showers with a pub and café stop and then met one of the Justice First case workers who just happened to be driving past as we struggled up the last climb of the weekend and stopped to offer encouragement.  Two days cycling in the North Yorkshire Moors at this time of year is completely wonderful.

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Why I am cycling Land’s End to John O’Groats

A few days ago, a friend asked me if I would check out a child’s bicycle which had been donated for the child of an asylum seeker. After getting the brakes working again, I set off to deliver it to a house in Stockton. Although the boy had said he knew how to ride a bike, he had never actually been on one before so a quick lesson was needed. He was a fast learner. As you can see it made his day and seeing the joy on this young man’s face made mine. It is for things like this that I am cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for Justice First who work with Asylum Seekers in Stockton.