John O’Groats to Lands End

Richard Wicks, Ant Tribe and Michael Hall from Barton Rovers Seniors Reserves Cup Winning team took just 11 days to reach Lands End from John O’Groats –  there were some challenging moments, and of course some fantastic experiences.

The ride was done to raise some funds to go towards The Duchess of Kent Hospice.

The Duchess of Kent House (hospice) has 16 in-patient beds, day therapy facilities (3 days a week), out-patients and a Family Support Service (bereavement), providing palliative (hospice) care for the population of west and central Berkshire. In the last 15 years over 12,000 patients have been treated and cared-for by a team of 50 (full-time equivalent) consultants, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational and speech therapists, admin & site staff, etc. This care continues after death for those relatives who wish it through the FSS. All care is provided free of charge, according to need. As with all parts of the National Health Service there is never enough money to pay for all aspects of what we technically call ‘specialist palliative care’. This is where the independent charity Duchess of Kent House Trust comes in. Since 2002, the Duchess of Kent House Trust (independent charity) has raised £1,500,000 for the unit to pay for the Family Support Service, 2 in-patient beds otherwise not available, the dietician, chaplaincy, psychologist, aromatherapist, and equipment. Please support this local charity caring for local patients and their families. Thank you very much.

Here is an insight into the 11 days:-

We averaged 85 miles a day, topping 117 miles one day which was gruelling.  We were very fortunate with the weather, taking into consideration the widespread flooding we only had torrential rain one day.   Physically it was of course demanding, Cod Liver Oil, Paracetamol, Ibropufen, Deep Heat & copious amounts of Vaseline were the norm.

Mentally it was exhausting, cycling on the A9 through Scotland or the A30 though Devon/Cornwall with lorries flying past your ears & continually concentrating on the 10 or so metres ahead of you to avoid cats-eyes, stones & holes was tough.  One day I couldn’t even remember how to change gears – bizarre!  We had 15 punctures between us which was demoralising and many running repairs which often resulted in us finding the nearest Halfords.

Some of the views through Scotland & the lakes were dramatic.  Climbing for hours to 1500ft on a sunny day & seeing for miles was breath taking.  Then of course hurtling back down at 40mph trusting a tyre that is 23mm wide certainly gets the adrenalin pumping!  I was really pleased all our prep work paid off, from taking the obvious like puncture repair kits, we also used a spare tyre, spare screws, black tape to keep parts of the bike together, addresses of bike shops en route – I even found a bungee rope on the roadside as we needed to tighten one of our bags!   We won’t miss the alarm going off at 5.20am every morning or ice-cold baths every night (altho the baths definitely helped), climbing hill after hill, repairing punctures & the daily diet of cereal bars!

I know I’m a bossy git & find it difficult to relax so hopefully I can learn something from the experience.  Reaching Lands End with the sun to greet us was an amazing feeling.  It was an awesome experience & I enjoyed all of it. Some everlasting memories has to be the remoteness & beauty of the Scottish borders to climbing “Shap Hill” in the lakes…and the banter all 3 of us had to keep us going – that was brilliant.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMbdaesOozo&feature=youtu.be&noredirect=1

We hope the video montage gives you an idea of our journey.

Geordie, Wicksy and Ant

Comments are closed.