Countdown

Time is rapidly passing me by. The days are getting longer. The weather is getting better (despite yesterday’s attempt to wash the house away) and the countdown has definitely begun.

I’m only 25 days away from the 100km Help for Heroes ride – which doesn’t scare me too much. And only 48 days away from the much more terrifying prospect of the John O’Groats to Lands End ride for Re~Cycle. And please, feel free to donate to either (or both!).

I have been cycling more and more as the weather has got better (and I had a new bike to ride) and I think I’ve got everything ready. Well, I did think that, but then I’ve decided a smaller lightweight sleeping bag would be a good idea and the inflatable sleeping mat I’d bought went POP! the other day when I was testing it…

I’ve managed to save a lot of weight overall (and a whole set of panniers), so that’s all good news and the recycled bike I’m doing it on has been on a few test rides and is performing well now that the annoying squeak in the headset has been hunted down and eliminated.

So… Here’s the plan.

Saturday 16th July

Finish work at 6pm and then head to Manchester with my mum in the driving seat.

Sunday 17th July

Head from Manchester to Wick and enjoy my last night in a proper bed for a while.

Monday 18th July

Cycle the 125 miles and over 4500 feet of climbing from John O’Groats to Inverness and camp overnight – hoping that I remembered to pack everything.

John-OGroats-630x420

Tuesday 19th July

Cycle the 120 miles from Inverness to Perth and camp overnight.

Wednesday 20th July

Cycle the 145 miles from Perth all the way over to the west coast of Scotland to Cairnryan, jump on the ferry and head to Northern Ireland and then cycle the last 5 miles to the campsite in Larne. Pass out (hopefully in the tent).

Thursday 21st July

Cycle from Larne in Northern Ireland all the way down to Dublin in Eire where, after 134 miles a hotel bed, and maybe a bar, will be waiting for me.

Friday 22nd July

Cycle to Dublin Ferry Port, hop over to Holyhead and cycle 135 miles through north Wales to Hanley. At this point I’m still not sure whether I’ll end up at a campsite, a hotel or on a friend’s sofa!

Saturday 23rd July

It’s 148 miles to Bristol where I’ll be met by a friend and we’ll cycle in over the Clifton Suspension Bridge then I’ll crash on a sofa (after the promised dinner in a Lebanese restaurant – I’ll hold you to that Mark!).

Clifton-Suspension-Bridge-at-Sunset

Sunday 24th July

113 miles from Bristol to Okehampton (possibly with a hangover) where I’ll meet up with the family for a meal and then spend the night guerilla camping on the edge of Dartmoor.

Monday 25th July

The final day! Okehampton to Lands End. It’s only 102 miles, but there’s nearly 5000 feet of climbing! To be met by the family and driven to wherever the hell I’ll be recovering for the next six days at the side of a swimming pool…

FRONT-COVER-iStock_00000161-676x239

So there you go – over one thousand miles and a climb and descent greater than going up and down Mount Everest… Makes the 100km look like a walk in the park.

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