Lands End to John O'Groats

Lands End to John O’Groats. On me bike!

From lockdown to John O’Groats! I have decided to do a little bike ride to raise some money for charity. I say little bike ride, but I’m going to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

Full disclaimer from the outset: I literally do not have the time now that we are so busy again after lockdown, to properly cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats, however, I am going to do the distance. All 839 miles of the length of Great Britain. Start date: Saturday 22nd August 2020.

Land’s End to John O’Groats; piece of cake!

EDIT: I have now done this but you can still sponsor me if you’d like to. I did it across 28 days instead of 35, and in those 28 days managed to hit 210% of my sponsorship target, so I’m over the moon! It was great fun and very rewarding, with a lot of wet rides, punctures and scraped knees from falls along the way. Thank you so much to everyone who kindly donated.

Here’s the original Blog before I started…

I started cycling during lockdown as the gym was shut. I was eating too many calories and not moving enough on account of having nothing to do! Now I like to get out and ride every day, and over the last week or two have consistently started doing 25 miles each day. It was on one of these journeys that I wondered how far it was from Land’s End to John O’Groats. So I looked it up. It’s 839 miles. If I do 25 miles a day, for seven days a week, it’ll take me just under five weeks to do that journey. And with my work schedule, I can do that as I tend to get out around 6am, and it takes me about an hour and a half, with a little break to enjoy the scenery and some fruit. So that’s what I’m going to do.

Land’s End to John O’Groats on ‘Buzz Lightweight’

I’ll effectively be doing a concept called ‘Everesting’, which is where you pick any hill, anywhere in the world and complete repeats of it in a single activity until you climb 8,848m – the equivalent height of Mt Everest. Only I’ll be ‘Landsendtojohnogroatsing’. I made that last bit up but I think you get the idea. It could catch on! Think yourselves lucky, I was thinking of calling it ‘Lycra’s End to John O’Groats’, or ‘Scotland in September in Spandex’!

It may be a walk in the park for some cyclists, but this is a fair bit for me – and kinda all I have time for on a daily basis (most of the time). I will aim to do more than 25 miles on nice days, which will make up for the occasional lazy day when it’s raining. I don’t know if you’ve cycled in the rain lately, but I can confirm that it is not fun, and I’m not doing it if it isn’t fun. And guess what? Woodfarm is pretty much halfway!

Having decided to take on the challenge just for the hell of it, I also figured it would be a good idea to try and raise some money for a worthy cause. There are various statistics going around citing the numbers of people who suffered anxiety or depression as a result of this pesky pandemic, being locked down for three months. I read somewhere that something like 25% of the UK has been affected, but whatever the figure, a lot of people have had their mental, as well as physical, health affected. I don’t mind telling you that I’m one of them. 

To have my business suddenly taken away from me, and be personally placed in solitary confinement had a bigger effect on me than I could have imagined. I am happy to confirm that this was a temporary state, and now that we are back to being busy, and I am mixing with humans, I am fine. Like lots of people, I sat around feeling sorry for myself and ate too much. With the gym being closed I did quite a bit of walking, but that didn’t seem to make much of a difference, so towards the end of lockdown I started riding my bike again.

Whilst I follow predominantly a vegan diet, a calorie is a calorie. Too many calories ain’t good for you, but when you are bored it is very difficult to tell yourself that. Now that I am not bored, I am eating far more healthily and riding my bike every day, and all of this is good for my body, as well as my little brain.

That is a long-winded way of telling you that I have decided to use this daft idea of mine to raise money for ‘Suffolk Mind’ in order to help people who can’t just do it for themselves, or simply need some help. I consider myself very lucky not to suffer particularly, but we are all on the mental health continuum and we move up and down depending on how we cope with the challenges of life and the stresses that it creates. Personally, I can look back and say I didn’t dip that far from ‘Wellbeing’, but it was far enough to make a difference to me and I didn’t like it. Suffolk Mind works across the continuum, from ‘Wellbeing’ to ‘severe and enduring’ mental ill-health, providing support and information for everyone. And as so many people have suffered more so during this awful pandemic, I figured it’d be a worthy cause to raise some money for.

Lands End to John O'Groats in aid of Suffolk Mind
Lands End to John O’Groats in aid of Suffolk Mind

One of the things that I do when I’m cycling is lots of maths in my head. I work out lots of statistics concerning my speed, distance, average speed, et cetera. It was on one of these journeys that I figured I should be able to do this little jaunt.

As it is 839 miles I figured that would be a good target to aim for on the money-raising front. £839 is what I want to raise. I would dearly love it if you would be so kind as to sponsor me, even if it is just a penny a mile as I only need £8.39 from 100 people. Any amount that you sponsor me above this would just be a bonus.

So please, please, please, will you sponsor me? I am going to go out on a limb here and say that I aim to make up any shortfall on the £839, so please don’t make me dig into my pocket too much, as lockdown cost me a lot financially too! Click on the ‘Suffolk Mind’ logo above or the red button below to go to my page on their website. Pleeeeeeeease.

POST START EDIT…. So many kind and wonderful people ensured that we smashed through the target within 24 hours of launching this Blog Post!!! However, please don’t let that stop you as I will simply now try to raise as much money as I possibly can. Pretty please?

I will of course keep you posted on my progress (SEE BELOW!) and am using an app called ‘Endomondo’ that will monitor my mileage, and I will certainly keep you updated via Facebook and via our newsletters. I’m posting daily screenshots of the app (BELOW!) so you can see my progress.

Thank you so much in anticipation of any kind donations.

Kind of disclaimer thing: I may of course get injured or it might rain for forty days and forty nights. I’m not saying I will do this in four and a half weeks, but I will do it! So please sponsor me on the basis that I will get this done, however long it takes me. Thanks.

Lycra disclaimer: I may have treated myself to a new bike to make life easier, but I haven’t purchased any more Lycra. I still only have my padded shorts, which are sooooo comfy and necessary. Other than my shorts, this will all be done without the influence of Lycra!

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 1 – Total mileage 31.3

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 2 – 30.1 miles. Total mileage 61.4 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 3 – 46 miles. Total mileage 107.4 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 4 – 23 miles. Total mileage 130 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 5 – 25.5 miles. Total mileage 155.5 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 6 – 30.7 miles. Total mileage 186.7 miles (£1220!)

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 7 – 25.5 miles. Total mileage 212 miles (£1220!)

One week down and I’m a quarter of the way from Lands End to John O’Groats. Very happy with that, and hoping for some better weather to let me get some extra miles in!

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 8 – 27.5 miles. Total mileage 239.93 miles (wish I’d done the maths better in my head and gone an extra few pedals!)

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 9 – 31 miles. Total mileage 271 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 10 – 69 miles. Total mileage 340 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 11 – 30 miles. Total mileage 371 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 12 – 20 miles. Total mileage 392 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 13 – 25 miles. Total mileage 416 miles. Halfway from Lands End to John O’Groats!!!

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 14 – 35 miles. Total mileage 451 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 15 – 35 miles. Total mileage 486 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 16 – 26 miles. Total mileage 512 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 17 – 40 miles. Total mileage 552 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 18 – 25 miles. Total mileage 577 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 19 – 21 miles. Total mileage 598 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 20 – 39 miles. Total mileage 657 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 21 – 32 miles. Total mileage 669 miles. 163 to go

As I type this it’s 26th September and I’ve been laid up for almost two weeks with a chest infection. I had a cold for the four or five days above and did the stubborn male thing of battling through it, but it got me and chucked me in bed. I couldn’t really leave the house, let alone get on my bike. I’m feeling tons better though and hope to get back out there and finish this thing this coming week.

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 22 – tentatively back in the saddle with a wheezy 10 miles. Total mileage 676 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 23 – 25 miles. Total mileage 694 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 24 – 35 miles. Total mileage 729 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 25 – 20 miles. Total mileage 749 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 26 – 31 miles. Total mileage 780 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 27 – 34 miles. Total mileage 814 miles

Lands End to John O’Groats Day 28 – 25 miles. Total mileage 839 miles

Well. There we go. Done. It was a bit of an anti-climax as I expected a reception akin to the Beatles arriving in America that time, but alas it was not to be. To be fair I hadn’t really told anyone exactly when I’d be finishing. In the end it was just me returning to Woodfarm HQ very wet and cold, but feeling triumphant. I did it over 28 days instead of 35, and having hit the sponsorship target on day one, I hit 210% of the target on the last day, raising £1760. It might go up a little as it’s live until November 2020. Huge thank you to everyone who donated, and gave me words of encouragement, it meant the world to me.

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